Croatian-Slovenian Fund to Spend Millions on Linking Tech and Business

Lauren Simmonds

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As Ana Blaskovic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR), the European Investment Fund and the Slovenian Export and Development Bank (SID) is establishing a Croatian-Slovenian fund/platform to finance the commercialisation of technological and scientific solutions from universities, research institutes and value centres from the two neighbouring countries.

The agreement on the establishment of a regional platform for technology transfer was signed in the Slovenian capital city of Ljubljana on Monday, and the value is estimated to stand at at least 40 million euros. The platform will be financed by the Croatian and Slovenian development banks, each with 10 million, and the EIF with an additional 20 million euros.

The money from this Croatian-Slovenian fund will be invested in the establishment of a regional fund for technology transfer, ie a venture capital fund. The money is intended for projects developed by both Croatian and Slovenian universities, research institutes and centres in the so-called ”proof of concept” phase.

At least 15 million euros will be spent on entirely Croatian projects, and the EIF estimates that more than 350 patents and 100 spin-off companies that could be funded through the fund will be applied in a period of just five years.

“Croatia isn’t lagging behind in the development of patents and new solutions, but it is lagging behind in their application within the economy. The Croatian and Slovenian markets lack a link in financing due to which many valuable patents and technological solutions never experience commercialisation. This is the most risky form of investment, so private capital is rarely invested in such projects. Our role is to compensate for this shortcoming and enable a strong link between science and entrepreneurship,” said the head of HBOR, Tamara Perko.

“This is one of the most important days for Slovenian and Croatian scientists since Slovenia and Croatia both became independent nations,” added Igor Emri, head of the department at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ljubljana.

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