As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, JGL, the very well-known Croatian pharmaceutical company, continues to face a very specific problem when it comes to the production process. Every four hours, as was explained by Mate Poropat, the director of JGL’s pharmaceutical-technological operations, they have to change the sedimentation plates in the monitoring procedure. This process is still done manually and costs the company a lot of money and time.
“We want to automate that process in a simple way,” said Poropat. Thanks to the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge (MIC) project, which is organised and implemented by the EIT Manufacturing Hub Croatia, they didn’t have to wait very long for a solution to come running along. The Croatian startup SimpleMatic, consisting of Daniela Jaksic and Marko Brkljacic, came up with and designed a solution to this issue in a mere few weeks.
“Our solution is of great importance on a global level, because almost all pharmaceutical companies have to try and cope with the problem of manually changing sedimentation plates,” explained Jaksic from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry.
Knowledge and innovation
This example clearly shows how thin the line can be between a problem and a solution. However, it is only thin if the problem falls into the right hands – from industry to those of science. And they were brought together by the EIT Manufacturing Hub, one of ten such hubs in Europe whose goal is to create a network of European innovators in the field of manufacturing and to position Europe as a world leader in innovation in industry.
The EIT Manufacturing HUB in Croatia consists of the Centre for Research, Development and Technology Transfer of the University of Zagreb and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding. They implement a wide number of projects, including MIC, which connects manufacturing companies and startups.
“One of the key problems with startup teams is that they create products for which there’s no market. At the same time, manufacturing companies have to face real challenges. It was logical to connect them both,” explained Miro Hegedic, the co-coordinator in the Manufacturing Hub and an assistant professor at FSB.
Thanks to this project, JGL came to the solution they had been looking for for a long time, and the Croatian startup SimpleMatic got the opportunity to implement their innovation and develop globally. Another award-winning team that participated in the MIC competition – Integrators – who designed a solution for the giant company Podravka and their optimisation of the size of their production orders, also has such an opportunity on its hands.
Those teams, awarded with 10,000 kuna, are two of the nine that participated in the competition. “We want to encourage the development of innovations through projects, including in regard to this competition,” Hegedic pointed out.
The Republic of Croatia, which is unfortunately at the very back of the European Union (EU) in terms of innovation, will have a lot of work to do in this field. However, Vesna Petrovic, the co-coordinator of the EIT Manufacturing Hub Croatia from CIRTT, pointed out that she is satisfied with the positive energy she’s felt.
“Everyone would like greater access to financing sources,” she concluded.
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