Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Contracts Projects Worth 450 Million Kuna

Lauren Simmonds

They cooperate with Rimac, Končar, and more.

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of July, 2018, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding in Zagreb (FSB) has currently contracted development and research (R&D) projects worth a huge 450 million kuna, or 60.89 million euro.

Until now, the Faculty has cooperated with several top companies such as Rimac Automobili, the Končar Institute of Electrical Engineering, and Inetec, according to the available information.

In front of the Croatian, Serbian and Montenegrin ministers of science and the deputy director of the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, Dubravko Majetić of the aforementioned Zagreb faculty emphasised the fact that such a financial hub makes it possible to be the best faculty in this area in South East Europe.

“All of our college revenue depends on the projects, and we currently have 48 active R&D projects worth 60.89 million euro,” stated a proud Majetić, adding that as many as nineteen of these projects are co-financed by the relevant ministry and the Croatian Science Foundation.

The remaining 58 million euro is drawn in various ways from the European Union. The largest amount is 31.9 million euro from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and then 24.9 million euro from Obzor 2020.

Majetić emphasised that despite such large amounts, it isn’t al lthat easy to get your hands on these funds.

“From July last year to July this year, we proposed for all these institutions to finance 108 projects. We knocked at all these doors and managed to secure the funds in 10 percent of cases. It’s not easy, but without the cash it just can’t be done,” Majetić noted.

The fact that FSB is an exception, and not the rule in Croatia, was demonstrated by Toma Antičić, State Secretary for Science, Technology and EU Funds in the Ministry of Science and Education. He took this position at the end of last year as the head of the well respected Ruđer Bošković Institute, the institution which, through the launch of academic startups, attempted to commercialise the results of its research. Antičić emphasised that the ministry is actively working on reforming the science system, the result of which is expected over the coming two years. He stressed that this is necessary because Croatia is, according to many indicators, unfortunately at the very bottom of the European Union.

“According to the index of scientific excellence, Croatia comes last in the Union, according to the number of patents we’re anticipating, according to the amount of money we withdraw from Obzor 2020, we’re at the end, just as we are with the mobility and rank of our universities compared to those in the EU, which would suggest through such indicators that Croatia has no future. That’s why we are actively working to change this,” explained Antičić.

He stated that the existing system which deals with the way things are currently done is broken and that instilling money in it is no longer a worthwhile undertake. He emphasised that the ministry is working on a new legal framework and applying good practice. Some steps have already been made, he clarified, such as the strengthening of the cooperation with CERN, ESA, CLARIN and CERIC. Furthermore, Croatia has applied for construction of DONES, 500 million euro’s worth of material testing equipment to be used in the construction of a future fusion reactor, which the EU plans to develop and finance. In neighbouring Montenegro, they want the EU to fund a single biomedical facility and several other such things.

“The world will change over the next few decades more than it’s changed since the first discovery of fire to this very date, so we need to adapt to it quickly,” Antičić concluded.


Click here for the original article by Bernard Ivezic for Poslovn Dnevnik


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