Croatian Startups Finalists in Regional Air Pollution Reduction Innovation Contest

Lauren Simmonds

December the 15th, 2020 – Croatian startups are becoming more and more well known across the world in various different fields, and two in particular have stood out among the rest when it comes to air pollution reduction.

As Jozo Vrdoljak/Novac writes, the Croatian startups Jellyfish and CatSolAir System participated in the finals of the regional competition for the best innovation for reducing air pollution in the Balkans – BASF Start-up Science. The team making up the Djakovo startup, Jellyfish, which consists of leader Jurica Perko and members Zvonimir Perko and Dinko Manduric, presented their solution for integrating charging stations for electric vehicles into the existing public lighting system, while CatSolAir System is led by Lucija Radetic, an assistant from the Laboratory of Environmental Engineering at the Faculty of Geotechnics. With the help of team member Jan Marcec, they presented their idea for air purification by using solar photocatalysis in a CPC reactor.

First place went to the startup Milkywaste from neighbouring Slovenia. This Slovenian startup came up with the idea for biodegradable packaging derived from milk proteins.

“BASF Startup Science is another commendable initiative that gives young people the opportunity to start and accelerate the development of their solutions in the direction of using clean energy and working to preserve the environment. We’re extremely proud that our idea was recognised and we had the opportunity to present our solution as a component of the smart concept. Congratulations to all of the finalists on their excellent ideas, we wish them a lot of success in their further development. We believe that the involvement of young and ambitious people and the changes that come with innovation will ensure a better quality of life in our communities,” stated Jellyfish team leader Jurica Perko.

CatSolAir System Manager Lucija Radetic said she and her team have no intention of slowing down the further development of their solution.

“We were extremely honoured to be able to participate in the finals of the BASF Startup Science competition and be in such good company among the other finalists. Although we didn’t win the grand prize, we’re happy that our idea was recognised and included among the finalists, so we’ll continue to work with even greater enthusiasm,” she stated.

The BASF Start-up Science competition is the largest regional competition in the field of sustainable development and is intended for startup ideas from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Serbia. The innovators addressed, among other things, environmental transport issues, parking solutions and opportunities for sustainable agriculture.

Simon Franko, the CEO of BASF for Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Serbia and one of the members of the expert jury, believes that it has been confirmed once again that this region has given the world a lot of talented and innovative young people.

”’Air quality is one of the biggest challenges of the modern age and remains a topic that is the focus of every individual. I’m extremely glad that so many good solutions for this important issue come from our region. We had the opportunity to find out how young innovators think about this topic and share our many years of experience in the field of air quality with them, and I’m especially pleased that we’ll enable at least the initial development of their startup ideas,” said Franko.

The BASF Start-up Science competition was organised by the chemical company BASF, a European leader in research and development. The competition lasted for three months, and young innovators from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Serbia had the opportunity to apply for the idea of ​​reducing air pollution. The prize fund given to the best idea was 5,000 euros.

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