ZAGREB, November 25, 2018 – The Institute for Youth Development and Innovativity (IRIM) has received 250,000 dollars from Google for projects aimed at introducing digital technology skills for children and adults through public libraries in the local community as well as stimulating libraries to become digital innovation centres, the founder of IRIM, Nenad Bakić, said at a presentation of IRIM’s latest project.
The IRIM projects aims to empower public libraries to become centres for developing digital competencies in local communities and will include libraries in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo, Bakić said.
IRIM or Croatian Makers is a privately financed initiative developing and deploying a “layered family of platforms” for STEM initiatives in school.
Bakić explained that Google’s support will help significantly expand IRIM’s concept of transforming libraries into public learning spaces for new technologies, but also as digital innovation centres.
Part of Google’s mission in Croatia is to make digital technology accessible to everyone, Google’s manager for the Adriatic region Joško Mrndže said. In the next 10 to 15 years, automation will change working environments and create 21 million new jobs; 90% of these jobs will require at least some level of digital skills, he added.
According to European Commission data, 44% of the EU’s population and 37% of the labour force doesn’t have a sufficiently developed knowledge of digital skills.
Minister of Science and Technology Blaženka Divjak underscored that the digital citizen project enables the wider community to develop digital skills, which she added is of exceptional importance and significance for the fourth industrial revolution.
Economy Minister Darko Horvat underlined that 2019 would be the year of digital transformation and announced the digitisation of public procurement and the compulsory issuance and receipt of e-invoices for local and central budget beneficiaries.
Horvat announced that as of 1 April citizens will be able to start a business online. He added that doing business would be made easier for entrepreneurs and could save about 640 million kuna. The minister underlined that doing away with some administrative procedures, about two billion kuna could be saved in the next three years.
For more on the Croatian Makers project, click here.