The meeting at the Office of the President was prompted by the annual report of the Croatian Science Foundation presenting work and support to research projects in 2021, the president’s office said in a statement.
The Croatian Science Foundation, which is the country’s most important institution financing research projects, was founded in 2001 by the parliament to promote science, higher education and technological development as well as secure support for research, higher education and technological programmes and projects.
Its officials said that over the past 20 years the Foundation had developed an independent system of evaluation and selection of the best projects and researchers, having become the most important institution for the financing of Croatian science and researchers.
“Guided by the principles of scientific excellence, impartiality and transparency and by applying the internationally accepted standards of research success, the Foundation has so far funded, from budgetary and extra-budgetary sources, the development of careers of young researchers and projects in the amount of more than HRK 1.1 billion,” the statement from the president’s office said.
In 2021 alone, the Foundation’s financial assistance to research projects totalled HRK 227 million.
Total investments in science in Croatia are insufficient, it was said at the meeting, with the Foundation’s representatives stressing that their mission was to contribute to development, which was not possible without science.
Speaking of the results so far, the Foundation’s representatives pointed out more than 2,000 projects, of which many were successful on the global scale, as well as cooperation with more than 900 young researchers and around 6,000 scientists who work at Croatian institutes and universities.
New generations of PhD holders are being educated and trained in a dozen of national and international programmes, the Foundation has enabled the establishment of own research groups for young researchers, and supported leading Croatian scientists in implementing research that is of national significance or is internationally competitive, the Foundation’s officials said.