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RIO Country Report Croatia 2017

The R&I Observatory country report 2017 provides a brief analysis of the R&I system covering the economic context, main actors, funding trends & human resources, policies to address R&I challenges, and R&I in national and regional smart specialisation strategies. Data are from Eurostat, unless otherwise referenced and is correct as at January 2018. Data used from other international sources is also correct to that date. The report provides a state-of-play and analysis of the national level R&I system and its challenges, to support the European Semester.



Challenges for R&I policy-making in Croatia

Challenges for R&I policy-making in Croatia
1. Increasing R&I funding and improving the absorption of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF): Despite the efforts undertaken, Croatia is struggling to increase R&I investment, which is stagnant (0.84% of GDP in 2016) and far below the 2020 target of 1.4% of GDP. R&I investments from ESIF will lead to improvements, but they have often been delayed.
2. Building a coherent and integrated R&I policy framework: Additional efforts (the merger of two ministries) were made to integrate the government approach towards R&I into the private sector. The implementation of the adopted strategic documents has been fragmented and slow. The opportunities provided by S3 are underexploited.
3. Strengthening the private sector’s R&I capability and improving the business innovation environment: ESIF programmes that facilitate investment in R&I (e.g. R&I projects and centres of competence) are particularly important for business and technological development. There is still a need to improve the business climate, as well as to strengthen the links between science and business and develop the ‘smart’ skills required to meet business needs.
4. Strengthening public sector R&I capacity: Reforms to the public sector R&I system (e.g. reorganization of public research institutes, evaluation of research work), coupled with investments in infrastructure and R&I projects, are expected to bring about results in the medium term. The creation of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)-funded centres of research excellence (CoREs) provides an opportunity to improve R&I performance in priority research areas.

Smart specialisation Strategies

Smart specialisation Strategies
S3 was introduced at national level by the indicative annual plan for calls for proposals, co-financed by ESIF through Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020. It started in 2016 with public calls for proposals aimed at innovative companies (Competency and development of SMEs, Innovations in newly established SMEs) and for cooperative projects for industrial research (Increasing the development of new products and services resulting from R&D activities, Strengthening capacities for research, development and innovation). Several important R&I infrastructures envisaged in the S3 action plan have been established. They include CoREs, competitiveness clusters and centres of competence (evaluation of which is still in progress).

Geo coverage
Report year
Official publication date
Thursday, 12 April, 2018
National expert name
Domagoj Račić; Jadranka Švarc
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