Title: 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.