The Annual Growth Survey 2016 highlighted that investing in R&I at national level is critical for growth and that therefore Member States should continue to prioritise public investments in R&I, ensuring their efficiency and leverage with regard to business investment. Member States need to keep up the pace of reforms to ensure an investment-friendly environment. See more information about the European Semester.
The European Semester supports Member States' structural reforms in different policy areas to promote jobs, growth and investment. Research and innovation play a key role in this context. That is why the Commission gives recommendations to and closely work with the Member States to increase the performance of their national R&I systems.
Have a look and see how the country is performing.
Croatia has the fifth lowest R&D intensity level in the EU and, as a moderate innovator, performs below average in nearly all innovation dimensions. R&D intensity amounts to only 0.85 % of GDP. Public R&D intensity stagnated in the last 5 years at around 0.4 % of GDP. Business R&D intensity has increased between 2009 and 2015 from 0.34 % to 0.44 %. In innovation, Croatia performs above the EU average only in human resources, a result of having an above-average proportion of young people with upper secondary education.
The low level of R&D spending is one of the reasons for the low quality and efficiency of the R&I system. Several factors continue to hinder the development of a strong science base in Croatia with improved connections to the economy. They include sub-critical scale, fragmentation, lack of international integration and a below EU average rate of new graduates in science and engineering. Public-private cooperation in R&I remains at a relatively low level. Changes have been made with the aim of introducing competitive funding of R&D, but with low impact.
Croatia has recently introduced some policy responses to foster innovation. Several national-level strategies to support R&I have recently been developed to complement the 2014 strategies for education, science and technology and for fostering innovation. There was progress in improving governance by merging existing R&I institutions. In November 2015 six new centres of research excellence were established and additional resources for them are planned from ESIF funding.