The component aims to strengthen the capacity of selected Croatian R&D institutions and to reorient their research infrastructure to serve the economy. It supports the restructuring of RDIs, including Brodarski Institute and Rudjer Boskovic Institute, to increase their applied and contractual research capacity, both from within Croatia and in international markets. Few other RDIs are expected to join the Project at a later stage.
The RDIs are supported through assistance in:
- corporate governance: strengthening governance structure, strategic planning and management structure, and introducing change management;
- business processes: upgrading operational and financial structures by introducing modern budgetary, accounting, management information system (MIS), audit systems, and business procedures;
- human resource development: improving HR policies, rewards/promotions system, change staff composition, staff training;
- upgrading physical infrastructure: laboratory equipment and facilities;
- commercialization: strengthening business development and marketing, contract and intellectual property management, promotion, introducing transparent criteria for initiating and supporting research programs and individual projects, establishing science parks and, where applicable, profit centers.
The Project finances equipment, consulting services and training , and on a selective basis, incremental operating costs and severance payments for staff downsizing in certain areas.
The Project would support Science Parks (SPs) to be established within BI (and possible some other participating RDIs where appropriate). To test the viability of this idea in Croatia as well as to hedge some risk of this investment, a two-phased approach will be applied to this initiative. Under Phase I, virtual Science Parks would be established within the selected R&D Institutions and their activities would focus on commercializing ideas of their host RDIs (including handling spin-off companies). Once the capabilities of the Science Parks are developed and if the demand for such services appears to be growing, Science Parks may move into the Phase II where they would further develop into more traditional Technopark establishments (to be supported only if there is sufficient demand).