WB approves US$116.4m for Croatia’s digital transformation and green transition

NEWS 23.06.202312:24 0 komentara
Daniel SLIM / AFP , Ilustracija

The World Bank Board has approved financing in the amount of $116.4 million for Croatia's efforts "to advance research and innovation with a digital and green focus by improving institutional infrastructure and research performance of research organizations and firms", the WB reported on Friday.

The project, worth $116.4 million is called Croatia Digital, Innovation and Green Technology (DIGIT) and “will facilitate the digital transformation and the green transition of the economy, increase resources for applied research and experimental development, and support the efforts of the Croatian government to strengthen its institutional capacity to deliver research and innovation policies.”

The project will be carried out in close cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Education.

DIGIT project activities will finance, through various grant schemes, digital and green research and innovation.

The project will also support reforms envisaged in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), the Smart Specialization Strategy (S3), and activities important for the country’s accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“This project will boost the capacity of public administration bodies and government agencies to serve the innovation system more effectively and finance interventions with potential for transformative effects on research excellence,” Jehan Arulpragasam, World Bank Country Manager for Croatia, was quoted as saying.

Research organisations and researchers will benefit directly through various grant schemes.

The bank assesses that so far, Croatia’s results in digital and green research and innovation have been modest.

“Participation in competitive international research and development (R&D) funding has been low and Croatian research organizations and firms have struggled to access the competitive and prestigious Horizon 2020 funds, the European Union’s research and innovation funding program that was available from 2014-2020. In the digital and green space, research and innovation has been limited with very few patents in industrial digital technologies, and only 9.5% of patents in environment-related technologies,” the WB says adding that firms will also benefit directly by receiving support.

Since the World Bank Group’s first loan in 1994 for emergency reconstruction of war-damaged infrastructure, over the past thirty years, this financial institution has supported over 100 projects worth US$6.5 billion and provided knowledge and technical assistance to help strengthen institutions and support policymaking through more than 330 reports and studies.

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