A look at the research situation in Croatia

Croatia has quite a number of institutions of higher learning. The country has Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, Zadar, Dubrovnik, Osijek and Pula as its seven public universities, an astounding 30 polytechnics (private and public) and 6 centres of technology. The public institutes in the country add up to a total of 25. Of all the mentioned universities, the most dated is Zagreb having begun in the 17th century in 1669. An amazing 180,000 students attend the universities and polytechnics in Croatia.

Any research carried out in the republic of Croatia is done so under 2000 established projects that each run for a three year contractual period. Half of the 11,000 researchers found in the country work at institutions affiliated to the 7 universities.

Source of funding for research projects

The Scientific Activity and Higher Education Act dictates how state funds are sourced and distributed to help meet the expenses incurred at institutes for research. While this is so, MSES or the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports is the body that has the mandate to come up with research policies in the republic. The NCS or National Council for Science on the other hand is an advisory unit on such funding. CSF is the creator of instruments for both finance and policy making and it works independently of all afore mentioned bodies. The aim of all these programs, policies and instruments is to establish in Croatia comprehensive research policies with well-defined short term and long term goals as well as regulations governing the disbursement of grants for individual research.

The NFS and the MSES control public research funds but the buck stops with the Minister in charge. Unlike previous years, 2012 saw the state provide a mere 13.4 million EUR for research projects. Since the year 2009, CSF has been the central institution that funds research projects. It is the body that supports projects related to science, higher education and technology. It also establishes international relations and pushes for the success of applied research and research targeting development. This body also develops instruments of financing careers in research and post-doctoral fellowships.

Additional sources of funds for research

In 1998 the government of croatia needed a body that could put in motion technological development and support programs and thus BICRO Ltd was born. Business Innovation Centre of Croatia sees to it that output of research is used effectively for the creation of new products and for the development of competition amongst research companies. the UKF program is targeted at the researchers and scientists in the diaspora to liaise with and come home to work with other Croatian researchers for the economic development of the republic.EC funding for research programs

Numerous EC programs exist in both public and private sectors of Croatia to address the goals of European research. Croatia has featured as a participant in EC research programmes as well as techno-development and this benefits researchers and scientists in the country immensely. FP7 and IPA are some of the programmes that have propelled the Croatian educational system and serve as preparatory programmes for future projects.

Storage and Open Access in Croatia

Storage and access to information in Croatia is made possible by the Croatian Scientific Bibliography which began in 1997. Since its founding CROSBI has 16500 documents in full text as well as 24000 records of bibliography. Different faculties in the earlier mentioned institutions of learning have helped and continue to help promote Open Access by initiating activities that promote it.

It is such activities and centred efforts that create public awareness about important research publications. To this end, a group of professionals have completed the creation OA declaration document that is set for presentation in 2012 Oct. The document seeks to promote green OA. The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports also established a group that defines policies governing OA in September 2012. Self-archiving is allowed in Croatia and librarians are well trained and versed in the policies and rules governing Open Access.

Repositories for OA in Croatia

CROSBI acts as the central repository with well over 16500 full text documents. Other repositories include the School of Medicine Repository, the Digital Archive in the philosophy faculty of Zagreb and others in Zadar, Osijek and Boskovic Institute. The national and university library is home to two main repositories and these are the Digital Academic Repository and the Croatian Web Archive. The general landscape of research and science in Croatia advocates for cooperation between European Union countries through bodies such as CESSDA to ensure that vital social research data is archived and made accessible to everyone.