Croatian Companies Obtain Funds to Digitise and Improve Competitiveness

By 11 September 2019

Several Croatian companies have received an impressive sum of money for the development of ICT projects which will see their business improved.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes on the 10th of September, 2019, Minister of Economy Darko Horvat stated that in the first, cancelled tender, the planned amount of the program was 53 million kuna, and in the renewed call, an allocation of 200 million kuna was secured, which was fully utilised, and in the meantime, another 163 million kuna was secured, which will also be distributed among eligible projects over the coming days.

Namely, a total of 1,299 applications were submitted, of which 1,018 were considered satisfactory, and funds from the allocation of 200 million kuna were distributed among 391 Croatian entrepreneurial projects.

The Minister of Economy attributed the credit for the successful completion of this "story" to his colleague Marko Pavić, Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds, with whom, in his own words, he has been cooperating brilliantly in recent weeks. Among the projects selected were a large number of small and micro companies, and the largest amount of one million kuna in grants was earned by three Croatian companies.

One of them is a Zagreb-based company called Balboa, which works in the graphic and advertising industry, whose project of integration and improvement of business processes through the use of ICT is worth 2.2 million kuna.

A project to improve business efficiency through the implementation of an ICT solution for which the Identalia clinic in Zagreb received a grant is slightly less in value, but with this program, the third Zagreb publishing company Alfa will realise a total of 1.9 million kuna for their project for improving overall competitiveness.

The support received by a Čakovec-based fodder (animal feed) factory stands at almost one million kuna (999 thousand kuna), and although the largest projects are from Zagreb, small businesses from all regions of Croatia as well as from various sectors are investing in their digitisation. Among the most valuable projects that participated were, for example, representatives of the companies Hotel Borovik from Tisno, Slavonski Brod's Đuro Đaković Montaža, Feroplast from Buje, Zigante truffles...

"The greatest interest of Croatian entrepreneurs, according to their experience in implementing various programs, comes precisely from the fields of information and communication technology, electronics and electrical engineering, automation, robotics... Therefore, I'm extremely pleased that with this support, we'll enable our entrepreneurs to apply information and communication technology more intensively, and that will certainly provide them with a stronger market position and increase their competitiveness and business efficiency,'' stated Marijana Oreb, a board member of HAMAG-BICRO.

And to illustrate the fact that turning in this direction is important, the concrete figures were highlighted by Janja Kulić from the company Kulić and Sperk audit. According to court records, Kulić stated, more than 107,000 Croatian entrepreneurs could bid for these funds, which means that they have shown a genuine and symbolic interest.

"Our tender draws money from European Union funds in a better way, and how well it does to make strides in the field of digitalisation is worth mentioning, too. It's an extremely important and potent tool for increasing competitiveness. I recommend that digitisation be an open topic on everyone's agenda and that all the possibilities to reach more and more entrepreneurs are considered,'' said Kulić, adding that it would amount to 20 billion kuna if even half of the aforementioned number of entrepreneurs in Croatia were digitised.

The Ministry of Economy recently held the European Market Open Doors Days for Croatian entrepreneurs, as a continuation of the activities started two years ago under the name "Sve je jednom mjestu" (Everything in one place), when it informed citizens and entrepreneurs across several Croatian cities about the possibilities and tools offered by the Internal Market Centre.

The ministry stated that such an opportunity to hold talks and better inform Croatian entrepreneurs about the freedom to provide services and move goods on the internal market will be provided on a monthly basis.

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