Thursday, 3 January 2019

Croatia Initiates Procedure for CERN Associate Membership

ZAGREB, January 3, 2019 - The Croatian government on Thursday decided to initiate the procedure to conclude an associate membership agreement with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, known as CERN.

CERN was established in 1954 by the European Council for Nuclear Research. Based in a northwestern suburb of Geneva on the Franco-Swiss border, it operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world.

Associate member status will make it possible for Croatia to participate in CERN-funded projects on an equal footing. It will improve the quality of education and research by Croatian scientists and increase the mobility of scientists and specialists.

Such status will also open up business opportunities for Croatian software, construction, electrical engineering and healthcare companies.

Croatia will contribute a total of CHF 1 million annually to finance the organisation's activities.

More science news can be found in our Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

State Science Awards for 2017 Presented

ZAGREB, December 12, 2018 - The State Science Awards for 2017 were presented in parliament on Wednesday for life achievements by six reputable scientists - Janko Herak, Helena Jasna Mencer, Vera Garaj-Vrhovac, Josip Kovačević, Vjeran Katunarić and Emilio Marin.

A total of 33 scientists were awarded and 31 received the State Science Awards which were presented by Parliament Speaker and the Chairman for the committee for state awards Gordan Jandroković and Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak.

The Croatian parliament, as the highest legislative body in Croatia, has for 23 years been presenting the state award for science and this year the committee decided to recognise a total of 33 scientists, Jandroković underscored.

He said that almost every segment of contemporary man's life is shaped by scientific and technological advancement, and that science is an unavoidable factor in the development of every contemporary state and its social and economic progress and prosperity, including Croatia, which has always been a country of reputable scientists and inventors in all scientific fields and it is that today too.

He added that he was particularly pleased that parliament recently adopted the 2019 budget which has allocated 506 million kuna or 3.7% more for science and education compared to 2018.

Jandroković believes that this will continue in the years to follow and particularly underlined that the increased funds are also related to Croatia's associated membership in the biggest research laboratory in the world – CERN and that this cooperation will provide new opportunities for Croatian scientists and lecturers and for Croatia's innovative industry.

More news on the science and education in Croatia can be found in our special section.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Major Project Completed by Ruđer Bošković Institute

ZAGREB, December 5, 2018 - The project "Using synergy to achieve excellence in the research and development of detectors, sensors and electronics" is the first successfully completed structural project in Croatia, finished in a record-short period of six months, which was marked with a ceremony inaugurating the Centre for Detectors, Sensors and Electronics at Zagreb's Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB) on Wednesday.

The primary goal of the project was to promote, in a synergy with the project "Expanding Potential in Particle and Radiation Detectors, Sensors and Electronics in Croatia" (PaRaDeSEC), financed within the Horizon 2020 programme, the IRB's existing research infrastructure for the research, development and testing of detectors, sensors and related electronics, said IRB director David Matthew Smith.

He noted that this was the first successfully completed project in Croatia that was financed as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds in the amount of 1.5 million kuna.

Smith said the project was of great importance for the further planning of investments in science through the Operational Programme "Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020".

Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak, who attended the inauguration ceremony, said that promoting excellence and innovation was one of her ministry's four important strategic goals in the current period. She noted that "promotion of excellence... seems easy on paper, but the required change of the system actually requires everyone involved in that system to change."

The minister said the project was a good example of how the Horizon 2020 programme, which is mostly oriented to science and excellence, can be linked with cohesion policies, which help develop countries that lag behind in any sector.

She thanked the project team, headed by Neven Šoić, for identifying that link and making it possible to complete the project in record-short time.

The project has made it possible to procure a large number of instruments important for research, as well as remodelling laboratories, thus creating controlled conditions of cleanliness, temperature and air humidity, improving the stability of electric systems and reducing the level of electronic noise, said Šoić.

For the latest science news from Croatia, click here.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Exhibition on 16th Century Croatian Scientist Faust Vrančić to Open in Rome

ZAGREB, November 12, 2018 - An exhibition titled "Faust Vrančić in the Context of European Heritage" will be opened in Rome's Falconieri Palace on Tuesday, the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU) said in a press release on Monday.

The exhibition has been organised by the Croatian Embassy to the Holy See in cooperation with the Hungarian Embassy in Rome, the National and University Library (NSK) in Zagreb, the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum in Zagreb, the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences (HAZU) and the Croatian Ministry of Culture.

The purpose of the exhibition, which will be on display until 7 December, is to additionally promote this Croatian inventor and polymath this year which is dedicated to European cultural heritage.

Vrančić is regarded as one of the most important inventors and designers at the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century. He was born in Šibenik in 1551 and died in Venice in 1617. He was a polymath, linguist, diplomat, engineer and bishop.

At the end of the 16th century, he wrote a book with drawings of his own inventions and those of other inventors. There were two editions of the book and they differ mainly in the covers and the number of languages used to describe the inventions - "Machinae novae Fausti Verantii Siceni", presumably published in Florence in 1595, and "Machinae novae Fausti Verantii Siceni cum declaratione Latina Italica Hispanica Gallica et Germanica", believed to have been published in 1615 or 1616. The work contains 49 etchings with 56 different inventions.

Faust Vrančić's technical solutions cover river engineering, bridges, clocks, mills, presses, grain threshing machines, horse-drawn vehicles, and work organisation.

After the opening of the exhibition in Rome, a round table discussion will be held on Faust Vrančić and other 16th century polymaths and humanists from Dalmatia who were active in Croatia, Italy and Hungary.

For more on Croatian scientists, click here.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Croatian-Born Science Expert Confirms Earth's Solid Inner Core Hypothesis

ZAGREB, October 28, 2018 - Croatian-born Australian geophysicist Hrvoje Tkalčić has confirmed the 80-year-old hypothesis that Earth's inner core is made of solid material and said that the Earth's correlation field method, which has helped his group make that discovery, brings a new paradigm to science.

Tkalčić has co-authored a paper with Thanh-Son Pham, published in a recent issue of Science magazine, which has elicited interest among experts and which colleagues say has implications for understanding the composition of Earth's inner core.

We have managed to generally prove that Earth's inner core is in a solid state of aggregation, which hypothesis was set about 80 years ago. It hasn't been proved until now, although the clues were quite strong, Tkalčić has told Hina.

He says his team was able to prove that by detecting shear winds in Earth's inner core, a direct proof of that. Those waves can move only in solid objects, not through liquid or gas, he adds. Using a global network of stations, we paired every receiver and every major earthquake, measuring the similarities between seismograms, Tkalčić says, adding that the number of combinations was large. He says they used those similarities to make a global correlogram, a sort of fingerprint of the Earth.

Tkalčić was born in Bjelovar in 1970 and obtained a degree in geophysics at the Zagreb Faculty of Science in 1996. He has also discovered that Earth's inner core is softer than previously thought.

Aside from detecting those waves, we have managed to measure the speed of their expansion, from which you can then determine other physical or chemical parametres of a material. In this case, we have determined that the behaviour of the material making up Earth's inner core is more similar to some other chemical elements than to iron under normal temperatures and pressures, Tkalčić says.

This is another piece of good news for Croatian science, after it was recently announced that Croatia will enter the CERN in 2019.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Croatia to Join CERN in 2019

ZAGREB, October 21, 2018 - Croatian Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak confirmed in Dubrovnik on Sunday that Croatia had had met all three requirements for membership of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and would be an associate member of the world's biggest research laboratory as of 2019.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Croatian Scientists Working on Revolutionary Space Telescopes

Two major space projects have a Croatian connection.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Ruđer Bošković Institute Launches Major Modernisation Initiative

ZAGREB, October 13, 2018 - The structural project "Open scientific infrastructural platforms for innovative applications in the economy and society" (O-ZIP) is a key part of the development strategy of Zagreb's Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB) that will make this leading Croatian research institution a 21st century institute, it was said at a presentation of the project on Friday.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Zagreb Faculty of Science to Receive 57 Million Kuna for Modernisation

ZAGREB, September 27, 2018 - A 57.8 million kuna infrastructure project that is expected to ensure new capital equipment for the Zagreb Faculty of Science Physics Department and increase its regional competitiveness was presented in Zagreb on Thursday.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Croatian Biologist Miroslav Radman Elected to US National Academy of Sciences

ZAGREB, September 17, 2018 - Croatian biologist Miroslav Radman, founder of the Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences (MEDILS) in Split, has been elected to the United States' National Academy of Sciences.

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