Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Electronic Form of Construction Site Diary Offered by Ministry as New E-service

ZAGREB, 2 Feb 2022 - Croatia's construction and zoning ministry has developed a new e-service, a construction site diary application within its zoning information system, the ministry stated on Wednesday.

The development of the whole module was financed by the European structural and investment funds. The total project cost amounted to HRK 4.85 million (647,000 euros), with 85% of these costs having been covered by the European Regional Development D+Fund.

The application enables authorized persons such as those in charge of construction sites as well as investors, to gain insight on all construction projects and worksite processes, including all events and activities that may impact progress.

The ministry says the new e-service will facilitate the implementation of investment projects.

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Wednesday, 8 December 2021

HRK 77m Earmarked From National Recovery Plan for Digitising Agriculture Sector

ZAGREB, 8 Dec, 2021 - The survival of Croatia's agriculture largely depends on digitisation, the key to increase productivity and the driver of the development of domestic production, for which HRK 77 million is envisaged for investments, a conference on digital farming heard on Wednesday.

Addressing the conference, Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković said that digital technology has the potential to significantly improve farming and that the digital transformation of Croatia's agriculture has been included in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO). 

A total of HRK 77 million is earmarked in the NPOO for the digitisation of the agriculture sector - for digitising public services (HRK 14 million), for smart agriculture (HRK 50 million), and for launching the field-to-table project (HRK 13 million).

Vučković pointed out the ageing structure of family farms and that it is necessary to motivate young people to take over family farms. Digitisation can also compensate for the labour shortage in certain areas, she said.

"We will have the funds, and living in rural communities, with the help of investments in the local and entrepreneurial infrastructure, will be such that there will not be any gap between the quality of life in rural or urban communities," underscored Vučković.

The state-secretary in the ministry, Zdravko Tušek, said that digitisation will contribute to producing high-quality food at competitive prices, among other things.

Efficient agriculture and its competitiveness depend on digital solutions

The transformation and survival of rural communities depend on digital solutions, which already provide support and better efficiency, Danijel Koletić of the conference's organising committee said.

Smart villages are a new concept and it is necessary to educate and inform stakeholders so Croatia's agriculture can be more competitive in the future, he added.

Unfortunately, in Croatia there is not one university that offers a course in digital agriculture, he said.

It is necessary to educate all stakeholders in rural communities to start learning about digital farming because without that Croatia's agriculture cannot be competitive, Koletić added.

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Friday, 18 September 2020

PM: Digitisation and Green Deal Centrepiece of Economic Recovery

ZAGREB, September 18, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who on Friday presented an economic recovery plan to county prefects and representatives of cities and municipalities, said that digitisation and the Green Deal were the centrepiece of Croatia's economic recovery.

"Digitisation and the Green Deal are the centrepiece and framework for projects that will be financed," Plenkovic told the press in the city of Gospic after meeting with county heads and representatives of the associations of cities and municipalities.

Plenkovic added that participants in the meeting were also informed about the allocation for Croatia within the Multiannual Financial Framework of the European Union.

The government is consulting prefects and mayors on more than 5,000 projects submitted to the Ministry of EU Funds and Regional Development, and the consultations will help step up the absorption of funds as of 2021, he said.

This will enable the return of the country's GDP to the pre-coronacrisis levels, which is the point of the government's programme, Plenkovic said.

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric informed the prefects and mayors who attended the Gospic meeting about plans for the tax reform and fiscal decentralisation.

Public Administration and Justice Minister Ivan Malenica outlined a plan for the overhaul of the system of cities and municipalities.

Malenica told the press that preparations were underway for amending the law on local self-government, legislation on local elections and on the City of Zagreb, noting that those changes would be undertaken for cost-cutting purposes.

He said the number of office-holders would be reduced and the remuneration for county and city assembly councilors would be cut.

Malenica said that the aim would be to achieve the functional merger of some of the municipalities and to digitise local authorities, rather than reducing the number of cities and municipalities.


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Sunday, 26 July 2020

Zagreb Company Creates Innovative Platform for Business Digitisation

One Zagreb company, InfoDom, contracted the provision of grants for the project entitled: The development of a new and innovative product DEP (Digital Enterprise Platform) for the digital transformation of enterprises, which is financed from the European Structural and Investment Funds in the financial period 2014-2020.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 24th of July, 2020, the total value of the project stands at a huge 9,141,226.62 kuna, of which the grant is 5,466,840.40 kuna. The project started on September the 1st, 2017 and ends on August the 31st, 2020.

Due to the rapid progress of digital technologies and the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, we're witnessing the general trend of the digital transformation of businesses. After the advent of mechanical machines, electricity and information technology, there is talk of a fourth industrial revolution that will result in the networking of digital devices. Among other things, the goal is to create smart factories through Industry 4.0 in which communication between people, machines, products and business systems will be established through digitalisation.

When it comes to Croatia, we can freely say that Croatian companies are largely lagging behind in terms of efficiency and effectiveness compared to companies operating on the global market, and this gap will soon increase if there is no investment in digitalisation. The consequence of the absence of further investments by Croatian companies would be drastic in terms of lagging behind, loss of market and company income, and consequently stagnation of the economy.

The DEP platform, built by the aforementioned Zagreb company, is primarily intended for businesses in the energy sector, which is traditionally lagging when it comes to digital transformation, and therefore the decision was made to develop a platform that will accelerate the transformation of business towards greater customer sensitivity, the better integration of business processes and achieving a more agile business model.

The solution consists of a system that will enable an interactive connection with end users and customers of energy services, through which they will have a constant flow of data on the habits and needs of their customers and will be able to incorporate them into their products and services through special modules. In this way, they will be able to adapt their services and offer them to target groups and thus achieve the best business results.

The Zagreb company's platform also includes an IMS (Innovation Management System) system that will enable businesses to quickly and continuously adapt their business model to market changes through integrated business process optimisation systems and a module for continuous innovation: products and services, business processes and entire business models.

At the heart of the platform lie modules to increase customer interaction, C2C and CESS, that provide support for managing the relationship with influencers, from identification; searching and finding influencers; establishing contact, and sending briefings and contracting relationships; through to collaboration through structured tasks related to creating, approving posts and following on social networks; all the way until the final sale.

The Zagreb company's CESS component, thanks to its advanced capabilities for monitoring the habits and needs of consumers, enables the use of such information to optimise energy consumption and the consequent reduction of CO2 emissions. On the other hand, CESS, in combination with advanced CRM components, enables end users to increase their quality of life ("Smart Living").

Digitisation in everyday life has changed not only human behaviour but also expectations. Instead of buying standardised products, customers want individual solutions to a specific problem. One of the most important goals of digital transformation is to improve the user experience, however, this isn't possible if customers can't perform their transactions in a way and at a time that suits them best. In addition to the change in the way of shopping, today's customers make significantly different decisions about buying and consuming services than they did before.

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Friday, 3 July 2020

Agreements to Digitise Local Government Acts Worth HRK 70 MN Signed

ZAGREB, July 3, 2020 - The Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning has signed two agreements valued at HRK 70 million with 54 local government units for the digitisation of acts required in construction, and for the purchase of computer equipment, the ministry informed on Friday.

The ministry is intensively continuing its activities aimed at further digitising acts related to construction, accelerating administrative procedures, and the issuance of building permits, which should further simplify and reduce the costs of those procedures for contractors and citizens.

More than 85% of the funds are to be secured from the EU Regional Development Fund for the implementation of the ministry's physical planning IT system (ISPU).

The ministry recalled that ISPU, as a state inter-operable and multi-platform system, has been continually developed and upgraded since 2013. The total value of that European project for the system's further development, which will be implemented until 1 January 2022, amounts to HRK 131 million, HRK 111 million of which has been secured from the EU Regional Development Fund.

Friday, 26 June 2020

IDS: Croatia at Bottom of Ranking in EU for Digitisation

ZAGREB, June 26, 2020 - Member of European Parliament Valter Flego of the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) has said that a key point in the IDS's platform for the July 5 parliamentary election is the digitisation and efficiency of the public administration system and that Croatia is at the bottom of the EU ladder for digitisation.

"Unfortunately, according to the latest survey of economic and social digitisation for 2020, Croatia is at the very bottom in the European Union for digitised public services, whereas Pula, for example, is an absolute champion in digitisation in Croatia," Flego underlined.

Noting that Europe is offering concrete help through EU funds and that Croatia must not let that opportunity pass by, Flego stressed that Croatia has a realistic opportunity to be at the very top in this field even though it has fallen to the very bottom due to the consequences of the government's negligence and ignorance when it comes to innovations, science, and digitisation.

"The Digital Europe programme has more than €8 billion at its disposal and it is up to us to absorb as much of those funds as possible. That is why it is exceptionally important to do that together with national, regional and local government units and that is why it is exceptionally important to know who will be sitting in the Sabor, which needs to adopt a series of laws towards that goal," concluded Flego.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Digital Croatia: Best Large ''Digital'' Cities Zagreb and Rijeka

Just how close are we to a real digital Croatia? The answer is unclear and as varied as ever, but some Croatian cities have shown promise with some rather impressive and encouraging results.

As Novac/ writes on the 23rd of April, 2019, although more and more cities are gradually digitising their business and investing in smart city solutions, and some of the most advanced have almost completely switched to doing solely digital business, generally speaking, Croatian cities are only in the very early stages of the much needed digital transition, just as Croatia is, as a country, at the very bottom in Europe in terms of the digital readiness of general society and the economy.

As the methodology for ranking cities in terms of digital readiness is only at its very beginning even at the European level, stories and analysis of the "smart city" concept development here in Croatia are still very much based on individual experiences, examples and projects.

That is why, in order to gain a real elementary insight into the digitalisation of Croatia's services and the communication of the country's many city administrations with citizens, experts from Apsolon, a consulting company specialising in digital business development, has undertaken the very first major study of the ''digital readiness'' of twenty of the largest cities across Croatia. This study, according to project manager and smart management director at Apsolon, Ivana Novoselec, is the basis for the further development of research tools and methodology that will track the development and progress of Croatia's cities on an annual basis.

In its study, Apsolon divided the cities into three categories - large (Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek), middle (Zadar, Velika Gorica, Slavonski Brod, Pula and Karlovac) and smaller cities (Sisak, Varaždin, Šibenik, Dubrovnik, Bjelovar, Kaštela, Samobor, Vinkovci, Koprivnica, Đakovo, Vukovar.)

The digital readiness index at Apsolon was set based on several criteria - the availability of e-services (the number of administrative services and their digitalisation rate in Croatia), the availability of site service information and the development of unified services for making payments in the city, then came the availability of city data, the level of citizen participation in decision making and communication channels between the city administration and citizens, ie, the availability of data and time in which citizens receive answers to their various questions. At this stage, Apsolon hasn't entered into the internal processes in Croatia's city administrations, but rather focused on what services are offered to the city's citizens and how long such things typically take.

After this type of indexing and ranking, the title of the ''digitisation champion'' among the Croatian cities was awarded to the City of Rijeka, thus confirming its status as the best city in the Smart City category which it won last year. Apsolon pointed out that the City of Rijeka has achieved the greatest advances in the systematic raising of the quality of its services, but also the opening of data and communication channels to citizens.

"Rijeka as the most advanced city in Croatia in terms of digitisation and is characterised in particular by the emphasis on openness and communication with its citizens. Its administration is oriented towards clear communication (a very clear centralised e-services approach with well-organised access to all automated services and available forms), openness and participatory management," said project manager Ivana Novoselac.

In many categories, especially those relating to the functional aspects of digitisation (advanced digital services, e-citizen connectivity, etc.), Rijeka is followed closely by the City of Zagreb.

The city of Pula is the most advanced middle-size city in Croatia, which also presents its services and available information to its citizens in a systematic and very detailed way, raising standards in terms of transparency and interaction with citizens, and is certainly a champion among cities with between 50.000 and 100.000 inhabitants.

In relation to the criteria relating to specific functional and technological solutions, Karlovac, Velika Gorica and Zadar follow. For the City of Karlovac the large number of available administrative procedures on its website and responses to citizens' inquiries are generally quick made it stand out from the crowd.

Among the small cities in Croatia, there is no distinctly dominant digital champion, but according to research findings in different aspects of digitisation, Dubrovnik, Samobor, Sisak, Koprivnica and Varaždin appear to be the most successful ones, according to this research. Among the prominent representatives of this category, Dubrovnik is strategically trying to profile as Smart City and has a high quality City Card, e-Visitor platform, is very active on social networks and it continuing to develop innovative application solutions. When it comes to the number of digitally available services, Koprivnica ranks above all.

Samobor, which is particularly active on social networks and is the category winner for social networking, has a very comprehensive and interactive website which separates the site accordingly and has adjusted all of the information for citizens and for visitors, as well as separating foreign visitors from domestic ones.

It should also be noted that Bjelovar is extremely proactive in the field of the digitalisation of its administration, it is working on applicative transparency solutions as well as on internal digitalisation processes. What is particularly commendable is Bjelovar's focus on the digitalisation of its internal processes.

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Click here for the original article by Novac/Jutarnji/

Friday, 29 March 2019

How Many Croatian Companies Are Working on Digital Transformation?

Just how many Croatian companies are seriously working on the deeply desired digital transformation that Croatia so desperately needs? Not that many, at least for now...

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 27th of March, 2019, in the Republic of Croatia, fifteen to twenty percent of Croatian companies are seriously working on the much talked about digital transformation, stated regional director Marin Tadić at the opening of Oracle Technology Day, the annual conference of the IT company which bears the same name.

He added that Oracle estimates that global spending on digital transformation will grow by fifteen percent.

"By the year 2021, in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, there will be an investment of 421 billion dollars in the digital transformation of the public and private sectors, and this is a great opportunity for growth," stated Tadić.

The dominant carrier of [digital] transformation will be the cloud. It will, as he emphasised, deliver on all the technologies we're talking about today such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, the internet, and vocal/speech and other types of technologies.

He added that Oracle already offers its own solutions in the cloud. In addition to that are the use of artificial intelligence and blockchain, for which there's a potential seen in data forensics, securities and even in green energy. By 2025, he expects all applications to be autonomous and enriched with artificial intelligence. He also argued that the emergence of new telecom solutions makes it all the more profitable, while a revolution is expected in the use of voice technologies.

"In Croatia, the work of computers turning speech into text is already working well, and its only a matter of time for when translation from text to speech happens, and then we'll see the evolution of omnichannel," concluded Tadić.

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Click here for the original article by Bernard Ivezic for Poslovni Dnevnik