Thursday, 3 September 2020

Ruđer Bošković Institute Builds 100% Spy-Free Communications System

September 3, 2020 – Scientists from the Ruđer Bošković Institute in Zagreb were integral to an international effort to realise the world's first fully functioning quantum communication network. 100% spy-free, it's the communication system of the future

Despite what some apps tell you, no online communication is completely secure. However, we have moved one step closer to that becoming a reality thanks, in part, to quantum physicists from the Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI) in Zagreb.

Working in collaboration with scientists from the University of Bristol (UK) and the Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the international team have built the world's first fully functioning quantum communication network.

Quantum communication is a well-known field of applied quantum physics. For years, one of its most interesting applications has been regarded as its ability to protect information channels against eavesdropping. It does this by using quantum cryptography.

The security of quantum transmissions are ensured by the no-cloning theorem. This makes reproduction, or cloning, of a quantum system impossible without instant detection. If someone attempts to read the encoded data, the quantum state will be changed via the no-cloning theorem. Quantum communication is also much faster than traditional methods of communication because entangled photons can transmit information instantaneously.

The computer and communications systems of the future have been on the radar for a long time. Industry giants like Google and IBM are already investing millions in quantum computer hardware research in anticipation of our sure-fire futures.

The team of scientists from the Ruđer Bošković Institute involved in the breakthrough © Ruđer Bošković Institute

The difficulty of introducing quantum communications has been the construction of a large and easily expandable quantum-protected network. It's proven incredibly complicated to build a template for a potentially limitless number of users while also maintaining connection stability. But, that's exactly what the international team containing scientists from the Ruđer Bošković Institute have done.

The scientists from the Ruđer Bošković Institute designed and made the optical receivers for the network. This is the part of the system that will be employed by the end-user. The team of Croatian scientists from the Ruđer Bošković Institute involved in the breakthrough includes Dr Martin Lončarić, Dr Mario Stipčević and Željko Samec. The team published their world first in the prestigious scientific journal Science Advances.

Founded in 1950, the Ruđer Bošković Institute is the largest Croatian research institute working in the fields of natural sciences and technology. It operates in many different areas of scientific research, has been responsible for countless scientific discoveries and employs over 500 academics and students. It has an annual budget of over 20 million Euros and receives the majority of its funding from the Croatian state.

Friday, 24 July 2020

Croatia First in World to Use Contactless Card Payment Tech for Online Customer Reviews

July 24, 2020 - Croatia first in the world to use contactless card payment technology (NFC) for online customer reviews, a game-changer for business globally

In the modern era, there's no better promotion for your business than online customer reviews. Comments and ratings on platforms like Trip Advisor, Google and Facebook have replaced slow and unreliable word-of-mouth recommendations in the digital age.

But, how to get those reviews? A huge proportion of goodwill from satisfied customers is lost forever the moment they step out of the door. They can forget every detail of your business, their experience or maybe they just don't find the time.

Review Booster Pro, an innovative platform from Dubrovnik, offers the best solution yet. It uses NFC – the same technology used by credit cards for contactless payments – to facilitate on-the-spot online customer reviews in super-fast time. It's a simple solution that could be a game-changer for business globally.

“I'm the CEO and owner of the Mint Media digital agency,” explains Ivan Ivušić who has developed Review Booster Pro.”We work with a lot of clients in the tourism sector. Over the past few years, we got a lot of requests from clients about how to improve their online reputation. Their main concern was how to improve their ratings and increase their number of reviews of Trip Advisor, Google, Facebook and other platforms, in order to get more visibility and more customers.”

“We tried many different solutions; business cards with QR codes, something you scan with your mobile phone which would take you to a web page where you write reviews. But, the main problem was the speed. Once customers leave a venue, they don't find the time to write reviews or they don't remember the name of your business. So, the conversion rates were low. So, we needed something quick and simple, so customers can leave reviews on the spot. This is what the market needs.”

Their solution was to employ NFC - Near Field Communication, the technology you use to pay contactless with your credit card. All newer mobile phones are fitted with this technology. Businesses signed up to Review Booster Pro have RBP boards, which they present to customers after their experience – for instance, while you're waiting for your restaurant bill. You simply wave you phone over the board, the phone's operating system reads the chip, your web browser opens automatically and takes you to the RBP landing page of the business you're in. You then select which of the platforms you're already signed up to - Trip Advisor, Google, Facebook etc. - and leave your online customer reviews.

© Review Booster Pro

“The RBP boards are around the size of a large mobile phone – and these can be presented to the customer or even positioned permanently on every table in your bar or restaurant; hotels, dentists, hair and cosmetic salons, retail stores, tourist guides and agencies are also some of our clients,” explains Ivan. Aside from encouraging simple and super fast reviews, businesses using the RBP platform obtain other benefits. On their RBP landing page, where they can place their branded logo and individual text, they can also use banner advertising space to promote existing partners or market different sections of their business. For instance, while a customer is leaving a review of the hotel bar, they will be shown the details of what's on offer in the hotel's spa.

Business owners can measure the clicks on each individual board they have. Therefore, a restaurant owner will be able to see which of his staff is obtaining the most reviews. Previously, such information would have been complete guesswork, unless an individual server is specifically named by a customer in a review.

“All of our current clients were already well aware that this is exactly what they need,” says Ivan. “It took about 10 minutes to sell each of them this product. In our extensive preliminary testing, businesses that were averaging 3 reviews a day went up to receiving 15 reviews per day. It's really a game-changer.”

Future plans for RBP are extremely exciting and they are already searching for ways to move the technology into different forms – imagine having the RBP chip implanted within a laminated page at the end of your restaurant menu. But, for now, the next step is to be recognised by one of the biggest three review sites.

“Trip Advisor has a separate platform (RCP) which you can partner with, to offer projects that will get them more reviews,” says Ivan. “Our product will be particularly beneficial to them because it not only increases their number of reviews, it also increases user acquisition.”

“We are processing our application to become one of these partners. They have different tiers of partners, so if you are successful and reach the top, Trip Advisor then promotes you as a solution to all the businesses worldwide who hold accounts on their platform. That's our goal. And I have every confidence we will reach it because all other solutions rely on software, many on downloading a separate app. We found no other solution in the world right now that is using NFC technology for this.”

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Group of Young Croats Create e-Vision Project for the Blind

For such a small country, the Republic of Croatia boasts a wealth of talent across all fields, from medicine to sport and from science to innovation and invention, Croats have given a huge amount to the rest of the world.

While Zadar's Luka Modrić might be the household name of Croatian sport, and the likes of Nikola Tesla and Mate Rimac might be the Croats best known to the world when it comes to science, technology and innovation, there are many more individuals in Croatia given less exposure who have a lot to offer the world, and on across an extremely varied platform consisting of all fields.

As SibenikIN writes on the 16th of March, 2019, a young woman from the historic Dalmatian city of Šibenik, Anastazija Verović, a student of FESB, along with her colleagues, has designed an innovative new device for helping the blind. Thanks to her creation, Anastazija and her team have received yet another award from Split-Dalmatia County for this project,.

Anastazija Verović, Lucija Visković, Ena Sarajlić and Ana Žunabović, are all Croats in their fifth year of graduates studies in computer science at FESB and they expressed their desire to help both the blind and other partially sighted people.

Their desire led this talented young group of Croats to create the e-Vision project, an intelligent device which functions as a bracelet and allows blind and visually impaired persons to move around in spaces. For this praiseworthy project, they have rightfully received a second award in the amount of 4,000 kuna from Split-Dalmatia County.

Split-Dalmatia County Prefect Blaženko Boban presented the presented the award to the talented group of FESB students as the brains behind the best student entrepreneurial and innovative project, according to a report from Dalmacija News.

The first prize of 5,000 kuna was awarded to the e-Agrar project, and was handed over to another talented group of Croats - Slaven Damjanovic, Martin Pervan, Dražen Pervan and Marko Calić. Otherwise, the obviously highly talented Anastazija is set to graduate computer science at FESB this coming summer.

Make sure to stay up to date on Croatian-made innovation, ideas and technology by following our dedicated Made in Croatia page.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Zagreb Man Invents System to Prevent Needless Food Wastage

As Bojana Mrvos Pavic/Novi List writes on the 2nd of February, 2019, Zagreb's VeeMee connects customers and manufacturers over a platform where, by scanning a QR code on a product, the buyer can see all the information about the producer that interests them - who he is, how many hectares he is working on to produce his own food. That is, the customer can see whether or not what they're holding in their hands is truly authentic.

He may only be 31 years old, but he has many more good business ideas that, without exaggeration, could save the world - Marko Kozjak from Zagreb goes through life preventing food wastage and working towards having a "zero waste" future in which there will no longer be wasted food, or at the very least not so much of it.

Each of us, on average, throws away 75 kilograms of food per year into the trash - these are the alarming results of the research recently carried out by Branka Ilakovac. We mostly throw away fruits and vegetables, but also milk and dairy products, according to her research. How much food, however, is being discarded by chain stores, purely because of the smallest mistakes in packaging, the look of the food or other superficial defects, is difficult to imagine for the average consumer.

Tons of food is either returned to producers or taken to be thrown away, for example, if some tomatoes end up being damaged ​​during the delivery process, or if every tenth mango is too small - such cases see the whole consignment become a collateral victim and it is simply thrown away. This is a huge amount of food that is perfectly fine for human consumption.

Kozjak, who established the Zagreb-based VeeMee company with his partner Nikola Vida, is saving food from being needlessly thrown away. The company has saved more than a hundred tonnes of food over the last six months, and even prevented the dispersement of twelve tonnes of CO2, which would otherwise have ended up in our atmosphere.

Kozjak told Novi List at his office at the Technology Park in Zagreb, that when he finished "Tesla", the Central Technical School in Zagreb, he had already developed some projects for which there was unfortunately never any money to realise.

"Then, back in my younger days I took Nietzsche in my hands and fell in love with philosophy, and then completed philosophy and religiology. After graduating from the faculty, because I was always interested in sales and negotiation, I ended up selling fruit and vegetables, I was an assistant to the manager at one, and then a director at another company. I got to know all the holes in the system - from procurement problems, over freight, to logistics, and I decided to start a company that will repair that,'' stated Marko.

He has already succeeded, though many say they initially expected him not to. He has developed a food rescue system, but VeeMee (Vi-Mi), as its name suggests, is doing something very useful indeed - it connects customers and manufacturers over a platform where by scanning the QR code on the product, the buyer can see all the information on the producer - who the producer is, how many hectares they have, and how they produce their own food.

Thus, the customer can check a product's authenticity. Up to 1,100 Croatian OPGs and other producers are connected to the platform at the moment, meaning the sources of their products are guaranteed, and the customer can, if they want to, even visit the OPG and see for themselves where the food they're buying and eating comes from.

The story continues with another important segment of this Zagreb-made business - saving edible and decent food from being carelessly and needlessly thrown away.

''When some products arrive at the factory of a shopping centre from their producers, due to a certain mistake, everything will end up being returned to the manufacturer, or it will be sent to be thrown away - in 70 percent of cases this is because of a packaging error, or because of a LOT print error. Similarly, in 30 percent of cases, it's due to some irregularities on the goods themselves, for example, due to a small part of the goods having been stolen and the like.

This doen't mean that it isn't good food, but that part of a delivery, two to three percent of the goods, has endured some damage, and the whole truck, as well as the damaged goods, will be returned to the manufacturer. It will be thrown away. We're in contact with producers, primarily for imported goods, because in Croatia this system is not yet sufficiently recognised, and we take the goods to our partner's warehouse.

We either repackage it, if it's a packaging problem, we correct any printing mistakes - we mostly do whatever it takes to deliver it in compliance with the law, and send it to the stores within the next 24 hours. If there is a product with more significant damage, and it's clear to us that returning it to a store would take longer than a day, then we sell it to food outlets or to wholesalers,'' explained Marko.

So far, in just six months of active work, Zagreb's VeeMee has saved about 90 percent of such goods, which are "repaired", sent to stores or to food outlets, or to wholesale markets. The third option is to divide the goods if there is no other solution, or there are no buyers for it, and yet someone still wants it.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more. If it's just Zagreb you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow.


Click here for the original article by Bojana Mrvos Pavic for Novi List

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Croatia's EU Presidency is Perfect Chance to Promote Croatian Invention: Ties!

It has been concluded that Croatia has the best opportunity to promote the tie during the forthcoming period as it prepares to assume the European Union presidency on the 1st of January, 2020.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Croatian Inventors Win Nine International Awards in Poland

ZAGREB, June 24 (Hina) - Seven Croatian inventors and entrepreneurs won nine awards at INTARG 2018, the 11th International Invention and Innovation Show held in Katowice, Poland, and the most successful Croatian exhibitor was Zvonimir Viduka of the ALTPRO d.o.o. company.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Croatia's Nextbike Turns Sights Towards Slovenia and Serbia

Big interest within the wider region for one piece of highly sought-after Croatian innovation.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Croatian Innovation to Aid Nautical Companies in Dealing With Waves

Branimir Jurun and his wave measuring device could potentially take the nautical world by storm.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Young Croatian Talent Impresses at Milan Design Fair

Croatian innovation wows in Italy.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Tesla Village Coming to Osijek

Tesla Village is coming to Slavonia.

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