Friday, 8 April 2022

Croatian Jana Water Wins Monde Selection Gold Medal for Quality

April the 8th, 2022 - The much loved Croatian Jana water has won gold at a recently held competition for its top quality, which won't come as a surprise to anyone who has tasted it.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian Jana water (still natural mineral water) has quite rightfully won the highest international award for product quality, called the Grand Gold Quality Award, at the prestigious international competition Monde Selection which is organised by the International Institute of Quality.

Among 3,000 products from more than 90 countries in the category "Beer, water and non-carbonated beverages", the wildly popular Croatian Jana water took home a gold medal for its high quality.

It springs at a depth of 800 metres, and with the use of some of the most modern filling technology, still mineral water from that same depth is filled directly into the bottle, without any external influences, and thus retains its original natural purity.

It's worth noting that thanks to sixty long years of experience, Monde Selection has established itself as a leading authority in assessing the quality of consumer products based on organoleptic and scientific parameters.

The entire rather stringent evaluation process is carried out by a jury composed of technicians, chemical engineers, biotechnologists and sommeliers, all of whom have been selected on the basis of their professional qualifications, competence, experience and integrity.

Croatian Jana water has been a household and tourist favourite for more years than are worth counting, and is a must have in the hands and bags of those wandering Croatia's beautiful cities during the hot summer months when proper hydration is paramount. This is just another in an increasingly long line of 100% Croatian-made products which are being recognised by respectable international organisations for their high quality on a global scale.

Congratulations to Jana!

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Sunday, 3 April 2022

Include Company Owner Ivan Mrvos Installs Newest Product in Slavonia

April the 3rd, 2022 - The Solin-based company Include has been making headlines more or less since its very creation, and for all the right reasons. This innovative company, headed by young and ambitious Croatian entrepreneur Ivan Mrvos, has made quite the global name for itself. Mrvos' newest creation has found its home in Slavonia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, the Croatian company Include has officially installed its very first Aerys G air quality monitoring station, and the first location is the Donji Miholjac industrial zone in Slavonia.

To briefly recall, back in late October last year, Include introduced its brand new Aerys stations, the latest product designed under owner Ivan Mrvos to measure air quality in urban areas. They allow for the easy and affordable installation of a large number of units which then provide the most important information on local air quality at any given time, giving cities a proper insight into the source of pollution and their frequency.

"The air quality index in Donji Miholjac shows that the air is of very decent quality in the last few days since the device was installed," claims Ivan Mrvos.

Include also stated that the Aerys G system is a standalone product, the first ever installed in Donji Miholjac, and also the first Include installed product in the last seven years that is not a Steora smart bench.

Aerys is available in three different types - Model P allows for the measurement of the concentration of suspended particles that typically represent the largest source of pollution. Model G measures the concentrations of NO, NO2 and O3 gases, while Aerys X includes measurements of particulate matter, toxic gases and basic atmospheric conditions.

Last October, they announced during a presentation that the first Aerys systems would be delivered to the Italian capital of Rome, which was completing the construction of a smart market at the time.

A new campaign

Since its founding back in 2015, Ivan Mrvos' remarkable company has been building its visibility on its Steora smart benches. Today, their smart city solutions are used in 59 countries around the world. They also stepped into the smart waste management market by introducing Terra bins that reduce waste collection by 80 percent, thus reducing both carbon dioxide emissions and removal costs.

Back in December last year, they launched their third fundraising campaign on the Funderbeam platform. In the pre-series B round of financing, they reached their desired minimum amount of 400,000 euros, and Ivan Mrvos revealed that there were some very well-known names from the Croatian IT and financial scene among those investors.

“More than a hundred investors recognised the value of our goal of making communities around the world a better place to live. Since 2015, we've expanded to 59 markets, with more than 1,700 products installed in more than 500 cities and municipalities. Thanks to this financing, we'll manage to reach even more markets,'' they announced from Include.

The goal was to raise between 400,000 and 1 million euros, as an overture to the second phase by the end of 2022, in which, as previously stated, the plan is to raise 5.5 million euros. The capital will be used to offer smart products to cities with easy installation, ie to scale production processes.

After becoming the first Croatian company at Funderbeam in 2017, in 2019 they started their second campaign and raised 1.5 million euros in record time.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Well Known Croatian KupiMe Platform Expanding Across Region

March the 27th, 2022 - The first and as such very well known Croatian KupiMe platform (BuyMe), is planning to further expand across the immediate region and further explore its own potential.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian KupiMe platform, known for being the first of its kind in this country intended primarily for group shopping and coupon sales, has recently invested significant funds in business expansion and the development of specialised software for online shopping (e-commerce).

With this, the Croatian KupiMe platform decided to use its many years of experience in the coupon sales segment to expand its business to fast-growing e-commerce, and from next week, their online store will be enriched with products from more than 100,000 different Croatian and foreign suppliers.

Commenting on this significant step forward in doing business, the director of the KupiMe platform, Renata Krstic, pointed out that this is a logical direction for the company's development and a step forward on the market which, by some estimates, will be worth more than five trillion US dollars by the end of this year.

"KupiMe has its traditional audience and loyal customers who regularly visit the site, and now they're going to be able to purchase different categories of products, from household items and consumer electronics to fashion and office equipment. The data shows that 30 percent of retail sales will soon take place online, and KupiMe plans to be part of that growth by providing an online shopping platform for more than 100,000 Croatian and foreign suppliers,'' said Krstic.

Stronger expansion across Croatia's immediate region

At the same time, this ambitious platform isn't planning to concentrate solely on the Croatian market, but to break into regional positions in which the brand has its own market foundation and recognisability. For example, in Serbia alone, KupiMe has been operating successfully and autonomously for twelve years. According to some research, despite the large penetration of foreign webshops in the markets of the region, customers still mostly prefer to buy items from domestic online stores, and the Croatian KupiMe platform has such a perception across all countries in Croatia's most immediate region.

“The potential of online commerce is huge, and our market trump card is our wealth of accumulated knowledge, experience, databases and special software solutions. We're the only ones on the market to connect the coupon sales experiences with ''classic’''online product sales. In one place, we now offer the most famous brands, available at any time of the day, and soon we will present new innovative projects with which we plan to dictate trends in the e-commerce market of the region,'' concluded Renata Krstic.

For more, make sure to check out our business section.

Saturday, 26 March 2022

Could Drought Throw Spanner in Works for Croatian Strawberries?

March the 26th, 2022 - Could Croatian strawberries from the fertile and ever-rich Neretva Valley in southern Dalmatia be under threat following an unusually long dry season?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, due to an abnormally long dry period, Croatian strawberries from plantations down in the Neretva Valley have been placed in danger, as reported by the Maslina portal.

Although it is now climatologically spring, meaning that the general level of precipitation should technically be enough at this moment in time, the situation is completely different and unusual for this time of year. Only 20 millimetres of rain has fallen so far, while for comparison, about 800 mm fell in the period from October to December.

According to agro-estimates, about two million strawberry seedlings have been planted down in the Neretva Valley, which should be harvested during April, but in order for the these much loved 100% Croatian strawberries to properly ripen, they need regular watering with high quality water, which is not available in the Neretva Valley.

Namely, the water is salty owing to the location, which was repeatedly warned about by the association of fruit and vegetable producers (Neretva Youth/Neretvanska Mladez), which addressed the situation in an open letter to the competent Minister, Marija Vuckovic, warning her of the problem of irrigation.

The association warned that Croatian strawberries are an agricultural crop that is extremely sensitive to increased salt concentrations, especially sodium chloride, but the water in the canals from which local farmers take what they need is currently of extremely poor quality, which is naturally placing Croatian strawberries and indeed other locally grown produce in an unfavourable position.

They also pointed out that extreme climate changes haven't bypassed the Neretva Valley either, because there has been and continues to be almost no rain.

"For two months now, we've been experiencing an extremely dry period with a dry wind - bura", the Neretva Youth Association explained for the Maslina portal.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 24 March 2022

Croatian BaDaBum Digital Platform Making Life Easier for Kids and Parents

March the 24th, 2022 - The Croatian BaDaBum digital platform is making life that bit easier not only for children but also for their parents when it comes to the development of speech and language skills.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the BaDaBum digital platform, the first such Croatian platform that interactively and effectively helps children develop speech and language skills, has been enriched with new content to help preschoolers prepare for their enrollment in primary school.

The BaDaBum digital platform has been supplemented with new levels on as many as five different games, and two more games will soon receive their upgrades. In addition to the existing ones, parents of preschool age children can also find eight new exercise sheets through which their children can improve everything from graphomotor skills to attention, memory and visual perception.

Back at the end of February, testing for enrollment in the first grades of primary school began, in which the child's psychophysical, graphomotor and intellectual skills are assessed and a decision is made on the child's readiness for enrollment in the first grade. Kindergartens conduct unofficial assessments with preschoolers between the months of January and March, but each school re-tests all of its potential freshmen before enrolling them. In order for the enrollment process to go smoothly, it is important to start preparing in time and help your child get better acquainted with the learning process through a fun and positive experience.

“Exercises and games on the BaDaBum digital platform cover the development of all skills that children need to master before starting school, and it includes: pre-mathematical and graphomotor skills, language comprehension skills and phonological awareness - the analysis and synthesis of words and voices, syllables, recognition and formation rhymes, vocabulary development, visual perception, attention, concentration, memory and so on,'' explained Martina Starcevic Perica, one of the speech therapists on the BaDaBum digital platform.

It's worth mentioning that BaDaBum is primarily intended for preschool children 4-7 years old, their parents and speech therapists, and behind the project are experts from the ABC speech therapy and rehabilitation centre, the 404 agency and Shape studio.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 24 March 2022

Croatian SeaCras Among 16 Startups to Pitch in Brussels for Investment

March the 24th, 2022 - The Croatian SeaCras startup is going to be among sixteen startups to pitch for a significant investment in the Belgian capital of Brussels.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian SeaCras startup has made its way into the competition of 1000 startups to the finals of the elite BlueInvest 2022 programme, which will take place in Brussels on March the 28th, 2022. It is the only Croatian startup in the field of the blue economy that was selected to join the group of sixteen startups at BlueInvest Day 2022, where they will pitch for a significant investment.

Today, coastal waters are the areas where the most extensive activities of the blue economy take place and are placed under the greatest anthropogenic stress. In order to meet the ambitious criteria set by the European Commission (EC) under the Water Framework Directive and the European Green Plan, scalable, low-carbon digital solutions that monitor water and sea quality are needed.

Such a solution was developed by the Croatian SeaCras startup, alumni of ZICER's Startup Factory acceleration programme.

Economic development and the conservation of marine ecosystems

The Croatian SeaCras startup is one of the winners of Startup Factory 2021, and for the past year, this young team of scientists has been enjoying success after success. The latest among them is entering the finals of the prestigious BlueInvest 2022 programme, which will once again bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, corporations and all important stakeholders in the blue economy sector in the Belgian and EU capital of Brussels.

The blue economy places great emphasis on sustainability in terms of balancing economic development and conserving marine ecosystems. Aquaculture, tourism, maritime transport, wastewater discharge and biodiversity are just some of the segments involved.

From Startup Factory to BlueInvest Day

“After Startup Factory, we joined BlueInvest Readiness Assistance, a programme established by the European Commission to further develop the blue economy. It is an exclusive mentoring programme for startups and high-potential projects that have innovative and sustainable solutions for the blue economy. SeaCras' ​​analysis of satellite data plays a key role in the blue economy thanks to the possibilities provided by the high spatio-temporal monitoring of coastal sea quality. The fact that we entered the programme of the sixth cycle of BlueInvest as the only project from Croatia is a huge success. Given that each company had its own individual mentor, we had no insight into the quality or dynamics of the work of any of the other teams. At the end of the programme, we delivered the achieved key goals. This was followed by an evaluation of the goals and business plan by the PricewaterhouseCoopers team leading the BlueInvest programme,'' explained Tomislav Stolar, the co-owner and marketing director of the Croatian SeaCras startup.

They were selected among an elite group consisting of sixteen companies in the field of blue economy and the four best companies in Europe in the field of Ocean Observation.

"We also received an invitation to participate in the BlueInvest Day 2022, which is being held in Brussels in front of the most relevant private investors and representatives of European investment funds specific to the blue economy. In the shortlist for the sixteen companies that received the invitation for BlueInvest Day 2022, there were over 200 companies, and in the wider circle there were over 1000 of them! If we put modesty to the side, this is an unprecedented success for a Croatian company in the field of blue economy,'' Stolar pointed out.

An impressive win at Startup Factory 2020

It has been a little over one year since the Croatian SeaCras startup received 100,000 kuna in the finals of ZICER's Startup Factory 2020 as one of the winning teams.

“Startup Factory meant a lot to us for several reasons. Through participating in the programme, we gained more know-how and raised awareness of what's needed to achieve a successful startup story. Considering that we were one of the winners, the SeaCras brand gained recognition across the Republic of Croatia. In addition to that, with financial support, we've developed a SeaCras development strategy,'' said Stolar.

Successful projects are backed by successful teams of people. The SeaCras team consists of experts, namely Dr. Mario Spadina, Dr. Stipe Lukin, M.Sc. chem. Tomislav Stolar, M.Sc. psych. Drazen Nikolic and mag. oec. Davor Blazencic.

A vision of the future and a message for the wider Croatian tourism sector

"We have the opportunity to secure a large investment and we certainly don't intend to miss out on it. In addition, we recently signed the first commercial contracts on the Adriatic, starting with Mljet National Park, and we look forward to providing top services. We're receiving very positive reactions and feedback from all sides and we're in contact with several other clients,'' noted Stolar, pointing out that the motivation of the Croatian SeaCras startup is to be an example of the implementation of the European Green Plan in Croatia.

“Within the digital and green transition and sustainable development in the Republic of Croatia, SeaCras offers added value that has great potential for the Croatian tourism sector. For example, data show that highlighting the excellent quality of the sea brings a 5 percent increase in the number of guests,'' Stolar stated.

They say that in five years, they will see themselves in the role of market leaders in their market segment and intend to do business across all Mediterranean countries.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Herbie: Croatian Stop Smoking Teas to be Placed on Spanish Market

March the 23rd, 2022 - Croatian stop smoking teas created by young Slavonian Luka Soldo (21) are set to enter the Spanish market.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes, young Slavonian Luka Soldo (21) got rid of his own nicotine addiction with a few innovative herbal preparations that he makes himself. Making rolls like cigarettes, from plants, and without tobacco, he realised they were helping him, so he designed his own project.

He and his family invested 5,000 euros and in Podolje in Baranja back in 2019 and then they started to procure, mostly from their own home fields, various herbs, which they picked, cut, dried, chopped, processing everything by hand. They then packaged them and presented them as the Herbie brand, not for smoking, but for drinking - a mixture of teas. With that move, the first Croatian stop smoking teas were born.

Last year, Herbie was crowned the best entrepreneurial idea and awarded 25,000 euros in an international competition of the Crown programme of the Sisak-Moslavina County Development Agency Simora.

The market has somewhat recognised these truly unique Croatian stop smoking teas, they are available through the Herbie webshop and in a couple of specialised stores in Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek and Zadar, but the goal is to work on the visibility of the brand. As of today, Herbie is also heading for the increasingly popular Kickstarter, with a crowdfunding funding campaign, Soldo wants to raise 1,500 US dollars to invest in marketing.

"We set that amount so that we'd manage to reach it on the very first day, we want to introduce the brand to the public and make people aware that there are herbal mixtures with which people can stop smoking,'' explained the young entrepreneur.

He recently presented the Herbie brand in Barcelona at the world's largest mobile telecommunications fair, the Mobile World Congress, and agreed on placing the product in Spain.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Friday, 18 March 2022

Varazdin FOI Facilitating Introduction of E-Learning Models in Maldives

March the 18th, 2022 - A dose of expertise from the Varazdin FOI has found its place in the distant Maldives as the Varazdin Faculty of Organisation and Informatics (FOI) has implemented an e-learning system with project partners called AMED - Advancing Higher Education in the Maldives Through E-learning Development.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, this is a project in which Varazdin's FOI has been providing expertise for the last three years to introduce an e-learning model to the National University of the Indian Ocean Islands, which really needed such a system due to its poor traffic and network connectivity over more than 200 islands.

The project started back in 2019, is fully funded by the Erasmus + programme of the European Commission in the amount of 720,592 euros, and its main goal is to strengthen capacities and dissemination of knowledge in higher education. So far, almost all of the project activities have been carried out involving more than 50 participants from the University of the Maldives (MNU).

They participated in various fields of education there through a developed study programme with the aim of capacity building and training for the application of online teaching. A study programme in four modules has been developed and will be accredited to be made available for the future training of teachers and other staff at MNU and after the completion of the AMED project.

This week, project partners from the Maldives, the Open University of Catalonia and the Croatian Academic and Research Network (CARNET) are in Varazdin to present examples of good practice in implementing e-learning and applying new technologies and distance learning models.

"Within the project, we worked on raising the strategic approach to the introduction of e-learning and developed a unique strategic document that will enable the University of the Maldives to further develop its e-learning," said the project manager and vice dean at the Varazdin FOI, Prof.Dr. Igor Balaban.

Experts from FOI Varazdin and CARNET organised so-called job shadowing that enables the transfer of good practice in the organisation and implementation of e-education/learning to the Maldivian education system.

"A total of sixteen of our representatives from various sectors of the Maldives National University are participating in the presentations and workshops in the field of e-learning to improve the existing processes in our institution," explained the project manager at MNU, Shimna Shakeeb. The equipment for the implementation and further development of e-learning in the Maldives worth 200,000 euros was also procured and installed.

"Many of our teachers weren't familiar with this type of technology and we're glad that after this project, our university will be making even more progress in terms of technological development," said Vice-Rector of the National University of the Maldives, Dr. Mohamed Shareef.

Today, the Varazdin FOI will also host the final conference of the DIP2Future project, which aims to develop educational programmes, qualification standards and occupational standards in the field of ICT, and which brings with it four new study programmes: Data Technology and Artificial Intelligence, Systems Management Information Security and Privacy, Distributed and Interactive Systems and Business Systems Transformation and Innovation Management.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Croatian Company Atos Obtains Great Place to Work Certificate for 3rd Time

March the 16th, 2022 - The Croatian company Atos has obtained the ''Great Place to Work'' certificate for the third year running, placing this particular company firmly on the map for the pickier job seekers among us.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, for the third year in a row now, the Croatian company Atos has received the Great Place To Work (GPTW) certificate, the most famous sort of international recognition in the field of employee satisfaction. According to the company, both Atos companies in Croatia - Atos IT Solutions and Services and Atos Convergence Creators - have defended this much sought-after status among the best employers for 2022 as the only companies from the Republic of Croatia to obtain it at all.

The prestigious GPTW certificate is awarded to organisations that provide the best employee experience, and is awarded by the International GPTW Institute based on the results of an anonymous employee satisfaction survey and a calculation of the level of overall employee confidence index in the company.

During this examination, employees evaluate the credibility, communication and integrity of the company's management, the level of respect shown by the company's management to its other employees, fairness in recognising success, tangible and intangible rewards, promotion(s), development opportunities offered by the company, as well as pride, equality and togetherness in the workplace.

"In times like these, it's important that the employer understands its employees and the daily challenges that life places in front of them and that it adapts to them as much as possible. In addition, it is important to invest time and energy in creating great teams that serve each other as a safety net and whose collaboration empowers each individual, as with such support, a team becomes invincible.

This strength of a good team can be seen in our work, the Croatian company Atos is a business partner that clients are happy to rely on, and the strength of our team has led us to the third Great Place To Work award for the third time in a row. The Croatian company Atos is becoming a better place to work year after year, despite all the misfortunes the coronavirus pandemic has brought with it. I'm extremely proud of our great team as well as Atos' policy that employees will always come first ", said Mirela Sola, the director of the Human Resources Department at Atos.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Sunday, 13 March 2022

Popular Croatian Juices Soon to be Available in Doha and Oman

March the 13th, 2022 - Croatian juices made by the very well known Stanic Group (Grupa) will soon be able to be enjoyed by the residents and visitors of both Oman and Doha following success at the recent event in Dubai.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, at the recently held Dubai Expo, the Stanic Group presented its Croatian juices with an emphasis on Juicy 100% juices from the Stanic Beverages range and Maraschino and Pelinkovac from the Maraska range. Juicy 100% juices have been present in the Middle East for five years now, and are mostly represented in HoReCa channels in Dubai due to their restaurant and club scene.

The recent Dubai event was also the reason for expanding cooperation with the most influential HoReCa distributor in the MENA region - Chef Middle East - with which Stanic Beverages plans to significantly strengthen business cooperation by the end of 2022 by expanding their distribution in the United Arab Emirates and opening themselves up to other markets in the premium segment of soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.

Juicy is currently present in the most famous catering and hospitality chains in Dubai such as "Bla bla" and "Masti" and in leading hotels such as Westin Dubai Beach Resort & Marina, Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Center and Double Tree by Hilton Jumairah Beach Dubai.

"I'm extremely proud that the Stanic Group brand, Maraschino liqueur, thanks to its history and long tradition, was the only product from the food and beverage industry exhibited in the permanent exhibition of the Croatian Pavilion at the world exhibition. The Dubai Expo was visited by over 15 million people who had the opportunity to get better acquainted with our brands, and thanks to that we're counting on strengthening our export positions in the MENA region.

What makes me especially happy when we talk about expanding in the MENA region is the fact that Juicy Croatian juices will soon be available for people at Doha Airport and at one of the world's most famous Costa coffee chains in Oman. In the Saudi Arabian market, we're expanding our range in retail and are slowly building a HoReCa channel. At the same time, we are working intensively to expand the distribution of Juicy Croatian juices in India, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan and Bahrain. We're also preparing a new taste of 100 percent mango with the aim of adapting to the habits of local consumers there,'' said Zoran Mabic, President of the Management Board of Stanic Beverages.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

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