Monday, 9 November 2020

WIRE Conference 2020: Innovations are Grounds to Economic Progress

November 9, 2020 – The impact of innovation on regional development was discussed at the WIRE Conference 2020, which was held for the first time online.

The Faculty of Economics in Split was a host to the most significant international convention dedicated to innovations and regional development, "Week of Innovative Regions in Europe – WIRE 2020". The main topic at the conference was the impact of innovations on the development of regions, with special reference to opportunities innovations can bring to less developed regions and their significance for recovery of the corona crisis.


Source: WIRE Conference 2020

Croatia recognizes the importance of R&D investment

"This conference is taking place in the right moment because the European Commission is coming close to an end with developing the program Horizon Europe, which is the basis for the strengthening of European research areas. As a part of that program, among others, the idea is to start the platform which will gather experts of European universities, who will exchange ideas and learn from one another all in one place," general director of the European Commission Board for research and innovations Jean-Eric Paquet has stated and emphasized how every region of the EU plays a significant role in promotion and development of innovations.

Paquet has pointed out how European Union invests more in the development of start-ups than the USA on the annual level and that Croatia for the past few years recognizes the importance of investment in research and development as a lever for the economic prosperity of the region. He emphasized how all national governments inside the EU, and especially local communities, should invest additional efforts in the development of the R&D system, with a special outline on excellence.

The goal of the European Union is, on an individual member state level, to achieve investments of over 3% of national GDP to research and innovations, what is, for now, the case only in Finland and Sweden. By encouraging education in STEM fields, the preconditions are made for the development and appliance of innovative solutions.

The importance of investments

Representatives of the European Commission, experts from several European universities and scientific institutions, the most successful representatives of the European business community, and local and regional self-government have all agreed that quality governance is key to implementing EU policies and facilitating access to excellence, with special emphasis on remote regions.

"The European Union needs to invest more in innovation if it wants to be competitive. However, reaching the target of three percent of the national GDP for investment in innovation research has become more difficult to achieve due to the corona crisis. It is, therefore, necessary to give due importance and support to the spread of innovation within the EU, as opposed to the current focus on research excellence,” said Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics.


Source: WIRE Conference 2020

The conference has been opened by the Croatian Minister of Science and Education Radovan Fuchs, who pointed out the importance of mobility of scientists, individuals, and companies and emphasized the need for necessary reduction of the gap between certain countries.

Reducing of difference in the degree of innovations between countries starts in the local environment, through universities, and then by using different programs and financial resources of the European Union – has been pointed out at the conference. It is necessary to focus on regional differences through the opening of different hubs which will strengthen up innovational ecosystem, whereas connecting stronger members of the EU with those less developed will contribute to creating new innovations.

A 10-year tradition

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the conference was held online for the first time. It gathered more than 700 participants and over 60 lecturers, experts from different European universities and scientific institutions, but also the most successful representatives of the European business community and local and regional self-government.

Since 2010, the WIRE Conference annually gathers stakeholders from the research and innovations sector, creators of the European Union’s politics, regional and national authorities, centers of knowledge, clusters, innovative companies, and all other stakeholders that develop or want to develop innovations to improve the community they are living in.

The conference is organized with support from the European Commission, General Administration for Research and Innovations, Ministry of Science and Education, Split-Dalmatia County, and the City of Split.

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Wednesday, 2 September 2020

World University Rankings Place Split In 801-1000 Range, Zagreb In 1001+

ZAGREB, Sept 2, 2020 - Times Higher Education (THE) has released its World University Rankings 2021, according to which the University of Oxford is again the best in the world, while the University of Split ranked in the 801-1000 range, and the University of Zagreb maintained its position in the 1001+ group.

The World University Rankings include over 1,500 universities from 93 countries, the biggest number so far. The list is based on 13 performance indicators in four areas: teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and international outlook.

The University of Split has fallen behind compared with the 2020 list when it was in the 601-800 range, but it remains the best-ranked Croatian university.

The University of Ljubljana was placed in the same range as Split and the University of Maribor in the same group as Zagreb. The University of Belgrade, ranked in the 601-800 range, is the best-ranked university in Serbia, while the University of Novi Sad was placed in the 1001+ group.

The University of Oxford tops the list for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Stanford University, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Split Receives Most Modern Planetarium in Dalmatia

December 18, 2019 - The Faculty of Maritime Studies in Split opened a planetarium and student cafeteria, worth a total of 4.5 million kuna, and celebrated the 60th anniversary of that faculty. 

T.portal writes that the Planetarium was opened by Marijana Kedzo Miskovic, wife of missing Captain Dino Miskovic of the Bourbon Rhode ship, which sank in the Atlantic in late September.

The planetarium and student cafeteria was built with the help of the University of Split, the Split-Dalmatia County, the City of Split, and the companies Plovput and the Port Authority of Split.

The Rector of the University of Split, Dragan Ljutic, reminded those present that this is the second planetarium in Split, in addition to the one on Mosor, adding that he thinks that rarely any city, university and Faculty of Maritime Studies can boast the same.

"I am grateful for that. You know full well that our university is recognizable, by far the best from the Czech Republic to Poland and Greece, and this is another example of how we educate outstanding seafarers. We can all be proud of what we had the opportunity to see tonight, "said Rector Ljutic.

The Dean of the Faculty of Maritime Studies, Pero Vidan, emphasized that after 28 years, Split would receive another planetarium that will serve the education of students in the subject of celestial navigation, and will be open to students of secondary and elementary schools.

He said that the Faculty of Maritime Studies has dedicated the planetarium to all seafarers who cannot be with them and their families during the holidays. He also shared that the value of the project is 4.5 million kuna.

"The role of the planetarium, according to the STCW Convention on Student Education, serves to calculate the position of the ship with the help of celestial bodies. Our students will really enjoy it, and celestial navigation will be like a game," said Dean Vidan. He also said the newly opened canteen would help raise the student standard.

The City of Split helped fund the construction of the planetarium and student cafeteria with 300,000 kuna, and Mayor Andro Krstulovic Opara said that it raises the quality of the university and the Faculty of Maritime Studies, which celebrates its 60th year. However, the tradition of maritime affairs in Split is centuries-old.

"The 800 years of documented seafaring in our city overlaps with the 60 years of the Faculty of Maritime Studies, which is certainly one of the most excellent components of our University of Split. I am proud that such cutting-edge science has been recognized around the world in the most beautiful way possible and with our help,” said Mayor Krstulovic Opara.

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Thursday, 27 June 2019

Universities of Split and Zadar Included in European Universities Alliances

ZAGREB, June 27, 2019 - The European Commission has released a list of higher education institutions from across Europe that will be part of the first 17 European Universities alliances in a bid to promote cooperation between the institutions involved, their students and staff. The Croatian universities in the coastal cities of Split and Zadar are included in two such alliances.

The aim is to enhance the quality and attractiveness of European higher education and boost cooperation between institutions, their students and staff, the European Commission says.

Out of 54 applications received, 17 European Universities involving 114 higher education institutions from 24 member states were selected, based on an evaluation carried out by 26 independent external experts, including rectors, professors and researchers, appointed by the Commission.

In total, a budget of up to 85 million euro is available for the first 17 "European Universities". Each alliance will receive up to 5 million euro in the coming three years to start implementing their plans and pave the way for other higher education institutions across the EU to follow. Their progress will be closely monitored.

European Universities are transnational alliances of higher education institutions from across the EU that share a long-term strategy and promote European values and identity. They should become inter-university campuses that will pool their expertise, platforms and resources to deliver joint curricula or modules covering various disciplines.

These curricula will be very flexible and will allow students to personalise their education, choosing what, where and when to study and get a European degree. European Universities will also contribute to the sustainable economic development of the regions where they are located, as their students will work closely with companies, municipal authorities, academics and researchers to find solutions to the challenges their regions are facing.

The University of Split is a member of an alliance called the European University of the Sea (SEA-EU), along with the Christian Albrecht University of Kiel, Germany, the University of Cadiz, Spain, the University of Malta, the University of Western Brittany, France and the University of Gdansk, Poland.

The University of Split says that their alliance's vision is to become an international reference point for addressing challenges of the sea and maritime matters through excellence in research based on creativity and innovation.

The aim of SEA-EU is to create joint undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs, joint infrastructure and research and knowledge management, and the University of Split will be the lead partner for a work package that connects the university, public and business sectors, with emphasis on responsibility for society and the environment.

The University of Zadar is part of CONEXUS, the European University for Smart Urban Coastal Sustainability, along with the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece, the Saint Vincent Martyr Catholic University of Valencia, Spain, the University of Klaipeda, Latvia, the Technical University of Bucharest, Romania and the University of La Rochelle, France.

The University of Zadar says that this project will make it possible for students from the partner universities to spend some of their time studying at one or more partner institutions, scientists will be able to collaborate with their colleagues from other universities and use joint infrastructure, while administrative staff will be able to exchange experience and good practice.

Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: "I am pleased to see the ambition of the first 17 European Universities, which will act as role models for others across the EU. They will enable the next generations of students to experience Europe by studying in different countries. I am convinced that this initiative, a key building block of the European Education Area, will be a real game changer for higher education in Europe, boosting excellence and inclusion."

The European Commission proposed this initiative in 2017, calling for the establishment of at least 20 European Universities alliances by 2024. For the next long-term EU budget running from 2021 to 2027, the Commission proposed to fully roll out European Universities under Erasmus+, with a significantly increased budget.

Each alliance is made up of, on average, seven higher education institutions from across Europe, which are open to new partnerships.

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Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Split University Opens Student Center for Developing IT Ideas and Projects

At the University of Split Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (FESB), Split-Dalmatia County prefect Blaženko Boban opened a pre-incubation and coworking Center for the students of Split-Dalmatia County (PICS SDŽ) and stressed that this program is a link between science, entrepreneurship and the regional community, reports Dalmatinski Portal on March 12, 2019. 

“The space we are located in is the space of the Split University, which we received as a county, and has been fully equipped for the past year. With this PICS program, we want to make a kind of pre-incubator. I am delighted that there is great interest in this project. Some students are already in the ICT sector. This is where we will find the potential in the future, which is currently missing,” Boban said.

The space will be available to students enrolled in Student Coworking where they can develop their IT ideas and projects. Membership in Student Coworking is free. Damir Brčić, project manager of the ‘ICT Counties,’ explained that student projects would be developed in this area.

“Before we opened the space, a positive climate was created. We are trying to create adequate space for entrepreneurial projects, and now is the right time for institutions to provide an additional platform, as the IT sector and companies are already slowly finding jobs in foreign markets. However, what we lack is infrastructural conditions, and we lack additional educated staff, and that is all that the County wants to strengthen and enable with this project,” Brčić added

As part of the opening ceremony of the Center, a cooperation agreement was signed between the University, FESB, PMF, III. Gymnasium and Split-Dalmatia County.

“At our University, among our students there are those whose creativity and minds need to be constantly stimulated. From the University side, we will do our best to help our students in their training to set up their startup companies. We are just in negotiations with a company looking for our students. The contract signing is being prepared, where, at the annual level, 30 to 40 of our students will be employed by this company,” said the Rector of the University Dragan Ljutić.

The County prefect also awarded the FESB students who were the authors of the best student entrepreneurial and innovative projects. Slaven Damjanović was awarded 5,000 kuna for the e-Agrar project, Ena Sarajlić, Anastazija Verović, Lucija Visković, and Ana Žunabović were awarded 4,000 kuna for the e-Vision project, and authors Petar Matan, Andrea Pezo, Anđela Čuljak, Ante Vukušić, Antonio Jurkić and Ivan Zaharija were rewarded with 3,000 kuna for the project

A device to check the levels of waste containers - TrashTrack was awarded 2,000 kuna and was the work of Petra Barać, Renato Kusanović, Antonia Senta, Mateo Vučković and Julija Županović. The last awarded project received 1,000 kuna, which is a solution for automatic irrigation - SmartFlow. The project was created by Ivan Ivandić, Dino Siriščević, Ani Stjepić, Duje Šolić, Ante Todorić, and Mislav Vukašina.

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Monday, 28 January 2019

Split University Proclaimed Leading University in Croatia

In recent years, Split University has appeared on numerous lists of some of the most prestigious world rankings of higher education institutions, coming out as the leading university in the Republic of Croatia.

As Slobodna Dalmacija/Marijana Cvrtila writes on the 27th of January, 2019, the latest list published of the Best Global Universities Rankings by the American The News & World Report, has ranked Split University at 523rd place out of a total of 1250 top universities in the United States and eighty other countries across the world.

The Americans ranked Split University as the best Croatian university, with two other Croatian education institutions finding themselves placed on that same list: Zagreb University at 560th place, and Rijeka University in 1066th position (last year they weren't even on the list).

That is why Split found the second year in a row in front of Zagreb, although both universities had a slightly worse success in 2019 than in 2018: the University of Split was among the top 500, with a ranking at 487, while Zagreb took over 526 position.

Despite the fact that three Croatian universities have been listed among the best in the world, it's worth mentioning that universities in two neighbouring universities have been better placed on this list than our best university; Ljubljana University is at 384th place, which is progress when compared to last year when it was placed in 394th position, while Belgrade University came in at 427th place, which is down compared to last year (397th).

According to Best Global Universities Rankings, Serbia has four higher education institutions on the list, but the universities in Novi Sad, Niš and Kragujevac are ranked behind 1000th place, while Slovenia still has Maribor University in a decent 788th place.

There are no other countries in the former Yugoslavia on this scale at all. Of the new(er) EU member states, Split University is better ranked, for example, when compared to the best universities in Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, or Slovakia.

Of course, the world's top universities are in America: Harvard, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Stanford, while among the top ten of the only European higher education institutions are the United Kingdom's prestigious Oxford, at fifth place, and Cambridge coming in close at seventh place.

Over recent years, Split University is regularly getting placed ahead of Zagreb University, one of the most important international charts, the Times Higher Education, ranked it as such. Both of these charts are among the ranking leaders of various such institutions.

Split University has achieved some excellent placements in the categories of international cooperation, where it lies among the top eighty universities. However, the University of Zagreb is better placed towards global research reputation, which is the weakest point of Split University, which stands out in the field of physics.

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Click here for the original article by Marijana Cvrtila for Slobodna Dalmacija

Friday, 6 April 2018

Split Student Devises Instrument to Measure Sea Wave Pressure

More Croatian innovation, this time directly from a student in the Dalmatian capital.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Green Light for Knowledge: Splitska Banka Helping Less Wealthy Students Financially

OTP Splitska banka is helping make life a bit easier for less well off students with a welcome financial donation.

Friday, 10 November 2017

UNISpoT App to Improve Life Quality of College Students in Split

Designed by students, for students.

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