The Government of Croatia has received 20 million EUR from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) for the implementation of Second Science and Technology Project (STP II) which was launched on July 31, 2013 and will last until January 31, 2020.
The STP II objective is to support Croatia to absorb EU Funds in the research and innovation sector by capacitating selected public sector organizations and stimulating the demand for those funds from the business and scientific communities.
STP II, as a new project, is a continuation of The Croatian Science and Technology Project (STP) which was successfully finished on May 31, 2011. There was a need, after STP, for a follow up project that would assist Croatia to bridge existing gap in research and development (R&D) financing until full availability of EU Structural Funds and would help in preparing R&D institutions for successful EU funds absorption in R&D sector.
The Ministry of Science and Education (MSE) has the overall responsibility for the implementation and coordination of STP II and it is using STP II funds for
- continuation of several activities already started under STP as well as
- introduction of new activities aimed at (i) enhancing R&D system in Croatia and (ii) strengthening the absorption capacity for the use of Structural Funds
- elaborate and detailed project planning, preparation and management
In planning and execution of project activities, MSE cooperates with the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank. Ministry of Finance is, on behalf of the Government of Croatia in charge of project monitoring and represents the Republic of Croatia in the Loan.
The STP II consists of the following components:
Component A: capacity building for absorption of EU funds.
Component B: specific research and innovation programs.
Following the merger of agencies HAMAG-INVEST and BICRO on May 9, 2014 and transfer of the UKF from MSE to CSF, STP II had to go through the Project Restructuring process which was completed by official signing of the Amendment to the Loan Agreement on February 25, 2015.
Following the first restructuring, on the basis of the Conclusions of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, with the aim to ensure the sustainability of HAMAG-BICRO and UKF's R&D programs, and the quality preparation of R&D infrastructure projects (O-ZIP, HR-ZOO, CALT) application for funding via ERDF within the Operational Program "Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020" STP II had to go through the second Restructuring process which was completed by official signing of the Amendment No.2 to the Loan Agreement on April 13, 2017.
Due to the savings from the Loan funds, it was possible to fund an additional call of the program Proof of Concept for private sector (PoC private) and the " Connectivity " program. It was realized through the third Restructuring of the Project which was completed with the signing of Amendment no. 3 to the Loan Agreement on October 17, 2018.
HAMAG- BICRO and CSF through UKF are responsible for sub-financing of their respective subcomponents under Component B.
MSE is responsible for Component A and other project-wide technical assistance activities.
Minister of Science and Education has appointed Assistant Minister Mr. Stipe Mamić as the project Coordinator and State Secretary Tome Antičić, PhD. as Deputy Coordinator.
MSE established Project Implementation Unit (PIU). PIU is responsible for project management and supervision, including procurement, financial management, monitoring and evaluation and reporting.