Support and Landscape
Croatia is part of the European Research Area (ERA) and supports open science through different Open Access initiatives. Numerous bottom-up initiatives at the national level make Croatia a vibrant OA environment. Open Access movement started in Croatia in 1997 with the Croatian scientific bibliography CROSBI introducing OA repository functions from the very beginning. Since then, several OA national initiatives started like Who’s Who in Science in Croatia, HRČAK repository of the Croatian OA journals, ŠESTAR repository of the scientific equipment, DABAR infrastructure for OA institutional repositories, etc.
There are nine public universities (Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Zadar, Dubrovnik, Pula and Slavonski Brod) and 30 public and private polytechnic institutes, with more than 180.000 students enrolled. Research in Croatia is also conducted by 25 public institutes and six technology centres. There are approximately 11.500 active researchers in Croatia. The largest university in Croatia is the University of Zagreb with more than 70.000 enrolled students, and the largest research institute is Ruđer Bošković Institute with more than 550 researchers.
Three public bodies play a major role in the consolidation of the research at the national level in terms of:
• strategy with the Ministry of Science and Education (MSE)
• funding with the Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ)
• development and assessment with the National Council for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development (NCSHETD) and Agency for Science and Higher Education.
Croatian Ministry of Science and Education (MSE) is the primary national policy-maker, responsible for planning, funding and the research assessment. The Advisory board of the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education is the National Council for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development (NCSHETD), responsible for the development of science. Expert body of NCSHETD is the Agency for Science and Higher Education which proposes criteria for budgetary financing of scientific activity and higher education. The dialogue among national key-players concerning open science agenda should be continuous.
Croatia implements several instruments, programs and policies intending to develop a substantial and strategic research policy, such as Strategy of education, science and technology (in Croatian), Croatian Research and Innovation Infrastructures Roadmap and Strategy for Fostering Innovation of the Republic of Croatia 2014-2020, aiming to provide recommendations for the establishment of a comprehensive R&I environment, to strengthen the Croatian national innovation system (NIS) and provide an efficient framework to foster the competitiveness of Croatian R&D and economy in general, through innovation and technological development. There are some mentions of Open Access in the Croatian strategic documents. Still, in general, Croatian strategic documents are not considering Open Science agenda and Open Access to scientific publications and research data.
Croatian Science Foundation (CSF) is the central institution for funding competitive research projects since 2009. It provides support to scientific, higher education and technological programs and projects, fosters international cooperation, and helps the realization of scientific programs of particular interest in the field of fundamental, applied and developmental research. CSF also develops and implements various sets of financial instruments for a research career, including post-doc fellowships.
Another funder is Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments (HAMAG-BICRO) was founded by the Croatian Government in 1998, to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, improving the innovation process and encouraging investments. It is a central institution in the national innovation system for supporting innovation and technology advancement. The Agency’s main objective is the strategic creation of a unified system that would provide support to entrepreneurs through all development stages of operation starting from research and development of an idea to commercialization and placement on the market.
More details on R&I system in Croatia for 2015, including relevant policies and funding, with particular focus on topics critical for EU policies, can be found in RIO Country Report 2015 Croatia.
Data on Croatian research output related to the researchers, organizations, and research grants are available via the Croatian Scientific Bibliography CROSBI and used for research evaluation. Research libraries offer support to researchers regarding open access to publications and research data by building and managing open science infrastructure, enabling them the compliancy with Article 29.2 of the H2020 grant agreement.