Croatia’s best researchers have succeeded despite an underfunded and fragmented system. On the eve of its EU membership, Mićo Tatalović asks what the country must do to compete internationally.
The science ministry in Croatia proudly points out that the €59 million its researchers have won from Framework 7 is a third more than the government pays in. But as the country prepares to switch from being an associate participant in research programmes to a full member of the EU on 1 July, researchers are stressing the weaknesses that this headline figure hides.
For the past six years, public investment in research has stagnated at €75m a year, including Framework 7 contributions, with another €125m spent on salaries and overheads. R&D spending as a percentage of GDP has fallen to 0.75 per cent.