Through its programs, the Business and Innovation Agency of the Republic of Croatia – BICRO, wishes to motivate the private and public sectors to invest in research and development. In the near future, BICRO will additionally facilitate the absorption of EU structural funds by the Research & Development & Innovation sector, and private companies in particular. The agency puts additional efforts in the promotion of BICRO programs for the purpose of bringing them closer to the wider public in order to increase the number of projects submitted, and thus also improve overall productivity of research and innovation activities in Croatia.
At BICRO, we also offer a pre-seed capital program known as PoC. This program is intended for financing ideas, concepts, prototypes and intellectual property protection. The emphasis is put on the technological risk, and the main criteria are market orientation and innovativeness.
The seed capital program called RAZUM is aimed at ensuring financing for product development and realization. The program is implemented for the purpose of eliminating developmental risks. Besides market orientation and innovativeness, other criteria include the people engaged in the project, competitive advantage and the business model applied.
At the moment we are faced with a funding gap concerning the phases following product development. More precisely, we do not have a venture capital fund that would provide for investments in product sale, marketing and distribution or even production, where required.
As far as different stages of financing are concerned, taking into consideration the amount and manner of financing we provide grants in the amount of 70% of the project value in the pre-seed stage and conditional grants in the same amount in the seed stage (if product commercialization proves successful, the funds must be reimbursed; if not, the grant will be considered non-refundable).
The IRCRO program encourages SMEs to cooperate with scientific institutions in order to start up and speed up their R&D activities. The purpose of the program is to combine the experience and innovativeness of SMEs with the knowledge and infrastructure of scientific institutions into a single market-oriented project with commercial potential.
BICRO also offers the TEST and TEHCRO programs. Although applying different approaches, both programs encourage Croatian researchers and scientific institutions to carry out research activities, develop high technologies and promote the establishment of innovative technology-oriented companies.
EUREKA is a European initiative the purpose of which is to ensure funding for market-oriented projects associated with different fields of technology. The projects are not limited with respect to the subject-matter and may be implemented in any of the various fields of technology, provided they have a social purpose and include development of a new product, process or service. The EUROSTARS initiative, on the other hand, gathers and connects companies as well as scientific and research institutions from 31 countries that have joined the initiative.
EEN is the only initiative in this list that does not provide financial but advisory assistance. This widely branched network ensures networking of entrepreneurs from all over Europe, and wider.