Strengthening scientific and research capacity of the Institute of Economics, Zagreb as a cornerstone for Croatian socioeconomic growth through the implementation of Smart Specialization Strategy (SmartEIZ)


SmartEIZ objectives:

Major objectives:
The SmartEIZ project aimed to strengthen scientific and research capacity, narrow networking gaps and deficiencies of The Institute of Economics, Zagreb (EIZ) in comparison to leading institutions in the field of Economics and Management of Innovation and Technology (EMIT).

Specific objectives:
  • (1) Strengthen the cooperation between EIZ and leading international partner institutions in EU in the fields of EMIT;
  • (2) Improvement of  the overall research on EMIT of EIZ through training activities;
  • (3) Enhancing EIZ’s capacity to design and implement public policies to favor the internationalization of the Croatian production system in the globalizing economy;
  • (4) Improving the capacity of EIZ to study science/industry models of collaboration;
  • (5) Empowering EIZ to contribute to RIS3 implementation by stimulating inclusive innovation and sustainable development in selected technological domains.

SmartEIZ project was ranked as 48th out of 62 projects financed; there were very few proposals from social sciences that were accepted by the EC and in Croatia, only 4 projects received funding, SmartEIZ being the only one from social sciences. The success rate of the projects in this call was 11.3 percent. 
It was the only project that the EC financed whose objective was policy support in the field of Smart Specialization in Southeast Europe. 

Project included the following partners:   
  • The Institute of Economics, Zagreb as the coordinator of the project
  • University Bocconi (UB) Milan, Italy
  • University College London (UCL), UK
  • UNU-MERIT – Maastricht University, The Netherlands

SmartEIZ project had 7 Work packages: 
  • WP 1. Coordination and project management (WP leader - EIZ)
  • WP 2. Development of twinning  strategy for EIZ (WP leader - UB)
  • WP 3. Designing twinning tools (WP leader - UM-MERIT)
  • WP 4. Capacity building activities (WP leader - UB)
  • WP 5. Fostering regional network capacity in the field of EMIT (WP leader - UCL)
  • WP 6. Dissemination of results (WP leader - EIZ)
  • WP7. Ethics requirements (EIZ)
Expected impacts: 
  • EI.1 Improvement in the overall scientific and research capacity in the field of EMIT of the applicant through the implementation of the project that fits EIZ needs
  • EI.2 EIZ’s improvement in scientific methodological skills needed to support RDI and Public Policy Design and Evaluation (PPD&E)
  • EI.3 Increased scientific excellence, research and training capacity in the field of EMIT
  • EI.4 Integration of project activities into RIS3 analyses and activities of Croatia as a direct result of the activities of the project
  • EI.5 Positive impact on research contribution in cluster development across Croatian regions, by improving EIZ’s quality of research activities in the field of EMIT and turning it into a key promoter of cluster development in response to the socio-economic needs of Croatia
  • EI.6 Adoption of “best-practices” approach in policy analysis and evaluation by at least one stakeholder in Croatia
  • EI.7 Improvement of EIZ’s research project capacity, at a national, European and international level – measured by the number of projects that EIZ participates in
  • EI.8 Production of a series of positive spillover effects for high-potential organizations
  • EI.9 Increase staff mobility in EIZ
  • EI.10 Identification of a suitable set of S&T indicators for Croatia to address the needs of the policy-makers

Activities: training schools; training workshops; short-term scientific missions; visiting training sessions

Methodology: coordination and project management; development of twinning strategy for EIZ; designing twinning tools; capacity building activities; fostering regional network capacity in the field of EMIT; and the dissemination of results

Project value: EUR 1.000.000,00

Project duration: January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2018

EIZ project team:      
  • Samah Oreč, project assistant
  • Renata Matošec, financial manager

Project's website: