To first billion in first gear, to second in fifth

First billion HRK for excellent young scientists and scientific projects

The Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ) is the key component for providing support to the development of Croatian science and scientists. Guided by principles of scientific excellence, neutrality and transparency, HRZZ developed an independent system of calls, evaluation and selection of the best projects and researchers. By implementing a system of public calls and applying internationally recognised measures of research performance, HRZZ supports young researchers’ career development and finances competitive scientific research.

2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the Foundation’s establishment, and the beginning of this jubilee year is marked by a major milestone. Namely, between 2001 and now, HRZZ disbursed 1,000,000,000 HRK of budgetary and extra-budgetary funds for financing young researchers’ career development and scientific research projects.

The first funds disbursed were relatively modest and aimed at higher education reforms, doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships and attracting top scientists to Croatia. In 2013 and 2014, HRRZ assumed the role of implementing calls for national research projects and funding doctoral students, previously held by the Ministry of Science and Education. Annual amounts of funding continuously increased on an annual basis and the system of stable funding of competitive research was established. Today, we implement more than ten national and international funding programmes, whose aim is to educate and train new generations of doctors of sciences, enable the installation of new research groups of prospective young scientists and support leading Croatian scientists in implementing nationally relevant or internationally competitive research.

Overall funds disbursed for scientific research projects and young researchers between 2002 and February 2021 amount to HRK 1,002,065,947

National funding of science and research is an investment in the future that improves Croatian society and increases the competition potential not only of Croatian scientists but also of entrepreneurs at the European and worldwide market. By investing more substantially in science, Croatia would join the group of countries whose social and economic development is based on research and innovation, countries that responded to the COVID-19 crisis by increasing budgetary investment in their national science foundations. If we want to continue implementing high-quality scientific research and enable talented young researchers to pursue their ambitions in Croatia, the next billion should be invested in science in a much shorter period of time.