(i) The operational instruments of the Fund are activities carried out individually or combined in order for a project to be successfully realised. They build up programs – sets of projects with a clearly defined objective.
1. Research project costs
How? The Fund participates in financing of research project costs which are in accordance with the mission and the goals of the Fund. The Fund may finance specific aspect of some already existing project that is necessary for achieving the level of competitiveness for external investments. Fund can also finance launching of new, independent research projects that have potential to create new scientific results.
Why? The Fund will promote research projects as a basic instrument of cooperation between scientists and experts from Croatia and Diaspora. As a necessary condition for support, the presence of clear benefits for Croatian society is required, in the sense of the UKF goals.
2. Advancement of young researcher – Post-doctorate research
How? Financing and including young researchers at post-doctorate level in research projects that realize the goals of the Fund.
Why? Fund will encourage post-doctorate projects that foster young researchers and professionals from Croatia within all aspects of their professional advancement as they are recognized to be one of the key elements for S&T development.
3. Advancement of young researcher – Early-stage (PhD students)
How? Fund subsidizes early-stage researchers on projects that create new scientific results according to the goals. These also include work on projects led by members of Diaspora resulting in a system of mentorship and transfer of knowledge to Croatia. Special emphasis is on supporting the work of young researchers on projects in the industry.
Why? Early-stage researchers’ work is basic strength of S&T system and has to be used more extensively in Croatia. The Fund supports the work of early-stage researchers on the prosperous scientific and industry projects, thus contributing to lower “brain drain”.
5. Long-term visit – Long term mobility
4. Short-term visit – Short term mobility
How? The Fund enables short-term visits (up to 6 months) that will be used for knowledge transfer and that fit in the research projects working towards the Fund’s goals. The Fund will in particular support visits of young researchers ( doctoral students and postdocs) to foreign institutions connected to the needs of the supported project. Visits of both early-stage and experienced researchers from Diaspora will be supported if they contribute to the development of local projects/firms or serve as mentors.
Why? Short-term visits are way for transferring knowledge in modern S&T systems. Visits of young scientists working on Croatian projects to centers of excellence abroad enable fast acquisition of experience. Visits of researchers from Diaspora enable leading and participating in local projects without necessity of permanent relocation to Croatian institutions.
How? The Fund supports long-term visits of scientists/experts from Diaspora on projects that realize the goals of the Fund. This instrument supports long term visits of Diaspora experts to Croatian R&D companies, to universities and R&D institutes.
Why? Long-term visits serve for including Diaspora members in Croatian projects and can help as a preparation for their return to Croatia.
6. Research equipment
How? Research equipment is financed only partly, and only as part of projects that fulfill conditions outlined in the Fund’s goals. The Fund will support a new, more economical usage of equipment through cooperation and renting.
Why? Research equipment is necessary condition for scientific work, but for the realization of Fund’s goals new models will be developed that ensure better return on investment than presently.
7. Conference / Lecture
How? The Fund supports participations at conferences where this is necessary for the transfer of knowledge to projects that seek international and/or economic affirmation.
Why? Participation at local conferences and lectures of participants from Diaspora enable an efficient way of cooperation and knowledge-transfer. Also, attending conferences abroad as a part of supported projects facilitates their development.
How? The Fund finances specific consulting services that are necessary for the realization of supported UKF projects goals and transfer of knowledge. Knowledge and skills, which are not available within the project team may be provided by scientists and experts, who are not part of the project team. This may include scientific studies or analysis of scientific results, consulting on commercialization of scientific results etc.
Why? For the success of R&D projects the transfer of knowledge is essential, but also education and outsourcing of some scientific and non-scientific components (legal issues, intellectual property), which are important and still underdeveloped in Croatia.
How? Support is provided for some activities to Administering organization (Croatian organization responsible for the implementation of a project) that include non scientific staff, other non specific utilities, office services and overall support of Administering organization to UKF project team in project implementation as well as in other activities necessary for further sustainability of projects (e.g. provide support in project application for international funds).
Why? In order to raise institutional capacity in S&T system for attracting and implementing EU and international funds, there is a need to further develop procedures at institutional level as well as knowledge and skills of non-scientific staff responsible for implementation of EU funds and international funds.
10. Development of human resources in S&T
How? Support is provided for employment of new scientific personnel, especially early stage and young researchers as well as training in scientific and non-scientific skills like entrepreneurial.
WHY? Human capital, especially in S&T, is of growing importance for innovation and technology-led economic growth. Croatia in that respect confronts a certain number of challenges. This gap could be bridged only through well-judged investments in the human resources.