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Homeland Visit Grant (2B)

Science and Technology Project, World Bank
Loan Nr. 7320-HR

Unity through Knowledge Fund

Call for Proposals

”Homeland Visit” Grant (2B)


The Republic of Croatia received funds through the World Bank for the Science and Technology Project (World Bank Loan Nr. 7320-HR). The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports has an ultimate objective to improve business infrastructural environment for science & technology through the Project. Within this framework, the Ministry has established the Unity through Knowledge Fund (UKF) for promotion of professional exchanges and contacts and joint projects between Croatian scientists and researchers working abroad with their Croatian colleagues.


Under the motto Connectivity – Cooperability – Creativity, the Unity through knowledge Fund has mission to unite scientific and professional potential in Croatia and diaspora in the development of the knowledge based society.

In order to achieve this task, UKF strives towards the following goals: fostering internationally competitive science and technology, fostering science and technology that provide new values to Croatian economy and supporting projects that develop science and technology infrastructure.

This Call for Proposals together with Connectivity Program – Application Form 2007, Connectivity Program – Curriculum Vitae Form 2007, Connectivity Program – Instructions for Applicants and the UKF Guidelines and Procedures 2007 (www.ukf.hr), sets out the terms and conditions on which the Grant is awarded.


Connectivity Program aims to attract expertise and knowledge of scientific/technological diaspora to Croatia through mobility and networking of highly skilled people. The Program offers travel grants for outstanding young or distinguished researchers and professionals – both expatriate and domicile – in order to advance science and technology in homeland.

The program fosters the researchers and experts mobility in order to provide benefits to Croatian science, technology, industry and society. The benefit may be in terms of any important expert contribution to: (a) increasing of international competitiveness of S&T in Croatia through attracting foreign financing; (b) innovation activities that facilitate development and growth of Croatian industry; (c) participation in other demand-driven activities that advance Croatian S&T infrastructure.

The Fund supports activities from all area of science and technology, that are chosen on competitive basis, according to the below stated criteria. The total amount foreseen for the program in 2007 is 140.400 EUR.


The objective of the “Homeland Visit” Grant is to open opportunities for outstanding researchers and experts of Croatian origin living abroad to visit Croatian knowledge-based company, R&D organization or public institution in order to contribute to cooperation and to provide knowledge transfer to Croatia in order to advance science and technology.

The visit should be targeted at: (1) setting up/improving an international joint project, with precise goal to attract investments or prepare a grant application; (2) transfer of necessary know-how that contribute to strengthening of commercial potential of a knowledge-based SME; (3) providing essential knowledge and skills for generating other societal benefit as natural environment preservation or cultural heritage protection .

Outstanding researchers and professionals of Croatian origin living and working abroad (for at least 2 last years) may apply for support of short-term visits lasting maximum for 6 months. Within this period, applicant can request support for also more then one travel, as required for the proposal outcome. The “Homeland visit” grant may include both travel costs and allowances for visiting researcher.

Prerequisite for successful application is a specific expertise of the applicant and a precise demand for matching expertise of Croatian knowledge-based SME, R&D organization or public institution (host organization). Croatian hosting organization has to demonstrate a need and benefits of the visit from diaspora.

Additionally, all supported visitors are obliged to deliver at least one lecture to general public during their stay in Croatia.


The grant may include application of the following instruments (see the enclosed UKF Guidelines and Procedures 2007):

- short-term visit, up to 6 months (allowance, travel and accommodation costs)
- supporting consulting and expertise (including the administering organization’s overhead)


Who can apply?  Outstanding researchers and professionals of Croatian origin who have lived and worked abroad for at least the last 2 years may apply. The eligible applicant has to demonstrate expertise required by the Croatian host organization.

Successful applicant either should be an experienced and eminent professional or researcher in his area of expertise, or has to show potential to become future leader by her/his innovativeness and commitment to science or technology. She/he should have achieved outstanding success during her/his previous work.

For this Grant a co-applicant in Croatia (host) is mandatory, and she/he should be an outstanding experienced researcher or expert affiliated to the Croatian R&D organization/company. One of the applicants, either visitor or host, has to be the main applicant, who is responsible for the outcome of the proposal.

Which areas are eligible? All science and technology areas are eligible. Proposed visit must clearly demonstrate benefit for Croatian science, economy, natural environment, cultural heritage and society.

What is necessary institutional support?  Support of at least one organization (legal entity) in Croatia is necessary: administering and hosting organization in Croatia.

The support can be awarded to the administering organization, which expresses demand for visit of the applicant from Diaspora. Eligible organizations are small and medium enterprises, public and private institutions and universities, which have necessary infrastructure for proposed activities.  The administering organization should be based in Croatia.

The proposal must contain a separate commitment of the Croatian organization to host and administer the proposed visit, explaining the reason why specific expertise is needed. This commitment includes financial management, support to the applicant’s engagement during the proposed visit, and other support according to proposed wor plan.

The administering organization should accept all responsibilities originating from and connected to the proposed visit. The main applicant is responsible for proposing and agreeing suitable arrangements with the administering organization. Responsible person from the administering organization is required to co-sign the project proposal.

What are the budget requirements? 

Proposal should provide a guarantee for matching funding of the project from other sources, e.g. administering or host organization, foreign or private fund or investor. The matching funding should be at least 20% of the costs requested from UKF for activities that produce only scientific result at non-profit organization, 30% of the costs requested from UKF for the activities that produce only scientific result at for-profit organization and at least 50% of the costs requested from UKF for the activities that produce a potentially commercial result.

Any existing or planned financial support from the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports is not eligible as matching funding for this Grant. The matching funding from other sources can include financial and in-kind resources (goods or services) needed for project.

The total Fund’s subsidy cannot be higher than 10.000 EUR. If requested from the Fund, allowance for the applicant cannot exceed gross amount of 20 EUR per work hour. Travel expenses may be requested according to Croatian regulations for civil servants’ reimbursables and, additionally, according to the Fund’s regulations (cf. Instructions for Applicants). If approved, Fund pays 50% of the support in advance, and 50% after successful completion of the project applied for.


All proposals are evaluated against the fixed set of criteria stated bellow. The proposal should address the points stated in these criteria with measurable and provable information. Steering committee will evaluate the eligible proposals and propose the best for financing. They may nominate one or more anonymous, internationally recognized and independent expert to evaluate every eligible proposal. The Steering Committee will assure that his own members as well as the proposal evaluators are in neither direct nor indirect conflict of interest (as described in Procedures for choice of evaluators). The Approval Committee will finally approve or reject the recommendations of the Steering Committee. The evaluation procedure is described in detail in the enclosed UKF Procedures and Guidelines 2007.

The scientific/technological excellence of the proposal and the innovation potential of the candidate are prerequisites for awarding the grant. The contribution to the Fund’s goals – international competitiveness of S&T, and providing benefit to Croatian society – is a cornerstone of the assessment.

Specific assessment criteria for this Grant are described below and their relative importance is under the authority of the Steering Committee.

i.        Scientific/technological purpose, added value and importance of the proposed visit, assessed by all of the following:

a.      Scientific/technological quality of the involved projects and organizations

b.      Clarity and feasibility of the goals, proposed plan and budget

c.      Potential contribution to Croatian science and technology, economy, natural environment and society

ii.      competence and innovativeness of the visitor assessed by both of the following:

a.      Previous successes, demonstrated innovativeness and overall career development

b.      Potential for future collaboration

iii.     Proposed visit’s importance for acquiring future financing assessed by one of following:

a.      prospect for setting up (or improving) strategic collaboration for applying to EU/international funds

b.      prospect for improving know-how in order to gain investments from non-public and private sources


Proposal is to be submitted on the official forms: Connectivity Program- Application Form 2007 and Connectivity Program– Curriculum Vitae Form 2007, which are available on the Fund’s website or on request. Proposal should contain all details and annexes as described there and in accompanying Connectivity Program– Instructions for Applicants. The proposal must be signed by the main applicant and the responsible person of the administering organization.

The proposal must be submitted together with the relevant annexes to UKF in twofold: (1) as an electronic version (rtf, doc, odt or pdf format) using the UKF web application, which can be accessed through the UKF website www.ukf.hr, including this Form, Curriculum Vitae Form and all requested annexes in electronic format; (2) as a signed hardcopy along with the annexes to be sent to: UNITY THROUGH KNOWLEDGE FUND, Planinska 1, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia. The electronic version and hard-copy version should be identical, and possible differences may cause in rejection of proposal. The applicants will receive a notice on successful submittal by e-mail.

This call is continuously open until the UKF announces its closing. The evaluation rounds will take place every three months.


Letters rejecting or accepting proposals, with statements of opinion, will be sent to all applicants within three months after the first next beginning of evaluation procedure (excluding the periods from 15 July and 31 August and from 20 December and 7 January, according to Croatian law). The accepted proposals are subject to further negotiations and final approval, according to the UKF Guidelines and Procedures 2007. The summaries of successful proposals will be published on the UKF’s website.

Please note that the submission of project proposal does not establish any form of legal claim or responsibility of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. All decisions of the UKF Committees are final and are not subject to further claims or revisions, with exception of administrative mistakes.


Any inquiries should be addressed to the contact person at the Unity through Knowledge Fund: Alessia Pozzi, Program manager or Nikolina Čuljak, Assistant; e-mail: office@ukf.hr; phone: +385 1 23 52 685; address: UKF, Planinska 1, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

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