The indicators in the table below present a synthesis of research, innovation and competitiveness in Croatia. They relate knowledge investment and input to performance or economic output throughout the innovation cycle. They show thematic strengths in key technologies and also the high-tech and medium-tech contribution to the trade balance. The table includes a new index on excellence in science and technology which takes into consideration the quality of scientific production as well as technological development. The indicator on knowledge-intensity of the economy is an index on structural change that focuses on the sectoral composition and specialisation of the economy and shows the evolution of the weight of knowledge-intensive sectors and products and services.
Croatia is building up its research and innovation system. Although starting from a low level, its science and technology excellence has clearly improved after 2005. Efforts are still needed to enhance R&D investment and to build up capacities in key technology areas and to improve international competitiveness and trade by producing more technology-intensive goods. Since 2000, Croatia has restructured its science (and education) system with the objectives of turning the country into a knowledge based society and of strengthening the country’s research capacity as a lever for economic development.
Driven its determination to join the EU, Croatia has taken steps to strengthen its national research capacity by taking measures and adopting polices that are compatible with EU policy on the European Research Area. Croatia, however, has been slow to implement the envisaged actions and lacks reliable statistics and the administrative capacity to monitor and follow-up the envisaged reforms. Croatia has also suffered from the economic recession. The new Government elected in December 2011 continued the efforts to reform the science system by proposing amendments to the Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education aimed at creating an adequate legislative framework for a more programme-based and competitive funding of research institutes (adoption by Parliament foreseen before end of 2012). A new R&D strategy and a “National Innovation Strategy is under preparation for the period 2013- 2020.