During the 6th International Conference ZAGREB FORUM 2018: DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF CITIES, which was held at the Technology Park Zagreb on May 28th , 2018, Zagreb FORUM and SmartEIZ innovation award was granted for promoting innovation ecosystems and their development.
The conference was organized by the Development Agency Zagreb, in cooperation with the City of Zagreb, GFS (GoForeSight) Institute and the Institute of Economics, Zagreb.
The award was given for promoting innovation ecosystems and their development on the local or regional level in Croatia and was presented to local and regional self-governance units or development agencies for implemented programs and/or finalized projects contributing to the contenders’ innovation ecosystem.
Criteria for Zagreb FORUM and SmartEIZ innovation award were divided into 3 groups. The first one included features of the project/program – it had to start after 2013, at least three different partners from different sectors had to be involved (foreign partners were additionally valuated), the level of innovation and the size of the project (in money). The second one consisted of the results of the project/program – enhancing and developing new activities in organization which conducted the project/program, number of new workers employed and new companies established as a direct impact of the project/program implementation. Third group and the last one included indicators for measuring contribution of the project/program to local/regional self-governance units’ development – how project was oriented to tackle development issues of the community on local/regional level, contribution to contenders’ innovation capacity and enhancing international cooperation of the local/regional authority bodies.
Evaluation committee consisted of Dr Zoran Aralica, SmartEIZ project coordinator, Dr Dubravka Jurlina Alibegović, SmartEIZ project associate, Blaž Golob, director of GFS Institute, Dr Jakša Puljiz, Head of Department for European Integration at the Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO) and Zvonimir Viduka, director of Altpro.
Seven counties, cities and development agencies applied for the award: city of Duga Resa, city of Rijeka, SI-MO-RA development agency and Sisak-Moslavina county, Međimurje county, city of Vrgorac and city of Labin. The highest number of points was awarded to SI-MO-RA development agency and Sisak-Moslavina county for the project „Gaming Industry Centre“. The main goal of the project is technological transformation of the county through encouraging gaming industry in the area which was entirely oriented to heavy industry to decrease unemployment rate, which is among the highest in Croatia.