Croatia will have to considerably increase investment in research and development if it wants to be competitive in the European Union, the Minister of Science, Education and Sport, Zeljko Jovanovic, said in Brussels on Tuesday.
Jovanovic was attending as an observer a meeting of the Competitiveness Council which focused on a future framework programme for the financing of research and innovation in the 2014-2020 period.
"Competitive Europe is based on three foundations: innovation, enterprise, and intellectual capital. If we want Croatia to be part of that competitive company, we must increase our investment in research and development, because now we allocate a shameful 0.76 per cent of GDP for it," Jovanovic said after the meeting.
He said that it could be seen today that the countries that had set aside more for research and development in the past carried the burden of the present crisis more easily.
Jovanovic said that the EU average of highly educated people employed in science and technology was 40%, while in Croatia it was 32%, adding that of the EU members only Bulgaria, Romania, Malta and Portugal were worse than Croatia. He said that Croatia had a chance to increase funding for research and development through the European programme Horizon 2020, which has a budget of 80 billion euros.