The ceremony of awarding Grant Agreements - support encouraging start-up entrepreneurship, approved within Incubation and Education Program to develop entrepreneurship and high-tech industries start-ups, was held on Thursday, March 18, at the University of Split’s SPINIT Incubator.
Grants are awarded to co-finance costs of using the space and services of the Incubator for new technologies SPINIT, in the facility UNIST Technology park ltd. Contracts were awarded to 11 users, start-ups and their projects: Mario Marević - Get Work, Zlatko Kovačić - DotYourSpot, Ena Melvan - Metabelly, BELLYY nutrition experience, Nikola Tandara - WindWard, Marko Čupić - InfoSplItDrive, Milan Grepo - web-LAB, Mario Damjanović - GLAMOS, Tomislav Seser - VOLTING, Hrvoje Mihovilović - Dok Pilot, Jerka Mihanović - 3D modeling and Jakša Vidović fireBlock. These are funds provided by the City of Split and allocated to the University of Split, based on the Cooperation Agreement in the Implementation of Recovery Measures to Split’s Economy Due to the COVID Pandemic 19.
The ceremony was attended by prof. Dragan Ljutić Ph.D., University of Split Rector, who presented the agreements, prof. Sven Gotovac Ph.D., director of the Technology Park company, Andro Krstulović Opara, Mayor of Split, Damir Brčić, County Head of the Administrative Department for IT and General Affairs, prof. Leandra Vranješ Markić Ph.D., Vice-Rector for Science and Innovation, Ivana Pletković, Head of the Rector's Office, Krešimir Budiša, Advisor to the Mayor.
Rector Ljutić emphasized that today is an important day for the University of Split because young people have been given the opportunity to realize their dreams. He also stressed how important synergy between University, City and County is, as well as the big support of the Croatian Government lead by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.
- There is incredible potential in our city, that is county. I am proud to be the rector of a university like this, where each of our employees greatly contributes to our recognizable status. Every scientist is the best ambassador, they publish in world journals, thus promoting our country. Our good ranking on the world scientific scales is the result of dedicated work - said Rector Ljutić, promising that the University will continue to do its best in order to provide support to young people, as champions of innovation and productivity, in the development of their ideas.
- I am especially pleased to welcome colleagues moving in the Technology Park, product of many years of hard work in raising awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship, as well as creating conditions for young teams where they can realize their wishes, dreams and ideas - said prof. Gotovac, presenting the project "Development of University of Split’s high technologies incubator" that resulted in the Incubator for new technologies SPINIT.
He also pointed out that a large part of the space has already been leased, but there will be room in the Incubator for young teams that do not yet require space, as well as for digital nomads. He stated that the University, with numerous activities, student and business incubator, has been building an environment where young people can get educated, because it is not enough just to build walls. He also pointed out the great help of the Split-Dalmatia County and numerous entrepreneurs, thanking the City of Split for its support, which was crucial for the realization of today's event.
- This today is a ceremony of knowledge, of entrepreneurship, of faith in young people leaving the university, continuing their work here, developing and moving on to a new space developed by the City of Split, Technology Park Dracevac. I wish you - young people, who will develop your knowledge and business here, who will get the need to enter the market after a short incubation period, with the support of the City and County - pleasant work and that your knowledge flourishes-?. Split is an extremely important city, engine of development. It is not and should not be just touristic destination. It is not just hospitality industry. It is a city with the strongest university, creating knowledge, production and jobs. You are the guarantee of economic development - said Mayor Krstulović Opara.
- The cooperation between the University, City and County, demonstrated in this project is an excellent example for the future. The county is proud of the ICT County project that helped create new start-ups, so we are very proud that seven users of these spaces came from our Start-up Academy. This project involving all institutions is an indicator of how to proceed - said Brčić.
On behalf of all beneficiaries of these agreements, Ena Melvan thanked them, saying that this support helped her and her colleagues in the decision not to go abroad, but to develop their projects in Split.
- I can say on mine and on behalf of others, that it is difficult to secure funding in this initial phase. I would also like to thank the University for building such a beautiful building for us, the Mayor for giving us the opportunity and encouraging us to use this building. Thanks to Sven Gotovac who prepared everything and to Brčić, the County’s representative who organized Start-up Academy, which I would recommend to everyone - concluded Ena Melvan.
As a reminder, the project "Incubator for new technologies SPINIT" was realized within the EU project KK.03.1.2.01.0029 "Development of University of Split’s incubator for high technologies", worth 23 million HRK, 19,831,733.13 HRK of which was co-financed by EU grants. The incubator covers an area of more than 2500 square meters. It consists of 26 new modular offices, co-working space with 45 units, three offices for entrepreneurial support institutions, office for the accelerator program, a hardware laboratory with lots of equipment, nine conference rooms, three conference halls, four kitchens, five social rooms and a recreation room.
After handing out agreements, the City of Split presented the Technology Park Split in Dračevac project. As stated by the Mayor of Split, Andro Krstulović Opara, Croatian Government, the Ministry of Regional Development and European Union Funds decided to award a grant of 105 million HRK to realize the first phase of this large project representing the beginning of new development of the city under Marjan that sees its’ future in high technology.