A Link Between Entrepreneurs and the Scientific Community
The project 'Pannonian Competence Centre for Wood' has recently been presented in Virovitica as one of the first projects to be implemented through European Union Structural Funding. The Centre will provide services to small and medium-sized entrepreneurs involved in the wood-processing sector both in Croatia and throughout the region, covering all development aspects of end products from wood, or higher value-added products with an emphasis on innovation.
The total project value is €5.9 million and 99% of the value will be financed through EU Structural Funding, whilst Virovitica- Podravina County, will provide the financing for the remaining 1%.
The project holder is Virovitica- Podravina County and the project partners are the Ruđer Bošković Institute, VIDRA – Regional Development Agency for the Virovitica-Podravina County, and the Zagreb Faculty of Forestry.
In cooperation with scientific institutions the Centre should create specialized programs to raise the competence of the workforce in the timber and related industries and serve as a link between businesses and the scientific community.
"The project will enable the use of the existing sophisticated scientific equipment, human resources and accumulated specific knowledge of the RBI in order to create new products or value-added products from wood.“- said Rozelindra Čož Rakovac, president of the RBI Economic Council.
Within this project, the RBI will further equip its laboratories by acquiring sophisticated instruments that will enable research and development of new wood products with a focus on nanotechnology and new materials which are to be used for the development and application of coatings for wood, glue, textiles, metal fittings for furniture and wood construction.
The Pannonian Competence Centre for Wood will be constructed in the Virovitica-based Entrepreneurial Zone II, employing 6 university degree holders. The planned duration of the project implementation is 24 months. In addition to research and development of wood-based products and ancillary industries, the Centre will provide technology transfer services, the creation of prototypes of innovative wood-based products, product design services, packaging design, as well as business consultancy services and brand creation.