Conducting a research on innovative potential of HU HR cross border region - Međimurje County and Koprivnica-Križevci County (INOPOT-MC-KKC)

Commissioned by: Tehnološko-inovacijski centar Međimurje d.o.o. - European Commission – IPA 
Project duration: August 27, 2012 – October 27, 2012 
Project manager: Zoran Aralica, PhD

Brief outline: 
Improving innovation capacities i.e. the ability to conduct innovation activities of the firm depends on various factors, including the continuous supply of innovation resources and the accumulation of knowledge, which can be highlighted as crucial. In this context, the existence of various types of informal innovation cooperations, such as exchange of information, and the formal ones, e.g. innovation cooperations aimed at the creation of new products/services, are also considered to be vital.

This is relevant for smaller economies, in particular at local levels, where there is a stronger emphasis on local competitiveness, i.e. the ability of the geographical area to promote socio-economic activities and generate income. In this case, the focus was on Međimurje County and Koprivnica-Križevci County. Both of these counties belonged to the former Northwest statistical region of Croatia, and were the concentration points of the majority of innovation capacities at the national level. Međimurje County belonged to the top group of counties in terms of development, with a development index value between 75 percent and 100 percent of the national average, whereas Koprivnica-Križevci County belonged to the second group, with the development index value below 75 percent of the Croatian average.

The underlying aim of this project was to present a fresh look at innovation activities and policies on the regional level, with the long-term view of improving the efficiency and coordination of the business entities in the analyzed sectors. The project placed a strong emphasis on the analysis of two business sectors particularly economically relevant in the counties, namely the metal processing sector and the ICT sector. These sectors were emphasized due to the regional economy structure (with a significant impact of metal processing) as well as the regional policy intention to develop a high value-added economy via ICT and metal processing development in both counties. The analysis provided a more detailed insight into cross border cooperation between neighboring areas, including Međimurje County and Koprivnica-Križevci County (Croatia), Pannonia (southern part of Hungary), and the entire area of Slovenia.