The operational work of the innovation cluster was led and coordinated by Smart RI Ltd., the promoter of the Center of Competence for Smart Cities.
CEKOM management for smart cities is designed as a project management where all activities are subordinated to the successful completion of the project, i.e. the achievement of already set overall objectives. Since the projects to be implemented in CEKOM consist of several research-development subprojects, which in many segments have overlapping points or overlap, it is necessary to coordinate all the implementation activities of the research and development sector on the operational management level. At the same time, on the management level, it is important to identify priority activities, coordinate scientific research activities with the needs of industrial production, harmonize requirements and opportunities, and offer optimal solutions for achievement of the project results.
The organization of the clusters implies the involvement of all partners, who participate in research and development projects, in the management and decision-making of CEKOM’s development progress and other key issues, by participating in two main bodies: the CEKOM Assembly and the Technical Committee. The CEKOM Assembly is the highest body of CEKOM that recommends development directions and project applications, while the Technical Committee is an advisory body. When deciding in the Assembly, each partner has the number of votes according to the total number of projects in which he/she participates.
During the project, but also in a long-term perspective, the organization of the cluster will perform, in addition to the coordination of the project, educational, promotional and advisory services, and services to strengthen national and transnational cooperation.
Educational activities and counseling services
In addition to providing specialized and customized business support services, Smart RI will initiate the organization of international workshops and conferences of an educational nature within the Center of Competence for Smart Cities, in order to encourage knowledge exchange, networking and transnational cooperation. During the project, a minimum of 3 workshops and conferences are planned related to specific topics of the project itself.
Smart RI will also become an expert center related to smart cities and indicators of their success, and will develop comparison methods based on the world’s leading standards that are applicable to Croatian conditions. Furthermore, through developed analytical services, the individual cities will be able to detect problems in their environment and areas for improvement. In addition to coordinating the preparation of the development strategies and action plans in the field of smart cities and monitoring implementation, Smart RI also encourages and prepares development projects in the field of smart cities, encourages cooperation with creation of development and strategic projects, and advises on the implementation of the program administration.
Furthermore, the consulting services provided by Smart RI relate to the management and improvement of process and product quality, identification of new projects with business potential, commercial and technical evaluation of innovative and entrepreneurial ideas, development of business models, development of business planning framework or commercialization concept (for start-up companies), preparation of projects for the domestic market and for international markets (for mature companies), assistance in intellectual property protection and patenting, assistance in drafting applications for EU projects and their implementation, business consultations and advices, business needs analysis for companies, etc.
In a long-term perspective, Smart RI is planned to become an educational center for new technologies, which are used in the context of building smart cities. The center will position itself in the media and events related to the profession and industry as an expert and competent center in terms of technologies, new products and knowledge at its disposal, thus gaining additional recognition and visibility. Also, Smart RI will apply to all potential EU programs with partners, especially those related to capacity building for innovation, technology transfer, entrepreneurial-support programs and cross-border and transnational programs. In addition to strengthening the capacity and self-sustainability of the center, these projects will also become a useful tool for the promotion and networking of the center and the commercialization of technologies.
Promotion and policy of internationalization
Smart RI Ltd. will design and coordinate promotional activities that are crucial for presenting the project results to the target groups. This includes an intensive marketing program for the target markets for the center promotion and the center technology and services, as well as the establishment of potential cooperation in research and development and technology transfer. In foreign markets, there is a great potential for cooperation and networking in order to develop and implement innovations and transfer the know-how to Croatia as quickly as possible. The development-research projects within CEKOM, which were created with the aim of implementing new technology, products and knowledge in the industry, will also be the best promotion of good practice in Croatia and serve the Center for the promotion of competence within the selected areas.
Smart RI will brand and protect developed new technologies and products/services in order to ensure better recognition and the market success of the products and technologies. It is the licensing of new technologies and products, which has a protected design and a brand in the economy that will consequently ensure greater growth of entrepreneurs and start-ups that use the new products.
An important business segment of Smart RI Ltd. will be connecting the entrepreneurs with other entities of similar interests and creating domestic and international partnerships, representations, and networking, as well as encouraging the cooperation of economic entities and joint market presence, especially the projects based on job creation, creation of new products and services that are aimed at applying new technologies to smart cities, which are predominantly focused on the domestic resources.