The project, within Phare 2006 programme, Cross-Border Cooperation between Croatia and Italy - New Adriatic Neighbourhood Programme is contracted in the amount of 2.999.999,91 million euros, while the 3 million euros has been allocated, which means that the contracting rate is 99,99 per cent. The largest contract signed within this grant scheme is project MET.R.I.S. Research Centre for Metal Industry in Istria County, in the amount of 740.000,00 euros.
The purpose of the project, which will by implemented by the Istria Development Agency, is to establish the Research Centre for Metal Industry in the Istria County in order to provide help SMEs to achieve competitiveness in the global market by improving their current products and development of the new ones. The idea for establishment of the Research Centre has originated after performing analysis of the Istria economy, which has shown that processing industry is the most important sector of the Istria economy with more than 33 per cent of the total income, whilst metal industry holds more than 50 per cent of the processing industry. If the companies want to achieve competitiveness in the abovementioned industries in the global market, they have to offer both - good quality of the products and competitive prices.
Investment in research and development is the key factor for gaining and retaining position in the market dominated by the innovation. The SMEs are currently grouped around big companies, and mostly act as their suppliers. If big companies cease to utilize their services, due to the lack of the new products, which can be the result of the shortcomings in research and development activities, the economy of Istria County would face problems due to a great number of the employees in that sector.
The purpose of the Research Centre is stimulation and support of the project initiatives, which would have a significant impact on development and on increase of investments in this sector. The establishment of the Research Centre shall also increase the employment rate, revitalize the regions covered by these activities, and commercialize the new technologies and strengthen the local economy.
Positive impact of the Research Centre shall be manifested on educational activities aimed at students of regional colleges universities and SMEs.