The northern Croatian county of Međimurje has got its second scientific research centre in less than half a year with the opening of the Centre for Sustainable Development of the Polytechnic of Međimurje in Čakovec.
Earlier this year, Međimurje got its first research institution when the Development and Education Centre for the Metal Industry opened in the former army barracks in Čakovec. The centre serves the research community and helps increase the competitiveness of the metal and related industries in Međimurje County and northwestern Croatia.
The “Sustainable Development Centre” project is worth over HRK 11 million and is mostly financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
“Thanks to the project, the building in the immediate vicinity of the Međimurje Polytechnic in Čakovec in the area of the former barracks was renovated, thus continuing the process of revitalization of military facilities, by which Međimurje County is recognized as an excellent example of good practice. So far, six facilities have been renovated and put into operation in the former barracks, with 8 supporting, educational and scientific institutions that make up the Međimurje County Knowledge Center, and the Center for Sustainable Development has joined this impressive list,” Međimurje County said.
“Investing in education, modern equipment and infrastructure and encouraging excellence is the most important task and direction in which we are developing Međimurje County. We have two faculties, the Polytechnic of Međimurje and the Department of the Faculty of Teacher Education, which together number about 1500 students, and students from all over Croatia come to Međimurje. In order to create better conditions for education, but also to improve the quality of life of students, we opened a student canteen and dormitory, we support them through student loans and one-time grants, while opening scientific research centres we want to strengthen Međimurje as a county of knowledge by strengthening the scientific community,” said the Prefect of Međimurje County Matija Posavec at the opening ceremony of the Centre for Sustainable Development.
The renovated building houses and is equipped with 4 scientific laboratories – Environmental Biochemistry, Sustainable Development, Laboratory of Applied Automation and Augmented Reality Laboratory, conference hall and meeting room.
Through the work of the Centre for Sustainable Development, a research and development infrastructure has been provided that will serve for the implementation of basic industrial research, experimental development and education in the field of environmental biochemistry, sustainable construction, applied automation and augmented reality.
Dean of the Polytechnic of Međimurje in Čakovec doc. dr.sc. Igor Klopotan pointed out that the Polytechnic of Međimurje in Čakovec has been successfully implementing quality and effective education for 13 years based on the concept of lifelong learning, responsibility for knowledge as a public good, mobility and development of human resources as the greatest value of society.
“With these postulates, we attract students from all over Croatia, but also from other countries who opt for this educational institution as part of a student exchange program. Students are offered a choice of 3 undergraduate professional studies in full-time and part-time, lasting 3 years: Computing, Tourism and Sports Management and Sustainable Development, and through the study of Sustainable Development we will provide research and development infrastructure that will serve the implementation of basic industrial research and experimental development in the field of environmental biochemistry, sustainable construction, applied automation and augmented reality.”
Through the Centre for Sustainable Development, Međimurje Polytechnic and Međimurje County want to gather all researchers in one place and launch scientific accreditation of the Polytechnic, to become the first scientifically accredited institution in Međimurje.
The Polytechnic of Međimurje is also ready for the introduction of new study programs, the graduate study of Computer Science and the professional study of Mechanical Engineering, and is considering the introduction of joint study programs with other polytechnics.