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New International Fellowship Mobility Programme for Experienced Researchers

Final Report Summary - NEWFELPRO (New International Fellowship Mobility Programme for Experienced Researchers)

The New International Fellowship Mobility Programme for Experienced Researchers in Croatia –NEWFELPRO is a fellowship project of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Ministry of Science and Education (MSE). The long-term objective of the “New International Fellowship Mobility Programme for Experienced Researchers” was to contribute to the presence of significantly more research qualified individuals who will become future leaders of universities and colleges, research groupings, research institutes and innovative companies with their significant international trans-national experience and well developed international scientific networks. NEWFELPRO contributed to integration of national scientists to ERA, internationalization of R&D, knowledge transfer and to strengthening relations between science and private sector while reducing brain drain. The fellowships provided the researchers the necessary experience to lead a more internationalized, trans-national innovation system in the future by binding the Croatian scientific community within international networks.

The strategic objectives of the programme were to give new impulse to the national research programmes for foreign researchers by encouraging incoming mobility, facilitating additional mobility in the Croatian research community and increasing the participations of Croatian researchers abroad by enabling an outgoing and reversing the “brain drain” process by encouraging brilliant Croatian researchers abroad to continue with their careers in Croatia through the reintegrating scheme. On a macro level, NEWFELPRO enabled for an internationalization of research developed at Croatian R&D institutions by fostering collaboration with the best international research competitive institutions. It also gave impulse to an effective labour market for researchers in Croatia by connecting industry and universities, public and private research institutions all the while enhancing the knowledge transfer and preparing better employment opportunities for researchers with special attention at SMEs innovative processes.

International and independent selection process included an evaluation of scientific/technological quality of the project, scientific/innovation and leadership potential of the applicant and quality of the host institution with the inclusion of over 520 evaluators from 52 countries. With three public calls from 2013 to 2014, NEWFELPRO enabled for an implementation of 76 fellowships: 36 outgoing fellowships (with the mandatory return phase), 34 incoming fellowships and 6 reintegrating fellowships in the total amount of 6 million EUR. Outgoing fellows went to 14 different countries and to 35 different host institutions while incoming fellows included researchers from 20 different countries coming to XX different Croatian host institutions. Reintegration included all fellows coming to different host institutions throughout Croatia, one of them implementing his project at a private R&D entity.

NEWFELPRO gave the impetus to setting Croatia as the leader for this part of Europe when it comes to both mobility and financing of excellent science by being the patron of the COFUND programme and MSCA values. With Croatia as the only SEE country that implemented a MSCA COFUND programme as of yet, MSE created the additional value for the COFUND programme by empowering and motivating the potential applicants from neighbouring countries and countries of its region by organizing a string of workshops, presenting good practice, raising the visibility of the EU funded programmes and providing logistical and advisory support. NEWFELPRO enabled for Croatia to establish a platform for an open dialog on public policies in the area of science with a special emphasis on current framework programme and promotion of synergies of difference measures, activities and financial instruments.

NEWFELPRO webpage: