Bakić: It Is an Honor to Be from a Small Country, yet Recognized as a Bearer of the Future of Europe



Zagreb, 061118.
Zagrebacki Velesajam.
Nenad Bakic iz Instituta za razvoj i inovativnost mladih IRIM u Tehnoloskom parku predstavlja projekt Stem revolucija ide dalje.
Na fotografiji: Nenad Bakic.
Foto: Tomislav Kristo / CROPIX
Tomislav Krišto / CROPIX

Nenad Bakić

Mate Rimac is another Croatian, along with Bakić, on the list of companies and individuals seen as European leaders in digital development. The Financial Times says Bakić has changed the way IT and technology are taught in the Croatian schools. Mate Rimac and his company are presented on three pages of a report describing his achievement.

Presented as 'a Croatian mathematician turned social entrepreneur', Nenad Bakić was honored in Brussels as one of Europe's leaders in his field in an event — named 'European Way to Growth' — that was more a working meeting than a ceremonial occasion. Along with Mate Rimac, Bakić has thus made the list of companies and individuals marked as European leaders in digital development. The event in Brussels was organized by Google and the Financial Times, and featured not only business leaders, scientists and innovators, but also representatives of the European Commission as participants.

This is certainly a prestigious acknowledgment for the two Croatian business leaders, to whom the Financial Times also dedicated articles in its special edition. Rimac and his company are featured over 3 full pages in a report describing their achievement. He says that most of the young people working for Rimac would probably have left Croatia had they not been employed by the company.

Nenad Bakić is said to have changed the way IT and technology are taught in Croatian schools. — Bakić, who earned his money by launching a series of employment websites, began by donating 2500 microcomputers and robotic equipment to more than 1000 primary schools — says the article. — This first part of the project was partially supported by a crowdfunding campaign. Later, with the support of the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education, Bakić extended the program to every school in the country, distributing 45,000 microcomputers.

While the debate on the role of digitization in the development of Europe, the need for greater inclusion of women in the ICT sector, and the alleviation of differences in digital development among the EU members was going on, Bakić told Jutarnji list he was pleased to have made this prominent list of European business leaders.

— It is a great honor to be from a small country but still recognized as the bearer of the future of Europe — he said - we represent less than two percent of the EU population. Also on the list is Mate Rimac, who got much more space than I did in the Special Edition of the Financial Times. I think it is very good that two Croatians have managed to be on this prominent list.

Bakić stressed the special importance of being recognized as a leader in the field of education, which is the center of social development today. — Today, hunger and illness are lesser problems — he said. — A bigger problem is the provision of equal opportunity. With education as the key to European development we can reduce the differences and progress towards equal opportunities. Our 'Croatian Makers' movement, which we run through our charitable organization, is actually the largest program of its kind throughout the European Union.

He sees great potential for Croatia, too, if the country takes the opportunity offered by digital development. — Digitization makes it easier to progress in all areas, because new knowledge is easier to acquire that way, and thus become competitive on the market — says Bakić.

The Brussels event is part of the overall digital development campaign that has become one of the key priorities of the European Union.