Rimac: There are no AI engineers, but everyone will need them soon

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CEO of Rimac Automobili, Mate Rimac behind the new C_two at the world premiere is seen on the photo from Geneva Motor Salon in Switzerland., Image: 365316764, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: *** World Rights ***, Model Release: no, Credit line: Profimedia, SIPA USA
Profimedia, SIPA USA

Mate Rimac

Change of direction - innovator advocating new technologies as foundation. Rimac Automobili is making a study on the future of Croatia's automobile industry, which will be presented to the public.

Competition with regard to attracting foreign investments is fierce as other countries are trying to attract investors. This is why Croatia has to have clear strategy and measures aimed at attracting investments, said Mate Rimac, founder and head of Rimac Automobili electric automobile manufacturer.

Rimac is of the opinion that the Croatian industry should focus more on new technologies. Simply put, if Croatia missed out on the first wave of investments, which started in 1990es and moved from the west towards the east of the continent, it should not miss the wave that is just starting. However, he pointed out that the wave is not starting from traditional branches of industry which dominated at the end of the last century, but largely on new technologies. Rimac expressed a belief that he has a lot to say about this from his experience.

Strategy

-This is our opportunity to attract investments in industry, especially the sectors based on new technologies - said Rimac.

Speaking at the panel, he advocated adoption of a State strategy for introduction of new technologies in the industry. Rimac expressed belief that Croatian automobile industry can attract large investors and revealed that Rimac Automobili is conducting a study on the future of Croatia's automobile industry, announcing that results will be presented to State institutions and the public soon.

-I cannot say when the study will be completed, but it is worth noting that this is nothing new, we already know everything, it is just about being better and more competitive than others - said Rimac.

He added that the study is almost finished and pointed out that it will list the measures implemented by neighboring countries including Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Serbia with the aim of attracting foreign investors. Croatia could learn from their experiences.

While emigration has become so significant in Croatia that employers are finding it very difficult if not impossible to find qualified workers, Rimac noted that his company employs workers from 26 different countries. In other words, his company successfully attracts workers, with some coming from Sri Lanka and Brazil! Still, Rimac lamented lack of qualified workers. For instance, he pointed out that it has become difficult to find enough artificial intelligence engineers and added that every company will need them in five to ten years.

However, this too is an opportunity for attracting investments. Rimac stressed there are many such niches in Croatia, but none have been filled.

He was less specific on planned date of construction of new facilities, which he needs for expansion of business. He noted at the panel that he is working on it, but added that it is difficult to find an adequate location. Plots and industrial halls on offer are not adequate, with some ownership rights under dispute.

Environment

-We are looking for manufacturing halls for a company near our factory and have encountered a problem - there are no adequate commercial and industrial halls. This confirms that a company cannot be an island, but has to operate in an environment that is commercial and industrial - Rimac noted.

He warned about the problem of financing new companies in Croatia. Unlike many other countries, where financing models are developed through venture capital funds, they are in initial stages of development in Croatia and we could even say it does not exist. Rimac reminded that the Government announced founding a venture capital fund.

-Venture capital funds are very important for development of entrepreneurship. Germany can serve as a good model for founding one - noted Rimac. He added that he is talking about a venture capital fund that does not pursue only commercial interests, but social as well. This is one of the foundations of technological revolution, he concluded.

A company cannot be an island, it has to operate in an environment that is commercial and industrial, said Mate Rimac.

A venture capital fund is very important for development of entrepreneurship, especially if it pursues both commercial and wider social interests.

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