A new centre of excellence for engineering and robotics has launched in Karlovac with help from the University of the West of England (UWE) and the European Union.
Staff from UWE’s Bristol Institute for Technology led the project, drawing on their experience of industrial partnerships to set up the Centre of Mechatronics, Karlovac in the north-east of Croatia. UWE was awarded €435,000 to help set up the centre ahead of Croatia’s accession to the EU.
The Centre integrates the activities of the Polytechnic and Technical School of Karlovac and the region’s industrial base, which includes power generation and brewing. Croatian students will benefit from more relevant courses, placements and the opportunity for hands-on training in local industries.
The Technical School is now in a position to offer industry-related apprenticeships and custom-built training for local companies. With input from the polytechnic, the new centre can provide companies with consultancy, continuing professional development and advice in areas such as mechanical and electronic engineering and robotics.
Project leader Farid Dailami said, “The centre has already generated significant interest in Karlovac and has benefitted from funding contributions and commercial contracts of around €15,000 from industry and other local and national organisations. This pump priming has enabled the centre’s management to focus on the future and formulate a growth strategy to fit the educational, industrial and commercial needs of Karlovac and its region.”
Project director John Lanham said, “The knowledge transferred from UWE will help strengthen the regional economy in this part of Croatia ahead of its accession to the EU, by enhancing the availability of trained staff for the power generation and brewing industries and a wide range of SMEs. This is just the start - the involvement between Croatia and UWE will continue, with bids for more projects to build on this work. We are also setting up a link with the polytechnic to enable staff from Karlovac to embark on PhD studies at UWE.”