The “Manufacturing Innovation as a Driver of the Future” conference, held on 07 December 2023, brought together more than a hundred experts from Croatia and the surrounding region. Held in Zagreb, the event aimed to provide insights into the possibilities offered by the EIT Manufacturing knowledge and innovation community. Experts from leading Croatian companies shared their experience and opinions, while participants engaged in workshops focused on enhancing production processes.

A highlight of the conference was the presentation of projects from the EIT Manufacturing Hub Croatia’s “Partnership for Growth” programme. This initiative connects startups with major manufacturing companies, with startups such as Rearm, Subpixel, Erga, Nades, and Protosfera showcasing their work. The “Manufacturing Innovation Challenge” saw startup teams addressing an open problem posed by this year’s sponsor, HF Belišće. The Erga team’s solution for enhancing machine productivity through predictive maintenance earned them a cash prize and the prospect of further collaboration.

The conference featured three panels and two workshops exploring topics such as regional innovation opportunities, Industry 5.0 workforce skills and well-being, women in engineering, computer vision for quality control, and key performance indicators in manufacturing.

Ľubica Šebeňová, Manager Slovakia, EIT Manufacturing East; Francesca Girardi, RIS and EU Operations Manager, EIT Manufacturing; Vlatka Petrović, PhD, Head of the Technology Transfer Office, University of Zagreb.

Francesca Girardi, RIS and EU Operations Manager, EIT Manufacturing and Ľubica Šebeňová, Manager Slovakia, EIT Manufacturing East discussed the opportunities the organisation offers to domestic companies and academia in a panel moderated by Vlatka Petrović, PhD, Head of the Technology Transfer Office, University of Zagreb. The importance of worker skills and continuous learning for success in the future industry was highlighted in a second panel discussion.

Various experts elaborated on the topic of “Women in Engineering – Challenges of Sustainable Leadership” and discussed the key challenges faced by women in the industry and their contributions to efficient and fair leadership. The conference also hosted workshops on Key Performance Indicators and OEE in Production, as well as Improving Quality Control using computer vision.

The event attracted academics from the field of industrial engineering from the entire region, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange. The sponsors of this year’s conference, HF Belišće and Končar – power transformers, played a crucial role in its success.

The success of the second edition has prompted the announcement of a third edition, with details to be released soon. For more information and updates, visit the official website at