The Energana project plans to put in place more than 2,700 sq. m. of useful area in the power plant building of the former paper mill which will be available for SMEs along with educational programmes, a network of mentors and other programme activities with the aim of strengthening their innovation potentials (networking, thematic events, conferences, etc.). Customer support will be provided in three main thematic areas: artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) (1), computer games development(2), and photo and video production (3).
Energana is primarily intended for business starters and entrepreneurs in the phase of growth from the field of IT and creative technologies/industries, owing to which, through integrated activities, will provide support in the development of new products and services, networking, internationalisation and in seeking funding sources.
From an artificial intelligence laboratory to a film studio
Energana will have specially equipped premises to support the incubation process, the functionalities of which will be used by its occupants during their stay in the incubator: artificial intelligence laboratory (AI Lab) with ICT equipment for training entrepreneurs focussed on artificial intelligence development, IoT / robotics workshops for practical use of IoT and robotic equipment, testing and system development, a computer games development classroom with workstations and software for the needs of all segments of game development with a 3D printer and a 3D scanner, and a film and photography studio with professional cameras, lighting, background, an audio and graphic studio and a projection hall. The premises of Energana will also accommodate the Data Centre, a data centre that will offer data storage services to incubator users, as well as to interested economic operators.
The future premises of the Energana incubator will also have 24 offices, i.e. incubation units for entrepreneurs, classrooms, chat rooms and meeting rooms, a multifunctional hall, co-working space and other functional and logistical facilities necessary for efficient work and comfortable stay of users in the incubator.
The intention is to position Energana as an innovation hub that will bring together and connect entrepreneurs, start-up businesses and experts from these industries, as well as other ecosystem stakeholders (scientific, developmental and higher education institutions, students, cultural and educational institutions, artists, high school students), thus creating practical preconditions for improving the transfer of knowledge, skills and technologies.
Support to the IT industry and creative technologies
The main objective of the project is to strengthen competitiveness and encourage the growth and development of newly set up and existing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the IT sector and creative technologies in the Urban Agglomeration of Rijeka, through modern entrepreneurial infrastructure that includes incubation and networking of entrepreneurs in target sectors.
The approximate duration of the project is 42 months (3.5 years) during which activities will be carried out for the reconstruction and conversion of the existing power plant building into an incubator for creative technologies and IT industry, equipping it with basic and specialised equipment, establishing a program basis and providing professional support to users, and owing to a business plan and a management model provide the sustainability of the future operation of the incubator.
By realising the Energana project quality and favourable conditions will be provided to entrepreneurship incubation focused on creative technologies, IT and related activities, which includes the provision of specialised services in the development of new / improved products and services, narrowly specialised educational programmes and mentoring, use of modern equipment and new technologies, technical and production support, networking within the sector and access to a network of potential partners.
EU funding awarded within the Rijeka Urban Agglomeration
The project “Incubator for Creative Technologies and IT Industry – Energana” was awarded a grant in the amount of HRK 31,468,168. The total project value amounts to HRK 37,021,374, of which 85% is co-financed from EU sources, and 15%, i.e. HRK 5,553,206, is funded by the applicant, the City of Rijeka. The project is funded under the European Regional Development Fund – Operational Program Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020, through the ITU mechanism – in response to the Call “Start-up incubator system in the territory the Rijeka Urban Agglomeration”.