Innovation That Matters

Global innovation spotlight: Croatia

Global Innovation Spotlight

From a solar-powered catamaran to 97 per cent natural sneakers, discover exciting innovations from Croatia

Reflecting our global Springwise readership, we explore the innovation landscape and freshest thinking from a new country each week. This week we are heading to Croatia…

Croatia Innovation Profile

Global Innovation Index ranking: 42nd

Climate targets: Reduce CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030, climate neutrality by 2050

Sustainability issues

Impact of tourism – Croatia is known for its pristine beaches and economically important tourism sector. But the country’s natural beauty comes with costs. According to the World Bank, the overall cost of tourism-related environmental degradation was about €55 million in 2018.

Marine pollution – The Adriatic Sea is an enclosed body of water, and its lagoons, channels, and bays are vulnerable to pollution from hazardous substances and oils. A joint effort by Italy and Croatia is seeking solutions for pollution in the form of emergency responses and recovery measures.

Nuclear waste – Croatia has recently been involved in a dispute with neighbouring Bosnia that highlights the thorny issue of nuclear waste. Plans to store waste from the Krsko nuclear power plant at a site near the River Una, have led to objections by Bosnians who highlight its potential impact on public health, waterways, and the organic farming industry.

Sector specialisms

– Foodtech

– Hardware and IoT

– Software and data

Source: StartupBlink

Three Exciting Innovations From Croatia

Photo source Greyp


The e-bike revolution is here, and it is growing stronger. According to the Shimano Steps e-bike Index, a quarter of Europeans already own an e-bike, with the majority saying they will be mainly using it for leisure, hinting that the appeal of the-bike is moving past commuting. As e-biking grows in popularity, the engineering of e-bikes is becoming more sophisticated. This is where Greyp Bikes comes in, with its line of high-end, fully-connected e-bikes. Read more

Photo source Tom Weatley on Unsplash


Rivers are some of the most idyllic, and valuable, natural environments on earth, and this beauty naturally attracts the attention of tourists. While river tourism bolsters local economies and creates an incentive to preserve natural waterways, traditional fossil fuel tourist vessels create emissions of carbon dioxide and air pollutants. Moreover, gas or oil leaks from motorboats and sailboats with engines can contaminate water. And from the tourists’ own point of view, the peace and tranquillity of a river scene is often soured by the noise and vibrations of a chugging engine. Now, Croatian startup iCat has developed a solar-powered passenger catamaran that enables tourists, and others, to enjoy scenery in a more sustainable way. Read more

Photo source Miret


Having inherited their family shoe business, and after learning the ins and outs of the industry, a pair of Croatian brothers, the Boljars, decided to step away from the literal toxicity of footwear. They created Miret, an eco-friendly sneaker made from 97 per cent natural materials. The upper is wool, the insole is hemp, and the outer is natural rubber and cork. Read more

Words: Matthew Hempstead

To keep up with the latest innovations, sign up to our free newsletters or email to get in touch.