In October 2011 Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (MSES) has issued a public call for project proposals which implementation would be financed by the European Regional Development Fund 2014 - 2020 (ERDF) as part of the Operational Programme for Regional Competitiveness.

Since 2011 to this date there were four calls launched for the submission of proposals, and following the second call, in December 2012, the RBI`s project Open Scientific Infrastructural Platforms for Innovative Applications in the Economy and Society (O-ZIP) was included in the indicative list of infrastructural projects for ERDF. To this date, Croatian Ministry of Science accepted a total of 13 applications for its shortlist of infrastructural projects.

In December 2013 O-ZIP was granted financial assistance for the preparation of project documentation through the Second Technology Development Project (STP II) based on the Decision of the Croatian Minister of Science, Education and Sport.

The granted funds will enable issuing of the official announcement and implementation of urban and architectural competition, which would provide quality conceptual design of spatial program for new buildings within the RBI complex, followed by the creation of a spatial development concept as well as deployment of scientific research facilities within the entire RBI complex as to achieve maximum optimization of both existing and planned resources, consultancy services for preparation of feasibility studies, cost-benefit analyses and other activities.

The next step is to invite tenders for individual particular phases of the project in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and engagement of a consultant. The RBI has taken all necessary preparations and is ready to issue an official announcement for the urban-architectural competition. The goal is to have completed feasibility study, cost-benefit analyses by the end of 2015 in order to finalize a comprehensive proposal which is then to be sent to Brussels for evaluation.

The Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports has secured the help of the JASPERS experts that provide support in the preparation of high-quality technical and project documentation. The first meeting was held on 5th July 2013 year at the RBI.

JASPERS Experts examined pre-feasibility study and submitted a document with a number of useful comments and suggestions on how to improve the structure and quality of the project. Following the recommendations, the RBI Committee for the Structural Funds has continued to work on documents that will provide arguments to justify the need for space and equipment in the context of scientific excellence and contribution to the economic development of the Republic of Croatia.

One such preparatory document containing a detailed breakdown of infrastructure units (justification of investment, compliance with the ‘Key Enabling Technologies’ (KET), human resources, scientific excellence, contribution to the economic development of Croatia, etc.) was sent to JASPERS experts who gave a very positive opinion about the document and recommended further work in this direction on the second meeting held on 19 Nov 2013.