April 24, 2023

The Regional Innovation Matchmaking Platform RIMAP as a crucial element of the University of Rijeka role as the centre of the regional innovation ecosystem

On 27 April, during the EU Knowledge Valorisation Week, Prof. Saša Zelenika, Vice Rector for Strategic Projects of the University of Rijeka, will present the RIMAP-Regional Innovation Matchmaking Platform.

Following, you can read a contribution written by Professor Zelenika about RIMAP.


In its 2021 – 2025 Strategy, where it defined its ambition to be a European University of the Future, the University of Rijeka (UNIRI) has established knowledge valorisation as one of its 4 focal development areas. In fact, being a highly community engaged university, we see knowledge valorisation, with its aim of creating social and economic value and transforming research results into sustainable products and solutions that benefit society in economic prosperity, environmental benefits, progress and better policymaking, as one of our central missions.

To enable the achievement of this goal, in a close cooperation and partnership with the Regional Development Agency of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County PRIGODA, and the involvement of the UNIRI Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity, we developed a suitable online tool – the Regional Innovation Matchmaking Platform RIMAP.

By fostering the pentahelix innovation development model, the RIMAP platform, with its associated newsletter, serves as a central place for publishing and exchanging information on technological trends, strategic documents, available funding sources, and EU calls for research and development. It also enables the connection of companies and researchers in joint projects or application consortia. The companies and local government are thus called to publish their open problems, challenges, and research ideas. On the other hand, academic researchers in their profiles share their expertise and research equipment which may be interesting for the industry. The platform is thus a polygon for their matching and networking, with the main goal of connecting the business sector to public research and fostering the uptake of knowledge in industry. The option of inserting advertisements on the needs for human resources and expert knowledge is also provided.

The platform creates therefore a route for matchmaking and networking with bidirectional knowledge uptake, while providing open innovation means for interaction and proactive networking to connect development projects and needs of business and public sectors with research and innovation solutions, achievements, competencies, and potentials of the research and academic sector. It enables also the mapping of business and public sector needs in developing and implementing advanced technologies with a potential to create higher value-added products and services via an interdisciplinary approach, and by combining the resources, infrastructure, knowledge, skills, and availability of human capital and intellectual assets. What is more, it provides, regularly and on time, all critical and useful information and business opportunities.

Today 167 researchers (ca. 20% of all UNIRI ones), 73 companies and 25 public sector entities have their profiles on the RIMAP platform, offering 63 development proposals and services. Ten concrete interdisciplinary UNIRI-INOVA scientific-development projects have been catalysed via the platform, connecting the UNIRI researchers with partners from the economic and public sectors.

Currently the platform is being integrated as a matchmaking tool for the DEP EDIH Adria European Digital Innovation Hub project, while in the near future it is seen as tool to incentivise further knowledge valorisation via the CoARA principles, thus facilitating talent retention. What is more, its English/multilingual version is being setup, while the broadening of its usage to the Western Balkan region via an HE WIDERA European Excellence Initiative project proposal has also been foreseen. By providing more data entries, this will, in turn, enable the implementation of AI algorithms for optimised matchmaking, but also capacities’ mapping and „personalised” information on project calls. Last but not least, all this activities will provide means to use the RIMAP platform also in the development of a regional composite innovation index of our NUTS2 / NUTS3 region.

Related News