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2016 Corporate Responsibility Report

Educational STEM activities in Croatia

Hrvatski Telekom (HT) recognizes the importance of fostering the interest of young people in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM img). We therefore focused activities in 2016 on strengthening this interest.

Together we are stronger
In 2016, the competition for funding entitled “Together we are stronger” (Zajedno smo jači) concentrated on projects aiming to enhance the quality of STEM education in elementary schools. Our employees selected up to five finalists for each category out of 39 projects submitted in each of the two categories “New Technologies” and “Science”. The two winners were chosen by the expert panel comprising Hrvatski Telekom’s representatives and experts from specialist institutions and associations. Each project received funding of HRK 350,000 (approx. EUR 46,000). “Internet of things in Croatian elementary schools in 2016” by the Institute for Youth Development and Innovation was the winner within the category “New Technologies”. The project focuses on the Croatian Makers robotics game that teaches children advanced concepts of automation. The first project phase saw around 750 students from 50 different schools being reached. The Astronomical Society Višnjan won in the “Science” category with “Campus”. The project involves workshops and camps for elementary and secondary school students where they participate in STEM-related activities. The donation allowed new equipment to be purchased for the interdisciplinary Laboratory for Biology, Chemistry and Astrobiology (LABOS). Around 450 children are able to participate in workshops here.

Over the past ten years, Hrvatski Telekom has donated more than HRK 9 million (approx. EUR 1.2 million) to provide support for implementation of 240 valuable projects through its “Together We Are Stronger” competition.

The HT STEM HUB was launched in spring 2016. This is a project organized by Hrvatski Telekom together with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER). It aims to create an active academic and economic community of young experts in various fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). In August, we provided summer internships for students within the STEM HUB. They were given the opportunity to work on smart city solutions, augmented reality systems, robotics and intelligent control systems. Final year students also have the opportunity of taking a scholarship with a professional mentor from HT.

In October 2016, we took our joint venture with FER to a higher level by signing a five-year contract with the institution. Our intention is to give the STEM HUB an international profile by offering students the opportunity to work on international projects with HT experts and professionals from all over Europe.

We joined forces with hub:raum – Deutsche Telekom’s incubator – to organize the “HACK IT!” hackathon. The hackathon is part of our broader strategy to enhance STEM activities in Croatia. More than ten teams competed to develop the best solution for communication of the future within the space of 24 hours. The main prize was for HRK 20,000 (approx. EUR 2,700). A total of 150 developers, designers, marketing experts, and business professionals applied to take part in the hackathon and 43 were selected to participate in teams. The winning project provided a vision of a personal digital assistant. It predicts the user’s requirements and wishes by collecting data through the mobile phone. For example, it automatically schedules a meeting arranged during a conversation and enters it into the digital calendar. Second place was taken by a team creating a platform for holographic communication. The third prize went to a mesh network for offline communication between devices. The teams get access to the hub:raum programs.