More incredible international recognition for Croatian innovation as Zagreb innovators have won no less than the world’s most prestigious accolades for their coastal protection system.
As Sergej Novosel Vuckovic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 17th of August, 2019, the talented Croatian innovators won the bronze medal at the 47th International Innovation Exhibition (GInventions) in Geneva back in April, recognition as the overall winner (Grand Prix) at the 11th International Agro Heart Innovation Fair in Agriculture, Food Processing and Agricultural Machinery at the end of the same month in Karlovac, and then, as the crown of this already glittering series, the Croatian innovators managed to take home the Gold Medal at the 2nd Silicon Valley International Invention Festival (SVIIF) in Santa Clara, California, USA.
Their invention, the Wave breaker (Razbijač valova), created by Frane Pokrajčić and his son Tomislav from Zagreb did exceptionally well at the aforementioned events, breaking (quite literally) their competition from all over the world and impressing visitors, entrepreneurs and potential investors along the way. This was especially the case at the last exhibition in Silicon Valley, the epicentre of today’s technological ”brain”. And, as is usually the case, the invention came about by accident.
“Just watching on TV how waves destroy coastlines and cafes by the sea in Split and Dubrovnik, my dad came to the realisation that, based on the current flood defense system, ie, the tube, he could apply an innovation in the defense against waves,” stated Tomislav Pokrajčić, the director of the Croatian company Jel-Tom.
Tomislav’s father is a well-educated engineer in chemistry. Several years ago, back when he was the owner of the company Majo Commerce, he developed a kind of plastic tubing, which when filled with water, protect the coastline and any of the facilities on it against flooding. He developed the tubes alongside Tomislav Petrić from the company Corus. These tubes proved their worth and highlighted their efficiency for the floods that took place in Hrvatska Kostajnica back in March 2018, and then a little later on in Požega.
A wave breaker could of course be just as effective, if not more so, mostly in the Adriatic sea, where certain types of storms can be absolutely devastating to the coastline. In addition, this Croatian invention can easily be used anywhere in ports and marinas around the world.
“As the name implies, it protects the coastline against waves by reducing their impact by 50 percent, collecting any waste and debris, generating kinetic energy under the sea, and protecting the coast from erosion, ie, decay,” explains Frane’s son Tomislav in a small plant in the Samobor industrial zone, in a space rented from Končar. The wave breaker, therefore, has an impressive fourfold effect.
According to Pokrajčić, about 100,000 kuna has been invested into the system’s creation and innovation so far, and as they say, these funds were obtained from European Union sources, and, as awareness of its value grew, the innovation was patented in as many as 159 countries around the world.
The ”wave” of this year’s medals raises hope for this Croatian product’s potential commercial success.
“The awards mean a lot to us, because they confirm that the product is of high quality and is efficient both at a European and at a global level, and can be a proof to investors who will invest in our innovative product,” said Pokrajčić proudly.
He also detailed his observations from the presentation of his creation over in America, noting that people there told him that “it’s unbelievable that a small country like Croatia has a solution to the huge problems and damage that waves cause, and that also produces energy.”
These Croatian innovators are also proud of the letter they received from the President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, after their appearance at SVIIF in California.
“She told us that she wanted our success to be an inspiration to all innovators and strengthen their perseverance in their work,” Tomislav Pokrajčić stated.