CUC 2004 / New Frontiers / New Techhnologies for New Needs
CARNet logo
Key Factors for a Successful E-project Application / I5
Authors: Blaženka Divjak, Renata Horvatek, Sandra Kukec, Faculty of Organisation and Informatics, Varaždin, Croatia


The concepts of life long learning, distance education, e-learning and blended learning are discussed not only in higher education institutions, but also in the industry, employment agencies, public companies and government. Education has lately been recognized as one of the key factors for success. This is one of the reasons why CARNet has started the project "Reference Centre for e-education", which focuses on all aspects of e-learning.

The Faculty of Organization and Informatics and CARNet are co-founders of the "Reference Centre for E-project Application" that offers a variety of information, mostly on EU financial schemes that are supporting scientific projects, R&D projects, networking and regional projects. The main project focus is on the following programs: TEMPUS, FP6, EUREKA, COST, etc. In order to achieve the goal of transforming our society into the knowledge based society, it is necessary for Croatian academic and industrial society to actively take part in the EU projects. The joint work of scientists, academics and entrepreneurs all across Europe will result in the creation of a strong and enlarged European High Education Area (EHEA) and European Research Area (ERA).

Our main goal in this paper is to highlight the key factors for a successful E-project application. This "E" stands for European, e-learning and education.

There is insufficient information about European programs and funds, as well as inadequately organized dissemination of information about running and finished European projects. The first key factor for a successful application is:

  • Suitable information about European programs and funds

The project idea is usually the first thing that we have. It is then necessary to find the program most suitable for its optimal realization. For which project type to apply, depends primarily on the outcome of the project. The main outcome can be a scientific result; product, service or process for the market; contribution to the reform etc. According to the set outcomes, the project application can be sent to the programs COST or FP6; Eureka; Tempus or some regional program. The following key factors are vital for a successful application:

  • Original and feasible project idea
  • The project idea that fits into the selected program

During this first phase of project preparation process the consortium members should be defined. Regardless of the project goal, two main aspects should be fulfilled: R&D recourses and management abilities. Commitment of the project partners must be shown from the beginning, because it will be of crucial importance when responsibilities for the work packages are negotiated.

Having this in mind, the next key factors are being introduced:

  • Well-balanced and dedicated project consortium
  • Both sides of project application are addressed: R&D recourses and management abilities

Considering the situation in Croatia, there is considerable R&D potential but, this potential is not organized in an optimal manner and it is also underestimated in some aspects. On the other hand, after quantitative and qualitative (Eurolearn survey on e-learning) analysis it can be shown that the level of the managerial skills must be raised.

It is necessary to have an insightful and original idea which gives an added value to the European Higher Education Area or European Research Area, but this will not guarantee the successful project application. The other basic Key Factor in the project application process is the technical side of the application.

Some of the network scheduling techniques that are most often used are Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) and Critical Path Method (CPM). Furthermore, detailed and objective needs analysis has to be presented based on the actual situation in the specific area of project application.
We emphasize the following key factor:

  • Use of appropriate planning techniques to cope with complexities

Additionally, one of the most important lessons our group learnt during our participation in international programs is that it is necessary to select one or two persons in the organization to search for opportunities, to participate in seminars, meetings, etc. At first it is good to participate in project consortia as a partner to gain experience and knowledge. After this first stage it is necessary to define the areas of participation in future projects and as most rewarding phase to apply for your own projects.

Due to above we identify two practical factors for successful project application:

  • Search actively for opportunities
  • Define your own niche

Last, but definitely one of the most important project elements is the impact that this project will have on the general level and the added value it will bring to ERA and EHEA.


Prof. dr. sc. Blaženka Divjak

Blaženka Divjak is an associate professor at the Faculty of Organization and Informatics, University of Zagreb. In 1989 she graduated mathematics and physics at the Faculty of science in Zagreb. She gained her master degree in 1993 and her doctor degree in 1998 at the same faculty. She was vice-dean for science and international cooperation from 1999 until 2003. Furthermore, she is Croatian High Level Group Representative for Eureka network and a European Commission expert for Tempus projects. She is the author of 14 original scientific papers, more than 20 professional papers and several books. In addition, she participated with a presentation at more than 30 national and international conferences, organized several workshops in the field of popularisation of science and project application. She is the coordinator of several national and international projects (ALIS, Tempus, Eureka). In cooperation with CARNet she coordinates the "Reference Centre for e-project application".

Renata Horvatek, prof.
Renata Horvatek was born in 1978 in Varaždin. She graduated at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb at the Departments of Philosophy and Comparative literature in 2002. She is currently attending postgraduate study "Cultural Studies» at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb. She works at the Faculty of Organization and Informatics, University of Zagreb in Varaždin as administrator in the Office for International Cooperation and Projects and in the library. Her research interests are in the fields of microhistory, history of everyday life, theory of popular culture, post-structuralism. She speaks English and French fluently, and Italian and German.

Sandra Katarina Kukec, dipl. oec.

Sandra Katarina Kukec was born in 1978 in Toronto, Canada. She graduated at the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb in 2002. The same year she enrolled in the postgraduate study of Banking and Finance at the same University. She is an assistant at the Department of Economy and in the Office for International Cooperation and Projects at the Faculty of Organization and Informatics, University of Zagreb. She participated in several international (ALIS, Tempus, Eureka) and national (CARNet "Reference Centre for e-project application") projects. She has an excellent knowledge of English and German, and good knowledge of Italian and French.

Copyright © 1991- 2004. CARNet. All rights reserved. / Mail to / Legal notes / Impressum