Due to COVID-19, the European Parliament agreed for the programme extension of 2020 cultural capitals – Rijeka and Galway – to April 2021. In these last months, what are the final activities of Rijeka 2020? What are their main priorities, especially concerning SME support?

The following activities are about to happen until 31/03/2021:

  • Opening of the Children's House and public areas in art quarter Benčić*.
  • Exhibition in City Museum of Rijeka: Unknown KLIMT.
  • Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art: Exhibition 90s, in cooperation with the Institute for Contemporary Art Zagreb. 
  • Completion of Lungomare art project (Baška, Volosko, Kostrena – Municipalities in Primorsko-goranska County involved in the project) at all locations with installation of signalisation. 
  • Murals on silos on Rijeka Railway station, within ECoC flagship ‘Sweet and Salt’
  • Remaining 2 neighborhoods (Vrbnik, Mrkopalj – Municipalities Primorsko-goranska County involved in the project) in the programme of 27 Neighborhoods, and storage of the time capsule as part of the final event.
  • Rijeka City Puppet Theatre: a premiere of theatre play "Dobar tek" (translation: bon appétit), in cooperation with the Slovenian author team.
  • Croatian National Theatre ‘Ivan pl. Zajc’, Rijeka: opening of the theater gallery "Zajc" (theater museum exhibition and opening); "Opera by Kamov" by Zoran Juranić; “Julius Caesar in Egypt” performances with Diana Haller; “Janez Janša” project with Dragan Zivadinov; “Alfa Romeo Jankovits” – the great premiere of Italian drama. 
  • Rijeka ECoC Closing event: several scenarios are being developed, given the possible epidemiological circumstances.
  • Possibility of more events on the way.

*Art quarter Benčić/Benčić complex is consisted of 4 main facilities/institutions: City Museum of Rijeka, Children's House, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and Rijeka City Library (still under the construction). More info: The conversion and revitalisation of the former complex Rikard Benčić 

Outside the official ECoC programme, a particular project started which are in relation to SMEs and CCI support ’Business incubator for creative technologies and IT industry Energana’. Through Energana, about 2 700 m2 of useful space of the former energy plant within the ex-paper factory complex will be renovated and offered to SMEs, together with educational programmes, mentoring, networking, internationalisation and organisation of events. Entrepreneurial support will primarily be aimed at the development of IT solutions for IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), multimedia, game development, photography and video production. Energana will be positioned as an innovation hub – a center for the development and demonstration of products/services based on IT and creative technologies. The project is in early stage of implementation and will end in July 2023. Total project value is € 5 million.

‘Production park Torpedo’ is another project reinforcing the start-up ecosystem. PP Torpedo is a business incubator that will improve the competitiveness of local, regional and national SMEs, providing high-quality services for its users, based on 3D and additive technologies. The project is expected to enhance both the quality and quantity of new established companies and startups in Rijeka , using 3D and additive technologies, as well as boosting Rijeka business scene with expected international cooperation and expertise, involved within production park operational and regular activities. The total value of the project is € 3,07 million, and the complex was officially opened last December.

Production Park Torpedo. Photo credit: Grad Rijeka.

The City of Rijeka is in the process of completing city development plan for the next period (2021-2027), within 2 strategic objectives are dealing directly with CCI.

In this very moment, the Development Plan of the city of Rijeka (2021-2027) is in the phase of public consultations, awaiting the contribution from Rijeka citizens. A second strategic goal ‘To work in Rijeka’ is addressing innovative and knowledge-based industries, creative industries and sustainable tourism. In addition, the first strategic goal ‘To live in Rijeka’ is containing actions based on positive ECoC legacy under the topic ‘The capital of culture after 2020’. It can be assumed that Rijeka is planning its growth and urban development with CCI as one of the most important building blocks. In terms of economic development Rijeka is certainly focused on creative technologies, innovations, advanced technologies, and these with high-added value.

Photo credit: Grad Rijeka