Osijek company Orqa starts developing chip design ecosystem in Croatia
February 4, 2022 – Osijek-based company Orqa has started developing nothing less than a chip design ecosystem here in Croatia. Namely, Orqa, FERIT from Osijek and FER from Zagreb have signed a cooperation agreement within the framework of the project to design a specialized chip for unmanned systems.
The design of complex chips like this did not exist in the Republic of Croatia until now, and it is on the basis of an initiative by which the fast-growing company from Osijek, Orqa doo, seeks more to advance first-person (FPV) and remote reality. (RR).
The objective of the MoU signed by Orqa, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology in Osijek and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Zagreb, is the joint work of experts, engineers and academics on the research and development of technologies of strategic importance for digital and a more resilient European Union (EU).
Thus, for the implementation of this initiative, the signatories of the agreement will also promote a key strategic instrument for the implementation of the EU’s industrial strategy – Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI).
“We intend to design a chip that specializes in unmanned systems such as drones, vehicles or ships, with the ability to upgrade to autonomous functionality. This extremely complex project is the first such project in all of Croatia, we are among the first in the world, and currently there are not enough engineering capabilities for such a design.
Although such kind of personnel are currently lacking here in Croatia, through this project we are trying to build capacity and train engineers in order to start developing the chip design ecosystem in Croatia in line with global trends. The cooperation with the faculties as generators of personnel plays a key role in this respect. Through this project, we intend to achieve a symbiosis between commercial needs on the one hand, and academic knowledge and research on the other. In addition to the aforementioned faculties, the support of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds is extremely important for us to pave the way for the further development of this attractive industry,” said Srdjan Kovacevic, co-owner and CEO of the company Osijek Orqa.
As a world leader in the development of video glasses for drone pilots and as a leading regional company in the drone industry, Orqa is rightly considered a leader in modern Croatian technology and innovation. . This is not at all a surprise considering the research, development and prototyping of devices in the field of First Person View (FPV) technology, Remote Reality (RR), transmission of video signals and radio communication, and the production of electronic components and devices in which the company engages – the most famous of which are video glasses for FPV drone pilots. The collaboration with STEM studios is a great opportunity both for young engineering hopefuls and for the whole technology sector. The signed agreement is unique in the territory of the Republic of Croatia and with it the city of Osijek and the county of Osijek-Baranja will be more strongly positioned in the demanding IT world.
“This agreement will further strengthen the cooperation between the two leading Croatian faculties in the field of chip design, to which the Osijek company Orqa adds additional value. Here in Croatia, the development of the semiconductor industry is lagging behind other branches of electrical engineering, and the planned scientific research activities in cooperation with the economy will be an important step towards the development of microelectronics in this country.The implementation of scientific research will ensure the transfer of the latest knowledge in economics, but also in study programs, which will provide national students with additional skills needed for the labor market in this field,” said Tomislav Matic, the Dean of FERIT.
In addition to FERIT, the great potential of the Osijek company Orqa has also been recognized by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Zagreb, which has long positioned itself as one of the leading Croatian educational institutions in the STEM field.
“FER is committed to an economy based on knowledge, innovation and openness to global talent. The strength of any economy lies in the high-tech sector whose progress and competitiveness are impossible without knowledge and scientific research where the academic community plays an extremely important role This agreement has laid the foundation for the further development of Croatian skills in the field of chip design and verification.The agreement is also essential for connecting the Croatian academic community and the Croatian economy with major European players in the semiconductor industry and ultimately create a consortium to apply under the Important Common European Interest (VPZEI) mechanism,” said Gordan Gledec, Dean of the FER.
For more information, see Made in Croatia.