Ernest Vlacic, Ph.D., MBA, is currently a university and college professor. After 15 years of corporate management and leadership experience, mostly with DANIELI S.p.A., he has founded the Research, Technological Development and Innovation (RTDI) organization NOVAMINA CIT which deals with conceptualization, development, and commercialization of technology-based products and services. He also acts as a president of the Thematic Innovation Council in Energy and Sustainable Environment. Vlacic is a member of the National Croatian Innovation Council in the Republic of Croatia. His research and teaching work is focused on the areas of Strategy and Innovation Management, as well as national innovation industrial policies.
His career began as a development engineer and corporate manager (DANIELI S.p.A.). In 1997, Ernest founded his first start-up SYSTEC DANIELI, nowadays a high-tech company with approx. 300 employees. He continued his career at the Naval Institute of Croatia as Change Manager on the World Bank project.
As a co-founder and co-director in 2008, he launched the R&D organization NOVAMINA Center for Innovative Technologies, cooperating with more than 300 EU partners as academic and non-academic organizations aiming to design and develop close to market technological innovation projects. The organization has so far successfully participated in 35 R&D projects (with a budget of more than 30MEUR) on highly competitive funding instruments such as EU FP7, Horizon 2020.
Through his scientific work, Dr. Vlacic focused on the areas of innovation, innovation policies, and strategic management, which he also delivers as a professor at higher education institutions. He continuously mentors and guides student projects of social and technological innovation through the triple-helix principle.
The scientific work of Dr. Vlacic is focused on the analysis and quest for solutions in technological innovation of enterprises, with particular emphasis on the transfer of knowledge from the academy to the economy, as well as the institutional conceptualization, i.e., strengthening of national innovation systems.