IRIM - 5 years of Activity and Projects, and 7 years since founding


Croatian version is here.

In 2021, we are celebrating 5 years of our first big project – the Croatian Makers League. Over the years, we have encountered many challenges, but also an incredible amount of enthusiastic mentors, teachers, children and donors who motivate us every day to be as good as possible in our projects and activities.

We have implemented and are still implementing a number of national and international projects with which we have influenced (and still do) more than 300,000 children who have participated or are participating in our projects.  We have educated more than 5,000 teachers and mentors that are working with children using equipment that we donated.

See below for an overview of our activities over the years.

Start of IRIM activities

IRIM’s journey began more than 7 years ago. Our founders, Nenad and Rujana Bakić, decided to finance projects focused on the development of innovation and youth entrepreneurship by launching Croatian Makers in mid-2014.

For the first two years, the activities were based on donations of various technical equipment such as Arduino accessories, sensors, various robots, flying drones and other equipment to interested schools and NGOs, and in 2016 the first large, organized project called Croatian Makers League was announced.

Croatian Makers league and other robotics competitions

Croatian Makers League is our first systemic project without which other projects would not be possible. When announcing the League in mid-2016, we wanted to equip 30 schools with 200 robots. Due to a great interest, with already the first call for participation, hundreds of schools and NGOs applied.

So we included 220 schools, NGOs and other educational institutions in the middle of the academic year 2015/16 and donated more than 1.000 robots throughout Croatia. In addition to the distribution of equipment, we also organized training for mentors on the use of equipment and participation in the competition, and launched a national robotics competition.

The Croatian Makers League has continued to develop over the years and so far we have:

  • continued to include new institutions in the project involving more than 600 educational institutions in Croatia
  • improve the competition and donated accessories for robots such as color sensors, temperature and humidity measurements and robotic grippers
  • in the school year 2021/22 decided to improve the League, and during 2022 we will donate new micro: Maqueen Plus robots to all institutions that have expressed interest in participating

So far, we have included more than 600 schools, libraries, NGOs and other educational institutions in Croatia in the Croatian Makers League, and over 12.000 students participated in the competition. With our support, versions of the project have been launched in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and soon also in Montenegro.

In order to provide the best in the Croatian Makers League with the experience of participating in advanced robotics competitions, we organized WER and MakeX competitions.

We have enabled the best in these regional robotics competitions to participate in world versions that took place in China: MakeX world competitions in 2019 and 2018, and WER in 2017 and 2018.

STEM car

In 2016, we launched the STEM car project in which we travel around Croatia like “modern bibliobuses” and hold free workshops in STEM.

The aim of this project is to popularize STEM, and the workshops are designed as an introduction to robotics and programming and are intended primarily for primary school age. We are implementing the project in cycles in which we travel to different regions of Croatia.

So far, we have held 15 cycles in this project with more than 500 workshops attended by more than 5.600 children and hundreds of adults.

STEM revolution

Crowdfunding campaign STEM revolution

At the beginning of 2017, the terms STEM revolution and micro: bit were relatively unknown in Croatia. But then we launched a crowdfunding campaign called ‘The STEM revolution’, which in less than three weeks became the most successful crowdfunding campaign in Croatia, with more than 20.000 micro: bit devices distributed to more than 1.000 schools, NGOs, libraries, orphanages and other educational institutions with free education of users.


Continuing the STEM revolution in the next school year 2017/2018. IRIM, in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Education, launched the ProMikro project, through which we distributed 45.000 micro: bits to all 6th grade children in Croatian schools.

Schools got involved voluntarily, and 85% of them decided to join the project. In this way, physical computing was actually introduced in Croatian primary schools. Teaching teachers was a key element of the project. After training a large number of stakeholders in the STEM revolution, within ProMikro we held more than 500 workshops in 3 waves for 2.000 educators and published more than 60 teaching lessons for teaching in 6th and 5th grade teaching. The project is still being implemented and at the beginning of each school year micro:bits are distributed to be used by the new generation of 6th grade students.

The STEM revolution continues: Libraries

Encouraged by the success of our first crowdfunding campaign, we organized a second one in early 2018 called the STEM Revolution Continues: Libraries. With its help, we raised funds and donated micro:bits to over 110 libraries and reading rooms in Croatia, and educated librarians on the use of the device. We donated equipment to libraries in two ways: we packaged some micro:bits into boxes (book size) so that everyone could borrow them, and we donated some to hold free workshops for the public. We have also equipped some libraries with 3D printers to begin their transformation into digital education centers.

STEM revolution: Grades 1- 4

The second project that functions as a continuation of the STEM revolution is the ‘STEM revolution: Grades 1- 4’ that we organized in cooperation with Rotary Club Zagreb Centar and it’s partners from Croatian District 1913 and worldwide and conducted in the school year 2018/19.

Through the project, we equipped 57 schools from Virovitica-Podravina, Osijek-Baranja and Vukovar-Srijem counties with micro:bits for use in Grades 1- 4.

Micro:bits are used in the project within-subject and cross-subject, i.e. without changing the curriculum because they allow the existing content to be performed in a creative way, so it is not necessary to change it. Equipping these schools with micro:bits was conceived as a “pilot” phase of the project, and since the project was successful, we plan to equip the rest of Croatian schools with micro:bits in the classroom.

Digital Citizen and Digital Libraries for Local Development

Through the Digital Citizen project (a project announced at the end of 2018) with a donation from Google, we transformed libraries in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo into digital innovation and education centers. We donated micro:bits and BOSON micro:bit accessories for workshops and lending to all libraries involved in the project, and we also donated 3D printers to the most motivated libraries.

The project was extremely successful (in one year we educated almost 380 librarians who held more than 1.500 free workshops for more than 13.000 citizens, equipment was borrowed more than 20.000 times). A continuation of this project called Digital Citizen 2.0 and was announced in February 2020. The goal was to continue and expand the project with the aim of further developing digital skills in libraries.

The project included 170 libraries in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo. We donated new equipment, 5 micro: Maqueen robots to all included, and 3D printers to 35 libraries. Through the project, we held more than 100 educational workshops in libraries and had several LEND-MAKE-WIN creative competitions, in summer and winter 2020, in which all library users could participate.

Digital libraries for local development, the second major project we implemented with the aim of strengthening libraries in Croatia and Switzerland, started in 2019. The aim of the project was to enable libraries to become centers for the acquisition of STEM knowledge and digital competencies in which citizens become creators of knowledge and sustainable development through the promotion of civic science.

Through the project, we developed and donated to libraries AQ:bit devices for measuring atmospheric variables, manuals on the basics of digital creativity with micro:bit and on “civic science” that we created ourselves. Through the project, we also conducted scientific research based on data collected with AQ: bit devices.

All equipment from these two projects is available in 100 libraries in Croatia and you can borrow and use it. In addition, here you can see a map of all currently active AQ:bit devices and their measurements of air pollution.

Generation NOW, Together we are a stronger project and Advanced IoT technologies in Croatian schools

We started our cooperation with Hrvatski Telekom in 2016 through the project Together We Are Stronger. Through the project, we donated Internet of Things kits to LittleBits and ProBot vehicles in 38 schools that use the Logo programming language.

The aim of the project was to encourage the children to be makers and to show innovation by creating interesting solutions. Through the project we organized and conducted several creative awards for participants.

Following the success of the first project and the creative solutions of participants in project tenders, in the next school year we launched the project Advanced IoT Technology in Croatian schools, which used Arduino IoT tiles.

We included 100 schools and other institutions in the project and organized simultaneous measurement of atmospheric variables of temperature, humidity, pressure, UV index and air pollution (micro-particles), which we presented in real time on an interactive map of Croatia at the end of the 2017/18 school year.

In this project, we encouraged the creativity and innovation of the participants and we organized and conducted several creative competitions on the topics of pets, pets and smart lighting.

From the school year 2018/19 to date, we are implementing Generation NOW projects (formerly Generation NEXT). The projects are supported by the Ministry of Science and Education, and through the project we donate IoT educational equipment and funds for the purchase of additional equipment to institutions, and we organize education and professional mentoring support.

The aim of the project is to connect existing and new knowledge in the field of technology in creating creative IoT projects, developing creativity, innovation and understanding of modern technologies and creating an opportunity for participants (children) to implement the project from concept to finished model and learn from each other.

Junior Engineer Academy

Junior Engineer Academy is a vocational education project developed by the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung (DTS) in Germany. In the 2018/19 school year, Croatia became the first country outside of Germany to implement the project.

Through the project, we transformed 15 high schools into STEM centers of excellence and conducted several award-winning creative challenges for which students created advanced and very interesting devices. In the school year 2021/22 a new cycle of projects and activities is planned for the institutions involved, as well as an open call for new stakeholders.

Make! Educational web portal

Make! Educational web portal contains a multitude of educational content that allows each user, with or without help from teachers or mentors, easy development in STEM areas of robotics, programming or other use of digital technologies.

During the summer of 2020, we also published improved Make! a portal where since then a system of courses has been available to users that guides them through the learning process and makes it fun, and at the end they also receive certificates with learning outcomes and acquired knowledge.

Citizen Science: Measuring and Observing Seas

This project is the latest in a series of IRIM projects. In the project, children, using underwater robots with the ability to dive, HD record and a robotic arm, explore their underwater environment and make observations and record changes over time.

The main activity will be constant (periodic) measurement of temperature along water columns at several locations in the Adriatic, documenting situations in places of special interest such as important habitats, the presence of endangered and invasive species, accumulation of marine litter and the like.

We announced the project in October 2021, selected the participating institutions at the end of October, distributed equipment and educated mentors on use in mid-November.

Participants (mentors with children) are currently making their first dives, and an interactive map is being prepared through which all those interested will be able to follow dive measurements and photos of the seabed.

Other activities and projects 

Thanks to partners and donors 

We would not have realized even a fraction of our activities and projects without the fantastic support of our participants, partners and associates, as well as the great support of donors. We are very proud of all donations (from small and large companies and foundations to those of private individuals) regardless of their size they motivate us to be even better and more successful.

We truly thank you all for believing in us and in our work 🙂

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