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CARNET operation is realized through a series of interconnected services and projects united into nine sectors:

  • Business Support Sector
  • Network Infrastructure Sector
  • Computer Infrastructure and Services Sector
  • National CERT Sector
  • National Services and Support Sector
  • Education Support Sector
  • Artificial Intelligence Sector
  • National Coordination Center for Industry, Technology, and Research in Cybersecurity Sector
  • The Office of the CEO 

CARNET bodies are the Managing Council, the CEO and the Council of Users.

Managing Council represents the interests of CARNET founders, the Croatian Government. The Managing Council members are appointed by the Minister of Science and Education.

Since July 14th , 2023 the members of the Managing Council are:

  • prof. dr. sc. Drago Žagar, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology, Osijek
  • prof. dr. sc. Marin Golub, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing
  • Božo Pavičin, Ministry of Science and Education
  • Katarina Matasić, Ministry of Science and Education
  • Ivica Markulin, Croatian Academic and Research Network – CARNET, representative of employees.

President of the Managing Council is prof. dr. sc. Drago Žagar, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology, Osijek.

CARNET Executive Committee coordinates short- and long-term planning, and makes decisions on business organisation and is responsible for the relations with the government bodies, users, partners and the public and its members are:

  • CEO Hrvoje Puljiz
  • Vice CEO Ivan Šabić

Deputy CEO: Gabrijela Bagarić, Andreja Bekavac, Juraj Bilić, Nataša Glavor, Tomislav Gotovac, Mirna Ljubić Tustonjić, Vlatka Marčan, Tihomir Markulin, Aleksandra Mudrinić Ribić, Darko Parić, Goran Škvarč. 

CEO coordinates activities at the level of the entire institution and outside it and represents CARNET in public.

Minister of Science and Education Prof. Radovan Fuchs, Ph.D. appointed Hrvoje Puljiz, as the CEO of CARNET for a period of four years. 

The Users Board includes all CARNET coordinators of CARNET member institutions, which represent users from the academic community, heads of county expert councils of Computer Science teachers, as well as representatives of educational institutions and the CEO of CARNET.

CEO Office

The Office of the CEO is a specialized sector of CARNET that manages, coordinates, and organizes the operations of the institution. The office is managed by the CEO and Vice CEO of CARNET, while the CEO assistants coordinate and organize the operations of other sectors and key segments of the institution. The CEO oversees activities at the institution and beyond, representing CARNET in public.

The Office of the CEO oversees the legality and timeliness of tasks, takes measures to ensure efficiency, allocates tasks, ensures proper use of property and resources, and takes measures to determine responsibility for violations of official duties as defined by law.

Within the Office of the CEO, there are four assistant directors:

  1. Deputy CEO for Information Security
  2. Deputy CEO for Quality Control and Business Processes
  3. Deputy CEO for International Cooperation
  4. Deputy CEO for Internal Audit

The office also includes a department and two independent divisions:

  1. Department for European Union Projects
  2. Independent Division for Communications
  3. Independent Division for Human Resources

The Office of the CEO coordinates various activities, including:

  • information security coordination
  • public administration tasks coordination
  • quality control and business process coordination
  • international cooperation
  • internal audit
  • management and coordination of EU-funded projects
  • public relations
  • annual user conference
  • marketing activities and support for events
  • human resource management and related tasks
  • special information services and activities related to specific programs

Information security coordination involves monitoring and managing the information security program at CARNET, overseeing the implementation and effectiveness of prescribed measures and standards, and providing coordination, education, and advice on information security areas.

Quality control and business process coordination encompass managing systems, participating in the development of standards, plans, and technological solutions for systems, and continuously improving the institution’s systems.

Public administration coordination tasks involve strategic planning, advocacy, and active participation in projects that enhance technology integration to improve education, research, and innovation within the country.

The Office of the CEO also coordinates international cooperation and participates in various international activities, including monitoring the activities of other academic networks in Europe, participating in the work of international organizations, and encouraging the involvement of the Croatian academic community in international research and IT projects.

Internal audit and control assess the adequacy, efficiency, and effectiveness of internal control systems, ensuring the necessary level of security to enable risk management, control, and business management processes.

Management and coordination of EU-funded projects involve participating in international partnerships and projects, building human and administrative capacities for participation in structural and other programs after Croatia’s entry into the EU, and co-financing existing and new CARNET services from EU funds.

Public relations at CARNET involve developing and implementing communication strategies, projects, and activities to raise awareness about the institution’s work and ensure information availability following the Law on the Right to Access Information.

Marketing activities and event support include designing and producing various materials and promoting the institution and its services.

CARNET’s annual Users Conference (CUC) is the largest educational conference in Croatia, organizing conferences for users from primary and secondary schools as well as participants from the academic community. These conferences serve as central hubs for knowledge and experience exchange in using digital technology in education.

Human resource management and personnel tasks at CARNET involve a series of interconnected activities and tasks aimed at ensuring an adequate number and structure of employees, their knowledge, skills, interests, motivation, and behaviour needed to achieve current, developmental, and strategic goals through the development of each employee’s capabilities.

Network Infrastructure Sector

Activities of the Network Infrastructure Sector are related to the construction and maintenance of the CARNET network infrastructure, as well as research and implementation of new network technologies.

The Network Infrastructure Sector is organized into three services:

  1. Network Services
  2. Access Network Infrastructure
  3. Network Maintenance

The Network Services department is responsible for the development, maintenance, and security of the backbone of the CARNET network, data centres, and the associated monitoring and management system. The department’s tasks include establishing and maintaining network services in the network backbone, connecting the CARNET network to external networks (internet, GÉANT, CIX), and developing and adapting open-source tools for network monitoring and management.

The Access Network Infrastructure department is responsible for planning and technically implementing connections to CARNET institution locations, as well as handling the financial and legal aspects of sector operations. The department’s activities involve close collaboration with external telecommunications service providers, exploring possibilities for connecting member institution locations and ministry institutions to the CARNET network, preparing and implementing contracts related to the Network Infrastructure Sector, allocating public IP address space, and implementing and maintaining active network equipment for connecting institutions.

The Network Maintenance department is responsible for monitoring the operation of the CARNET network and network services, providing support to users of the CARNET network. The department’s tasks include monitoring and maintaining the access part of the CARNET network (equipment upgrades), overall monitoring of all production devices, services, and connections in the CARNET network, and escalating issues related to the connectivity of member institutions and other ministry institutions to the telecommunications service provider.

Computing Infrastructure and Service Sector

The Computer Infrastructure and Services Sector performs tasks related to the development and maintenance of central computer and data infrastructure, support for multimedia and video conferencing services, and the provision of system support to member institutions, as well as the development of services.

The tasks carried out within the Sector for Computer Infrastructure and Services include:

  1. Managing a range of administrative and technical services provided by CARNET to its member institutions.
  2. Providing system maintenance services for CARNET’s public services such as NISpVU (National Information System for Higher Education Enrollment), NISpuSŠ (National Information System for Secondary School Enrollment), IFIS (Integrated Financial Information System), e-Class Register (electronic grade book), CARNET id (Hosting services for secondary and primary schools), and a content filtering system for elementary and high school students, along with other internal computer systems used by CARNET in its operations.
  3. Providing video conferencing and multimedia services.
  4. Designing, developing, and maintaining application solutions that are a significant component of numerous CARNET services. This involves reviewing and supporting other departments in the process of designing, developing, and maintaining services within their domain.

The Computer Infrastructure and Services Sector is organized into three departments:

  1. Infrastructure Department
  2. Service Development Department
  3. Infrastructure Projects and Multimedia Department

The Infrastructure Department provides maintenance and improvement services for the system infrastructure of CARNET’s public services, including e-Diary, CARNET id, NISpVU, NISpuSŠ, content filtering system, IFIS, and internal computer systems used by CARNET.

The Service Development Department is involved in designing, developing, and maintaining application solutions that are significant components of various CARNET services, such as e-Diary, e-Citizens mToken, Public Servant, content management for school websites, development of an application for managing the .hr domain registry, applications for internal operations, etc.

The Infrastructure Projects and Multimedia Department defines and ensures the quality standardization of CARNET’s key services at the technical level, allocates resources needed for their realization, provides guidelines for integration with other systems and services, standardizes and monitors service security, and establishes control over their operation. This department is also responsible for multimedia activities, including services related to establishing and maintaining video conferences, webinars, and other multimedia collaboration services over the network.

Education Support Sector

Empowering and supporting the education community for the integration and application of digital technologies in business and educational processes.

The Education Support Sector, through systematic education, the development of digital educational content, educational services, and innovative approaches, empowers the educational and academic community for the purposeful and effective use of digital technologies in the processes of learning and teaching. The sector’s activities are focused on empowering the education community with the aim of its digital maturity through continuous support, networking, and education on the implementation of technology and online content in the learning and teaching process, as well as through continuous research and implementation of educational technologies suitable for the Croatian educational context.

The Education Support Sector is organized into two Services and four Departments:

  1. Service for Research and Development of Emerging Digital Educational Technologies

    • Department for Research on Digital Technologies in Education
    • Department for the Development of E-learning Concepts
  2. Service for the Development and Implementation of E-Education

    • Department for the Integration of Innovations
    • Department for the Development and Support of Educational Technologies

The activities of the Service for Research and Development of Emerging Digital Educational Technologies are focused on researching, developing, and implementing innovative digital educational content. Through the development of various types of educational interactive and multimedia content, users are provided with access to quality-reviewed content that effectively supports the learning process. The service aims to offer users quality and innovative digital educational content, developed towards supporting personalized learning, monitoring user achievements, and adapting content to individual user needs.

The Department for Research on Digital Technologies in Education explores the application of digital technologies in education by monitoring development trends and investigating the needs of CARNET users and stakeholders. Based on the conclusions, recommendations, and guidelines derived from research results, the department provides support in directing CARNET projects and services, raising awareness of global trends in the application of technology in education.

The Department for the Development of E-learning Concepts studies the development and application of e-learning technologies in education, with a focus on artificial intelligence tools applied or applicable to learning and teaching. The department aims to adapt learning content, methods, and activities to individual student needs and capabilities, thereby improving the learning process, primarily through adaptive learning. The department includes sections for learning analytics and the analysis of e-learning concepts.

The activities of the Service for the Development and Implementation of E-Education are directed towards developing digital competencies in the educational, academic, and broader community. Through the development of various types of self-learning educational content and the implementation of various forms of educational activities, such as workshops, webinars, virtual workshops, e-courses, etc., users acquire competencies and empower themselves for the effective application of digital technologies in business and educational processes. The service also focuses on disseminating knowledge in the field of e-learning, CARNET’s content and services, and exchanging information and experiences with users.

The Department for the Integration of Innovations is responsible for aligning new ideas, technologies, and processes with existing business and educational models and structures. The department facilitates access to advanced technology and supports innovations within the education system to stimulate competitiveness and improve educational processes.

The Department for the Development and Support of Educational Technologies promotes innovative approaches to learning and teaching with the application of digital technology in the Croatian education and academic community. Its purpose is to provide support and resources that enable the progress of education through the effective integration of technology. Activities include monitoring the latest technological trends in educational technologies, developing and implementing applications and platforms supporting learning, teaching, accessibility of educational content, and teacher professional development.

In addition, the Education Support Sector, through participation in EU-funded projects, aims to contribute to the exchange of experience and dissemination of knowledge in the field of applying digital technologies in education and teaching in online and blended environments.

National Services and Support Sector

The National Services and Support Sector provides information about CARNET services, methods, and terms of use, as well as assistance in case of difficulties. Within the sector, all tasks related to key information systems in primary and secondary education are coordinated. The sector also manages the .hr domain registry.

The National Services and Support Sector are organized into two services and four departments:

  1. Service for National Services

    • Support Centers
    • Department for the State Information System of Education (DISOO)
    • Department for the Improvement of Educational Processes
    • .hr Domain Registry
  2. User Support Service

    • Helpdesk
    • Member Relations Department
    • Support Centers Department

The Support Centers Department coordinates tasks related to the National Information System for primary school enrollment, the National Information System for adult education, e-Matica, Enrollment in kindergartens, CARNET sigma, Information System for applications and enrollment in student dormitories, Application for selecting textbooks, National Information System for applications and enrollment in high schools (NISpuSŠ), Education Portal, e-Class Register, CARNET mToken, e-Citizens mToken, MDM:

  • Planning upgrades and issuing specifications
  • Monitoring contract implementation with suppliers
  • Quality control and testing of deliveries
  • System development and onboarding of new users
  • User system education
  • Coordination of external and internal stakeholders involved in system upgrades and providing second-level support.

The Department for the Improvement of Educational Processes:

The Data Management Department defines procedures, procedures, and standards for managing data in information computer systems and services under its care. It manages CARNET’s analytical ecosystem, which includes a high-availability system for storing and analyzing structured and unstructured data, an information system for learning analytics and educational data mining, and the CARNET data user application.

The .hr Domain Registry Department:

  • Manages the .hr domain registry and registers free .hr and domains
  • Coordinates activities with the .hr Domain Management Commission
  • Collaborates with registrars of paid .hr domains
  • Coordinates arbitration proceedings
  • Collaborates with state administration bodies, local government units, and other entities
  • Provides support to users in registering domains, additional requests, and arbitration proceedings
  • Proposes improvements to .hr domain registry management
  • Participates in the work of the European association of national top-level domain registries called CENTR (Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries) and the international organization ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

The User Support Service assists in using CARNET services and applications in the education system for the best possible user experience. The service includes a Helpdesk with a contact center, regionally distributed Mobile Teams providing on-site support to institutions, and the Member Institutions Department. The service offers information on CARNET services and projects, as well as instructions for use, technical support, and assistance with difficulties. Support is provided via email, phone, the CARNET Info user portal, and regular mail.

Activities of the User Support Service include:

  • Supporting users in using CARNET services
  • Providing support for key information systems in the education system (NISpuSŠ, e-Matica, and e-Diary)
  • Testing supported applications and proposing upgrades
  • Creating user guides
  • Managing user relations
  • Informing users through distribution mailing lists and Viber communities
  • Conducting user satisfaction surveys
  • Supporting the work of the CARNET User Council
  • Managing legal relationships with member institutions
  • Maintaining a database of member institutions
  • Managing the RA office for issuing digital signature certificates
  • Addressing specific requests from member institutions.

National CERT Sector

The National CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) is established following the Law on Information Security of the Republic of Croatia. According to this law, CERT is the national body for the prevention and protection against cyber threats to public information systems in the Republic of Croatia. One of its main tasks is to coordinate actions in the event of cyber incidents on public information systems in Croatia or other countries and organizations when they are related to the IP address or domain space of the Republic of Croatia.

The operation and organization of the National CERT are determined and regulated by the Law on Information Security (Official Gazette 79/2007) and the Law on Cybersecurity of Operators of Essential Services and Digital Service Providers (Official Gazette 64/2018), which transposes Directive 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 on measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the Union (NIS Directive). The National CERT’s activities are also guided by the National Cybersecurity Strategy and its action plan.

According to the National CERT’s Work Regulations, NCERT deals with an incident if one of the parties involved is in Croatia (i.e. if it is in the .hr domain or the Croatian IP address space) or if the incident is from the sector for which NCERT is responsible under the Law on Cybersecurity of Operators of Essential Services and Digital Service Providers.

The users of the National CERT include:

  1. According to the Law on Cybersecurity:

    • Providers of essential services in the sectors of banking, financial market infrastructure, digital infrastructure, and part of business services for government bodies.
    • Providers of digital services.
  2. According to the Law on Information Security:

    • Providers of hosting services and internet access services (ISP).
    • All users of public information systems and internet users in the Republic of Croatia, including users of CARNET.

The National CERT is organized into two services: the Cyber Incident Processing and Security Management Service and the Service for the Development and Security of Services and Infrastructure. Within these two services, departments are structured as follows:

  1. Cyber Incident Processing and Security Management Service:

    • Department for Cyber Incident Management
    • Department for Cybersecurity Management
  2. Service for the Development and Security of Services and Infrastructure:

    • Department for Service and Infrastructure Security
    • Department for the Development and Maintenance of Services
    • Department for the Development and Maintenance of Other Services and Applications

The Cyber Incident Processing and Security Management Service is responsible for handling and resolving cyber incidents, processing aggregate data, preparing reports, and raising awareness about cybersecurity. The service manages a system for collecting, analyzing, and correlating log records, enhancing the visibility of anomalies in the CARNET organization’s network traffic. It is also involved in awareness-raising and education activities, participating in cybersecurity-related bodies at national, European, and international levels, proposing and participating in defining national legislative regulations, and preparing internal regulations.

The Service for the Development and Security of Services and Infrastructure works to ensure that security is implemented “by design” in services developed in or for CARNET. It conducts in-depth security checks (penetration testing) of CARNET services before they go into production and periodically thereafter based on service criticality. The service issues electronic server certificates and conducts vulnerability checks of networks and devices connected to the Internet in CARNET member institutions. A significant part of the service’s activities is focused on further developing and adapting the national PiXi platform for reporting incidents, with significant impact under the Law on Cybersecurity of Operators of Essential Services and Digital Service Providers.

As part of its operations, the National CERT implements proactive and reactive measures. Proactive measures are taken before incidents and other events that may compromise the security of public information systems, to prevent or mitigate potential damages. Reactive measures are taken in response to incidents in Croatia and other events that may compromise the computer security of public information systems in Croatia.

Proactive measures implemented by the National CERT include:

  • Monitoring the state of computer security and publishing news related to Internet security
  • Publishing computer security recommendations for discovered vulnerabilities
  • Issuing security recommendations for popular operating systems
  • Publishing technical documents and brochures related to Internet security
  • Conducting vulnerability assessments of public information systems and information systems of CARNET member institutions
  • Conducting security testing of services developed in or for CARNET
  • Publishing information on the analysis and recommendations of security tools
  • Educating targeted groups on Internet security
  • Collecting and analyzing data related to the security of CARNET services
  • Participating in the implementation of security solutions to protect and prevent CARNET services
  • Informing the public through the portal to combat bots
  • Participating in television and radio programs on the topic of computer security
  • Participating in lectures at conferences and workshops
  • Participating in cybersecurity exercises.

Reactive measures implemented by the National CERT include:

  • Collecting and analyzing data on significant incidents in Croatia that have occurred on public information systems (National CERT uses its developed tools and software – SRU@HR)
  • Collecting data on compromised computers and their activities from sources on the internet and analyzing them
  • Creating reports on statistics and the state of cybersecurity in Croatia
  • Mediating and coordinating the resolution of significant incidents in Croatia
  • Operating the CARNET network’s Abuse service.

The National CERT collaborates with other sectors in designing security protections for critical and other CARNET services, as well as establishing a central system for collecting security data and monitoring security events.

Planned advancements include:

  • Further development of the National Platform for the exchange of information on incidents and threats in the field of cybersecurity (PiXi) and its adaptation to the requirements of new regulations – the new Law on Cybersecurity and the DORA Regulation, which further regulates the financial sector
  • Awareness-raising campaigns on cybersecurity
  • Strengthening cross-sector collaboration between national regulatory bodies and bodies responsible for information security
  • Planning projects in the 2023-2024 program period through the DIGITAL Europe – Cybersecurity Work Programme 2023-2024
  • Participation in national and European partner projects in the field of cybersecurity
  • Participation in cybersecurity exercises
  • Further strengthening the resilience to cyber threats of the CARNET organization, users of CARNET services, and institutions connected to the CARNET network.

Business Support Sector

Business Support Sector includes the joint services required for the work of all CARNET departments.

Within this sector, the following services are conducted:

  • Legal Services
  • Procurement Activities
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Car Fleet Services
  • Warehousing Services
  • Internal Technical and System Support.

Legal Services include the work of drafting and controlling the legal foundation of contracts and procedures, monitoring of regulations, providing expert assistance in the interpretation of regulations, preparation and drafting of general acts, registration and entry in court and other registers. 

Procurement activities include participation in public procurement and simple procurement procedures and drafting of public procurement contracts (goods, services and works) on the conducted procedure and performing other jobs from its scope of work (procurement planning and monitoring of implementation). 

Finance and Accounting related activities are related to budget planning and execution, budget execution control, half-year and annual budget execution reports, management of accounting records, financial statements and consolidated financial statements in accordance with financial accounting regulations, bookkeeping records, petty cash affairs, as well as calculation and payment of salaries, other income, royalties, and other work from their scope of work.

Car Fleet Services include registration and verification of vehicle documentation, vehicle tracking by application, technical validation and vehicle servicing, and other tasks within its scope of work.

Warehousing Services include the organisation of equipment reception, warehousing, storage and provision of equipment to users, with the provision of all accompanying documentation, monitoring the application of the regulations on storage operations and other regulations related to the storage, updating and maintenance in the matrix system, responsibility locations, defining groups and types of materials in the system, preparing and controlling the reverse, organizing qualitative and quantitative takeover of the equipment in accordance with the contracts, carrying out preparation for equipment list and performing other tasks within its scope of work.

Internal technical and system support takes care of personal computers, operating systems, and additional equipment for the user’s work, organizes software product installation on computers, records distribution and use of computer equipment and licensed software, and performs administrative and technical maintenance tasks of existing technical resources required for work employees, provides support to information system users within CARNET, proposes and sets criteria for the procurement, distribution and use of computer and software equipment and performs other activities within its scope of work.

Artificial Intelligence Sector

The Artificial Intelligence Sector at CARNET was established to provide support to enhance the competitiveness, quality, and relevance of the education system in Croatia in the digital age. The purpose of the Sector is to support research, development, application, and integration of AI solutions and new technologies that can improve the digital competencies of users and education system personnel. It aims to contribute to the development of educational infrastructure and related resources to more effectively address the challenges of current and future technological changes. This, in turn, provides decision-makers with timely and relevant information that can be used to monitor trends across the entire education vertical.

The establishment, development, and active presence of the Sector within its assigned responsibilities aim to position CARNET as an indispensable institutional player in Croatia’s initiatives in the field of innovation in digital technologies. This is accompanied by activities to strengthen its resources, network, and collaborate with relevant public and private stakeholders. By focusing on project funding sources that align with CARNET’s development plans in the areas of AI research and integration, it will subsequently support the continuous and adequate implementation of AI in the education system in Croatia.

The Artificial Intelligence Sector is organized into two Services and four Departments:

Development and Research Service

  • AI Research and Development Department
  • Research and Development of New Technologies Department

Application and Technology Integration Service

  • Application and Development of AI Department
  • Application of New Technologies Department

National Coordination Center for Industry, Technology, and Research in the field of cybersecurity

The Government of the Republic of Croatia, at a session held on October 25, 2023, adopted a Decision on the establishment of the National Coordination Center for Industry, Technology, and Research in the field of cybersecurity. This decision designates the Croatian Academic and Research Network – CARNET to perform the tasks of the National Coordination Center for Industry, Technology, and Research in the field of cybersecurity (NKS) in the Republic of Croatia. The organization within CARNET was established on December 1, 2023, through a new Regulation on internal organization and operation. The legal basis for this is Regulation (EU) 2021/887 of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 20, 2021, on the establishment of the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology, and Research Competence Center and the network of national coordination centres (Regulation).

In today’s world, where the majority of the population is connected to the internet, the daily lives of people and the economy increasingly depend on digital technologies, making them more vulnerable to serious cyber incidents. This emphasizes the need for resilience, strengthening technological and industrial capabilities, and the use of high standards and comprehensive solutions in the field of cybersecurity, covering people, products, processes, and technology.

The National Coordination Center for Industry, Technology, and Research in the field of cybersecurity is established to consolidate expertise and enhance capabilities in defence against cyber threats. One of its tasks is to encourage investment in cybersecurity, as well as the adoption and implementation of key technologies, and to promote and facilitate the participation of the economy, especially newly established companies and SMEs, academic educational and research communities, and other stakeholders at the national level in cross-border projects and activities in the field of cybersecurity funded through European Union programs.

Following the Directive, the NKS will represent the Republic of Croatia in the Network of National Coordination Centers and have its representative in the European Competence Center. The NKS operates as a sector within CARNET and has its deputy director as well as a Management Board consisting of representatives of institutions based on the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia on the establishment of the National Coordination Center for Industry, Technology, and Research in the field of cybersecurity (Official Gazette 125/23).