One of the world’s largest providers of digital services – the digital agency IBM iX – has strengthened its long-term cooperation with the Faculty of Organization and Informatics in Varaždin (FOI) by investing in the renovation of Villa Oršić. It is a very valuable historical building from the 19th century, with the comprehensive renovation of which the Faculty expanded its spatial capacities, as well as the capacities of the oldest and largest Croatian university – the University of Zagreb.
After this demanding renovation, Villa Oršić thus becomes a new incubator for the development of research potential and the implementation of teaching and extracurricular activities of students and scientists at the Faculty. The new faculty building will enable the improvement of existing student programs and additionally contribute to strengthening the faculty as one of the leading generators of highly educated IT experts in Varaždin, as well as in the whole of Croatia.
“When we learned about the Villa Oršić renovation project, we saw that it was an ideal opportunity to show support to our long-term partner FOI through sponsorship of technical and other necessary equipment. Thanks to the Faculty, the city is placed at the very top of Croatian IT education, thus attracting companies from all over the world”, says Mario Horvat, managing director of IBM iX Croatia.
This investment is a natural sequence of the existing cooperation between IBM iX and FOI. Namely, the Faculty of Organization and Informatics, as a source of new knowledge and skills in the IT field, was one of the key factors for the arrival of IBM iX in Croatia.
“We are extremely pleased that the faculty is continuously growing with strong development of programs for the first career steps of its students. At IBM iX, we put people first and believe in collaboration and teamwork, which we embody through a culture of inclusion and support. We believe that the space of the IBM iX laboratory, whose purpose is based on the model of learning through work (WBL – Work Based Learning), embodies these values”, says Samira Imsirovic-Kaya, CTO and managing director of IBM iX Croatia.
In the last five years, the company has recorded an extremely high growth rate, with offices in Zagreb, Varaždin, and Osijek, which it partially attributes to the partnership and close cooperation with the faculty. More than 60% of IBM iX employees in Varaždin are proud former students of FOI. During long-term cooperation, IBM iX Croatia supported the work of the faculty by providing scholarships to young talents, participation in guest lectures, Career Week, “Workshop days” and the organization of student practices.
“We consider the cooperation with the Student Support Centre (CPSRK) of the faculty to be extremely important, and many successful collaborations and projects have resulted from it. Students have the opportunity to meet us as an employer as well as our alumni mentors who are the core of IBM iX”, says Moreno Grgurić, Executive Director Digital Platforms DACH and Croatia.
In addition to investing in the incubation space of FOI, Moreno Grgurić is a member of the Economic Council of the Faculty of Organization and Informatics of the University of Zagreb, which recently held its first meeting in the newly renovated Villa Oršić. By participating in the Council, IBM iX has an important advisory role in the development of study programs and the design and implementation of innovative teaching concepts at the college.
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