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Issue 23

Cluj IT marks a new step in its development as an innovative cluster

Conf. Dr. Paulina Mitrea
Coordonator Brained City @ Cluj IT Cluster
OTHERS

This month has marked a new phase in the efforts of building a relevant identity for the Cluj IT Cluster, but also an opportunity of development on a course of innovation for our association members. The project presented last year by Cluj IT within the operation POSCCE / Op.1.3.3 is in the last phase of signing the financing contract, and it will be implemented for a period of 18 months after signing. It is the result of an effort of preparation of more than a year.

One interesting process in this step, which is worth mentioning here, as it points to the maturity of the organizations which are members of our cluster, was the one of selection of ideas of innovative products having a marketable potential that were to be supported through this project. Following the evaluation of ideas of subprojects proposed by companies and universities, in the context of the Innovation group, the concrete initiatives of realization of innovative software products inscribed in the general theme of the project, which will be developed until the final product phase, as well as a number of subprojects, financeable till the design phase (meaning complete software project), for whose continuation, in the sense of implementation and release on the market, other future investments will be attracted.

Around each project there are grouped consortia, formed by companies of the cluster as well as Universities, therefore, once we begin the implementation of this project, we will truly test the cooperation potential of our members. Furthermore, the project allows the development of some activities that have as a target the organizational consolidation and the extension of relations among the cluster members. To be more specific, training type actions will be implemented (for the human resource of the cluster companies), partnerships with other entities from outside the cluster will be initiated and developed, by participating in conferences and fairs, advertising and marketing campaigns will be carried out and major events of our organization (such as Cluj Innovation Days, 2015 edition) will be sponsored. A very important fact is that the project will facilitate the assistance and consultancy for the consolidation of some development tendencies of the Cluj IT Cluster, through which we wish to align to the highest excellence standards in Europe.

In our article of the 20th issue of the magazine, called "Cluj IT Cluster: Interdisciplinary Innovation and Advanced IT Solutions for an Avant-garde Urban Community", in the context of presenting the general objectives of the Cluj IT Cluster, we emphasized the fact that, in virtue of the creed stated in the regulations of the Cluj IT Cluster association, our most important goal is to offer innovative IT solutions for the community, based on a collaborative input of know-how and advanced (even avant-garde) skills, gathered from all the knowledge and expertise providing agents, which are so well represented in our city. In this context, we have already announced the preparation of one of our cluster"s major projects, namely "The Innovative Development through Informatization of the Cluj-Napoca Urban Ecosystem", also known under the name of "Cluj-Napoca: Next Generation Brained City" - project approved for financing by POSCCE/ Op.1.3.3, which, at the moment, as we have also mentioned above, is in the final phase of signing the financing agreement. Through the manner of approach, this project is meant to generate a living area based on the innovative concept of ecological and fully informatized urban type community, known as the "networked ecological city", which will form the premises necessary for our urban environment to become a harmonious and eco-efficient environment, where the components and specific levels of the activities and features of an intelligent city are harmonized by means of an integrative and exhaustive Informatization.

The approach of the central concept of the project begins from the identification of two essential premises, which relate to one another as follows: (1) the present urban (but also rural, in some cases) communities benefit on certain levels from informatics systems that are not correlated nor integrated as a whole, found on different stages of evolution and development, on a large variety of platforms and IT technologies; (2) upon the preservation of the first premise into the current paradigm, the actual development pace of the communities, on all their levels, might lead to chaotic evolutions (contrary to the need of harmonious expansion on all the components).

Considering these two premises, in view of eliminating the risk pointed out in the context of the second one, a model of develop ment on layers, meaning inter-correlated and communicating layers, harmonized through coherent, innovative and integrative informatization, constitutes the paradigm already assumed by the design of the project itself, design based on the most advanced concepts of urban development. Still at the level of project conceptualization, we mention the fact that the entire approach is based on the implication of the tool offered by the knowledge triangle into the materialization - as the final target - of the human communities" health triangle, which ensures the development of a business and living environment of the "Next Generation Brained City" type.

The definition of this new urban concept envisaging a sustainable and efficient economic development for an eco-efficient and profitable community context, the entire design of the project is structured on seven levels. The subprojects selected to be developed by the different groups of companies and representatives of the universities from the cluster go into these levels, namely: (1) the level of public administration informatization; (2) the level of transportation / traffic networks; (3) the level of health network; (4) the level of utilities infrastructure (starting from the underground level to the level of air networks); (5) the level of educational and cultural network; (6) the level of economic and business entities network; (7) the level of habitat based on the concept of "next generation housing", meaning intelligent buildings belonging to the "smart city" concept.

The final target of the project is perfectly convergent and correlated to another major objective of the Cluj IT Cluster, namely the materialization of the project called "Cluj Innovation City", having its target defined for a 15-20 years period, project which already benefits from the support of the local authorities (City Hall, County Council, Prefecture, The North-West Regional Development Agency, etc.). And as a reference concept, the entire approach has the target defined at the European and global level, regarding the Eco-Smart City concept, having the year 2020 as a deadline.

Actually, the entire economic development policy of the European Union is based on two major concepts, namely smart specialization and clusterization, while the tools that are essential to reaching the goals of socio-economic performance are circumscribed in the development of IT&C, of digitization and of key enabling technologies. We hope that the alignment of Romania to these strategic development trends, which are also financially sustained, be continued by actions of direct support of the clusters and the private environment nowadays.

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