Cluj-Napoca resident Bianca Muntean, the CEO of the Transilvania IT Cluster, has been elected the European Cluster manager of the year 2019. She was granted the title this May, following a European competition that brought together cluster managers from all European countries, specialists and experts in clusters and cluster related topics.
One of the benefits the title offers to the winning community is the opportunity to promote Cluj, Transylvania and Romania, as well as SEE, as an area of importance in the field of information and creative industrial technologies.
Muntean is also part of the European Cluster expert group, which will advise on the Industry 2030 financing program, aimed at supporting digitalization and innovation in the European economy, Adevarul reported.
She is the director of industry association ARIES Transilvania and the VP of Transilvania Creative Industries Cluster. Beginning with 1999, she worked on implementing various European projects in areas such as human resources, development, SMEs support, or new technologies. Starting 2002, she was involved in the drafting of various regional and sector development strategies such as Transylvania’s 2007-2013 Development Strategy, the Development Strategy for the IT Sector in Romania, or Promoting and Mobilizing SMEs for PC7.
Although Romania lags behind other EU member states when it comes to digitalization and innovation, it can make use of the fact that many Romanian companies are currently involved in the digitalization process taking part in Western Europe, Muntean told Adevarul.
She explained that stability is needed for further development in the area, and that some EU projects could not start because of repeated minister or government staff changes. She also argued in favor of the establishment of a national program to fund SMEs looking to digitalize, as is the case in other countries.
While Cluj has set an example for the entire country, it is not enough to push the country further on the development path in this sector. “More of us need to do more. What is happening in Cluj is not enough,” she told Adevarul.
In Cluj, IT companies got involved in educating students in universities, while also investing in programs meant to develop a culture of entrepreneurship. At the same time, work is underway on a platform that would bring together all the providers of educational programs, either IT, robotics and sciences. “We want to get local authorities involved in the program and the business environment, so as to have programs implemented in as many schools as possible,” she explained for Adevarul.
Romanian Dr. Alexandru Tomescu, computational sciences researcher at the University of Helsinki, received a grant of EUR...