The organization was created as a mean to increase competitiveness in the Romanian IT sector and to promote Romania as the leading provider of software solutions in Eastern Europe. Therefore, we are not only aiming to deliver innovative solutions and services, but also to create a holistic ecosystem which enables proper development and commercialization of these services and products. We rely on strong cooperation among the cluster members, on more viable public-private partnerships, as well as on fostering research and constant exchange of knowledge and ideas for the benefit of all cluster entities and with impact on the society at large.
There are various factors that generate innovation in our case, but I believe that the 3,500+ skilled IT specialists and support staff in Cluj IT are the most important ones: their innovative thinking is what might change the Romanian IT sector. In addition, their experience in providing IT outsourcing services and products to national and foreign customers worldwide is what makes us a reliable partner that is able to generate change.
Speaking about innovative thinking, this should be highly encouraged, and I am not only referring to companies or institutions. What I mean is that it should be taught in schools and universities, so that graduates can be able to speak “the language of innovation” before being hired somewhere. Universities have always been and will continue to be a major source of innovation for the socio-economic environment, and the members of the cluster realized they need to capitalize on this. As a result, among the cluster’s projects in the HR sector we have internships and “joint trainings” - where we use internal or external resources - that improve the IT skills of high-school and university graduates and make them aware of IT job market opportunities. Moreover, we are constantly considering ways in which the government can support the educational process in universities, while the universities that are part of the cluster are already working on developing complementary education solutions, such as professional reorientation graduate programs.
If we are to refer to research and development as a way to support innovation, this should be encouraged not only by companies, but also by the government and the academic environment as well. The Cluster’s initiatives have been acknowledged by public authorities, and what we do and plan to do is considered a vital contribution to the re-industrialization process of Romania. So there are many elements of support from this side. In return, Cluj IT Cluster is defining research directions according to the actual and future needs and opportunities in the IT industry, is providing innovation and technology audits for the cluster members, and is offering tools to support structured innovation for new product or service development.
Of course, creating innovation isn’t that simple, because you have to go beyond the borders of your comfort zone in order to generate change, which most companies find very difficult. But overcoming this fear of change is very rewarding, and the cluster felt this when it launched the Cluj Innovation City project. This is a public-private partnership Community Project that will be conducted in several stages over the course of 15 years, built according to the latest technologies available (green and renewable energy, new materials) and will foster, in the most appropriate way, many of the innovative and creative energies of the region. It is an ambitious project, the first of its kind in this entire geographical area, which generates social and economic benefits for many individuals. This shows that Cluj IT Cluster is committed to long-term innovation and to returning benefits to the community. Eventually, by sustaining innovation we safeguard the future of next generations, of our children and of the children of our children. And this is what it is all about after all, isn’t it?