Македонски (Macedonian)English (United Kingdom)

5th Newsletter of 3B ICT Network

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Organizations of all types located in Eastern Europe, and implicitly in Romania, are lagging behind in terms of digitization in comparison with the rest of Europe. The need for them to adjust and fill the gap is not only necessary but mandatory. If they fail to adjust they will most probably not survive. As the Smart Specialization Strategy for the region of North-West (where Cluj IT Cluster is based) underlines the innovation ecosystem is disconnected and in need of a better cooperation between the members of the ecosystem. According to Europe's Digital Progress Report (EDPR) Romania ranks 28th out of the 28 EU Member States. The rate of digital transformation of the economy, including for public services, and digital skill levels are still low. Overall, in DESI 2017, Romania belongs to the low performing cluster of countries. The Digital Intensity Index (DII) indicates than less than one Romanian firm out of eight has invested in digital technologies. Romania still ranks last in Europe for integrating digital technology into business, even if some progress has been made. No progress has been registered in terms of SMEs selling online (7%) and a decrease can be seen for use of cloud services (-5%) and eCommerce turnover for SMEs (-4.3%). In terms of policy, Romania does not yet have a national strategy for digitising industry; components such as cloud computing, open data and e-commerce are included in the Romanian National Digital Agenda Strategy, but the focus seems more on supporting measures for citizens, rather than the business environment. Progress on implementing the Digital Agenda is very limited. There is a lack of coordination both within the government among institutions implementing the Digital Agenda and between the government and IT associations, initiatives and stakeholders. This leads to weak national digital policies and no common ground and direction towards digitisation. In this rather gloomy scenario, Cluj IT Cluster and the North-West Regional Development Agency started a regional initiative which we called Transilvania iHUB 4.0. Transilvania iHUB 4.0 is a digital innovation hub that aims at creating the appropriate market setting needed for economic growth, innovation development, and growth of competitiveness and attractiveness of the region in the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution for the entire innovation regional ecosystem. The DIH is a partnership structure with no legal personality organized and governed in accordance with the principle of rotation of presidency every six months between members of the hub. This organization formula was redeemed necessary as the members of the DIH are of different types: clusters, universities, chambers of commerce, NGOs, incubators/accelerators and other types of entities and the services they offer will differ. The DIH is located in Cluj-Napoca and its main focus will be in the six counties of the North-West Region: Cluj, Bihor, Bistriţa-Năsăud, Maramureş, Satu Mare, Sălaj. The DIH will have a steering committee presided in accordance with the rotation of the presidency principle. Each member will nominate a member in the Steering Committee and appoint a president when in charge of presidency. The main specialisation areas for which the DIH considers the digitization process is of high value, in line with the smart specialization strategy, are: agro food; health; advanced production technologies. Transilvania iHUB 4.0 has 11 members: The NorthWest Regional Development Agency, Cluj IT Cluster, Babeș-Bolyai University (UBB), ARIES Transilvania, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, University of Oradea, Cluj HUB, Chamber of commerce and industry Bistrița-Năsăud (CCIBN), INIT Association (Cluj Startups), Romanian IT Global Community Association (Romanian IT), Spherik Accelerator.

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Our initiative has been included together with other 33 similar ones (full list available here, photo copyright EC) across CEE countries in an effort to infuse professionalization in these structures, under a project coordinated by the PwC and Oxentia. This has given us the framework to articulate a sound business plan for Transilvania iHUB 4.0. Our DIH plans to help change the situation and aims at creating the connections the ecosystem needs providing industrial and economic benefits. After 5 years 80% of targeted companies will benefit of basic digitization and about 40% will benefit of digitization of production (process and product/service innovations). In the first three years the offered services will be related to ecosystem support and business support. The aim is to raise awareness and educate the market in order to prepare the actors of the ecosystem to implement digital technologies. Technical services will address companies that receive such training or are already aware of the benefits technological digitization will bring.

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On behalf of the European Commission, the EUWestern Balkans Cluster Policy Learning and Matchmaking Event took place on 22-23rd November 2018 in Zagreb, Croatia and was organized by PwC in close collaboration with the European Cluster Collaboration Platform. The event gathered representatives of 65 clusters, working in the field of Agro/ Food, IT, Manufacturing/ Automotive, Tourism/ Maritime, Textile/ Apparel/ Footwear, Pharmaceuticals/ Chemicals, and Energy from the Western Balkan countries, European Union countries, Ukraine and Turkey. The event provided a unique opportunity for the participating clusters to explore common areas of interest for cooperation and to build complementarities in terms of sectoral, value chain and market focus. Ms. Anna Naydenova, Executive Director, ICT Cluster, Bulgaria, and Mr. Dritan Mezini, Cluster Manager, Albanian IT Association made a powerful presentation about the GIVE (Green Ict deVElopment) partnership and its achievements. All GIVE partners also joined the discussion.

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3B (Balkan Black Sea and Baltic) ICT Clusters Network was presented by Mr. Peter Statev. The representatives of Albanian IT Association, BIT Alliance from Bosnia and Herzegovina, ICT Cluster Bulgaria, Bulgarian Cluster Telecommunications, MASIT – ICT Chamber of Commerce (FYROM) , MACES – Macedonian Cluster for Export of Software and ICT Services, Montenegro: IT Cluster, Vojvodina ICT Cluster (Serbia), ICT Cluster Central Serbia, Green and Smart Technology Cluster (Latvia) and Cluj IT (Romania) – all of them members of the 3B ICT Network, demonstrated they are closely working together to promote the regional economics.

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B2U matchmaking: Projects with high potential for technological transfer

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 The first event under the CRONOS project was organized on the basis of internal exploration of projects with increased potential for technological transfer and innovation developed by research units active within 5 local Universities, members of Cluj IT Cluster. The B2U matchmaking was an internal session dedicated to exploring the potential collaboration among Cluj IT members based on the list of mapped projects. As a result, members from the private and research sectors of the cluster ecosystem set up bilateral meetings in order to discuss specific requirements of research projects in different stages of development. Digital Talks: IT & Health, November 9th - The Digital Talks series of events is developed around the facilitation of cross-industry connections and collaborations. A first such event was dedicated to facilitating innovation connections in the research directions of the national health strategy, focusing on collaboration between the IT industry and medicine. The event was organized in collaboration with the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca. Digital Talks: IT & Automotive, November 14th - The second Digital Talks event was organized in collaboration with “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu, having a strong focus on facilitating cross-industrial business connections among representatives of the IT and automotive sectors. The main topics to be addressed revolved around industry orientation 4.0, supporting digitization in the automotive industry, new business models and developed prototypes.

For more details please visit: https://www.clujit.ro/projects/cronos/ 

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A regional seminar “Industrial and Digital Transformation” was held on 30th of November in Varna, Bulgaria. The event was organized by ICT Cluster together with Business Agency Association. Representatives of over 10 local companies, organisations and state administration attended the seminar, where they were presented with smart solutions in different sectors and countries. A discussion was formed between the participants and the presenters about the importance of digitalization of the industries and making the jump to Industry 4.0. The seminar was part of the initiative of Smart Factory Hub, that is bringing 10 partners form 10 countries in the Danube region (Slovenia, Romania, Croatia, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria) trying to modernize and digitalize the manufacturing through technology transfer and implementing different smart and digital technologies that can upgrade the SMEs and improve their production process.

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ICT Cluster has opened a Public call for Bulgarian companies about implementation of smart and innovative solutions within the project SMART FACTORY HUB.The purpose of the public call is to introduce smart and innovative solutions into production processes by testing a cross-regional voucher scheme that supports inter-regional transfer of smart solutions (i.e., Smart manufacturing) into domestic production-oriented micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).ICT Cluster will grant two SMEs the financial support to do a demonstration project that will solve the specific problem in the production-oriented company and should result with impact in: (1) cost-effectiveness, (2) quality assurance or (3) risk management, and consequently, encourage the transition to Industry 4.0. Application must send form a trans-national consortium type in which one partner acts as "applicant" and another partner as the "solution provider".

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The first B2B event within the Green ICT Development (GIVE) project was held in hotel TCC Grand Plaza, Skopje, FYR Macedonia on 12-13 December 2018. MASIT as partner of the project consortium organized this event where beside the project partners, there were participants from other organizations and companies from ICT, automotive and green tech sector. The main goal of the event was networking at the national and regional level between the companies from the three sectors.

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The B2B event lasted for two day and was attended by 40 participants in total, coming from 25 different companies or organizations.During the first day of the event, a presentation on the topic of Smart Transformation was presented by Mr. Alexandru Tulai, Vice President of the Cluj IT Cluster. Also, within the agenda of the first day, PhD Stelian Brad, President of the Cluj IT Cluster, presented the final report from the three Focus Groups within the GIVE project.

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The B2B event lasted for two day and was attended by 40 participants in total, coming from 25 different companies or organizations.During the first day of the event, a presentation on the topic of Smart Transformation was presented by Mr. Alexandru Tulai, Vice President of the Cluj IT Cluster. Also, within the agenda of the first day, PhD Stelian Brad, President of the Cluj IT Cluster, presented the final report from the three Focus Groups within the GIVE project.

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The dates are set for Cluj Innovation Days 2019: May 30 and 31. Save these dates for what has become the best event to celebrate innovations and discuss about new trends in technology and society. Cluj IT Cluster will partner once again with the University of Medicine and Pharmacy for what we expect to be another successful conference. Follow the updates on www.clujinnovationdays.com. 

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More information about 3B ICT is available on our website www.3b-ict.net 

 

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Contact Information

ICT Chamber of Commerce - MASIT
St. "Kosta Veselinov“ no.6, entrance 1, floor 1
1000 Skopje, RN Macedonia
tel. 389 75 280 507; 389 78 296 487
e-mail: contact@masit.org.mk

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