Cluj-Napoca was the capital of innovative technologies for ten days in October, at the 10th edition of Cluj Innovation Days, the flagship event of Cluj IT Cluster. Between the 17th and 27th of October we celebrated Cluj IT’s tenth anniversary, marking at the same time the milestones of the next ten years of sustainable development of the IT industry, the most dynamic Romanian economic sector.

Under the motto ‘The Power of 1 | 0’, which highlights the importance of digital technologies as the basis of all great innovations that move the world forward, Cluj Innovation Days welcomed representative personalities from Romania and abroad, decision makers and experts in their fields. More than 80 experts in technology, business and public policy were involved in the 23 workshops, conferences and debates, emphasizing the message that the future cannot be anything but digital, in a country where public administration is digitised and the citizen’s relationship with the state is transparent, fair and fast.

“This year we marked an important milestone for us as an organisation, but of great significance for the entire community in Cluj and nationwide which values technological progress, innovation and entrepreneurship. In 2012, when the Cluj IT cluster was founded, we brought to the public the need to look at the future of the IT industry with courage and a desire for change. We did this through two concrete proposals. First by including innovation and creation in the business models of the IT industry and then, for the wider Cluj community, through Cluj Innovation City as a new approach to socio-economic development. Basically we proposed a “rebranding” of both the city and the industry. Since then our message has been taken up, carried, developed. At Cluj Innovation Days we talked about all this, but more importantly, we talked about what’s next for our industry, for our community, for our country”.

Andrei Kelemen

Director Executiv, Cluj IT Cluster

All the guests agreed that the city’s differentiating advantage is its human resource and the outstanding academic environment is the main driver of development. This pillar, however, works closely with the public administration and the business environment. 

“Cluj Innovation Days has become a tradition and a brand of the city, an extremely important event for connecting the local innovation ecosystem, for its image in the country and in Europe and for the development of Cluj’s innovation capacity. The city’s most important resource is the human resource, and the competitive advantage that differentiates us today is the one given by the city’s universities. The gold mine of the city are the universities. One out of five Cluj citizens is a student and that means a lot for everything we plan to build here”.

Emil Boc

Primar , Municipiul Cluj-Napoca

Speaking on the Cluj Innovation Days stage, Sabin Sărmaș, Chairman of the IT&C Committee of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania, stressed that technology is the tool that makes all industries, not just IT, more efficient.

“The fact that such events are focused on innovation helps both industry and the public sector to burn steps in the modernisation process, not in the way that certain aspects are omitted, but rather by the momentum they generate. Events like Cluj Innovation Days put us in a position to talk about the future and understand that technology is just a tool to make all industries, not just IT, more efficient, and therefore the public sector more efficient.

The IT&C sector has reached a level of maturity that can bring not only a digital transformation of processes in Romania, but especially a faster transition to the future, putting innovation to the benefit of both the private and the public sector”.

Sabin Sărmaș

Președinte, Comisia IT & C din Camera Deputaților a României

GEIGER, an innovative product dedicated to cybersecurity for small businesses, both from the IT and non-IT industries, was launched at CID 2022

Cluj Innovation Days was the perfect occasion for the launch of GEIGER, the result of an international Horizon 2020 project that provides small businesses in all sectors with an easy-to-use and affordable toolkit to help them address cyber risks. With the new app launched, any SME can start improving their cyber security.

The GEIGER app will allow users to easily assess their cybersecurity level, learn about the biggest threats, select optimal tools and actions, as well as connect with experts who will support them in their efforts towards robust cybersecurity.

“Micro and small enterprises make up almost 99% of all European businesses. However, they are a neglected group when it comes to cyber security – most of the solutions on offer are designed for companies that have in-house cyber security expertise or the resources to invest in it. In these times of hybrid warfare and increasing cyber-attacks, it is essential for the European economy that every business is protected. Cybersecurity is high on the agenda of the EU and its Member States, but bringing it within everyone’s reach is a huge challenge. GEIGER is developed with this in mind, to be accessible to anyone, regardless of their level of expertise – to invite even the smallest and least qualified IT companies on board”.

Stelian Brad

Președinte, Cluj IT Cluster

European funding to develop and expand innovative technologies that change the world we live in

Cluj Innovation Days also provided an overview of the mechanisms that support companies’ innovative ideas, as well as key information that companies needing support for their ideas should consider when preparing their funding applications.

“€10 billion in grants are available for SMEs through the European Innovation Council. Romanian companies with innovative businesses were able to learn directly from the judges present at Cluj Innovation Days about how they can become eligible, but also how they can actually win the funding. As an entrepreneur who brings innovation to my field of public relations, I really appreciated the quality of the debates and the people behind creative and disruptive ideas, from launching and validating them in the market to scaling and promoting them in other markets. We realized how important a real ecosystem is, without which Romania will not evolve in this sector that is so necessary for the future”.

Mihaela Tudor

CEO și Fondator 2Value, Moderator la Cluj Innovation Days 2022

The 10th edition of Cluj Innovation Days was organized with the support of partners: Digitalio, Code Crafters by Banca Transilvania, Accenture România, CertSIGN and Rombat.

Media partners of Cluj Innovation Days are: TVR, Agerpres, Știrile Transilvaniei, G4Media, Euractiv, Economedia, Savantgarde and Argeșul Online.