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Romanian Innovation Alliance

The aim of the Romanian Innovation Alliance is to foster green energy and sustainable products and services. The alliance focuses on improving the competitiveness of industrial sectors, the communication between consumers, producers (especially SMEs), universities, research centres and public authorities and to be part of a single voice to influence the policy for Romania, in order to become a better place for innovative SMEs.


Alliance Members

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For more information on our alliance, you can also download our one-paged infosheet.


Success factors

In the Romanian Alliance vision, one of the effective ways to transfer innovation is through patents. In this respect, we realized an efficient methodology to transfer the patent from universities to SMEs.

According to this methodology, all the invention produces by individuals or teams of researchers are the subject of a patent demand taken over by university that becomes responsible for the funding patent application fees and the owner of the patent. University creates a patent portfolio and its Technological Transfer Office becomes responsible for finding a company to implement the patent.

There is a closed loop that permanently adjusts and improves the relationship between university and SME. The novelty factor for our jurisdiction introduced by the Alliance is the developing of patents in collaboration between HEIs and SMEs. In this way we ensure the implementation of the patent in a market product.
The core of this process is the Technological Transfer Office (TTO), entity that does not exist in all universities in Romania. Through the Alliance we intend to establish such offices in all the Romanian universities.

In order to validate the presented strategy, a patent request of UPB will be implemented in a market product. The subject is a patent request that won the golden medal for UPB at the International Exhibition of Invention in Geneva, last year. The invention was presented at Geneva Exhibition by our colleague Prof. Miron Zapciu.
The patent will be implemented in a market product by a local SME. The product is now in the testing phase. After the completion of whole process, UPB will elaborate a set of good practice regarding the patent transfer from university to SME.



Challenges

The Romanian Innovation Alliance is working in establishing new partnership between stakeholders for submission of European projects in consortia including innovative SMEs. The focus of the Alliance is in the field of energy, products and services. The alliance is build-up around several large technical universities from Romania and SMEs working in the above mentioned fields. In order to increase the collaboration between HEIs and SMEs, the Alliance takes the advantage of the third parties members: associations related to SMEs, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The Romanian Alliance is build-up in Bucharest-Ilfov area but has as partner universities from other regions of the country. The main group of industrial partner is represented by SMEs from Bucharest-Ilfov and surrounding areas. Yet, the membership of the alliance includes SMEs from Arges area where there is a real potential of innovation development especially in automotive sector.

As stated above, the development of patents in collaboration between HEIs and SMEs is innovative for Romania.
An another novelty introduced by the Romanian Alliance is the coagulation of collaboration based on similar area of interest that will allow the establishment of partnership and project proposal writing before the launch of the national/European project calls. This approach will allow the increasing of the proposal content quality and of the proposal success rate.
In the last national project call “Increasing competitiveness of the Romanian economy through R & D and innovation” (June 2016), members of the alliance have submitted six project proposals:

  • “Ecological system for biomass boilers gas supply with discontinuous operation”
  • “AD/DC Active Networks system for electric vehicles charging in Smart Cities”
  • “Optimization and validation of demonstrative pilot plant for CO2 capture using chemical absorption technology”
  • “Eco-innovative solutions for converting biomass into natural products in order to replace conventional fertilizers and organic agriculture development”
  • “Economic system for ecological use of hydrokinetic energy of very low tidal fall”
  • “Innovative solution using renewable energy sources for improving the quality of water bodies”

 

Main Outcomes and Impact

In partnerships that are established through the Romanian Alliance, European companies or their representatives in Romania are also invited. E.g. one of the alliance members represents a French company: Artem Group Trade & Consult.

Besides the members of the alliance which already benefit of the training course, the modules will be available for Master students allowing them to develop their own company and which subsequently will enter the alliance. This will strengthen the alliance and will provide its long-term sustainability.

Deliverables are distributed to the alliance members and beyond, thereby providing a high visibility of the project. For example, one of our Alliance member, Young Entrepreneurs Association from Romania (PTIR), sends through their monthly newsletter to over 500 contacts, updates on the project status (e.g. E-zine#1: http://www.ptir.ro/wp-content/uploads/SHIP_eZine_1_2015_RO.pdf).

Sustainability of the project will be assured through the establishment of Technology Transfer Offices in each Romanian university, currently very few universities providing this service. The funds obtained by patents valorisation will be reused in the same area to ensure sustainability of TTO which is a product of the project.


The alliance is led by:

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Key success factors

  • building partnerships to submit Horizon 2020 projects
  • realization of patents through Universities – SMEs collaborations
  • involvement of facilitators in the technology transfer process

 

Key challenges

  • finding new collaboration opportunities
  • extending the competences of the alliance partners
  • setting the steps to be followed by SMEs in order to establish a good cooperation with HEIs

 

Benefits

  • For SMEs: Form many small companies having business sustainability issues, becoming member of an alliance provides opportunities for business growth. Membership in an alliance opens them new business perspectives
  • For HEIs: Being part of an alliance, offers a closer contact with small and innovative companies
    Opportunity to transfer patents or patentable ideas to companies that have material and financial resources to transform them into market products
  • For other organisations: For Romanian research institutes that no longer benefit from national funding, offer the opportunity to enter in partnerships for European projects.
    Involvement of students and PhD students in finding areas of collaboration between universities and industry