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Cluj Innovation Camp 2023: 80 specialists from 11 countries debated important and challenging topics

80 specialists and experts from 11 countries were present in Cluj-Napoca between October 13-15, 2023, at the fifth edition of Cluj Innovation Camp, organized by Transilvania IT Cluster.

The fifth edition of Cluj Innovation Camp took place between October 13-15 at ABC Incubator, in an effervescent atmosphere, with interesting discussions and innovative ideas. The organizer of the event, the Transilvania IT Cluster team, brought to Cluj-Napoca 80 specialists and experts from 11 countries, representing companies, non-governmental organizations, digital innovation hubs, universities, public administration, clusters, research centers and others. The event is included in the "Cluj Innovation Year 2023" project, financed by the EEA and Norwegian Grants 2014-2021.

The Innovation Camp was structured around four important topics, and teams of 15-20 specialists and experts worked together to find solutions. We discussed things like digital skills, collaboration between different regions for innovation and the changes needed for a cleaner and greener environment.

The Innovation Camp methodology is uniquely designed to bring together the best experts from academia, industry, public authorities and civil society, leading to practical and applicable solutions at the end of the camp.

One of the high-level experts present at the event was Bror Salmelin, former advisor for Innovation Systems at the European Commission, involved in the working group where interregional collaboration was discussed (Challenge 3: Designing Structural Interregional Collaboration projects related to Smart Manufacturing (Industry 4.0) and Cleantech and Green Energy). With extensive experience in facilitating innovation at European level, his contribution has been invaluable in stimulating dialogue and finding innovative solutions.

Working group 1, which discussed accelerating digital innovation with data, was facilitated by Lise-Ann Sheahan from Irish Manufacturing Research, Ireland's digital innovation hub (Challenge 1: Accelerating digital innovation with the help of Data Spaces) . And group 4, with the theme of digital skills, benefited from the experience of Prof. Dr. Tuija Hirvikoski from Finland, president emeritus of ENoLL - European Network of Living Labs (Challenge 4: Digital competences and skills for digital innovation and transformation).

The opening of the event was attended by Emil Boc, the mayor of Cluj-Napoca and Ovidiu Cîmpean, secretary of state within the Ministry of Investments and European Projects, both of whom are already familiar with the format of the innovation camp. Ovidiu Cîmpean participated in the working groups of the 2022 edition, and Emil Boc was present at each of the four previous editions (2017, 2018, 2020 and 2022).

This year, a large team from Cluj-Napoca City Hall was actively involved in working group 2, focused on green and resident-friendly cities (Challenge 2: SMART and Sustainable Glocal Living - Blueprints for Net-Zero all-Integrated Residential Building).

At the opening of the Innovation Camp, Emil Boc emphasized the importance of this event in the development and visibility of our city at the European level. For example, the 2020 edition made a major contribution to the nomination of Cluj for the title of "European Capital of Innovation" (iCapital), the competition being launched right within the Innovation Camp plenary session by Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. Cluj-Napoca then reached the final of the competition, along with five other European cities.

The Innovation Camp 2023 represented an opportunity to reflect on the evolution of the community and to identify new directions of development. Special attention was paid to collaboration between different organizations and fields, in an attempt to find new solutions that lead to good and sustainable progress.

Through the participation of foreign experts, Cluj Innovation Camp 2023 demonstrated openness and the desire to learn from different perspectives and explore new development directions. This aspect gave the event an international dimension, providing a favorable setting for the exchange of ideas and experiences.

In conclusion, Cluj Innovation Camp 2023 represented a remarkable success in promoting innovation and collaboration within the regional and international ecosystem. The event represented an important step in the innovation and collaboration strategy in the region and outlined promising directions for future development. We expect that the results and collaborations born within Cluj Innovation Camp 2023 will continue to make significant contributions to the progress and sustainable development of the local and international community, as happened in the case of previous editions.

As important factors of the innovation ecosystem in Cluj-Napoca, Transilvania IT Cluster attaches great importance to supporting strong, knowledgeable communities that support the implementation of innovative ideas and projects. We focus on creating an innovative environment that facilitates new partnerships and opportunities, as well as supporting new business models.

Download the After Camp brochure here

The Cluj Innovation Camp event took place within the "Cluj Innovation Year 2023" project, financed by the EEA and Norwegian Grants 2014-2021.


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