January 2021, marks the start of the Digital Europe Programme (DEP) centered around developing the strategic digital capacities of the European Union and on enabling the cross-sectorial deployment of digital technologies. Cluj, a rising innovation hub of Eastern Europe will take part at this process with its local Digital Innovation Hubs.

Why Cluj Innovation Hub?

Already an established information technology and software development hub, Cluj-Napoca will also embark in the process of  stimulating investments in supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills, and the promotion of wide use of digital technologies in all socio-economic sectors. In 2020, in spite of the pandemic, we have witnessed many regional and international initiatives aiming to position Cluj-Napoca on the international innovation map. A turning point of this process, was the nomination of Cluj-Napoca as a finalist for the prestigious European Innovation Capital Award 2020.

In term of the European DIH programme, Romania has a total of 3 digital innovation hubs, all located in Transylvania, namely in Cluj-Napoca (Cluj IT and Transilvania Digital Innovation Hub) and Brașov (Cluster for Innovation and Technology ALT Brasov). As shown above, Cluj-Napoca is one of the most dynamic and active centers in Eastern Europe, striving to foster cross-sectorial innovation and to prepare businesses, administration and citizens for a digital future.

Cluj Innovation Hub Technology Outlook

Cluj-Napoca Digital Innovation Hub covers an wide range of technological areas:

  • Additive manufacturing (3D printing)
  • Advanced or High-performance computing
  • Artificial Intelligence and cognitive systems
  • Augmented and virtual reality, visualization
  • Broadband and other communication networks (e.g. 5G)
  • Cloud computing
  • Cyber physical systems (e.g. embedded systems)
  • Cyber security (including biometrics)
  • Data mining, big data, database management
  • Gamification
  • ICT management, logistics and business systems
  • Interaction technologies (e.g. human-machine Interaction, motion recognition and language
  • technologies)
  • Internet of Things (e.g. connected devices, sensors and actuators networks)
  • Internet services (e.g. web development, web production, design, networking, and ecommerce)
  • Location based technologies (e.g. GPS, GIS, in-house localization)
  • Micro and nano electronics, smart system integration
  • New Media technologies
  • Photonics, electronic and optical functional materials
  • Robotics and autonomous systems
  • Screens and display technologies
  • Sensors, actuators, MEMS, NEMS, RF
  • Simulation and modelling
  • Software as a service and service architectures

Opportunities For Innovation With Cluj Innovation Hubs

In order to accelerate Europe’s recovery and digital transformation, the Digital European Programme (DEP) will facilitate funding for investments in projects related to supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills, and the wide use of digital technologies.

  • Supercomputing projects – according to the European guidelines, funding will be available for the acquisition of exascale supercomputers (capable of at least 1018 calculations per second) in order to serve public interest and private industries for health, environment and security aspects.

Cluj-Napoca IT community’s members have already started several projects related to supercomputing, therefore foreign partners may find relevant knowledge and expertise in the field.

  • AI projects – in order to open up the use of artificial intelligence technologies, funding for international and collaborative research and investment projects will be available especially in the areas of health, mobility and data infrastructure.

Local technology companies from Cluj-Napoca, such as SOFTECH, have already set in place AI application development teams and are ready to partner for larger AI projects.

  • Cybersecurity projects – aiming to deploy cybersecurity capacities across the European economy and to boost capabilities in optical communications and cybersecurity, financial resources will be available for projects in this area of cooperation.

Several Cluj-Napoca IT companies with experts specialized in cybersecurity already have the infrastructure and capabilities needed to enroll in complex cybersecurity projects.

  • Advanced Digital Skills projects – in tandem with the investment in technologies, equipment and devices, the DEP programme strongly support the training of experts in the fields of AI, cybersecurity, quantum and HPC.

Being an elite academic center in Eastern Europe, Cluj-Napoca has the right DNA and human resources pool to implement training programmes for the technologies of the future. The local universities and private companies are generally open for such initiatives.

  • The Wide Use of Digital Technologies in Society – the current target is on high impact deployments in the areas of public interest such as health, green energy, smart communities and culture.

Cluj-Napoca is an effervescent cultural and scientific pole of Romania and Eastern Europe. Therefore projects focused on the uptake of digital technologies by the wider public are relevant for 2021 – 2027.

SOFTECH, A Company Of Cluj Innovation Hub Community

Having a team of +120 software engineers, and a strong international project portfolio with innovative software development projects across two decades of activity, SOFTECH is one of the leading companies from the Cluj innovation hub community.

Providing full life cycle application development, software integration, cloud development, IoT development, AI application development and mobile development, the team is ready to establish long term strategic partnerships for complex software development projects in the areas of future technologies for industries.