UBB Outlines the Pan-European Competitive Advantage for Cluj through InfoBioNano4Health

The SMART InfoBioNano4Health&Innovation project proposed by UBB in partnership with the Cluj-Napoca Town Hall, with a budget of €45 mil., was awarded first place in the competition for defining the RIS3 smart specialisation in the North-West region. The purpose of the competition was to identify smart specialisation and endorse it for its successful implementation during 2021-2027.

In an ever globalised and/or interactionist world, Romania needs competitive advantages (poles of excellence/competitiveness) in order to avoid becoming a scientific, technological and cultural “colony”. To develop its competitiveness on an international level, Romania must create prestigious academically attractive structures, with an international visibility and impact that are already confirmed, strongly connected with the national and international social economic environment.

UBB is the largest academic community in the country, and the international academic rankings place it as one of the most performant contributors to knowledge in Central and Eastern Europe. Considering this profile, UBB was invited to join and was accepted into the GUILD, the European organisation of some of the most relevant world-class (research-intensive) European universities.

Taking from these needs and premises, UBB will develop an attractive academic structure – UBB STEM+: InfoBioNano4Health Platform -, following the smart specialisation logic, which will allow for network extension in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romanian and even the European Union (EU). The platform will be integrated bi-directionally into the social economic environment of Cluj, turning into a Pan-European pole of competitiveness, which will have a positive impact on a local, regional, national and international level. InfoBioNano4Health stands for the fields where UBB has competitive advantages confirmed by the international rankings.

“UBB is one of the country’s academic actors able not only to efficiently disseminate the knowledge generated by others (through quality education), and to use it pragmatically (through creative transfer towards society/social economic environment), but also to generate competitive excellent knowledge. Therefore, UBB has the power and the duty to generate a Pan-European academic pole in Cluj-Napoca, by focusing its own STEM+ academic resources and by connecting them to other academic and social economic areas (including UBB regional extensions). Indeed, this project will allow UBB to create a Pan-European academic pole focused on InfoBioNano4Health, including creative industries, that has a positive impact on the competitiveness of Cluj, of Transylvania, of the country and the entire EU. INFO (e.g., information technology/artificial robotic intelligence/”physical-cyber” connectivity) is already a brand for UBB, the academic environment and the city; BIONANO integrates in an innovative way life sciences and environmental sciences at UBB and other academic actors in Cluj-Napoca, while HEALTH, understood in its broader sense (including environmental health) is another UBB brand and of the Cluj university community in general”, says the UBB rector, Prof. Dr. Daniel David.

Concerning the Platform’s ability of integration and cumulative development, the UBB rector asserts that “this smart specialisation will define the profile of Cluj in the coming years, and it must be efficiently coordinated with other Pan-European poles in Romania (e.g., the Laser of Măgurele), in order to offer the country competitive advantages in an increasingly globalised world. The Platform is flexible for development, depending on new interests and resources, as there is a special relationship with the other universities of Cluj that are part of the Cluj Union of Universities and/or with other academic actors in Cluj-Napoca/Transylvania. By joint projects or individual projects under this brand we may generate cumulative developments of the Platform, having a major national and international impact; for instance, as already said, UBB recently expanded such a platform specific to environmental health under this more general brand (https://news.ubbcluj.ro/platforma-ubb-infobionano4health-isi-dezvolta-prima-componenta-paneuropeana-de-sanatate-a-mediului-populatiei-ubb-actris/)”.

Referring to this project, the mayor of Cluj-Napoca, Emil Boc, declared that “The Town Hall is a partner and supports the projects that consolidate the competitive advantage of Cluj in the fields of research, development, innovation and IT”.