Between 8-10 December 2016, the North-East Regional Development Agency (ADR-NE) together with the Joint Research Center of Seville of the European Commission (JRC Sevilla) organized the workshop for university leadership in Rădăuți, Suceava County, within the HESS1 project (Higher Education for Smart Specialization in North East Romania).

The organizers invited representatives, as far as possible from the management team, from the main accredited higher education units in the northeastern part of Romania:

  • Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași, represented by the Faculty of Informatics and the Faculty of Geography
  • Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iasi, through the Faculties of Automation and Computers, Textiles and Chemistry)
  • “Ion Ionescu de la Brad” University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine from Iaşi
  • “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy from Iași
  • “Vasile Alecsandri” University of Bacău
  • George Bacovia University of Bacau
  • “Stefan cel Mare” University of Suceava

The organizers took the floor and participated in the discussion:

  • Vasile Asandei, director of ADR NE, who insisted on the role of universities as opinion leaders, which makes their offer of research – development – innovation need continuous improvement, including new methods of learning and training students. He made it clear that companies want a much better relationship with universities, which in turn is desirable to strengthen relations with the pre-university environment as well. In the medium term – 10 years – universities will collaborate, possibly in clusters, enjoying great flexibility and adaptability to the realities of the regions in which they are, and will support entrepreneurial discovery.
  • Gabriela Macoveiu (2016), Director of Communication, Cooperation and Business Development at ADR NE, showed concisely what smart specialization is (EC factsheet, 2014), as a pillar of regional development: it is an economic transformation based on multiple options and critical mass (focusing on on a small number of priorities, namely those based on regional and global specialization advantages), on collaboration, connectivity and clusters (as internationalized clusters allow the exploitation and development of diversity and inter-sectoral links), on the creation of new advantages as Mr. Asanda pointed out: mobilizing talent by linking research – development – innovation with new companies through an entrepreneurial discovery mechanism) and a collaborative leadership system, in which innovation systems based on public partnership- private, through the so-called “quadruple helix” (EU, Committee of Regions, 2016) – government, industry, academia and civil society) act as an experimental platform in which original opinions are heard.
  • John Edwards – European Commission, JRC Sevilla and team leader of the HESS project pointed out the importance of university collaborations, the need for greater flexibility of universities and their orientation towards contemporary realities and especially on the development of entrepreneurial skills in students.
  • Louise Kempton, from Newcastle University, UK, gave a presentation on universities in relation to smart specialization (Kempton et al. 2013), then exemplified by a comparative study between the British and Swedish academic systems in two specific regions. It has been shown that universities can support their regions by objectively assessing their knowledge, skills and competences in both academia and the local economic environment; by rigorously identifying the competitive advantages around which to focus resources and regional strategy; by providing expertise in research and links to international networks; through their curricula (including continuing professional development and lifelong learning) they can positively influence the quality of staff employed in the relevant economic environment; by developing skills by laying the foundations of new businesses, student enterprises and even the direct employment of graduates on the labor market.
  • Cosmina Mironov, HESS expert at the University of Bucharest, presented the general situation of universities in northeastern Romania, as a result of analysis and extensive interviews that took place in November with university management staff. The issues considered (past, present and future) were those related to multilevel leadership (by establishing an optimal balance between national and university authority), local capacity and skills, training and personal development activities. , partnerships and funding.
  • Yannis Talios, from Innovatia Consultants, Greece, brought the expertise to the workshop participants

After the feedback stage, we worked through exchanges in groups dedicated to education, human resources, services for companies (including technology transfer and entrepreneurship) and the relationship with civil society.

Finally, the possibilities for the future (immediate and medium-long term) for technology transfer in the northeastern part of Romania were outlined, possibly through future regional development projects financed by regional, national or other funds.


Macoveiu, G., “Smart specialization through local people and products”. Public presentation, December 2016

EC factsheet, “National / Regional Innovation Strategies For Smart Specialization (RIS3)”. European Commission, March 2014. 

EU, Committee of Regions, “Using the Quadruple Helix Approach to Accelerate the Transfer of Research and Innovation Results to Regional Growth”, 2016. ISBN: 978-92-895-0890-2.

Kempton, L., John Goddard, John Edwards, Fatime Barbara Hegyi and Susana Elena-Pérez, B., “Universities and Smart Specialization”. EU JRC Spain EUR 26343 EN. ISSN 1831-9424, 2013. 

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