Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical of Iasi!
On behalf of the Technical University of Iasi board, I am honored to address you few welcoming words and to thank to all of you for joining us in this first day of a very dense and interesting week.
As you know very well, the topic of the overture of the “Week of Innovative Regions in Europe” conference is dedicated to the regional and territorial development by collaboration between the economic, social, and academic actors. So, this is the main reason for starting these four days of meetings and workshops at the Technical University of Iasi, in an ambiance which combines the art with the knowledge and science.
The opening meeting is organized in one of the most famous and beautiful hall in Romania, “Carmen Sylva” Hall, built at the end of 19th Century. This location hosted the Romanian Senate during the First World War, between 1916 and 1918. So, this hall could be considered to be at that moment the political centre of Romania.
The “Carmen Sylva” Hall is completed by the “Gheorghe Asachi” Library, which was included few years ago, by worldwide voting on-line, in the first four wonderful libraries in the world, together with the libraries of Trinity College Dublin, Royal Portuguese Library from Rio de Janeiro, and National Library from Prague. I invite you to find few minutes to visiting it in a break.
This year we celebrate 206 years from the first School of Engineering in Romanian language, organized at Iasi by Gheorghe Asachi, the seed from which our university germinated and grew. So, we are the successors of the oldest engineering school in our country, but, in the same time, we are one of the promotors of the most innovative education in engineering.
The topic of this workshop is dedicated to the regional development by innovations. So, I consider that this side event is naturally to be organized in our university, because of our tradition in innovation and patenting activities. This statement is proved by the increased number of patents registered at the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks. In this context, I am happy to mention that in the last two years we registered over 120 patents requests and we became in 2018 the first Romanian institute, academic or non-academic, as number of patents.
The sustainable development of regions or territories is possible only by including the technical universities and related institutes of research and development in the decision or leader groups. The humanistic, economic, or business sciences are proper for guessing the future by analysing the past, for forecasting the environment or the frames for the collaborations between the institutions in the purpose of regional systems growing in the right directions.
However, the effective, palpable contributions are offered by the engineering universities through their role in creating specialists in modern technologies and processes, in adding new-valences to these specialists background, in proposing solutions and projects, in innovating and innovative activities. I am supposing that nobody in this room can imagine that a region, wherever it may be located, could be developed without infrastructure, without buildings, without smart applications, without a real diverse or dedicated goods production system, all being the creations of the specialists trained in the technical universities.
Now, our university includes 11 faculties, covering almost all the engineering domains and architecture. Our tradition and experience help us to be placed in the top 5 Romanian universities as education and research activity. Moreover, according to the supplementary funds getting by competition for institutional development and excellency, our university is the second university in Romania and the first one in Iasi. At this moment we are included in the Advanced Research and Education group of Romanian universities.
As you may observe from my very brief presentation of the university, our potential contributions cover all the technical fields required for the regional development, from infrastructure to software, from energy to textiles, from architecture to electronics, from dams to new materials, from automotive to food. Therefore, in our university you can find a serious, competent, and devoted to innovation partner for proposing and implementing the strategies considered for regional or territorial development.
Unfortunately, the local and regional authorities did not try to pass over the declarative intentions and so rarely request to our university to be involved effectively in concrete activities which are essential for accelerating the rate of this region development. I believe that the real partnership between the universities and authorities represents the main challenge for the immediate future.
Finally, I wish success to this workshop and to those will follow it, I wish to all of you to enjoy these days in Iasi, and I hope that you will return anytime with pleasure in our city and our university.
Thank you very much.