Promoting industry 4.0 in Transylvania with the Global Digital Production innovation network
July 2, 2014
Fraunhofer IAO and the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (TUC-N) have been working together in the Global Digital Production innovation network in Romania for around a year. This German-Romanian collaboration is an avenue for Fraunhofer IAO to support both industrial development and industry-oriented research in Transylvania. The network office in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca opened on July 1, 2014.
Many German companies have manufacturing operations in Transylvania. One of the many reasons for this is the low cost of manufacturing in Romania, where they can also work closely together with local suppliers and business partners. Around one year ago, Fraunhofer IAO and the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (TUC-N) initiated an innovation network with a view to supporting such collaboration in the future and of bringing industry 4.0 to Transylvania.
On July 1, 2014, the director of both Fraunhofer IAO and the Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart, Prof. Wilhelm Bauer, and TUC-N Rector Aurel Vlaicu officially opened the innovation network’s Transylvania office. Some one hundred invited representatives from the worlds of industry, research and politics took part in the opening celebrations. Collaborations between the University of Stuttgart and the prestigious TUC-N date back several years. Now, against the backdrop of German industry’s strong interest in this region, industry-oriented Fraunhofer research from Stuttgart is also on its way to Transylvania. “We understand how companies in Romania operate and anticipate this collaboration to yield synergy effects for the German companies active there,” emphasized Bauer at the opening celebrations. He went on to say that he expects both sides to experience a surge in innovation. This view reflects how many companies are moving some of their development activities – as well as production – to Romania, which in turn opens up whole new collaborative relationships for the Global Digital Production network to examine and help shape. Prof. Carmen Constantinescu is in charge of coordinating Fraunhofer IAO’s activities in Romania – a position that allows her to use her expert knowledge of the country and its people. Her mission is to make the latest in industrial manufacturing developments – driven in Germany under the banner of industry 4.0 – practicable for Transylvania in a way tailored to local conditions.
In addition to collaborating digitally via the data highway, personal relationships and the trust these engender play a key role in any network. This is why the partners decided to set up a joint office, paving the way for joint R&D activities carried out by the industry and research network. Other activities will include preparing strategic research projects and promoting joint, German-language study programs and scientific exchange among the TUC-N, the University of Stuttgart and Fraunhofer IAO.