The Wallachia Hub Consortium and USH Pro Business held a debate on June 23 on how universities and other key actors can be involved in regional development, as well as their role in the regional smart specialization strategy.

The event was attended by members of the Wallachia Hub cluster consortium, respectively the Petroleum-Gas University from Ploiești, USH Pro Business from Bucharest, Bio Concept Prahova Valley Cluster, Cermand Cluster, Danube Engineering Hub Cluster, Danube Furniture Cluster. They were joined by representatives of South Muntenia Regional Development Agency, Spiru Haret University from Câmpulung and Valahia University from Târgoviște.

The debate pointed out the advantages that can be capitalized from the collaboration of the business environment with the academic environment and with the local public authorities. They aim to facilitate access to information on funding sources available in the next financial year 2021-2027, access to the results of the RDI activity at universities, technology and knowledge transfer facilitated by specialized ITT entities, better trained students and graduates trained in universities from the region.

The initiative to set up a regional university consortium has proved to be a valuable one, able to lead to the real development of the region, to attract the economic interests of the business environment and to preserve valuable human capital in the region. The role of local public authorities will become the more important in the guidance, facilitation and support activities provided to SMEs, the more they will support and get involved in these regional collaboration initiatives.

Universities can have a binding role, cohesion for clusters, especially in this difficult period caused by the pandemic. Now, the business environment is confused, burdened, stuck in activities. There is a need to simplify the procedures regarding the access to the financial sources necessary for companies and to accelerate the validation processes of the submitted projects. These are the realities we started with when we called on universities to get involved and play an important role in regional development” said Assoc. prof. PhD Costin Lianu, General Manager, USH Pro Business.

The Muntenia Universitas initiative group will have the secretariat at the Wallachia Hub consortium, based in Ploiești, 26 Alexandru Vlahuță Street, and will organize activities in which it intends to continue to attract the academic environment and regional clusters.