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End of Conference Report on Open Innovation Conference 2.0 (13−14 June, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)

OI2.0 Conference Founder and Adviser for Innovation Systems at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content, and Technology (DG CONNECT) Mr Bror Salmelin: “Cluj-Napoca has outperformed our expectations and set a new standard for the upcoming OI2.0 Conference editions. The impressive performance of Open Innovation 2.0 Conference and its related events in Cluj-Napoca propels the co-creation of innovation ecosystems across Europe. ”

Last week the Open Innovation 2.0-related events series 2017 drew to a close! During five intensive and exciting days of co-creation and open practices exchange, around 500 guests from 20 countries attended workshops and seminars, conducted by 70 speakers under the lead theme of Open Innovation 2.0: The Platform for Digital Innovation.

What set the Open Innovation 2.0 Conference 2017 apart was the fact that the organizers entangled a series of events starting with the Cluj-Napoca’s first Innovation Dialogue event (10th-11th June), followed by the 2-day annual Open Innovation 2.0 Conference (13th – 14th June), the first Town Hall Debate chaired by the Committee of Regions (13th June), the prestigious Innovation Luminary Awards Gala, in the evening of 13th June. stARTS was another part of the event series, happening in parallel, including also the Clusters Matchmaking event (12th June).

The conclusions of the Innovation Dialogue workshops revealed similar solutions from 4 different expert groups: the need for an infrastructure able to propel and support the citizen-originated solutions and ideas. These conclusions have been further discussed in the Town Hall Debate where the local municipality and the representatives of the CoR have provided a global point of view in a direct meeting with the citizens.

During the Innovation Luminary Awards Ceremony five excelling OI2 pioneers and practitioners were given a beautiful bronze lighthouse trophy for their eminent contributions in the field As an important highlight for the local community in Cluj-Napoca, during the Gala the Mayor of the city, Mr Emil Boc was awarded the prize in ‘Creating a strong innovation landscape’ category for fostering the creation of city structures and strategies that support an innovative ecosystem, and Dr. Bianca Muntean, Executive Director of ARIES Transilvania and iTech Transilvania Cluster was awarded as Young innovation Bridger and Curator for bringing the necessary cross-cutting innovation elements together, driving for a modern innovation ecosystem. The other Luminaries for 2017 are: ‘Recreating Innovation Renaissance’ – Prof. Piero Formica; ‘Creation of a national open innovation strategy’ – Mr Dermot Mulligan, ‘Open and scalable hardware ecosystem’ – Arduino open source, computer hardware and software company ( Mr David Cuartielles, creator and co-founder of Arduino greeted the high-level gala dinner quests in a video address).

While receiving their Awards, the events hosting side shared the following with the audience: “It was an honor to host this event in Cluj-Napoca and we took this opportunity to show our commitment for developing a smart city and to offer to our citizens’ access to the newest information and solutions that are being developed in the world. It was a reassurance that we are on the right track with our vision for the long-term development of the city and the community” – stated Mayor Emil Boc.

“The OI2 Events Series had a brilliant start at the Innovation Dialogue and the Welcome Night ceremony staged in the center of Cluj-Napoca with participation by Advisor for the European Commission, Directorate General for Communications, Network, content, and Technology (DG CONNECT) Mr, Bror Salmelin and Mayor of Cluj-Napoca Emil Boc. An upbeat vibe was felt throughout entire conference days,” commented Dr. Bianca Muntean, ARIES Transilvania – co-organizer of the events.

During the events series days, video testimonials from participants, speakers and organizers were taken and it turned out that our guests were particularly impressed with the practical aspects showcased around Block-chain, the experiences of the VUCA (Volatility-Uncertainty-Complexity-Ambiguity) Times session, and stARTS (Science Technology and Arts) plenary session. “The conference’s approach embraces multiple aspects of the society and the transformative power of digitalization. The talks and related debates triggered the participants to contribute and come up with solutions,” outlined Mr Salmelin, adding: “The twelve publicly presented Conference Conclusions propel OI2 as the platform for digital innovation, they encourage the Open Innovation Strategy and Policy Group (OISPG) community to try and give feedback, while the mechanism of the Industry Commons OI2 enables safely building disruptive innovation on top of existing industry capabilities’. It has also been mentioned that Europe is called to create open bus architecture for DLT, to further work in maintaining a productive and result-oriented dialogue with Japan on societal change management. The Innovation Radar initiative of the European Commission was encouraged to continuously enhance social innovations detection. Speakers agreed that, while OI2.0 ecosystems should be seen and developed as a service in order to ensure rapid experimentation and prototyping in quadruple helix settings (collaboration between public sector, private sector, academia and citizens), enabling easy and fast access to co-creation spaces geographically and/or thematically.

Additionally, on the organizing side Mrs Emiliya Hubavenska – Policy & Communication Assistant at the European Commission’s DGCONNECT referred to the upbeat mood of the whole series of events stating that the OI2 Conference in Cluj-Napoca was long-awaited and is already having a strong impact at regional and EU level .“The OI2 Events Ecosystem concept brought a new perspective and a lot of fresh ideas on the table. It generated synergies between different actors participating in the events and interlinked specific topics in open discussions and interactions”, she said.

Background information:

The European Commission’s Directorate-General CONNECT in the shape of the Open Innovation Strategy and Policy Group (OISPG) in partnership with the European Committee of the Regions, the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca, the Innovation Value Institute, ARIES Transylvania, Transilvania Clusters Consortium, MasterCard and Dublin City Council organized the 5th edition of the Open Innovation 2.0 Conference in the picturesque city of Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania region, in Romania (13th – 14th June 2017). For the first time the conference co-organizers decided on setting a series of interlinked OI2 events to be held across five full days (from June 10th to June 14th ).

Translations: Romanian


The Open Innovation Strategy and Policy Group (OISPG) supports policies for Open Innovation at the European Commission.

OISPG works in close collaboration with the European Commission (@DSMeu). OISPG philosophy embraces the Open Innovation 2.0 paradigm: creation of open innovation ecosystems where the serendipity process is fully-fledged.

OISPG members believe that involving citizens directly in the innovation process allows rapid prototyping in real life. Building a prototype is the fastest, most effective way to push an idea forward. Prototyping will foster entrepreneurship in Europe, will create jobs and will boost sustainable economic and societal growth. Therefore, OISPG suggests various open innovation actions and approaches to industry and to other innovation partners in order to stimulate and strengthen competitiveness.

Media Contacts:

OISPG Media Contact
+32 460 754 451

OI2 Conference 2017 Cluj-Napoca Media Contact:

+40 744 179120

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