Technical University Gheorghe Asachi Iasi, RomaniaDanube Transfer Centre IASI on the road to success with neuroscience - accompanied by Steinbeis Europa Zentrum
One of the recent success stories of Danube Transfer Centres is the development of the Danube Transfer Centre Iasi in Romania, established at the Gheorghe Asachi Technical University in Iași in Northeast Romania. TUIASI's collaboration with Steinbeis Europa Zentrum began in 2019, when representatives of the two institutions signed the letter of intent to join the DTC network in November 2019. From that moment on, TUIASI was very involved and promoted the competitiveness of the innovation ecosystem at the regional level in line with the network's joint Danube strategy. For example, the university ensured co-funding from national programs and thus the growth of the centre.
EU funding for neuroscience
With the support of Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum in the application process, TUIASI was awarded the first Horizon 2020 project as coordinator in 2020. The BrainTwin project (Development of a World-Level Neuroengineering Research Centre by European Twinning) is funded by the EU with 900,000 euros from September 2020 to August 2023.
With a strong focus on engineering, TUIASI is part of the regional innovation cluster for structural and molecular imaging in northeastern Romania. With the help of EU funding, the university has established a new centre for research and teaching in the field of neuroengineering. The Fraunhofer IPA from Stuttgart and the Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Salamanca, Spain, are involved here as scientific partners. The BrainTwin project offers a twinning program with training and summer courses, with the aim of improving scientific and technological capacities through knowledge exchange in Romania.
Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum ensured successful technology transfer and networking and supported TUIASI in increasing the number of successful applications, expanding its network and opening its own centre for international projects. These activities included organizing proposal writing workshops and introducing an innovative approach to networking in the Quadruple Helix: the so-called "Bridging the Gap" workshops. The team organized science-industry workshops involving key industrial stakeholders from medical technology services and healthcare institutions in Romania, as well as some European companies, to share knowledge, ideas and methodologies and build solid science-industry relationships.
Support from the experts at Steinbeis Europa Zentrum led to further successes:
- Access to innovation funding was significantly facilitated.
- Currently, TUIASI counts 11 new Horizon Europe projects, two of which are coordinated by TUIASI.
- Over 30 new partners from ten countries (Switzerland, France, Germany, Bulgaria, Spain, Finland, Italy, Sweden, Norway and Estonia) have been added.
- Over 10 new contacts from the Danube region and several nationally funded projects focusing on innovation and technology transfer have been established.
- The cooperation between Romania and Baden-Württemberg has intensified.