Eurada News nº389 - June 2019

A Romanian RDA promoting the sustainable development of central regions

The month of May was filled with activities for EURADA including a visit to the development agency ADR Centru in Romania. There are several projects being implemented in the country which ADR Centru is part of. These projects range from improving smart specialization strategies to another unique project related to thermal spa regions.

The Regional Development Agency Centru (ADR Centru) is a non-governmental, non-profit, organization of public utility, with juridical personality, which conducts the implementation of policies for regional development within the Development Region Centru. The main role of the agency is to contribute to the regional sustainable development of Region Centru through the removal of existing disparities and imbalances among regions for the benefit of their inhabitants. It also implements plans and strategies designed within the partnership to efficiently use financial and human resources in order to assist the communities of the regions and to attract investments.

The agency was founded on three principles: the principle of partnership, the principle of subsidiarity and the principle of decentralization. On the other hand, the main principle of the agency’s activities are: Unity, Coherence, Adequacy, Responsibility, Transparency and Cooperation.

Cooperation is an essential element within regional development as it represents an important objective of the cohesion policy. The institutional development of ADR Centru has also heavily relied on cooperation which has led to the creation of strong links with other regions in Europe. The Brandenburg region of Germany, the South-Transdanubian region of Hungary or the Central Region of Moldova are examples of these links. For instance, the Brandenburg and Centru region of Romania celebrated 10 years of cooperating and working together in 2018. The two regions did this through highlighting their cultural differences and similarities along with the projects and ideas they accomplished and continue to pursue together.

Additionally, the agency is currently involved in several projects which promote cooperation among different EU regions and regions within the country itself. Some examples of these projects are Beyond EDP, InnovaSPA, and Europe Enterprise Network.

Beyond EDP is a project coordinated by the Center Val de Loire region of France and is implemented by a consortium of 10 partner organizations from eight European countries, EURADA and ADR Centru among them. The project is aimed at improving general smart specialization strategies (RIS3) by entrepreneurial discovery process management (EDP) and adapt better public policy research – development – innovation needs of local economies. ADR Centru is tasked as a policy instrument aimed at participation, a crucial role in the promotion of awareness regarding the project.

On the other hand, the InnovaSPA is a project financed under the Interregional Cooperation Program of the European Commission – Interreg Europe. It is implemented by a consortium of eight partner organizations from eight European countries with ADR Centru being the responsible partner for implementation in the central region of the country. The overall objective of the project is to improve the development policies at regional / national level to support the transfer of technology and knowledge to accelerate the launch of new products and innovative solutions for spa. Since Romania has regions with thermal spa businesses, the agency’s involvement in this project allows a bright future for its further development.

Meanwhile, an example of constant activity for the agency is business support. ADR Centru is an organization member of Enterprise Europe Network since 2008 and during this period, it has created a team of experts providing SME support services for business and innovation. In particular, the internationalization efforts of companies in the region and access to the single market are supported. Since 2016, business support services provided by the ADR Center have been expanded and diversified by including investment promotion and assistance for potential investors. Thus, ADR Centru offers a single point for contacting at regional level, a one-stop-shop point to foreign companies which are looking to invest in the Region Centru.

The projects which ADR Centru are part of reinforces the agency’s dedication to uphold its founding principles and demonstrates the efforts it takes in promoting the sustainable development of its region’s entrepreneurial and natural assets.