Oracle and Renault decided to open in Romania R&D centers for technology, that will employ thousands of local engineers, said presidential adviser Theodor Stolojan. The two companies decided to open R&D centers for technology in Romania that will employ thousands of local engineers, said presidential adviser Theodor Stolojan.
“The American company Oracle decided to create the development center in Romania for the entire Southeastern Europe region and more,” said Stolojan during a seminar on electronic communications and Information Technology (IT&C). The official also announced that Renault made a similar decision. The center to be opened by the French carmaker will employ approximately 2,000 Romanian engineers, added Stolojan.
“We have investments that aim to turn Romania into a country that exports services and creates high added value,” emphasized Stolojan. However, the IT&C industry could rely on the outsourcing activities for up to five years, recently stated the representatives of the Romanian Association for the Electronic and Software Industry (ARIES). Alexandru Borce, president of the association, believes the main advantage of the local outsourcing industry is the low cost of labor, which will hike after Romania integrates into the European Union. “In Romania, a series of companies already have problems related to labor costs, potential clients are moving away to other countries such as the Ukraine or Russia,” said Borcea. The ARIES representative recommended that the local companies stipulate funds and invest in the research and development activities.
“Outsourcing was one of the elements which supported the increase of the software exports,” said the minister of communications, Zsolt Nagy, adding that, in his opinion, Romania will maintain its advantages for another ten years. “The outsourcing activities allowed the IT&C industry to participate in large, international projects, which then supported the acknowledgement of the local work force’s quality, he added.
Software exports boosted by 20 percent last year and reached 280 million euros, according to Nagy. Moreover, the volume of investments in IT&C amounted to 1.8 billion euros, without including the direct investments, added the minister. The turnover of the sector totaled 4.1 billion euros last year, accounting for eight percent of the Gross Domestic Product.
According to the minister, the IT&C sector in Romania is the best prepared for EU accession, both legally and regarding issues of competition.
Romania lags behind on R&D investments
Romania spent 235 million euros for Research and Development activities (R&D) last year; five times less than the investments carried out by the European Union. Thus, in past years, the funds allocated by the government for R&D had a constant ratio in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) according to a study carried by the European Statistics Institute, Eurostat. The government allocated 235 million euros last year – the same as in 2003 – representing a 0.4 percent ratio in the GDP. Bulgaria allocated 0.51% of the GDP last year, amounting to 99 million euros.
The average in the European Union was 1.9 percent of the GDP, representing the equivalent of approximately 195 billion euros. However, the sums allocated by the European government for R&D recorded a slight decrease in the GDP last year compared with 2003 and 2001, 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. The funds actually increased in value by 1.3 percent.
Hungary allocated the highest GDP ratio for Research and Development from Central and Eastern European countries: 0.89 percent of the GDP, representing 721 million euros. Poland invested 1.13 billion, the equivalent of 0.58 percent of the GDP, while Slovenia financed the domain with 418 million euros, or 1.61 percent of the GDP.
According to Eurostat, the EU members which granted a special role to the R&D sector were the Northern European states. Sweden allocated both the highest GDP ratio and largest sums for research and development – 3.74 percent of the GDP, representing 10.4 billion euros. Finland came in second, with 3.51 percent of the GDP allocated, representing 5.25 billion euros, while Denmark invested 2.63 percent of the GDP, worth 5.1 million euros.
Oracle awards students Bucharest Business Week – Date ?
Last May Oracle rewarded the winners of the ‘Best programmer’ contest, organized by the Academy of Economic Studies (ASE) in Bucharest. The competition targeted mainly students from the Faculty of Cybernetics, Statistics and Economic Informatics.
“Sustaining the training of young specialists in computers is, for us, a permanent activity, as Oracle Romania is now running a wide range of programs with educational roles,” said Stefan Cojanu, managing director of Oracle Romania. “This contest is part of a long collaboration between Oracle and the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, which, five years ago, created the Oracle Center for Excellence and led to the integration of ASE within the Oracle Academic Initiative, a global program for academic environments.”
Oracle gave awards totaling 1,000 USD to three winners: Andrei Streche, Anca Belchiru and Roxana Hadarean. Organizing programming contests for students is a tradition for the Cathedra of Economic Informatics within the Faculty of Cybernetics, Statistics and Economic Informatics. This competition was seen as a good opportunity to evaluate the students in projecting relational databases.
“The main objectives of the contest’s database section ensured good conditions for checking and using the students’ knowledge, but also served as a useful test for their adjustment to the exams and interviews in Oracle’s databases,” said Manole Velicanu, coordinator of the ASE contest.
Romania was the first country to join the Oracle Academic Initiative, which they did in 1999, and which now includes 13 economic faculties throughout the country. In partnership with other IT companies, Oracle contributed to the establishment of the Excellence Centers of ASE, Polytechnics University in Bucharest and University of Bucharest.
In April 2003 Oracle University Romania opened the Oracle Testing center, which offers several important advantages for the development of the professional training level. In October 2003, as another premier in the central and eastern Europe, the Oracle Internet Academy was launched in Bucharest. The pilot phase included the national colleges Dimitrie Cantemir and Tudor Vianu. The students from ‘Tudor Vianu’ won the ‘International Data Modelling Competition’, which had participants from 40 prestigious colleges in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.