Research, development and innovation are the guiding principles of the Mechanical Engineering and Research Institute (ICTCM), which develops new and upgraded equipment, technologies and advanced materials; provides technological and business consulting; supports micro-production activities; and promotes creative projects. The institute has been involved in a wide range of national, EU and international programmes.
A current focus for the ICTCM is to develop a strategy for a bio-economy – combining agriculture and industry – in Romania. Gheorghe Lifu, General Manager, explains, “We have created a pilot bio-economy project for an industrial park where all raw materials would be processed, including to generate energy, without any waste. This project is budgeted at €22 million and would create 300 jobs. We are at a fairly advanced stage to include the project in Horizon 2020. The EU, the Romanian Academy and others are excited about the project, but we have not yet received funding in Romania.” Gheorghe Lifu welcomes the support of private investors as well as international funding organisations.
Another current initiative for the ICTCM is to develop cutting-edge robotic equipment for people who are paralysed. Gheorghe Lifu advocates creating a European Funds Bank through which important projects like these could access financing more easily. He says, “I want more people to know that Romania’s innovative applied-research institutes can bring great value to the EU and to the world.”