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Opportunities for Romania

Opportunities for Romania

No. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017 » BUSINESSance

Just a couple of months ago, after I met an old friend, I came across a paper called ”100 opportunities for Finland and the World”[1]; since then, after reading the pragmatic document, I began promoting it, hoping it would go viral and underscore that Romania has a similar need to the one the Finnish document addresses..

The following idea, to be succeeded by many others in time, represents just a schematic of what should become a transdiciplinary project, embarked on by a government thirsty for innovation and in pursuit of a prosperous and sustainable future for its citizens. 

Evaluation Technology 

I would propose establishing a future-oriented National Commission (following the Finnish example) for the anticipation/ evaluation of technological discoveries and their role in all of the social and societal space. And the basis for such an initiative is not flimsy; on the contrary, Mircea Malița’s experience in studying the future by using evaluation technology (ET) means to explore the connection between science, technology and society represents a first “open gate”. ET was pioneered in 1970 by the US Congress’ Technology Evaluation Office. It has been defined in various ways – “Evaluation technology (ET) is a scientific, interactive and communication process, that aims to contribute to the forming of the political and public opinion regarding social aspects of science and technology”.

This is a concept that brings together researchers from various fields, such as business, economics, sociology or biology, just to name a few. The common goal is to explore the way in which present technological breakthroughs affect the world we live in. More specifically, ET could, for example, analyse policies regarding: the energy situation, the new working conditions in light of ITC development, globalization and the new skills in the labour market, NGOs and the environment, confidentiality and privacy problems in e-government, nanotechnology’s potential in healthcare etc.

Evaluation technology has three dimensions:

  • the cognitive dimension – creating an overview regarding the knowledge relevant for elaborating policies;
  • the normative dimension – establishing the dialogue to support the drafting of the approval;
  • the pragmatic dimensions – which will establish the processes that contribute to the decisions that have to be taken.

ET has three parts: the technology issue, social issues and issues concerning policies. Ultimately, ET may be seen as a contributor to the democratic control of scientific and technological innovations. 

Preparing for the future 

In the last two prospective debates I recognized that this endeavour would hold much interest for the Romanian state. In competition analysis, in defining the evaluation criteria according to the World Economic Forum methodology, I showed that there is a phasing of a state’s evolution, as well as its society’s. Romania falls in the second category – the second level of indicators, called “efficiency promoters”. In essence, these are the markets – whether we refer to the functioning of trade, the labour market or the financial one, and taking into consideration education, as well as technological preparation – which measures how well the economy is prepared for a more advanced transition towards a knowledge-based economy.

Therefore, the prospective analysis of opportunities for Romania will target:

  • Enabling the global value producing networks (GVPNs): for example the League of Romanian Students Abroad, The Caesar Foundation, the scientific diaspora and Brain Romania (developed by the Romanian Government);
  • Creating poles and cities of innovation (in approximately 10-15 years);
    • The development of 3D printing of merchandise;
    • 3D printing of buildings;
    • 3D and 4D printing of new materials;
    • Moving from mass production to affordable customized production through robotics;
  • Individualizing the education and career orientation system (in the last decade, the private and afterschool systems have undergone an evolution); virtual schools in cloud technology and amplifying organizations that form on the internet;
  • Auto-care and medical assistance (in approximately 10-15 years)
    • Biochips and biosensors capable of diagnosing, cheaply and rapidly, physiological diseases and general characteristics of organisms (the European genetic market has grown in the last years by 20%). The global genetic testing market was worth 3.8 billion dollars in 2015 and it is estimated to reach 4.23 billion dollars in 2016. In rising, at a moderate generalized annual growth rate raised by 9.7%, it is expected to reach 6.7 billion by 2021[2];
    • Small, portable scanners;
    • Continuous monitoring of personal health;
    • Large scale use of human organ regeneration (through stem technology) and cell cultivation;
  • Creating virtual communities and virtualizing en-detail services and commerce (through blockchain technology)
    • Work from distance;
    • Gamification;
  • Electronic currency (cryptocurrency) and time banks
    • Access to emerging radical technology markets;
  • Going back to the old cooperatives, but this time private, and developing local or functional food products
  • Functional materials and new technological materials (in domains such as constructions)
    • New construction materials that replace reinforced concrete and old construction systems;
  • Lasting, individualized and durable technologies
    • Lowering the prices of solar energy and efficient solar panels;
    • Large scale production of biofuels, using enzyme, bacteria or algae;
  • Amplifying and systemizing participation based entertainment, culture and influence (for civil society interactions, activism etc.)
    • Virtualization of identities and social structures (such as on-line political parties);
    • Amplifying the crowdfunding and micro-finance system;
  • Models for the operation of self-organized communities, the destructuring of the state system and emancipating local authorities (in an initial phase) (in approximately 10-15 years)
    • Automated public transport (in approximately 10-15 years). 

We are already on the road from dream to reality and to the pragmatism and real world solutions of the business environment.

 

(To be continued)

 

[1] https://www.eduskunta.fi/FI/tietoaeduskunnasta/julkaisut/Documents/tuvj_11+2014.pdf

[2] Global Market of Genetic Testing – Industry analysis and market forecast (2017-2022), published in January 2017 https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/global-genetic-testing-market-industry

 
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