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Centrul de Afaceri

Transilvania

Business Center

Bd. Nicolae Titulescu nr.4, 3400 Cluj-Napoca, Romania


tel/fax 0040-264-433768, 414086, mobiles: 0040-722-354447, 723-785406
e-cat@e-cat.ro, projects@e-cat.ro , http://e-cat.ro/energia.html , http://www.e-energia.org

Romanian Business Incubators

DEFINITION
The Romania National Strategy for a sustainable economic development, elaborated by the actual
Government, presents at Chapter IV/C the Structural Adjustment and Economic Development Policies,
referring to the incubators. Among the policies for the consolidation and development of the SMEs and
creation of new jobs, we can find the organisation of: the consulting and training centres, the technological
parks and business incubators, assisted by the state with free of charge or low cost service.
(Source: http://domino.kappa.ro/guvern/strategia.nsf/Arhiva/FE1C8F4842A7F8AAC22568AB004819F8?OpenDocument )
The generic term of Business Incubator - BI is used to define a various number of organisations that,
sustain the entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas for starting and developing a new enterprise.
The BI is a local or regional partnership structure, which offers different services to the SMEs, in
advantageous conditions, especially for the introduction of innovative processes in the industries.
The BIs contribute, through the resources allocated and through the stimulation of innovative initiatives,
to the creation of new jobs and to the diversification of the activities. Also, facilitate the access of the
SMEs to the international markets by promoting the co-operative relations with similar organisations.
As structure, BI is represented by a team of specialists whose aim is to create and support the promotion
of the SMEs, contributing to the development of the local economy.
Several IBs have complex structures. These incubators identify and sustain young enterprises on the local
level, with chances of rapid growth. As well, initiate or create such enterprises, supporting them in the
difficult start-up period.
The incubators offers:

Production space endowed with the necessary utilities;


Administrative services and secretariat;
Technical and specialised assistance;
Financial facilities;
Training for the entrepreneurs and staff;
General information and business opportunities;

Services provided by the incubator

Basic services

Services linked by the space

Expert services
Specific services

Offices

Production services

Centralised bookkeeping;
Designing of business plans for the
incubated companies;
Administrative assistance, legal and
financial;
Assistance in marketing and management
Identification of potential business
partners
Access to the library (information on
legislation, marketing, evaluation of
industrial enterprises, methods and
techniques of SMEs promotion, training
of the workers.

The business incubators optimise the local resources and supplement them for the SMEs development.
The Romanian Ministry for Labour and Social Solidarity presented a set of active measures for
unemployment and elaborated through the National Agency for Labour Employment the bidding
documentation for the selection of services providers and administrators of the BIs (available in Romanian
at http://www.anofm.ro).

BI : Identification Evaluation - Business Planning Training - Assistance Promotion - Follow-up


STRATEGIES
There are different strategies from the start-up of the incubators activity:

Business Incubator independent and non-profit structure;


Business Incubator specific activity inside a business or research organisation;
Business Incubator professional centre of the quality expertise and control;
Business Incubator international centre of resources.

CLASSIFICATION
According with the typology of the BI the classification will be structured in two principal groups:

Multifunctional incubators that allow the incubation of the companies from different fields of
activities;
Specialised incubators which are concentrated on particular specialised activities.

According to the legal form, the BI could be:


- commercial company;
- non-profit organisation;
- association;
- foundation.
According with the level of complexity we can distinguish the following types:
Scientific parks
Are organised, for the most of the cases, near or inside the universities, offering special conditions for the
research development. Professors guide those activities and the results of the research are often
commercialised. The original concept allows only those activities that are limited to researchdevelopment but, in time, the scientific parks have been developed and diversified, including activities of
micro-production.
One Technological and Scientific Park was identified in Timisoara with reduced activity.
Academy of Economic Studies, ASE-Bucharest created in 1998 the Technological Incubator for Students
together with IBM and Oracle. The total grant was 115 000 USD in equipment and soft. The space and
administration was provided by ASE. Also, it was established the Romanian-American Centre for
Business Excellence with the technical and financial support of Washington State University and World
Bank.
The University Babes-Bolyai from Cluj-Napoca is developing a BI program with Michigan University .
The grant is 50 000 USD and the space, administration are provided by the Faculty for European Studies.
(http://informatia.dntcj.ro/2001Feb13/mate16.html)
Few initiatives must be mentioned such as the New Technological Incubators for Students, proposals
elaborated by the Technical Universities under the name of ICAV.
(Source: http://www.mct.ro/web/1/CNC/s2plus/Domnica-Cotet.doc )
Research parks
Have a lot on common with the scientific park but it is concentrated on the development of new methods
and prototypes, activities demanded by the large productive companies.
There were not identified such parks in Romania.
Industrial parks
Represent a zone, which gives facilities for the establishment of new enterprises and which could contain
scientific parks, incubators, incubators without walls, etc. Generally it is oriented to those enterprises
which are in the production sector and which have the possibility to build their own space for production..

The Ministry of Development and Prognosis has elaborated the Industrial Parks Program for Romania.
The principal aim is to put in practice measures for the improvement of the regional infrastructure. It
encourages the economy diversification and sustains the private initiatives in the production field through
industrial parks and technological centres. The total value of the program is 1.126 billion lei for a period
of 4 years and the Government will cover half of this amount. The principal actors of this program are
private companies with majority Romanian capital and who will administrate the future Industrial Parks.
(Source: http://www.nextra.ro/phare/2002/RaportADR0218/RaportADR0218_004002.html#RaportADR0218_004002004 )
In Romania, the Industrial Parks are under construction in the most important towns such as: Cluj-Napoca
(http://www.tetarom.com), Iasi (http://www.tehnopolis.ro), Baia Mare (http://www.bm2000.mmnet.ro/comunicatie/itpark),
Braila
(http://www.mdp.ro/romana/dezvoltare/str_nationale/mdp/comunicate_presa/comunicate/15_07_parc_braila.htm),
Bucharest, Constanta, Craiova, Timisoara and more. Some of them are included in the PHARE Program
for Romania, the component "Regional Infrastructure Projects".
We have designed a synthetic presentation of the Romanian Industrial Parks legislation, procedures,
bidding, together with a study case regarding The High Technologies Industrial Park Cluj-Napoca at
http://www.v-market.ro/infdom.html ( click on 2, 3).
Innovation and Incubation Centres
This concept is considered as the principal instrument for the regional development. The Business
Incubators manages and offers to the entrepreneurs various facilities to sustain the creation and
development of the new business. Beside consulting services, training and assistance given to the
entrepreneurs, the business incubators provide spaces for production and access to the secretariat services,
data base, equipment, meeting rooms etc. The incubator is done after strict criteria and the incubation
period is limited. Usually from three to five years enabling the continuous rotation of the companies.
In the Annex A it is presented the list of 10 centres and incubators established by CRIMM Foundation
with the financial support of the Romanian Government, PHARE Program and other donor organisations.
Few million Euro were granted starting with 1992 for these incubators projects and 4 of them are still
working with good results. In the Annex B, C, D, E, F are the files of the acting incubators in Romania:
Braila, Baia Mare, Bucharest, Miercurea Ciuc and Zalau. Also we have identify in Sibiu county the
Technological Institute as Business Incubator (phone: + 40 269 231130; Contact person: Mr. Soiman) and
in Timisoara county the Incubation Centre for Innovation (Contact person: Mrs. Corina Dragomirescu)
Incubator without walls
Involves a well-structured program for the promotion of the entrepreneurial spirit. It provides consulting
services and assistance to start-up a new business.
The incubators management assures a service package to the entrepreneurs without providing spaces for
the incubated companies. This type of incubator is more or less linked with the new ad value IT activities.
In Romania we have identified 3 such incubators:
Virtual Incubator NEST is an IT incubator created in October 2001. The founding members are
FRPP, The German Group a-anacom, Advantage Software Corporation, Roland Berger & Partner and
Hill International.

NEST will develop the projects selected in profitable businesses, offering finance and services for add
value applications. The total amount of the investment is estimated to 1.5 million USD. Each
incubated company will be finance with 250.000 US dollars and NEST will have 51% in each
incubated company. The principal target of NEST are the Romanian or foreign companies in start-up
or early-stage. The selected companies will be incubated in Bucharest and will have totally equipped
spaces. Also, specialised assistance in strategy, human resources, IT, bookkeeping, financial and legal
consultancy are provided by NEST http://www.nest.ro
(Source: http://www.efinance.ro/rev/112000/si/1.html ; http://www.pcreport.ro/pcrep101/058.shtml)
Reverse Internet Incubator has been invented as a unique business model by Internet Genesis.
Rather than seeking to incubate start-ups that have been initiated by entrepreneurs, Internet Genesis is
seeking entrepreneurs that are interested to lead or get involved with Internet ventures that have
already been conceived, have a functioning website and have already a preliminary business plan.
Qualified web entrepreneurs will be offered substantial equity positions and excellent business
development conditions to develop the venture of their choice to a level where it is an attractive target
for an IPO or a buyout.
(Source: http://www.internetgenesis.ro/about_us.htm )
MDLB Incubator is one of the most important incubators for start-up. The French MDLB Group is
the principal shareholder and initiated the project for the small IT companies development. The
incubator offers financial support and know-how. The interested companies to join MDLB Incubator
have to present a business plan including the staffs CVs, the experience in ICT activities and the
innovative ideas.
(Sources: http://www.mdlb.ro , http://www.akela.ro/ro/Akela_HTML/pages/mdlb.htm)
School Incubators and Lyceum Business Centres
There are few local initiatives such as: LBC-Lyceum Business Centre in Cluj-Napoca with technical and
grant support of 45 000 Euro from Transilvania Business Centre (http://e-cat.ro/lbceng.html) and developed at
Economic and Sincai Lyceums; Business Incubator at Grupul Scolar "D. Motoc" from Galati, granted
with 10 000 USD by World Bank.
(Source: http://www.vlg.sisnet.ro/arhiva/an2001/3378/cultura.htm).
Cross-Border Business Incubators
The only example we found is the Micro Business Incubator created by two NGOs: DISTRIKT 0230
from Kikinda(Serbia) and Centrul de Afaceri MASTER from Deva (Romania). The Incubator is granted
by USAID-FAD and Centrul Euroregional pentru Democratie (CED) Timisoara. The project purpose is to
support the SMEs cross-border co-operation with consulting services, business trips and meetings.
(Source: http://cuvlibdeva.recep.ro/2001/8/2963/p3.htm)

ACTUAL POLICIES FOR BUSINESS INCUBATORS


EU-RICOP Program (http://www.ricop.ro/succes1.asp) approved the grant support for BIs in: Campu Lung
Muscel and Targu Jiu , connected with the active measures for unemployment. A lot of centres for
business and training will be opened with contribution of RICOP as well the local authorities and partners.

World Bank has announced the Call for Proposals for a new program: The infoDev Incubator Support
Centre http://www.infodev.org/incubator/IDISCrfp.htm . This Initiative will be dedicated to the establishment of a
network of incubators to facilitate the emergence and development of small and medium size Information
and Communication Technologies (ICT) enterprises in developing countries. The WB Office in Romania
presents this program at http://www.worldbank.org.ro.
Labour Redeployment Program is implemented by the National Agency for Employment-Bucharest,
funded from a World Bank loan granted to the Romanian Government and co-funded by the National
Agency for Employment and The United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The
program benefits from technical assistance offered by the US Department of Labour (USDOL) and is
implemented through World-wide Strategies Inc.(WSI) http://lrp.digi.ro/eng/index.htm. Between the different
projects we can find BI and Centres for SMEs development and other measures for local employment.

In 2002 the Ministry for the SMEs and Co-operatives has initiated two join-programs: the first for the
establishment of the BIs and the second for financing a part of the expenditures with the participation of
the Romanian SMEs to fairs, international exhibitions and promotion. The selection of the organisations
that will manage the BIs will be done by the business plan, presented by the futures managers of the
incubators. The Ministry of the SMEs will publish the criteria of the evaluation procedures by the end of
this year. The BIs will use the available assets that belong to the state owned companies and/or private
spaces. BIs will assure space for production and utilities to the lowest prices, will offer consulting services
and free training. The total value of the project is 15 billion lei and started in March 2002.
(Source: http://www.ziua.ro/archive/2002/02/28/docs/12277.html, http://www.dialogtextil.ro/htm2/arh/mar_2002/cuprins.htm,
http://www.mimmc.ro/comunicate_de_presa/22octombrie.php)

Miners' Business Incubators. The project is implemented by the Ministry of Industry and Resources
through the National Agency for the Development and Implementation of the Reconstruction Programs in
Mining Areas. The Program of closing the mines and the attenuation of the social impact in Romania
includes the Support for the entrepreneurs and business incubators.
In Hunedoara, Alba, Caras-Severin and Tulcea Counties the biding for the projects implementation was
gained by Gruppo SOGES SpA (Italy), in consortium with PE International LTD (UK) and Megaflip SRL
(Romania). The project is financed by the World Bank with 44.5 million USD.
The principal aim is to build new economical alternatives in the mining zones. The project offers, through
national and international experts, the necessary free consulting for the evaluation of start-up business,
business registration and planning, how to obtain micro credits, financial, managerial and technical
assistance.
The IBs will offer to the unemployed mines workers the communication facilities, office equipment,
spaces for production, consulting services and training. It is estimated that the projects will create over
7000 jobs until 2004.
(Source: http://cuvlibdeva.recep.ro/2002/1/3072/p8.htm)
Romanian Army will develop BIs close to the active measures for the professional reconvert of the
unemployed militaries.
The first IB will be financed by the Ministry of Work and Social Solidarity, from the World Bank loan for
social protection active measures, after the Agreement signature given by the Romanian Government. The
Ministry of National Defence presented solutions for a first pilot BI in Bucharest dedicated to the
unemployed militaries from the last three years and to those who will leave the Army in 2003. There is a
well-structured program with measures for social protection for these militaries who can benefit of
insurance and financial resources including micro-credits.
(Source: http://www.mapn.ro/indexro.htm?/arhive/arhivacomunicate/anul2001/iunie/com213iun27.htm,
http://www.cotidianul.ro/anterioare/2002/social/soc0107iun.htm )
CAT-Transilvania Business Centre http://e-cat.ro has initiated in Romania a project concerning the
establishment and development of the first 3D-Incubator in Cluj-Napoca.
The discussions with European Commission and potential partners continue this year. CAT with the local
and central government decided to place the 3D-Incubator in the High Technologies Industrial Park ClujNapoca, under construction http://www.v-market.ro/techparcke.pdh .
CAT proposed the creation of the Transilvanian Innovation Centre which will act as an incubator for new
mobile business application and dissemination in the region of Tansilvanaia. The 3D technologies will be
combined with 3G Internet Wireless for rapid development of the digital capital and sustainable grows in
Transilvania. The projects ideas are available at http://e-cat.ro/gmbprojects.html and they were initiated by the
Ad Hoc Group for mobile business established by CAT in 2002 with 12 of its associated member
companies and organisations.

CONCLUSION
The BIs developed important activities and applications in the benefit of the local communities. Most of
them were linked with the active measures for unemployment, start-up of the SMEs, training of managers
and staff. Thousands of projects and millions of Euro were invested both local authorities and donor
organisation in business centres and incubators. Few examples are at: EU- Leonardo da Vinci Programme
http://www.leonardo.ro/Comp2000/pilot.html; LRP - USAID http://lrp.digi.ro/eng/MainFrameLedProjectResults.htm .
In the transition period (years90) there were identified 32 Centres - Incubators and 6 are active now. The
activity of the incubators was stopped in all the cases, when the founding members stopped financing the
activities. The principal founders of the incubators were: the Romanian Government http://www.gov.ro; the
European Union through PHARE Program - CRIMM Foundation http://www.imm.ro/Parteneri.html; the local,
regional or national Romanian organisations; the partnerships with organisations or governments from the
European Union countries such as: UK, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, France and also USA, World Bank.
The contribution of European Union was essential and we mention the support of Leonardo da Vinci
Program (http://www.leonardo.ro) and PAEM program (http://www.paem.ro ).
Major types of Incubators in Romania
Scientific and
Technological
Parks
AR&DI Timisoara

Incubation and
Innovation Centres

Industrial
Parks

Local development
incubators

Business
Incubators

IT
Incubators

CITAF- Bucharest

Cluj (under
construction)

FDSE- Zalau

Business
Incubator ARADPecica
BIC- Baia Mare

ECO-NETInternetgene
sis
MDLB
Incubator

MOLDOSIN- Iasi

INCAF- Braila

Romanian-German
Foundation- Sibiu

FPIMM- Calarasi

CASTIL Bucharest

CIPA- Zalau

SIM- Ploiesti county

CDIMM Timis

Fundatia
Umanitatea
Tg. JiuGorj

CERTEX- Bucharest

CILDA- Calarasi

SIBIUBusiness
Incubator

ZECASIN- Bucharest

ITA- Bistrita

LEDA 01- Bucharest

CDIMM- Arges

CITI- Brasov

CDIMM- Dolj

Pilot Business
Incubator-Bucharest

ITA- Gorj

Virtual
Incubator
s
NESTBucharest

Centrul
de
Inovare
si
Incubare Hraghita
A.R.D.E.L.I.E. PRO
MUSCELUL
Campu Lung Muscel

CDIMM- Teleorman

History of the label:


Actives incubators

Future Incubators

Inactive Incubators

Dr. Radu-Adrian Mlesnita http://e-cat.ro/radu.html, Ms. Oana-Florina Racean


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------Sources:
1- Incubatorul de Afaceri- manual de instiintare si operare, Colectia manuale FIMAN, Bucuresti 1996;
2- Others are mentioned in the Annex 1 and 2 - Industrial Parks in Romania http://v-market.ro/infodom.html.
3- The Ministry of Prognosis and Development