Innovate Program in Romania, with President Basescu in Attendance

Oracle has launched its new Innovate Program in Bucharest, Romania, in the presence of the country’s President, His Excellency Mr Traian Basescu. The program is designed to identify and nurture young, promising technology entrepreneurs across Eastern Europe by providing them with access to business advice, venture capital funding and technical resources.

Oracle has launched its new Innovate Program in Bucharest, Romania, at an event attended by over 100 representatives from government ministries; universities and colleges; the finance and banking sector, and from Oracle’s partner network.

The Innovate Program, which will roll out across the Central and Eastern European region, is designed to identify, encourage and nurture innovative technology-based business ideas conceived by IT graduates. Qualifying graduates could receive expert business advice, access to funding and free technical resources, allowing them to concentrate more fully on developing and promoting their products and services.

The program is being managed by Oracle’s local country operations across the region, in tandem with leading universities, venture capital firms and other partners.

President Basescu Welcomes Oracle Initiative

The launch was attended by Romania’s President, His Excellency Mr Traian Basescu. Speaking at a press conference, he welcomed the initiative and the benefits it will bring to Romania. “The project launched today by Oracle creates a connection between the processes of growth, specialization and integration of the workforce on the national market level,” he said. “Only with the help of programs such as this one can the objectives of convergence with the other European countries be fulfilled. I wish to express, explicitly, the support of the presidential institution in the long term development of such business models and public-private partnerships that Oracle is consolidating today in Romania.”

Launching the program, Oracle Executive Vice President for the EMEA Region, Sergio Giacoletto, spoke of how almost every facet of life today is underpinned by technology: from banking to transportation to healthcare. He said that the prevalence of technology presents outstanding business opportunities for talented young Romanians who are studying or have studied IT at the country’s universities.

It is to help young entrepreneurs to capitalize on these opportunities that Oracle has created the Innovate Program. Mr. Giacoletto emphasised his and Oracle’s support for today’s young IT innovators, saying: “The Innovate Program brings together an ideal combination for success – youth, technology, and entrepreneurship. By creating their own businesses, IT graduates have a ready-made opportunity to contribute to the economy, create employment and build a better future for themselves and for their country.”

Young People an ‘Untapped Natural Resource’

Oracle’s Senior Vice President for EE-CIS, Alfonso Di Ianni, said at the launch that young people remain a “largely untapped natural resource” who, with the right assistance and encouragement, can “put their ideas, energy and knowledge into building tomorrow’s successful companies”. The technical skills of Romanian students and graduates are outstanding, he said, citing the fact that teams from Romanian universities have won Oracle’s international data modeling competition for the past four years running.

Eastern Europe Must Encourage Home-Grown Innovation

The Innovate program has been created partly in response to the need for Eastern European countries to encourage home-grown innovation in order to help stimulate growth and prosperity in the face of heightened global competition. A new, Oracle-commissioned report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has found that Romania in particular has the opportunity to develop its approach to innovation, ranking 12th of the CEE countries studied.

The results of the EIU survey were presented at the Innovate launch event by Paul Lewis, Managing Editor, Executive Briefing, Economist Intelligence Unit, who was one of the authors of the report. “It is no longer enough for [Eastern European] governments to imitate and assimilate innovation from abroad,” he said. “They must encourage a favourable environment for home-grown innovation, or the long-term growth potential of the region will suffer.” Mr. Lewis noted that Romania did well in the area of innovation inputs, and that it now needed to convert those into tangible outputs.

The Oracle Innovate Program aims to help create that favourable environment, working with leading universities, venture capital firms and other partners in each country where it will be available.

Builds on Oracle Romania’s Track Record of Investment in Skills

In Romania, the launch of the program builds on Oracle’s significant track record of helping to develop the country’s business and technical skills. In November 2007, for example, Oracle Romania trained 1,600 teachers from more than 800 schools to use the Oracle Education Foundation’s program in their classroom activities, an initiative conduced with the full support of the country’s Ministry of Education. teaches schoolchildren vital 21st century skills like project working, teamwork and using the internet for communications and research.

Speaking at the launch, Sorin MîndruĹŁescu, Country Leader, Oracle Romania, said: “Oracle has invested substantially in Romania’s future with its Oracle education initiatives. Romania has a great opportunity to accelerate and increase its innovation ranking with today’s new program, and I would urge all young Romanian IT graduates to apply and take the first steps to building an exciting future.”

The Innovate Program in Romania will officially begin at the start of the new academic year, when Oracle Romania and its Innovate partners – Bucharest’s Spiru Haret University and Junior Achievement Romania – will start to deliver free orientation days for anyone interested in joining the program. This will be followed by a structured program of free business advice, funding and technical assistance for participants whose business plan qualifies for acceptance into the ‘Oracle Innovate Greenhouse’.

The program is scheduled to launch in further countries, including the Czech Republic and Turkey, from October.


Related Links

View photos of the launch and read a transcript of President Basescu’s speech at (Romanian version).

For more about the findings of the EIU survey, see the press release Central and Eastern Europe Must Boost Home-Grown Innovation, Says Oracle-Sponsored Economist Intelligence Unit Study

A copy of the full Economist Intelligence Unit Report, A Time For New Ideas: Innovation in Central Eastern Europe, is available for download from the EIU website.

To learn about the Romanian winners of Oracle Global Data Modelling Competition 2008, visit Oracle Announces The Winners Of The 2008 Oracle Academy Global Data Modeling Competition

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