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Press release / June 14, 2017



Cluj-Napoca, the heart of Transylvania, Romania, hosts the 2017 ceremony of the prestigious Innovation Luminary Awards. Thus the OI 2.0 events ecosystem, brings a spotlight on the entrepreneurial spirit, the innovation potential and on the commitment to create an innovative ecosystem.


The city’s first 2-day Innovation Dialogue (10-11 June), The Clusters Matchmaking session (12 June), The Town Hall Debate (13 June) , The Open Innovation 2.0 Conference (13 – 14 June), and the Innovation Expo (13 -14 June) support with practical insights the basis for this Ceremony.As a corollary of the the Open Innovation 2.0 Conference 2017 with a unique suite of interlinked events we are honored to announce the winners of the Innovation Luminary Awards Ceremony of today, 13th of June 2017!



The award is founded in collaboration with the Open Innovation Strategy and Policy Group (OISPG and the Dublin City Council and is handed over by Mr. Peter Finnegan (Dublin City Council), Dr.  Martin Curley (OISPG Chair), Mr. Markku Markkula  (OISPG Vice Chair)  and Mr. Bror Salmelin ( OISPG Founder)This initiative recognizes outstanding innovation role models which inspire the next generation of innovators.


The Innovation luminary Awards and the Academy are intended to foster the new generation of innovation leadership and to inspire action towards a creative and innovative ecosystem.


The design of the Innovation Luminary trophy itself symbolizes a lighthouse with the four cuts representing quadruple helix innovation: public sector, private sector, academia and civic society.


The winners of 2017 Innovation Luminary Awards are the following:


Recreating Innovation Renaissance - Piero Formica

He is Founder of the International Entrepreneurship Academy and was Professor of Economics at the Jönköping University in Sweden. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Innovation Value Institute of the Maynooth University in Ireland. He is an Associate Professor at ISTEC (Ecole Supériere de Commerce et de Marketing) in Paris, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Tehran and a Guest Professor at the University of Tartu. Piero Formica is a Councilor of the World Certificate Institute and serves as a faculty member of the School of Entrepreneurship at the University of Padua.

His creative way of thinking is striking: He sees new connections, new functions essential for functioning innovation ecosystems and is warmly advocating for open innovation 2.0. in his work towards innovation renaissance.

Professor Formica has extensively published in the fields of knowledge economics, entrepreneurship and innovation. Hence Prof. Piero Formica is receiving the Innovation Luminary award for his outstanding work on Sustained contributions to entrepreneurial research, development of the Experimental Labs approach and advocating for an Innovation Renaissance


Creating a strong innovation landscape - Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca

European Commission and The European Committee of the Regions has for several years called for forerunners as smart and innovative cities. Mayor Emil Boc is known being a visionary and open-minded person who operates actively with the citizens. He is charismatic and and drives the issues forward with enthusiasm and passion. He has been instrumental to opening up the municipality processes for the citizens and taking the city with a rich history to a new level as the young-minded second largest city in Romania by raising the quality of life and by the developing infrastructures, cultures, and education.

Cluj is demographically unique. It is a city that operates actively with 100.000 students. The majority of new students choose to stay in the city, because of the private and public job opportunities that have already by now transformed the Heart of Transylvania into an IT and Innovation Hub.


Creation of a national open innovation strategy - Dermot Mulligan

Dermot is Assistant Secretary General/Head of the Innovation and Investment Division of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. His areas of responsibility include formulation and implementation of Government policy on Science, Technology and Innovation, Enterprise development, North/South Trade and Business Development programmes and Ireland’s involvement in a range of international research and technology programmes involving the European Union and the European Space Agency.

The Irish economy has shown fast recovery due to strategic investment in innovation policy creating jobs and growth by a flourishing open innovation 2.0 ecosystem approach. The work has shown already some very remarkable results and more is to come.

The Innovation Luminary award in the category of national innovation strategy is hence given to Irish Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation - Dermot Mulligan for creating a leading and exemplar National Innovation Strategy to drive a strong sustainable economy and better society



Young innovation Bridger and Curator - Bianca Muntean

Dr Bianca Muntean is the executive Director for ARIES Transylvania which is in turn leading in the cluster innovation activities of the ICT industry in Transylvania. The cluster development has been remarkably fast in Cluj, corresponsing now to the clear majority of the ICT exports in the whole country.

Bianca Muntean has been very central in bringing the necessary cross-cutting innovation elements together, driving for a modern innovation ecosystem. She has described the role of her work being „Complementarity and collaboration in the ICT sector which are the two key ingredients in our development and integration in sectorial and regional European digital economy.“

She is a bridger which shows in her work, interconnecting all the quadruple helix players (private companies, public sector, academia and civic society). Even her PhD reflects the work she does as bridger.

Bianca Muntean is also very active in the clusters of clusters, which is a good path to the fully flourishing open innovation 2.0 ecosystems. The trajectory is clear, and necessary.

Hence Bianca Muntean is receiving the Innovation Luminary Award as the young innovation role model for dynamic, pragmatic hands-on OI2 bridgership in Cluj


Open and scalable hardware ecosystem - Arduino (David Cuartielles, Sara Thermer receives on behalf)


Arduino is an open source, computer hardware and software company, project, and user community that designs and manufactures single-board microcontrollers and microcontroller kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control objects in the physical world. This open approach brings computing to the millions in affordable and scalable and at the same time very creative way. Computing power through the applications are necessary to creating a more equalitarian world giving opportunities for large numbers of people to develop their skills further, and thus the prosperity.

The Innovation Luminary Award in the category democratization of computing is thus given to the Arduino founding team represented by David Cuartielles for the vision and contribution in developing world-renowned European lead open source computer hardware and software that enables community building of digital devices and interactive objects.



Media Contacts:


OISPG Media Contact


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+32 460 754 451


OI2 Conference 2017 Cluj-Napoca Media Contact:


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+40 744 179120



Latest thoughts:

End of Conference Report on Open Innovation Conference 2.0 (13−14 June, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)

Press release /June 22, 2017


OI2.0 Conference Founder and Adviser for Innovation Systems at the European Commission's Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content, and Technology (DG CONNECT) Mr Bror Salmelin: “Cluj-Napoca has outperformed our expectations and set a new standard for the upcoming OI2.0 Conference editions. The impressive performance of Open Innovation 2.0 Conference and its related events in Cluj-Napoca propels the co-creation of innovation ecosystems across Europe.”


Open Innovation 2.0 Conference 2017 Cluj Napoca - Conclusions Endorsed by the Conference

Press release / June 21, 2017


OI2 Conference drew to a close on the 14th of June, here in Cluj-Napoca, after five-action packed days. This year’s event tangibly conveyed the potential of OI2 quadruple helix model and how to best create innovative ecosystems.Mr. Bror Salmelin ( OISPG Founder) and Dr. Martin Curley (OISPG Chair) have summed up the 2017 OI2 Conference works in a set of twelve main conclusions.


OI 2.0 Conference in Cluj-Napoca: Innovation Luminary Awardees 2017

Press release / June 14, 2017



Cluj-Napoca, the heart of Transylvania, Romania, hosts the 2017 ceremony of the prestigious Innovation Luminary Awards. Thus the OI 2.0 events ecosystem, brings a spotlight on the entrepreneurial spirit, the innovation potential and on the commitment to create an innovative ecosystem.