Romania

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IDC predicts that IoT market spending in Romania will expand from $524.70 million in 2015 to reach $1.33 billion in 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.4%.

Telemedicine systems have gained adoption in order to support smaller hospitals that do not offer a full range of medical services. For example, the Targu Mures Emergency County Hospital is connected to another 40 hospitals in several counties in Transylvania, while the Floreasca Clinic Emergency Hospital in Bucharest is connected to several hospitals in the southern counties of Romania.

Smart parking solutions have been launched in Bucharest and other large cities such as Timisoara, Oradea, Cluj-Napoca, and Iasi, while GPS-based monitoring systems for public transport have also been implemented in various large cities. And the country's first traffic monitoring system was implemented in Timisoara with the help of SWARCO in late 2015.

Another effective implementation case is Brasov, where all buses are equipped with GPS systems. Collected data is used to offer estimated arrival time to travellers in the bus stations. Same time, during FP7 CityPulse [117] project execution a CKAN platform have been implemented aiming to offer a coherent instrument for a future open data strategy, covering transport, air quality and citizens information and feedback regarding public works in the city. All those systems are correlated with street lighting systems and public safety monitoring, targeting a meaningful and effective use of public services and resources.

A reference case for Smart City implementations is Alba Iulia, where a coherent agenda is in place, addressing strategic needs at all levels, being supported on specific areas by an ecosystem of large and small companies.

In terms of public safety and emergency response, the most notable achievement thus far is the cooperation between Vodafone and the SMURD emergency rescue service. More than 1,000 SMURD ambulances are connected to a telemedicine system and the on-board medical devices gather and transmit complex data in real time to the connected hospitals. According to SMURD officials, the system is used for more than 30,000 interventions each year in Bucharest alone.

Following the initial European Union recommendation that member states roll out intelligent metering to at least 80% of electricity customers by 2020, energy companies started deploying pilot projects throughout Romania. As of the end of 2015, it was estimated that nearly 300,000 smart meters had been deployed, and around 200,000 more were planned for deployment in 2016. Even though the EU extended the period until 2022 after taking into consideration the slow pace of smart meter rollouts in some countries, Romanian authorities are thinking of renegotiating the 80% target, as 8.2 million smart meters still remain to be deployed.

Carrefour currently utilizes a total of 600 beaconing devices across 28 of its Romanian hypermarkets, which work in conjunction with the Carrefour Smart Shopping app running on shoppers' Android smartphones.

One of the main reasons the Eastern European country is one of the fastest growing IT markets in the region is due to the deregulation of the telecom sector which allowed for significant investment in the ICT sub-sector. Over the last 15 years, they have developed to the point where Romania now has one of the fastest internet connections in the world. The activity in the ICT sector is one of the country’s major growth drivers with a forecast of €4 billion by 2020. This is no wonder if we take into consideration the 7,000 students that graduate in the IT field each year. Universities across the country were very receptive to the market’s needs and quickly adapted their educational programmes. In consequence, companies like Google, IBM, Microsoft and telecom players such as Vodafone, Telekom and Orange are provided with an educated and forward-thinking workforce. Having the means and the knowledge in place paved the way for new technologies to develop. Romanian start-ups deliver solutions for a whole range of products and services. From Zonga, the four-year-old cloud-based music player to Printivate, the 3D printing optimisation software start-up, Romanian incubators provide with innovative ways to manage the many different aspects of both professional and personal lives [21].

Looking at recent year another relevant aspect for overall technology exposure is the aquisition of Romanian smart watch producer Vector Watch by world leader in wearable devices – Fitbit – followed by the announcement of a new large R&D centre setup in Bucharest.

Looking at R&D activities we can observe a consistent growth of subjects' quality approached and the distribution of them, mostly in collocation with large technical universities as relevant sources of talent pools. Large companies like Continental, Bosch, Siemens, Adobe, Infineon, BMW, Elektrobit involve consistent R&D teams focused on future ready topics like Remote Diagnostics, car instrumentation, connected media. Focus on the subjects is supported by large developers' oriented events like DevTalks [118].

The RomanianStartups.com brings together, in one place, the Romanian technology and Internet/IoT related start-ups, founders, accelerators/incubators, events, co-working spaces, mentors, investors and makes it a one-stop-shop for all the information needed to get an overall view of what is happening in the Romanian tech field [22].