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Dr. Dorin Florea, Mayor of Tirgu-Mures: “On the one hand, Digital Mures Strategy means efficiency, savings both for the citizens and the public administration, non-reimbursable funds, and, on the other, the attraction of first-class investors in this area, as well as the creation of thousands of new jobs”.

On December 9th 2010, leaders of the public and private business environments will meet in Tirgu-Mures in order to start discussions about the vision of Tirgu-Mures municipality regarding “Digital Mures 2010”.

After 10 years of being in office as Mayor of Tirgu-Mures, Dr. Dorin Florea announces the launch of a new stage in the local development, after having developed a minimal local infrastructure and established a proper interethnic atmosphere, elements which constitute the starting point in attracting important investments, in creating a solid business environment and developing the academic field, especially the medical one.

The vision of Tirgu-Mures municipality implies a network of modern, interoperable public services, both public and private, that are supposed to generate substantial savings to the citizen, the business environment and the administration. On the other hand, this vision is meant to build a technological park, specialized in medical research and IT, an area of business that should create thousands of work places and contribute to the development of the medical, pharmaceutical and IT fields.

After one year of preparation, successful actions are in view

The municipality first presented its vision at 2009 Global Forum, when Mayor Florea delivered an important speech in front of over 400 specialists and experts from all over the world, stressing upon the role of IT as related to economic growth and development from the viewpoint of local administrations. The positive messages coming from the EU Commission, from the private business sector and the academic environments and from the civil society have fully validated this vision and have constituted the basis for further actions up to the present.

Together with the designated team, made up of representatives of the municipality and strategically led by Items International representatives, discussions and consultations were started at a political and private level, with the main entities that could become partners in the strategy or support it. Throughout a whole year meetings were organized, culminating with the invitation addressed to and honored by the municipality this November, to participate in the 2010 Global Forum, co-organized by George Washington University, USTDA, US Department of Commerce, the World Bank, and private organizations such as IBM Research, Oracle and HP.

Actions related to Digital Mures have already generated, indirectly, an important European project

Along with the approaches related to Digital Mures Strategy, the municipality’s responsibility, permanently supported by Mayor Florea, stirred the interest of EU partners in involving Tirgu-Mures in non-reimbursable funds financing projects – a total amount of 3 million euros.

Thus, shortly after 2009 Global Forum, with the support of Items International consultant, Tirgu-Mures became part of an important project, together with the municipalities of Issy-Les-Moulineaux, Manchester and Brussels. EPIC project is now in the last stage of evaluation by the European Committee and, if it is declared a winner (in December 2010), it will situate Tirgu-Mures municipality among the first-rank European partner cities. Its visibility will significantly contribute to promoting Tirgu-Mures among the possible investors, as far as the technological park for medical research and IT is concerned.

During the same period, the municipality also won other non-reimbursable financing projects, through programs developed by the Ministry of Communications and IT Society and the Ministry of Administration and Home Affairs.

A modern system of public and private services

The system of public services that we have in view implies the development or the modernization of an indefinite number of interoperable local IT subsystems in all the institutions, organizations, companies and banks, so as to provide citizens and the private business sector with modern IT-based services.

Thus, thanks to the improvement and fluidization of each action, the possibility to extend and include each new application, the system will generate important savings, measured up in percentages of the local budget and significantly visible at the level of the citizen’s budget.

The system relies both on classical elements and on a last generation smart-card that will allow the authentication of the users based upon a “unique key”, a qualified e-signature, and making e-payments in each and every subsystem developed by the public administration or the private business environment.

New technology in world premiere, at Tirgu-Mures

The presentation based on smart-card authentication stirred the interest of Visa, one of the most important financial organizations in the world, to cooperate with the municipality in order to co-brand a card that is destined to local public-private services.

Mayor Florea’s assuming responsibility for this vision and the positive responses coming from all over the world convinced Visa not only to offer their support in the project, but also to express their intention to launch a new technology, in world premiere, at Tirgu-Mures. Therefore, the Visa presentation to take place on December 9 is awaited with great interest.

From a strategy point of view, the implementation of a new technology in world premiere will not only cut red tape, but it will place Tirgu-Mures among the most famous names on the IT world market

Citizens are consulted in the decision making process – one of the hundreds of applications available

The system, based upon a smart-card and e-signature will allow the municipality to permanently consult citizens, the business and academic sectors as regards the process of local decision making.

Dr. Dorin Florea, Mayor of Tirgu-Mures: “Public consultation means, in fact, local referendum. By developing the system of public consultations at each level, we will be able to consult with citizens anytime and on any kind of issues, without spending public money. In other words, we will have the possibility to consult the population on matters of public interest. Citizens who have access to internet or by means of info-booths that will be located in the public area, will be able to authenticate themselves  by means of e-signature and will be able to answer questions asked by the administration. Moreover, consultations can be organized with different professional organizations, as for instance, only with medical staff or only with students, retirees etc. Such actions could be practically impossible by using classical methods, because the organization of a local referendum would cost millions”.

The first medical informatics park

IT system is just one aspect of Mures Digital Strategy. Another aspect, which is not directly related to the IT system, is the development of the first technological park specialized in research and medical informatics.

Taking into account the specific features and the advantages of Tirgu-Mures, the attraction of new investments must be correlated to the nationally recognized domains - higher education and the medical sector. In this respect, a successful approach could be the development of a technological park focused on medical activities and IT. In this respect, taking into consideration the existing reality and future possibilities, Mayor Dorin Florea and the foreign consultants have reached the conclusion that Tirgu-Mures might become “a scientific city for research and medical informatics”.

This approach stirred the interest of all the consulted multinational companies, representatives of the EU Commission, medical and IT experts and financers such as USTDA and the World Bank.

By developing a technological park specialized in medical informatics, Tirgu-Mures might attract the most important multinational specialized companies. Indirectly, it could create thousands of work places, both in the area of scientific research and in the management of business and residential sectors. For Tirgu-Mures, such a technological park would constitute an unprecedented opportunity, a guarantee for the safe and prosperous future of its citizens and for the local business environment.

The municipality and the private sector build together, following the Issy-Les-Moulineaux model

Mayor Dorin Florea’s vision has been highly validated within the discussions and the meetings he has had lately with representatives of EU Commission, private and academic sector, civil society. However, the municipality is aware of the dimension, the complexity and the challenge of the new strategy.

Issy-Les –Moulineaux  (France) was selected as model for the development of Tirgu-Mures scientific  city. In this respect the City Hall decided to work together with Items International, the consultant of Issy municipality. Throughout 2010 all the strategy discussions have been coordinated by Items representative in Romania. Numerous meetings were held and a visit was made in Issy-Les-Moulineaux, at the invitation of Mayor Andre Santini. It is worth mentioning that 90,000 work places were created in Issy , a city with 70,000 inhabitants.

One of the principles borrowed from Issy, to be implemented by Tirgu-Mures City Hall, is the partnership-based cooperation with potential investors for the development of the town and the creation of the technological park and the corresponding residential area. All plans, all decisions, all initiatives will be validated by the business and academic sectors and then submitted to the City Hall consultant so as to be integrated. This principle is a guarantee for the investors that the scientific city is developing in order to satisfy their needs and to assure their development in the near and remote future.

Non-reimbursable financing funds and public-private partnerships

Tirgu-Mures municipality will use “intelligent” financing instruments thanks to which the local budget will be relieved of the most financial efforts that are necessary for the implementation of Digital Mures Strategy.

In this respect, the public-private partnership will be the main financing instrument, followed by EU Commission financing or other programs based on non reimbursable funds.  In this way, the municipality will only pay for pre-feasibility studies and for promoting projects to potential investors. Although, normally, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies are financed by the public authority, the municipality, together with its consultants, made steps to find financers for these actions as well. 

Thus, in Washington, with the support of US Embassy, Tirgu-Mures municipality started discussions with the World Bank in order to identify ways of financing feasibility studies as well.

December 9th, the day when consultations start for the finalization of Digital Mures Strategy

December 9th 2010 is the day when Digital Mures vision, validated in general terms, is to be first tackled with representatives of business and academic environments and the civil society in order to be transposed into strategy documents.

On this occasion a meeting will be held in Tirgu-Mures, with the participation of representatives of Romanian multinational companies, members of the academic environment, administration officials and members of civil society. The key points of the strategy and other aspects regarding the success of this crucial action will be discussed and debated.

Both representatives of the Central Public Administration and members of IT&C sector announced their support and/or participation in the event. Among the participants are: Dr. Raed Arafat, State Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Valerian Vreme and Marius Fecioru, the Minister and, respectively, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and IT Society, Catalin Marinescu, president of ANCOM, Adrian Apolzan, president of E-Payment Association, representatives of US Embassy, USTDA, managers of IBM, HP, Oracle, Edenred, General Electrics, Alcatel etc., as well as a large Visa delegation.

Important representatives and partners of Tirgu-Mures municipality from the Central Administration will join: Mr. Bogdan Savonea, international expert within the Ministry of Communications and IT Society, Chief Cabinet Secretary, and Mr. Ovidiu Moldovan, counselor of the Minister of Administration and Home Affairs.

Leaders of the business and academic sectors, leaders of local administration and mass media representatives are also invited to participate in the event.

Further information:

For further information, from December 9th, please visit www.digitalmures.com or get into contact with Digital Mures team through social networks.

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