ROMANIA'S RESEARCH AND INNOVATION AREA: THE BEGINNING OF A SWOT ANALYSIS

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By: RADU-DAN RUSU
JEL: I23, O32, O31
Keywords: innovation, R&D, Research and Development Policy, Academic Research, Research Institute

The global, “soft-power” role of research, development and innovation (R&D) has increased drastically over the last decades and the expectations regarding the societal and economic benefits of R&D as a natural effect of investment are greater than ever.
Although Romania has implemented some of the most up-to-date concepts and strategies in the R&D field, the results are still modest and far below expectations, the country ranging last places among international scoreboards.

This study briefly surveys some of the most relevant indicators and statistics in the field and builds the fundamentals of a more complex SWOT analysis of the Romanian R&D area. It highlights key interconnected aspects like research national policies, public and private funding, human resources, key players in the field, R&D output and infrastructure.

Some of the strong points in the area are generated by a handful of poles of excellence – performing research entities based on highly qualified personnel and state-of-the-art infrastructure, stimulated by funding instruments under competitive conditions. The weaknesses belong to a complex of shortcomings and malfunctions related to the system’s funding and overall structure. These raise serious questions regarding the participation of the national R&D system to the sustainable development of Romania.