Urban Innovation Unit

The Cluj-Napoca Urban Innovation Unit is a research and development programme, bringing together ideas, knowledge and resources from the civil society, the academic sector, the cultural sector, the business sector and the public administration to propose alternative solutions to the city’s strategic challenges.

Developed in partnership with the Centre for Innovation and Civic Imagination of the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca, the Urban Innovation Unit is focused on R&D projects in urban mobility, future of work and urban resilience.

In 2022, the Urban Innovation Unit will be fully transferred to the Cluj-Napoca City Hall.

Project news

More about Urban Innovation Unit

visit www.diviziadeinovare.ro



Implementation of Cluj Innovation Fellowships and Future of Work (FoW) transfer sessions

Understanding the lessons learned from the innovation and transfer mechanisms developed in UIU (Urban Innovation Unit) 2017-2021

Identification of the UIU transfer model

Activity calendar

Working sessions for the approval of the UIU transfer model
Transfer sessions for the FoW innovation mechanisms and the role of UIUs in FoW development at the FoW Festival
Future of Work - Implementation and support for the Cluj Innovation Fellowships, Culturepreneurs, Re:form, Work Upside Down, Future Scenarios, FoW Co-management and reporting.


2020 2019 2018 2017


The Future of Work: Preparing the Cluj-Napoca Innovation Fellowships (BIC) mechanism.

BICs are a mechanism to support lessons learned about public-private collaboration in uncertain contexts. Applicants may choose to work on one of the four proposed topics: (1) Procurement based on innovative principles, (2) Solution journalism, (3) Collaboration protocols, (4) Open data protocols.


Future of Work: Preparing and launching the re:form program.

Re: form is a facilitation and microfinance program for rethinking work practices in culture. It offers financial support and specialized consultancy to 5 cultural organizations from Cluj that want to develop and implement experimental solutions to the challenges of working in the cultural sector.


Mapping the response to the COVID-19 pandemic study (national and local level), conducted in collaboration with the Association for Community Relations and Făgăraș Research Institute.

Between July and August, in collaboration with the Association for Community Relations and Făgăraș Research Institute, we focused on understanding how to mobilize Cluj community, on mapping collaboration networks and determining the skills of people who responded in the context of the pandemic emergency. The results of this study, together with previous research, contributed to the development of the Cluj Innovation Fellowships initiative.


Urban Resilience: we started Cluj Resilience Tracker, an approach to understanding how Cluj organizations responded to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

CRT documented how nonprofits, academia, business and local public authorities have responded to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to identify the medium term necessary changes in our community.


Urban Mobility: a first optimization of the public transport system use by students.

Following recommendations resulting from the Mobility Pact, the Local Council approved a first optimization of the public transport system use by students. In March, we communicated the changes made through HCL, thus ending the activity transfer stage.


Cluj Future of Work - the first Eastern European project financed by Urban Innovative Actions - was launched. .

Cluj Future of Work is a project initiated by the Urban Innovation Division in Cluj-Napoca, created by Cluj Cultural Center in partnership with the Center for Innovation and Civic Imagination of Cluj-Napoca City Hall.
Cluj Future of Work is co-managed by Cluj-Napoca City Hall and Cluj Cultural Center, in a consortium with eight other local organizations: Cluj Metropolitan Area Intercommunity Development Association, Transylvania Creative Industries Cluster, Transylvanian Furniture Cluster, Cluj IT Cluster, Transylvania IT Cluster, Transylvania International Film Festival, University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca and ZAIN Transylvanian Creativity Festival.


The establishment of the Urban Innovation Unit in Cluj-Napoca was announced as a partnership between Cluj Cultural Center and the City Hall.

It was developed with the involvement of all key strategic actors of the city: universities, technology and business clusters, civil society, cultural sector. The division researches, experiments and prototypes alternative solutions to three key categories of the city challenges: mobility, housing and the future of work, by collecting and analyzing data, building work scenarios and measuring the impact of experimental interventions that seek to work with citizens' social behaviors.


The three winning projects of the Innovation Fund proposed new scenarios for the use of common spaces to the community.

The chosen projects were: Our brook from La Terenuri (Pârâul nostru de La Terenuri) - alternatives for spending free time in Mănăștur, Molnar Piuariu Street Food – reclaiming Molnar Piuariu street for pedestrians over a weekend and Green on Canalul Morii (Verde pe Canalul Morii) - alternatives for spending free time in Mărăști.


We have brought together an interdisciplinary working group to develop the Mobility Pact and propose recommendations for improving traffic conditions in the city.

In 2018, the "Mobility Pact" was established as a working group that brings together specialists from local administration, companies and universities, interested in using municipal traffic-related data for civic projects that improve quality of life.


We launched the first call for groups of citizens interested in experimenting with the redevelopment of spaces between their blocks of flats to encourage behaviors that contribute to sustainable urban mobility.

We invited the residents to propose and test projects for the transformation of spaces in Mărăști and Mănăștur neighborhoods. The areas of Scorțarilor - Canalul Morii, Bucegi - Pârâul Calvaria and Molnar Piuariu - UTCN Mărăști were chosen for testing. A first experiment took place in November, when the Street Food Festival closed the traffic on Piuariu Street in Mărăști and the students of the Faculty of Architecture used 130 questionnaires to evaluate the residents’ interest in the area transformation scenarios.

Have any questions?