Policy Background

The key document setting out the research strategy in Romania is the National Strategy for Research, Technological Development and Innovation 2014-2020 (SNCDI). This document:

  • outlines the principles and objectives for research and innovation until 2020;
  • provides a summary of measures to be introduced; and
  • deals with the funding infrastructure necessary to achieve these goals.

The main instrument for implementing this strategy is the National Plan for Research, Development and Innovation 2015-2020 (PNCDI III). It ensures the coordination, coherence and implementation of R&D policies and details seven schemes in different research areas that follow the principles and objectives laid out by the SNCDI. The SNCDI is also put into practice through the Competitive Operational Programmes ‘Research, Development and Innovation supporting economic competitiveness and business development’ and ‘Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for a competitive digital economy’ coordinated by the Intermediate Body for Research.

The key transport planning document is the Romania General Transport Master Plan which outlines short- and long-term strategies to improve national and trans-European connectivity for business and society. It establishes a framework for the prioritisation and evaluation of transport infrastructure projects using multi-criteria analysis for several indicators.

Institutional framework of transport research

The Ministry of Research and Innovation (MCI) is the central body responsible for R&D policy, as well as the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of scientific research, technological development and innovation. The Ministry develops strategy for the implementation of Government research programmes and evaluates the use of resources to implement policies within its areas of activity. As the state authority of research, development and innovation, the ministry holds the responsibility of enforcing regulatory measures of the Government and the EU within its areas of activity, and of providing support for the participation in Horizon2020 and other EU programs. Operating under authority of the MCI is the Institute of Transport Research (INCRETRANS) which is the Government body responsible for applied research, design, and consultancy studies and services in the field of transport, traffic and the environment.

The Ministry is supported by an advisory board made up of four organisations:

  • Advisory Board for Research, Development and Innovation (CCCDI);
  • National University Research Council (CNCS);
  • National Council of Ethics for Research, Technological Development and Innovation (CNECSDTI);
  • National Council for Technology Transfer and Innovation (CNTTI).

The Ministry of Transport is responsible for setting national transport policy, specific strategies and regulations for transport, and is the state authority in transport. By preparing sectoral documents, the Ministry of Transport contributes to setting transport priorities.

The instruments for financing Romanian research are:

  • Funds from the state budget;
  • Funds from the private sector;
  • Funds available from international programmes.

The body responsible for the coordination of funding for R&D is the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI), which is a public institution under the Ministry of Education. The agency conducts studies to inform the distribution of funds allocated from the state budget and coordinates, in administrative terms, the PNCDI III.

Transport research can be funded in several ways in Romania:

  • Transport research is mainly financed by the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Research and Innovation;
  • International funding is provided by the EU;
  • Individual research grants available through the Competitive Operational Programmes coordinated by the Intermediate Body of Research, under authority of the Ministry of Research and Innovation.

Funding Sources and Support Initiatives

Current ongoing national programmes include: 

  • EEA Financial Mechanism (2014-2021) - between Iceland, Liechentenstein, Norway and Romania; and the 

  • Norwegian Financial Mechanism (2014-2021) - between Norway and Romania

The overall objectives of the initiatives above are to contribute to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area and the strengthening of bilateral relations between the donor states and the beneficiary states through financial contributions. The research programme’s main objective is the development of knowledge based on research.

International research and cooperation programmes and partnerships of the European Union relevant to Romania are:

  • European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST);
  • Joint Programming Initiatives (JPI);
  • European Research Area cooperation Networks (ERA-Nets);
  • Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME).