A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Cluj-Napoca (Romania) on the 28th of January between the Rawabi Foundation (Rawabi, Palestine) and the Cluj IT Cluster governing the establishment of a strategic relationship forged for the purpose of mutual support and development of startup enterprises and business in each city’s respective IT&C sector.


The agreement provides a framework whereby each partner will work to spur innovation and create a mutually enabling ecosystem for member enterprises and entrepreneurs through mentorship, marketing support, investment assistance and a wide range of other business development services. Under the terms of the MoU, each party commits to leverage respective networks and market access channels for the benefit of startup enterprises from the other party’s member community.


Bashar Masri, the founder of Rawabi, said “The world is moving forward; information technology is now a primary tool to improve all sectors of life in all countries around the world. That’s why Rawabi is so keenly focused on the development of the ICT sector. We believe it offers the best opportunity for Palestinian entrepreneurs, technicians and local start-ups to innovate and compete in the global marketplace.”  Masri added, “Today’s agreement with the Cluj IT Cluster is a very strong beginning, mutually beneficial for both the Palestinian and Romanian ICT communities. We will share our respective core competencies in the tech and programming sectors, leveraging that knowledge exchange to each build the foundations of a globally competitive ICT sector.


Alexandru Tulai, vice president of the Cluj IT Cluster, stated, “The mission of Cluj IT is to provide consistent support through ICT infrastructure for the key components needed for local and regional integrated development: education, innovation, entrepreneurial administration, and community organization. The contribution of IT companies from the cluster to the growth of various value chains shows we are in the process of maturing our industry, while the collaborative business approach cannot disregard the international aspect, partners with whom we identify synergies.” Mr. Tulai added, “The technological dimension of “digital transformation” is not, paradoxically, the dominant one. The fundamental role lies in the cultural dimension, in all its aspects and depth. And the place where this need is felt more and more are our communities, including virtual ones. That is why we intend to develop a strong partnership with the city of Rawabi in this direction, including a “twinning” relationship at the level of local and regional communities.”


This strategic partnership is the first entered into by Rawabi Tech Hub as well as the first in the Middle East region for Cluj IT Cluster. Both partners look forward to a productive collaboration that will strengthen their respective local economies through knowledge and business exchange catalyzing growth in the IT sector in each city.


 About Rawabi Tech Hub

Rawabi Tech Hub plays a critical role in building a dynamic knowledge-based economy by incubating micro and small start-up companies in the ICT sector. The emerging Rawabi Tech Hub is hosted within the Q Center at Rawabi.  The hub aims to advance the Palestinian ICT sector through three strategic initiatives: creation of an enabling infrastructure for local and international enterprises; establishment of a technology-focused training institute; and leveraging the collaborative and innovation-spurring community workspaces and investment funds at CONNECT and Bader, created specifically for tech and ICT start-ups. More information about Rawabi Tech Hub is available at http://co.city.rawabi.ps/


About Cluj IT Cluster

Cluj IT Cluster is an innovative cluster association established in October 2012. It currently hosts more than 65 member IT companies, universities, research institutes, and catalyst organizations collectively employing thousands of industry professionals and boasting an annual turnover of more than $100 million. As a bottom-up business initiative, the cluster aims to increase the competitiveness and visibility of the Romanian IT industry, as well as positioning Cluj as a powerful digital innovation hub in the Central and Eastern Europe. More information about Cluj IT Cluster is available at www.clujit.ro


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