The strategic seminar entitled “Dambovița – regional energy hub” took place yesterday, June 12, 2023, at the Library of the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Science and Technology of Valahia University in Targoviște. During the event, a number of topics concerning the significance of the translation into Romanian of two volumes of military analysis authored by the American strategist Edward Nicolae Luttwak, as perceived in the new paradigm of international security, as well as the outlines of a new academic dialogue between the university milieus of Romania and Israel, intended to result in the signing of a partnership agreement in the context of strategic engineering and innovative new energetic technologies, were brought up. In addition, aspects of Romania’s energy security, including those with regional and local repercussions, were addressed. Professor Emeritus Ehud Menipaz of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Engineers, Architects and Graduates in Technological Sciences of Israel and Chairman of the Ira Foundation for Business, Technology and Society, Prof. Dr. Radu Carp from the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Bucharest, Director of the Department of Public Policies, International Relations and Securitization, and NATO policy and strategy experts Dr. Mădălina Neacșu and Victor Aileni were among the invited speakers at the event. The host institution was represented by vice-rectors, deans, vice-deans, directors of research centres, and scientists from the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Science and Technology. Representatives of mass media and civil society were also present.
In his presentation, Professor Emeritus Ehud Menipaz presented a framework for the analysis of sustainable technologies and science education, as well as a comparative perspective between Romania and Israel in areas such as scientific research, entrepreneurial education, and higher education. The renown international scholar highlighted an important factor that distinguishes Israel from Romania, namely investments in research and development, which account for 4% of GDP in Israel but only 0.5% of GDP in Romania, representing one of the lowest budget allocations in the European space. Regarding the Entrepreneurial Framework Conditions Index achieved by Prof. Ehud Menipaz’s research team, Romania finds itself also in the second half of the ranking, in contrast to award-winning countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, or from Europe, Lithuania, Switzerland, Latvia, and Norway. The speaker also addressed the topic of higher education, emphasizing the students’ preference for interdisciplinarity, experimental practice, internships, and the accumulation of skills in terms of their university choices, elements that are also present in the strategy and activity of Valahia University of Targoviste.
Prof. Dr. Radu Carp highlighted the significance of the writings of one of the world’s preeminent authorities on strategy, Edward Nicolae Luttwak. Luttwak was born to a Jewish family in Arad, Romania, in 1942. He has achieved international acclaim for his academic and public contributions, as well as his works written in or translated into numerous languages. His books published in Romanian include “Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace” and “The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire”; “The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century C.E. to the Third” and other similar publications with international circulation were also brought up for consideration.
The mediaeval history and military traditions of Târgoviște were invoked as an ever-present resource that gives substance to the academic, research, and international collaboration efforts in which Valahia University of Târgoviște is engaged. The Doicești nuclear mini-reactor plant project was also discussed, sparking heated debates for and against the project, in the name of academic freedom and pluralism. These discussions centred on the project’s operational safety, its consequences on the environment and the population. While some participants voiced satisfaction with the way these concerns are being handled within the project, others voiced concerns. New researches to be undertaken at the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Science and Technology of Valahia University of Targoviște were deemed necessary to enhance Romania’s energy security, operational safety, and environmental impact (including that of nuclear waste). This technology has been used in the military since 1955, so it is necessary to foster student education to disseminate specialized knowledge to the public (based on the concept of student-citizens) and ensure that the information is transferred adequately.