A strong Romanian presence in the ITEA landscape
BEIA Consult International was founded in 1991 by George Suciu with a view to exploiting the potential in telecommunications applications. Now one of the leading providers of telecommunications equipment and solutions in Romania for enterprise cloud communications and telemetry, the company’s references include over 5,000 turnkey projects for advanced IT and communications solutions.
Well travelled and well versed
"George Suciu is General Manager of this Romanian R&D consulting SME. An electronics engineer by education and training, he specialises in project management, electronics and telecommunication, ERP, cloud computing, M2M, IoT, Big Data acquisition and signal processing. He also teaches university students and has a good working knowledge of German, French and English. He is a well-travelled CEO too, but we managed to catch up with him at home in Bucharest where he explained how BEIA became such an integral part of the ITEA Community, resulting in a long list of projects in which BEIA has been involved. So what is it that makes this familiar family member tick?"
The winds of change
George takes it up from the beginning when he started up the company following the major political and social changes that swept across Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980’s. “Of course, at that time the research angle was a difficult one to pursue due to the lack of funding. Add to that the infancy of the market at the time and the lack of organisation, you can imagine the difficulties,” George explains. “We began life as an integration company actually. Hardware and software. More hardware than software at the start. Now after 27 years, unsurprisingly it’s the other way around. Software has the advantage that you can constantly add features and reduce time and costs. That’s how the world increasingly seems to be working these days – more for less and with as little waste as possible. So in that sense, this trend is unsurprising.”
“I would like to mention that despite the somewhat bare landscape in which we were operating all those years ago, our telecommunications and IT expertise enabled us to establish an end-to-end IoT infrastructure 15 years ahead of time. It was then known as telemetry and it meant that we could enable monitoring in the mountains or along the Danube. It led to new applications for agriculture and new forms of energy. To develop this platform was a good decision, and even now we don’t really have any competitors in this respect. We are pretty unique, and that can be attributed to the relationship we have with our academic and research partners as well as our industry partners like Alcatel, Siemens and Panasonic.” Which just shows how the company has successfully spread its wings from very Spartan beginnings in 1991.
“Having a foot in both worlds, research and market, means that we can identify demand and supply. We can help innovation get to the market in a very targeted way. Also a unique aspect of the company is the family link. Both my boys are involved. They have grown up in the company and this helps provide a kind of stability for the future. Our clients know they can be assured of a level of trust and commitment for a long time to come.”
“Of course, it is vital for us to continue to improve our capabilities and keep in step with technological advances. Research is vital. We decided to invest in research when the recession hit in 2008, and it proved to be a very good decision. We came out of it stronger than many other bigger and financially stronger companies at the time. Investment in R&D proved to be the salvation of our company, the salvation of Romania and I believe it will be the salvation of Europe. Especially in the light of competition from the Far East.”
1+1 = 2
George cites participation in international projects, most notably those of ITEA, as one of the keys to BEIA’s continuity. “I am so pleased to be a part of this Community. We get the opportunity both to learn from others and to contribute our knowledge to the greater benefit so that the project goals can be accomplished. It’s also a nice feeling to be invited to participate. I enjoy the collaboration. You come in with one idea and your partner comes in with one idea – the result is that you go away with two ideas! And often a new friend! I think that in some projects, too, we have been invited to participate because of our market experience. For instance, we were in the project ACCELERATE. The aim was to accelerate time to market, from idea to product. We were able to bring our platformbuilding experience to bear in this project. It’s very satisfying when you see that your contribution makes an impact on succeeding and benefiting future generations.”
Sign of success
Another positive aspect of being part of the ITEA Community is the events that are organised. “I really enjoy finding out what’s going on in a wider perspective. Like the EUREKA Innovation Days in Helsinki and seeing all the different projects exhibited – and to see yourself at six project booths along the ITEA corridor! It fills me with pride. In Romania we are the top ITEA contributor, so for us ITEA is very much a sign of success.”
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