Mason, Romania’s Babeș-Bolyai University Team to Advance Intelligent Automation

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David K. Rehr: ‘This collaboration represents a significant step forward in our shared commitment to excellence, innovation, diversity, and academic leadership in the digital future.’

The Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University and Babeș-Bolyai University (BBU) in central Romania have inked an agreement to form a strategic partnership to foster innovation and excellence in higher education in the rapidly growing technology of intelligent automation (IA).

The two public research universities in September signed a memo of understanding to advance education, research, and developments on a global scale in the field of IA and its uses in the public sector and higher education.

IA is a human-centric approach to the more familiar artificial intelligence (AI), focusing on developing technologies that enhance human intelligence and capabilities, rather than replacing them. IA systems are designed to collaborate with humans to help make better decisions and enhance efficiency and maximize productivity.

This collaboration represents a significant step forward in our shared commitment to excellence, innovation, diversity, and academic leadership in the digital future,” said Schar School Professor David K. Rehr, founding director of the Center for Business Civic Engagement (CBCE), home of the Intelligent Automation Initiative at the Schar School, which will colead the partnership between the schools.

The MOU with the CBCE IA Initiative and BBU “is founded on mutual respect and a shared vision for the future of higher education,” said Rehr. “By leveraging each institution's strengths and expertise, we aim to create a platform to promote interdisciplinary research, offer unparalleled educational opportunities for our students and professors, and drive innovation through technology.

Key elements of the strategic partnership include:

Research programs: Participating institutions will collaborate on groundbreaking research initiatives related to intelligent automation and across various disciplines, fostering innovation and addressing global challenges.

Educational programs: Professors and researchers from both universities will share knowledge and expertise to enhance teaching and research capabilities.

Dissemination of research and innovation: The institutions will establish an “innovation ecosystem” to support startups, entrepreneurship, and technology transfer, promoting economic growth and job creation in our regions.

Through the proposed actions, the strategic partnership creates a viable context for promoting cultural diversity “while improving the overall higher education culture to be more effective, efficient, and drive greater student engagement within the intelligent automation space, and beyond,” said Dorin Munteanu, colead of the partnership and cofounder of the IA Initiative.

"We believe that by joining forces with George Mason University, we are taking a significant step towards creating a brighter future for higher education,” said BBU Rector Daniel David. “Together, we will lead the way in research, innovation, and academic excellence."

Mason and BBU, Rehr added, “are committed to harnessing the power of collaboration to provide world-class education and contribute to the betterment of society. As we embark on this journey, we are confident that this partnership will empower and shape our institutions to reach new heights of academic excellence and societal impact.”