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Three Romanians among the 100 top innovators in Central and Eastern Europe

Over the last twenty-five years, the world has been witnessing a spectacular development in culture, business, politics and not only. Romanians Ionut Budisteanu, Paul-Andre Baran-Candrea and Cristian Botan were selected for the New Europe 100, a list of outstanding challengers who are leading world-class innovation from Central and Eastern Europe. The New Europe 100 list is a project launched by Polish magazine Res Publica together with Google and the Visegrad Fund, in cooperation with Financial Times.

Ionut Budisteanu, 20, is a freshman college student at the University of Bucharest, nominated by TIME magazine as one of the most influential teens of 2013, primarily for his design for a low cost, self-driving car. The prototype design won the Gordon E. Moore grand prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for high school students. Budisteanu has been programming for almost ten years, and has participated in more than 130 design and IT competitions in which he has won many awards. He recently announced plans to launch his first startup company VisionBot, focused on creating professional low-quality Pick and Place machines.

Paul-Andre Baran-Candrea, 40, is Program Director for IREX in Romania where he manages the Biblionet program, a five-year, USD 26.9 million Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded initiative. The project’s aim is the improvement of the lives of Romanians by providing free access to computers and the Internet through public libraries, as well as inspiring widespread institutional reform in the public library sphere.
He began to work as a technical assistant to the British Council in developing the Romanian public administration Regional Training Centers (RTCs). In the past, Baran-Candrea has also provided consultation for University Research Co. (URC) under the Romania Health Care Reform Program.

Cristian Botan, 27, implemented the jobs.gov.ro portal aiming to increase the transparency of hiring in Romanian public administration, both central and local, and fight nepotism. Botan was appointed an advisor within the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Romania on issues regarding transparency in public administration.
“The New Europe 100 list is about individuals from Central and Eastern Europe who are changing the world and improving people’s lives with ideas that scale up in the digital world. It’s about those who, with their courage for innovation, new-tech expertise, unique skills, and social outreach, are having a global impact. This list is both about people and their big ideas,” according to the project coordinators.

The entire list of the 100 innovators in Central and Eastern Europe available on www.ne100.org.

About Anca Bernovici