Industrial heritage and the promotion of advanced technologies

Dušan Senćanski
Industrial heritage and the promotion of advanced technologies
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After centuries of wars and destruction, a small country in Europe, Serbia, experienced in the 19th century its state, territorial, economic and cultural reconstruction. When in 1878, the city of Niš, then the Turkish borough, was joined with Serbia, its development began in imitation of the then developed European cities. Aware of the fact that there was insufficient knowledge for development, the city engaged experts from the then developed European countries. At the same time, young people from Serbia received scholarships at well-known European universities and colleges. This has contributed to accelerated development. At the beginning of the 20th century, Niš became a city that looks like Europe. It was a phase of reasonable acceptance of the fact that expert knowledge is at a low level. Direct participation of experts from Europe was accepted, and the highest quality young people from Serbia gradually managed to master the new knowledge. The second half of the 20th century in Niš brought about an expansion in the acceptance of electronics, the European and world advanced industrial trend. In 1948, ZAVODI RR (since 1962 Electronics Industry Niš) was formed as a strategic company in the field of electronics in Yugoslavia. The production of receiving radio and X-ray tubes started with the direct help of experts from Germany, and business cooperation continued with leading European and world companies such as Philips, Siemens, RCA, Honeywell etc. At the beginning of the sixties, first faculties were established in Niš forming the basis for professional work in most of the fields belonging to electronics. Conditions were created in the material, professional and organizational sense to get closer to European and world solutions. Domestic experts led Electronics Industry this period. We entered the new millennium with the perfect technologies in the field of digital electronics, major integrations in the process of creating new semiconductor elements, new materials, especially in new communication networks - the Internet. New software and hardware solutions surpass all expectations. The struggle in the market, European and world, has become ruthless. In such relations, and thanks to the knowledge gained at University of Niš, enriched with the Internet and other forms of communication, about 300 small and medium enterprises have been established in Niš. About 40 companies are a reliable partner for the world's largest companies, private and state institutions around the world. Quality and reliability is their main feature. The interest of the world's largest companies in experts from Niš has been growing. This dynamic development of the city from a Turkish borough to a farm of experts and companies in the field of IT and advanced technologies is an interesting story about the acquisition of knowledge, business culture, and integration into the world's developmental flows. The history of technological development of Niš can be proudly preserved as an industrial and cultural heritage. A heritage that gets a new showpiece or story every day. Monograph "Nis – The City of Advanced Technologies" published in the Serbian language and the planned Museum of Industrial Heritage at Science and Technology Park in Niš under construction, as well as the translation of the Monograph "Niš - The City of Advanced Technologies" in English language, web site, prevent the past times from fading into oblivion Experts used to come to Serbia and Niš. Nowadays, experts from Niš are welcomed in Europe and the world. The past of advanced technologies must be preserved from oblivion as their history continues to be written.
AT THE CROSSROADS - FROM A BOROUGH TO ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES On the route of the ancient Roman road VIA MILITARIS, there was a region in Upper Moesia - CATENA MUNDI (the chain of the world). The center of the region was the Roman city of NAISSUS, today Niš, the birthplace of Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus - Constantine the Great (lat. Constantinus Magnus, February 27, around 272, Naissus – May 22, 337, Nicomedia). Constantine the Great was a Roman Emperor (324-337), known for making two fateful decisions that changed the course of European history. One decision was to pass the Edict of Milan on tolerance which put an end to the persecution of Christianity and the other was to establish a New Rome - Constantinople, which ensured the survival of the Empire in the East, long after the fall of Rome and the western provinces in the 5th century. For centuries, clashes of civilizations had been bringing destruction, but also the inevitable imposition of new lifestyles and cultures of the winners to cities at the world crossroads. Despite the destruction, those cities still managed to preserve a part of the culture and lifestyle of those defeated, intertwining the winners and losers in the years to come. Material and non-material goods have remained to testify about the passage of time. The city of Niš, located at the crossroads of the world routes, has been one of the most destructed and renewed cities throughout its history. Regardless of which army conquered it, the occupation was always short-lived and the city continued its life afterward. TIME OF METAMORPHOSIS The city’s true continuous development began in 1878, after the Turkish - Serbian war, when Niš was joined to Serbia. The then Turkish borough (kasaba), a transit station of caravans and a military fortification, began to be formed in imitation of the developed European cities. It was a period of introducing the style and culture of living of the then large cities in Europe. Niš became a major railway center - a junction of railroads. The most important railway route passed through Niš, connecting Paris and Istanbul, by the Niš - Thessaloniki – Athens route, Western Europe with Istanbul and the Middle East and South Europe, the Balkan Peninsula, Thessaloniki and Athens. Passing of the railway line through Niš created an environment for launching numerous activities in the development of industry, healthcare, urbanization, education, science and culture. A hospital (military and civilian) and a stokehold - the forerunner of the machine industry - were opened, the urban plan was adopted as a project for the regulation of the city of Niš, developed by Austrian Franz Winter. The first grammar school, library, Serbian Royal Academy and Pasteur Institute were established. What followed was the construction of a hydroelectric power plant and the city got public lighting and electricity for the industry. The first airport in Serbia was built. The first experts for implementing all these tasks were foreigners who came from the countries of Western Europe. TIME OF EVOLUTION OF TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION The second half of the 20th century saw an extremely dynamic development of Niš as an industrial city. After the Second World War, the impoverished country, then Yugoslavia, wanted to keep up with the developed world. The priority was industrialization. By force of social circumstances, Niš was chosen to be the center for the development of the electronics industry. It began in 1948 when, at the invitation of the Government of Yugoslavia, a group of German experts with necessary support staff started developing X-ray tubes and electronic receiving tubes. There were no domestic experts. The industry started from scratch. In addition to the development and production facility, an industrial school was formed. The first experts were the hint of organized education of young local people to work in the industry, especially the electronics industry. The production of the first electronic components, radio and X-ray tubes and ready-made devices, radios and X-ray machines began already in the early fifties. The development was continued with constant consideration of the needs in the sphere of development of the electronics industry in the world, especially new technologies, then permanent education of highly-qualified staff in the fields of electronics, mechanical engineering, chemistry and physics, stimulation of young people through scholarships for 1000 future experts and, most importantly, exceptional state support in the form of loans and other incentives. Of particular importance was the excellent business cooperation with the leading European and world companies such as Philips, Siemens, RCA, Honeywell, etc. Various business forms - licenses, cooperation, consulting, technological support, commercial arrangements, conditioned the necessary dynamics of progress, development of new products and their marketing. In the period from the end of the fifties to the end of the eighties, Electronics Industry Niš (Elektronska industrija Niš) or, formerly, Institute for the Production of Radio Sets and X-ray Machines (Zavodi RR), was the leader of Yugoslavia and the Balkans in the field of electronics. The business commitment to developing technologies needed for finished product realization was conditioned by the professional development of employees who went to specialize in famous European and world companies. World trends in electronics were regularly followed and numerous joint researches within international and domestic projects were carried out. Education of the youth and additional specialization of experienced professionals were ensured by opening Faculty of Technical Sciences in Niš in 1961, and later Faculty of Electronic Engineering and Faculty of Mechanical Engineering within the newly established University of Niš. The University yielded highly-qualified personnel of all profiles required for business in Niš and the region. The opening of Faculty of Electronic Engineering in Niš was initiated by Electronics Industry Niš that provided all the conditions for work - space, equipment and engagement of the most famous professors from Yugoslavia. Today it is a University counting over 20,000 students. The production program of Electronics Industry in Niš included the production of radio and TV devices. In that period, 12 million radio sets and 6 million TVs, several thousand X-ray machines, a large number of devices and systems in the field of computer technology were produced. Base production was largely used for the realization of these products, which was reflected in the production of radio and X-ray tubes, a wide gamut of semiconductors - from diodes and transistors to integrated circuits. The first transistor in EI was produced in 1962. Over 50 million electronic tubes and over 100 million semiconductor elements were manufactured. The industry also boasted with the production of elements, assemblies and subassemblies that were built into devices, as well as the development and production of printed circuits which are still offered on the market in the country and abroad. This is just a part of the story of EI Niš, which employed around 24,000 people, including 2000 highly-educated experts. The story basically concludes: The city of Niš is characterized by important segments of the long-standing successful European heritage story: • Acceptance of technical and technological achievements in Europe and the world. • Active participation in the domain of industrialization and product realization and marketing of products. • Cooperation with foreign partners from Europe and the world on the implementation of technical and technological European and world achievements through licenses, cooperation, consulting, technological support, commercial arrangements. • Establishment of educational institutions, faculties for professional mastering and education in the field of advanced technologies, and at the same time scientific centers for innovation and research activities. • Creating conditions for further development of the entire field of advanced technologies, in accordance with world development trends and success stories. • Treasuring historically important segments of the story of industrial development as the foundation for the time ahead of us. The story does not end here; it only changes its form. THE 21st CENTURY - NIŠ PROVES THAT ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE IS A TRADITION AND WEALTH After the turbulent social circumstances of the 1990s, in the then state of Yugoslavia, which were characterized by the country's breakdown, the wars and interventions of foreign military forces, we entered the new century and the millennium with stagnation in development in all segments of the country. However, tradition and knowledge in the field of electronics bring back hope and positive results, especially in the IT sector in Niš but also in the field of electronics and mechanical engineering. Faculty of Electronic Engineering and Faculty of Mechanical Engineering continue to yield quality personnel. Thanks to new telecommunication connections and the Internet, new companies stand out as reliable partners for the world's largest companies in all fields. Today in Niš there are about 300 small and medium enterprises in the sphere of IT and advanced technologies in various fields of the industry. All new companies established from 1990, and especially 2000 onwards, include research, development and production in the top areas of interest in the European and world markets. Cooperation with foreign partners has become an integral part of the business policy of the actors in the IT sector. Electronics, classical and digital, is an international work in all fields. From education, research, development, production and marketing. Only international teams are ready to achieve results worthy of attention and manage to do it. SUMMARY OF THE STORY OF IT - ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES IN NIŠ 2019 OR WHAT TO DO NEXT In the year 2020, the City of Niš will receive a SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PARK, which is under construction. It will provide the opportunity for the development of advanced technologies and innovative companies in this part of Serbia, while spin-off and start-up companies will get the ideal working conditions. It is precisely in the implementation of this project that the City of Niš and the Republic of Serbia show exceptional readiness for the development to be achieved. Moreover, other activities raise public awareness and create better conditions for the development of advanced technologies. Thus, for the fifth year in a row, the FORUM OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES is organized in Niš by the City of Niš - Office for Local Economic Development and Projects in partnership with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce - Regional Chamber of Commerce of Nišavski, Pirotski and Toplički Administrative District, Faculty of Electronic Engineering of University of Niš, National Employment Service - Niš Branch and the Niš cluster of advanced technologies NiCAT. The aim of this multi-day event is to present the economic, scientific, educational, institutional and personnel potential of the City of Niš, the region and Serbia in the field of advanced technologies. NGO PROMO IbiNT, as an association for the preservation of industrial heritage and the promotion of advanced technologies, acts to bring the historical development of advanced technologies in Niš and the region closer to the public with its specific activities on the establishment of the MUSEUM OF INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE. The exhibition is organized every year within the Forum of Advanced Technologies and the Museum will find its definite place within the Science and Technology Park. Already collected hundreds of original products of Electronics Industry Niš in the second half of the last century demonstrate the development of this field in the former city of electronics and the future center of advanced technologies in this part of Serbia. In 2018, the City of Niš - Office for Economic Development and Projects made a giant step in presenting and affirmation of advanced technologies by issuing MONOGRAPH "NIŠ –THE CITY OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES" ("NIŠ - GRAD NAPREDNIH TEHNOLOGIJA"). This monograph is the first edition of this type of publications in Serbia. Rich in data, documents and photographs, it provides readers with an authentic overview of the development of electronics and advanced technologies, putting it in the context of the global development of this field. The monograph was issued using the logo "2018 EUROPEAN YEAR OF CULTURAL HERITAGE #EuropeForCulture" obtained from Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia. The edition is in Serbian, and the English version is planned to be published. A detailed description of this European Story is given through Monograph "Niš – The City of Advanced Technologies" ("Niš - Grad naprednih tehnologija").

European Dimension

The European dimension of this story is the history of the origin, development and future. Industrial achievements has international value .The material values , new technologies and products created in one place, becomes a challenge to other areas. Europe has contributed to the development and application of new scientific achievements marketed all over the world. Europe also welcomes new ideas in development of new technologies. New technologies is driven by long-term and persistent work. Everything that is done today, tomorrow will be a history and future historical heritage. New knowledge is dependent on the previous one.

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