Between March 18th and September 5th 2016, national and international teams of students, graduates and researchers are invited to innovate and compete in illustrating the Laser Valley — Land of Lights urban development vision. Consortia between Universities and Research Centres are strongly encouraged to participate.


1st place: 6,000 euros
2nd place: 4,500 euros
3rd place: 3,500 euros
Three sponsored prizes of 2,000 euros each

Main Deadlines:

Registration and Submissions: September 1st to 5th, 2016
Announcing Shortlisted Entries: September 13th, 2016
Announcing the Winners: September 20th, 2016
Award Ceremony and Exhibition: Beginning of October 2016

The Laser Valley — Land of Lights International Ideas Competition is an initiative led by the Romanian Ministry for National Education and Scientific Research, with the support of the ‘Ion Mincu’ University of Architecture and Urban Planning and the Technical University of Civil Engineering in Bucharest.

Against the background of the Extreme Light Infrastructure — Nuclear Physics/ELI — NP Project, which aims to install the world’s most powerful laser in the town of Măgurele, Romania welcomes the chance of becoming a prominent international hub for the scientific community. Hence, with more than 1,000 Romanian and international researchers working and living in Măgurele, Laser Valley is destined to become an internationally renowned research and business centre.

Aim of the competition is to illustrate the Laser Valley — Land of Lights vision for the year 2035: A dynamic and open research ecosystem, thriving within a prime built environment, that is both interesting and efficient. A place for living, for having fun, for learning, a centre for science, for research, and an innovation, business and mobility core.

The 2035 urban development vision for the Laser Valley — Land of Lights competition will encompass the entire area between Bucharest, in the northern part, and the Argeș River, in the southern part, thereby including the Municipality of Măgurele, the Mihăilești Lake and the 1 Decembrie Port on the Argeș River.

Taking into account the currently unsustainable development path of the Măgurele area, as well as the inherent potential of the ELI — NP Project to correct it, the 2035 urban development vision rests upon the following three ideas:

1. Research and technology become the main drivers of local and regional development;

2. The research environment exerts its influence upon local development, thereby resolving the tension between the antiquated built environment and the new one;

3. The Laser Valley spatial concept integrates the green open spaces and capitalises upon the privileged location the town of Măgurele holds in relation to Bucharest.