Modern Technologies Poland is full of start-ups

Author / Editor: Wojciech Traczyk / Susanne Hertenberger

Last year, the number of European patents granted to Polish firms and scientific institutions has risen. However, a significant drop in patent submissions to the European Patent Office is worrying. The position of Polish start-ups on the European market which is getting stronger and stronger provides some consolation though.

10 start-ups invited to the Presidential Palace
10 start-ups invited to the Presidential Palace
(Source: KPRM)

In 2016, the number of patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO), obtained by the Polish companies and scientific organizations grew by 19,2% - to the level of 180 patents which is

Poland’s new record. At the same time, there was a significant fall in the number of patent submis-sions on the basis of which patents are granted: in 2016, by no less than 27,9% compared to the previous year (+17,4% in 2015).

In comparison with the whole European market, Poland ranks 27th in terms of the number of patents submitted. The biggest country in central-eastern Europe ranks even worse in terms of the popula-tion size. With 11 patents per 1 million inhabitants (as many as Hungary), Poland ranks only 31st.

The sectors which are active in patent submission

With reference to the 10 most important technological industries, the number of Polish submissions recorded the highest growth in the sectors of mechanical elements (+89%) and transport (+65%) within which the biggest number of patent submissions was received from the automotive industry. This market segment was responsible for 8% of the total of Polish patent submissions which consti-tutes a growth in comparison with the 4% the year before. This also makes it the most important technological sector in Poland (equal to the civil engineering sector which was also responsible for submitting 8% of the total number of submissions in 2016. The biggest fall in the number of patent submissions last year, on the other hand, was recorded by the measurements (-66%) and electrical machinery (-57%) sectors.

As opposed to the majority of highly developed European countries, the Polish patent activity in 2016, was driven by higher education establishments and scientific institutes. As many as six out of eight of the biggest applicants were universities or research institutes. The most active Polish appli-cant in EPO (12 submissions) was the Jagiellonian University, followed by the pharmaceutical company Polpharma (10 submissions), the producer of roof windows Fakro (6) and the Wrocław Research Centre EIT+ (6).

Instant development of Polish start-ups

In terms of modern technologies, Polish economy’s hope are the youngest and the most innovative producers on the market, whose firms receive very positive opinions around the world. One of the examples might be the TechOcean company which with its product Internet for Robots ranked with-in the world’s 30 best start-ups in the field of robotics during the Robot Launch Startup Competi-tion. One might even argue that the future is theirs. At the end of 2016, as it emerges from the ‘Polish start-ups of 2016’ report, in Poland, there were 2670 registered start-ups with an average duration of activity not exceeding 2 years. Most of them operate in the field of programming. Ac-cording to the authors of the report, by 2023, the added value of young and innovative Polish firms may amount to as much as PLN 2.2 billion, with the number of jobs created by them being 50 thou-sand. The involvement of start-ups in the development of Polish economy as well as their potential, are valued by the Polish government. Young Polish companies may rely on subsidies through a va-riety of competitions and public funds as well as the assistance in expanding into foreign markets. In March of this year, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda invited 10 exceptional start-ups which were able to present their products and services before a few dozen of invited investors. As a part of the ‘Start-ups in the Palace’ project, the aim of which is promoting Polish companies internationally, three of the best ones shall receive free exhibition space during the International Industrial Fair in Hannover with the costs of their flights and accommodation in Germany also covered.

The awards were received by the following companies: XTPL for the patent-protected technology of printing ultralight transmission lines, HussarTech for the hybrid material with germicide and anti-viral properties and Billon Group for creating the first ever system of electronic money which makes it possible to exchange currencies in accordance with the regulations and without the limitations of time and place.