Poland: Research and Innovation Market
Science and Business
Various business environment institutions (BEI) have a key role to play in this respect, such as: technology parks (there were 42 of them in 2011), business and technology incubators (94), innovation and technology transfer centres (89), equity funds (107), loan and loan guarantee funds (139), training and advisory centres (207) and business angel networks (7). In spite of the fact that the reserves of BEI (a total of 681 institutions) seems quantitatively rich, they in fact have a low potential and they are rather passive in their operations. Only few of the BEI, including in particular technology parks, have put the EU resources to a good effect and achieved some research infrastructure allowing them to implement advanced R+D+I projects while having access to seed capital allowing to fund the initial stages of such ventures.
Good cooperation between science and business is not common in Poland, yet it's possible - the Wroclaw Research Centre EIT+ is one of the examples of a successful union of science and business. This company established in 2007 and owned by the municipality of Wroclaw and five largest Wroclaw universities supports development of knowledge based economy in the Lower Silesia, with a strong focus on commercialisation of R+D+I activity, combining the characteristics of an advanced technology park, a thematic cluster and a research institute. Construction of modern research and laboratory infrastructure as part of the Lower Silesia Materials and Bio-materials Centre operating in the EIT+ structure was finished in 2015 and is supposed to be one of the strongest innovation centres at the national level.
Nonetheless, one can note an explicit underdevelopment of business environment institutions that would support and encourage the research and development centres to prepare an offer of research and development works attractive for entrepreneurs - and the entrepreneurs themselves to engage in projects related to high technologies and innovation. Science and business environments still make two distanced worlds in Poland. They still can see their shared interest, without which it is difficult to build an effective market of research and innovation, all too seldom. This situation needs to change quickly as development of the knowledge based economy has no positive alternative if the Polish entrepreneurs are to face their foreign competitors elbowing their way also on the domestic market.