Unlimited potential for innovation in Poland

Entrepreneurship and openness in one of the most dynamic economies

Poland’s potential is created by the Poles themselves. As a society of young people, the country is well known around the world for its entrepreneurship, innovation, hospitality and openness. History has shown that Poles are not afraid of change and that they are willing to take on new development challenges, including those in the economic sphere.

So far, the competitiveness of the Polish economy has been determined primarily by low costs and flexible exchange rates. This helped Poland to get through the global crisis without recession and to ensure continued economic growth. This strategy has worked well for 25 years (since 1989), but is now becoming exhausted. This is not enough for Poland to join the world’s most dynamic economies.

Young startups as a competitive advantage

And while Poland is slowly climbing the ladder of innovative world economies, it seems that it is now much more innovative than analyses, reports or rankings would suggest. This is often the result of the way innovation is measured. In such rankings, micro-entrepreneurs are not included, and their level of innovation is also very high. On the other hand, it is true that companies do not realise that many types of changes, even marketing changes, are also innovative and those changes do not require significant investment. Poland strives to increase the competitiveness of its economy and this can be achieved by increasing efficiency and innovation. These will be the foundations of a new competitive advantage.

Poland facing the challenges of Industry 4.0

Poland has appropriate conditions and social potential to meet the new challenges of the fourth industrial revolution (“Industry 4.0”). New technologies allow the innovative ideas of young Poles to be transformed into world-class projects. An important element of success is to provide the appropriate environment (ecosystem) for developing and implementing innovative ideas and solutions. The conditions for the development of the Poles’ innovativeness are created at all levels of administration (commune, district, province, country). A wide range of support and state aid tools and instruments are also available to entities and institutions from abroad.

Knowledge, innovation and technological progress: Startups now seem to be the essence of Polish entrepreneurship, industriousness, independence and resourcefulness in the 21st century

Industrial Policy focusing on long-term development

In this new vision of Poland’s economic development, based on the Strategy for Responsible Development, special attention is paid to ensuring the long-term development of the Polish economy, based more on knowledge, innovation and technological progress. An important role in the implementation of this concept is played by startups. Startups now seem to be the essence of Polish entrepreneurship, industriousness, independence and resourcefulness in the 21st century. These are the same factors that boosted the Polish economy during its transition, after 1989.

The “Start in Poland” government programme was launched with a budget of approximately PLN 3 billion. The objective of this is to support startups and to be involved in the development of technological companies and the innovation of large enterprises, including state-owned companies. It is the largest startup support programme in this part of Europe and a new platform for the effective cooperation between Polish science and business. The first instrument of the “Start in Poland” initiative is the Scale Up programme, whose idea is to combine the potential of creative entrepreneurs that have just set out in business, with the infrastructure, experience and resources of large corporations. The segments with the highest growth prospects in which Poland has a chance to become specialised and win competitive advantage include hybrid car production, intelligent transport, the gaming industry, the internet of things, telemedicine and medical equipment.

The segments with the highest growth prospects in which Poland has a chance to become specialised and win competitive advantage include hybrid car production, intelligent transport, the gaming industry, the internet of things, telemedicine and medical equipment

International achievements of the ICT sector

The ICT sector in Poland offers investment security and qualified staff, and the support of EU and government institutions allows for the creation of joint service and R&D centres. The conditions prevailing in Poland, such as high internal demand or human resources, make it possible to create distinctive products. This is demonstrated by the international achievements of Polish companies which, thanks to an innovative approach, have successfully developed such niche markets like gaming or in business applications.

The space sector is one of the most innovative and technologically advanced areas which is of increasing importance for the European economy, including Poland’s. The key advantages of the Polish space sector include the building of stable cooperation between science and industry, developing innovative technologies, and stimulating foreign contacts and cooperation.

Picture by ©Woitek Gurak

Polish scientific research units and universities have many years of experience in space-related activities and considerable achievements in the field, especially in the development of space mission research instruments and elements for satellites, as well as in space data processing. In addition to successful national work, they are actively involved in international cooperation, e.g., by participating in EU projects of the 7th Framework Programme and the Horizon 2020 programme. In terms of project participation, Poland has the best results among the ‘new’ member states, and it is also ahead of the Scandinavian countries.

Poland focuses on the production of electric vehicles and the development of infrastructure necessary for this type of vehicle is planned, enabling, e.g., the development of ecological public transport in Polish cities (E-bus and electric car projects)

Focus on electromobility

Poland focuses on electromobility and the production of electric vehicles and the development of infrastructure necessary for this type of vehicle is planned, enabling, e.g., the development of ecological public transport in Polish cities (E-bus and electric car projects). As part of the revival of the shipbuilding industry, measures will be taken to modernise the sector and shift production towards innovative projects, like designing the construction of vessels and marine structures (Batory project).

The emphasis is also put on the development of services based on the use of drones (Żwirko and Wigura project). Huge potential is also present in the area of modern health solutions, cutting-edge medical equipment (e.g., the Polish medical robot), advanced generic and biosimilar drugs (Biotechnology Development Centre project).

Joint new efforts in the CEE region

The Warsaw Declaration is a document on the promotion of joint projects based on new technologies signed on 28th March by the Prime Ministers of Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The document was signed in Warsaw during the 1st CEE Innovators Summit. Following political declarations, a line financing the joint R&D projects under the Visegrad Fund will be launched.

Poland as the partner country of Hannover Messe 2017 is actively involved in the Industry 4.0 process. That is why the theme of its presence at the Fair is SMART MEANS POLAND. In total, there were around 200 Polish firms present at the fair. It has been the most representative delegation of Polish entrepreneurs at the Hannover Fair.

11 Polish firms presented their products:

  • ML System S.A – producer of new generation photovoltaic cells
  • Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. – global producer of buses, including electric buses
  • Ursus Bus SA – global producer of vehicles
  • Transition Technologies – company offering information and engineering systems for industry, especially power industry
  • Saule Technologies – creator of new technology for the production of flexible photovoltaic cells with perovskites
  • Ekoenergetyka-Polska – producer of charging infrastructure for electric buses and cars
  • DT Poland – producer of modern software
  • Zortrax – producer of 3D printers and printing materials for advanced designs for the industry
  • Medcom – one of the most innovative producers of energy electronic equipment in the world
  • H. Cegielski – Poznań S.A. – a company with more than 170 years of tradition, offering technologically advanced products in such sectors as the power industry, transport, environmental engineering, production of steel structures
  • TMA Automation– company designing and building modern solutions in the field of robotics, automation, mechanics and machine vision

At the Polish national stand, there werew also 8 regions present: Lublin, Lubusz, Lesser Poland, Pomerania, Silesia, Swietokrzyskie province, West Pomerania, as well as 5 Special Economic Zones (Łódź SEZ, Kostrzyn-Słubice SEZ, Wałbrzych SEZ, Mielec SEZ, Tarnobrzeg SEZ) and the Office of Technical Inspection. Start ups also joined the Polish national stand.

A part of the stand’s surface was made available to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, which presented e.g. the robot Photon. There were also 18 young innovative firms, represented in Hannover, including three firms, awarded with the prize of the Minister of Development and Finance.