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The Warsaw Voice » Other » June 17, 2009
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From the Publisher
June 17, 2009   
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Security, the military and technology go hand in hand. Military technology has always fascinated governments worldwide; it is key to national security, and is also a driving force behind the development of civilian technology.

While national security is without a doubt the top priority, Poland's current international position requires it to shoulder the burden of responsibility for not only its own security, but also that of other countries. The key context is NATO. As new threats materialized on a previously unseen scale after Sept. 11, 2001, Poland's responsibilities on the international arena considerably increased, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan where Poland deployed its troops. Other aspects of the issue include a program for modernizing Poland's armed forces, the new identity of the Atlantic Alliance, and a common defense policy in the European Union. All this demonstrates the magnitude of the challenges that the Polish armed forces must meet. While political leaders will provide answers to the political questions involved, questions about the security of Polish troops will have to be answered by Polish scientists and engineers.

In February 2005, a group of 33 institutions and companies led by the Warsaw-based Military University of Technology (WAT) established a research and development consortium called the Polish Technology Platform of Security Systems. The consortium's members work together to meet the needs of the Polish military and civilian services in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America and threats to global security, writes Marek Mejssner in this issue of The Polish Science Voice.

The consortium works as part of the European Commission's 2003 agenda for technology platforms and aims to promote Polish achievements in the field of security. Member companies and institutions have set out to develop state-of-the-art equipment and technology for the state administration and uniformed services.

Mejssner's article details the wide range of technologies developed by companies and institutions affiliated in the consortium. These include a new light armored vehicle for the military, upgraded armor plating for a wheeled personnel carrier, state-of-the-art radar systems, and a system of sensors for monitoring security in cities. In his article, Mejssner shows how military technology can be easily adapted for civilian use.

Scientists, engineers, new technology, innovation... Włodzimierz Hausner, director of the Polish Federation of Engineering Associations (NOT) Innovation Center and a special guest of this issue of The Polish Science Voice takes us through the labyrinth of Polish patent regulations and intellectual property protection. "A frequent mistake is assuming that an idea is an innovation. It's not true," says Hausner. "An innovation is something that has been implemented; an innovation is a change that brings financial results. I will always argue three things: there is no innovation without research; innovations must prove their mettle on the market; time is the enemy of innovation. There was a time when the market was stable and a given product was manufactured for many years. Today technological changes occur quickly, especially in the production of cars or mobile phones. There is no need to protect every idea; we just have to improve our products."

In another interview published in this issue of The Polish Science Voice, Prof. Janusz Rachoń, a senator and chairman of the Scientific Council of the National Center for Research and Development, talks to Adam Grzybowski about the links between science and politics. Rachoń has 40 years of experience working in the Polish science sector. He is a researcher, former university rector and investor. Eighteen months ago he took over as chairman of the Scientific Council of the National Center for Research and Development, which carries out tasks stemming from government science and innovation policy.

Before he became a senator, Rachoń was rector of the Gdańsk University of Technology. In this issue of The Polish Science Voice we report on this giant university, which has 1,200 teachers and more than 20,000 students in nine faculties providing a total of 27 undergraduate and graduate courses.

Moreover, as usual, we report on a range of the latest developments in Polish science.
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