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The Warsaw Voice » Other » October 28, 2009
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Promoting Technology Transfer
October 28, 2009   
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Matching partners to exchange know-how and work together for new technology is the main aim of the Regional Network for Technology Promotion and Transfer (RSPTT) in the southern Silesia region. The project, in part financed by the EU's European Social Fund, was launched in June.

The Regional Network for Technology Promotion and Transfer is a network of specialist research centers, a joint effort by regional organizations supporting business and enterprises operating in Silesia province. The project has been carried out by five institutions: Górno¶l±ska Agencja Przekształceń Przedsiębiorstw SA (Upper Silesia Agency for Enterprise Transformation) in Katowice as the project leader and Agencja Rozwoju Lokalnego Sp. z o.o. (Local Development Agency) in Gliwice, Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego SA (Regional Development Agency) in Bielsko-Biała, and the Silesian Castle of Art and Enterprise in Cieszyn.

Companies working with research centers as part of the project have a chance to boost their rate of development, while for research centers, collaboration with enterprises is an opportunity to spread the results of their work and apply them in practice.

Keeping up the good work
The Regional Network for Technology Promotion and Transfer is a follow-up to a project that was carried out in Silesia province from 2005-2008. The project was handled by the same institutions and aimed to design a mechanism to enable efficient communication between enterprises and research and development institutions. The project resulted in the development of regional databases of companies, technologies and experts. The databases went on to become an efficient tool to combine business with science. More than 1,250 people took part in the project and the database features around 500 companies.

Other components of the project included a regular event called Information on Technology Transfer Days, training sessions and technology workshops attended by entrepreneurs and personnel from research and development centers. A quarterly newsletter was published as part of the project with descriptions of innovative technology and noteworthy initiatives in Silesia.

The network formed in 2005-2008 was the basis for the 2009-2011 project, which aims to provide a broader network for cooperation, technology promotion and transfer and stimulate the exchange of information through various initiatives, meetings and database updates. The project also seeks to promote technology and research projects, keeping entrepreneurs informed about research and development work at research centers and the results of these projects. Another goal is to provide enterprises with access to services offered by research and development institutes, identify enterprises' technology needs, and match partners interested in carrying out joint technology projects and in exchanging know-how.

Ambitious agenda
In order to achieve these goals, project consultants will visit companies to expand the project databases, identify the technology-related needs of enterprises and gather information on demand for different technologies and see to what extent the enterprises are working with the research and development sector. This will make it possible to match services and products provided by enterprises with potential users, experts say. The project will also include exhibitions of innovative technology, organized to demonstrate real technological achievements resulting from joint efforts undertaken by companies and research and development centers.

Conferences and seminars organized as part of the project will facilitate face-to-face meetings between entrepreneurs and scientists who work for research and development centers. All initiatives will be described in a quarterly newsletter of the Technology Transfer Network, an electronic version of which will be available at the project's website (www.rsptt.pl). The newsletter will be compiled by outside experts and contain articles on technology and innovation in individual sectors of the economy.

The Regional Network for Technology Promotion and Transfer will consistently expand its databases of services and technology-related needs. Plans also call for the development of a database of services, equipment and laboratory facilities available from Silesia's research and development centers. This will build a communication platform to give enterprises access to professional, innovative services and information on technology provided by research and development centers and experts in Silesia province. Projects undertaken as part of the RSPTT are not only targeted at enterprises, but also nongovernmental organizations, communities, individuals and university students. This means that initiatives planned as part of the RSPTT are open to anyone with an interest in innovation and technology transfer.

The RSPTT project is being held as part of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation.

Ewa Dereń

Leading the Charge
According to the Polish Business and Innovation Centers Association, Silesia is home to the largest number of innovative companies in the country, ahead of the Mazovia and Wielkopolska regions.

For many years Silesian innovators have been winning top awards at the Brussels-Eureka World Exhibition of Innovation, Research and New Technologies. Over the years, the winners have included the Institute of Medical Engineering and Equipment in Zabrze and the Welding Institute in Gliwice, in addition to a number of private businesses, colleges and individual inventors. Studio Calsky Design from Tychy, for example, has won the Young Inventors' gold medal at the Brussels exhibition for designing hi-tech equipment to help blind people.

A league table of Poland's 500 most innovative businesses, compiled every year by Polish newspaper Gazeta Prawna, includes many companies from Silesia, which specialize in the design and production of industrial machinery, power automation systems and equipment, and mining and metallurgical technology.

In 2007-2013, Silesia expects to receive more than 296 million euros for technological research and development as part of an EU Regional Operational Program. This money is earmarked for increasing the region's attractiveness to investors, aiding the modernization of small- and medium-sized businesses, and for technology and innovation transfer.
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