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The Warsaw Voice » Regional Voice » June 30, 2011
The Wrocław Voice
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Wrocław Technology Park Turns Ten
June 30, 2011   
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Prof. Maciej Chorowski, president of the Wrocław Technology Park, talks to Barbara Deręgowska about the park’s history and development.

It has been 10 years since the Wrocław Technology Park was established. How have the plans from a decade ago played out in practice?
In some areas, we have actually achieved more than we originally planned. The Wrocław Technology Park grew popular beyond our expectations and so far, it has drawn 120 really valuable companies. The prevalent types of industry in the park are computer science, electronics, control engineering, mechanical engineering, cryogenics, applied physics (detectors), biotechnology and chemistry. This place is alive. Companies which operate in the Wrocław University of Technology are able to carry out projects of their own and ones which involve state-of-the-art apparatus and hardware at our six laboratories.

Covering an roofed area of 35,000 square meters, the park is where over 1,500 people work. Our location is excellent and we have a superb telecommunications infrastructure. The opportunities the park presents are particularly attractive for technology companies which need hi-tech solutions and the know-how of research and development centers. We work with a number of universities and science institutes.

Five years ago, the Lower Silesia Academic Incubator of Enterprise was formed within the Wrocław Technology Park, creating exceptional career opportunities for university-level students in Poland and abroad.

We established the incubator not only for undergraduates but also for PhD students, graduates and the academic staff of institutions of higher education in Wrocław and the Polish Academy of Sciences. The idea is to enable people to find solid economic foundations for their knowledge and ideas and help them set up enterprises of their own.

We have set aside and equipped around 500 sq m in the park as a section to transform ideas into products with market value. Even the smallest companies can use it to gain access to the park’s full infrastructure.

How does entering the Wrocław Technology Park help companies contact markets in Poland and abroad?
The natural market for hi-tech companies in the United States, Europe and Asia are large national corporations, big science labs, space programs and the power industry. In Poland, this is still a highly limited and risky market. Companies in the park are taking part in major international projects. We have been introducing Polish enterprises to markets created by, for example, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). Working with the Institute for Nuclear Studies in ¦wierk near Warsaw and the Wrocław University of Technology, the park is the integrator of key elements of the XFEL cryogenic free-electron laser, which is under construction in Hamburg. Many foreign institutions have shown deep confidence in us and approached us with proposals for joint projects.

We enhance the potential inherent in the park with the know-how and production capacity of other Polish institutions, including ones from outside Wrocław. We are a platform that brings together various institutions, which thanks to us can establish international contacts that are advantageous to them. We are like a conductor who ensures that the orchestra has the instruments and sounds good, but also helps the musicians land lucrative contracts which they could never hope for if they were left to their own devices. The park is like a gateway to the world.

The Wrocław Technology Park is growing. What new technology are you planning to use?
New facilities are emerging in the park, fitted with specialized equipment. We are mainly looking for companies willing to become involved in major energy-related projects in Poland, notably the nuclear power sector. We are building a lab for non-destructive research fitted with a 10 MeV accelerator. We have been developing an innovative, trigeneration system which combines cooling, heat and power. What is new about this project is that we are treating it as a system with the capacity to provide all utilities to facilities which are already there in the park. We are thus redefining the idea of “full infrastructure.” We are testing the trigeneration technology on ourselves to see if it ensures greater energy security in concentrated industrial complexes.

Maciej Chorowski, 53, is the dean of the Faculty of Mechanical and Power Engineering at the Wrocław University of Technology. He has been researching and developing cryogenic systems for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, the ITER thermonuclear reactor which is under construction in Cadarache, France, and other such facilities. Chorowski has authored and published over 100 papers on cryogenics, applied superconductivity and new technologies in power engineering.
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