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The Warsaw Voice » Regional Voice » September 2, 2011
The Wrocław Voice
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Science Meets Business
September 2, 2011   
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Mirosław Miller, president of the Wrocław Research Centre EIT+, talks to Barbara Deręgowska.

The Wrocław Research Centre EIT+ was launched four years ago with a view to developing ties between science and business in new technology and innovation at home and abroad. Has this goal been accomplished?
We have been growing very fast. We established the company four years ago relying on the experience and legacy of the Lower Silesia Centre for Advanced Technology. This is the first such project in Poland, aiming to create and develop new ways for the science and education sector to work with local governments and innovative businesses. The stakeholders include the largest universities in Wrocław and the local governments of Wrocław and the Lower Silesia region.

Research projects conducted at EIT+ help integrate the academic community of Wrocław and strengthen its cooperation with businesses. As a meeting place, EIT+ is extremely efficient in helping the entire local community rather than just people who are affiliated with universities. Researchers and enterprises have been very keen on working with us.

We could intuitively feel right from the beginning that our institution needed to make its mark abroad as well. We would most like to develop such an exchange of knowledge in areas close to the Polish border, where the distances between major cities are short and the cities share culture, certain fields of expertise and so on. With its location, Wrocław offers perfect conditions for that and so here at EIT+ we have started to form a triangle linking Germany’s Saxony region, Dresden in particular, with Prague and Brno in the Czech Republic, and Wrocław. There is another similar place in Europe where Belgium borders Germany and the Netherlands. With its appealing business projects and joint work with universities, it has “produced” the largest group of millionaires in Europe over the past seven years.

Who do you need the most?
The type of research the Wrocław Research Centre EIT+ has dealt with caters to companies and organizations that seek innovative technology and individual projects from Poland and abroad. We are interested in the commercial applications of intellectual property. Whenever an idea holds a promise of viable development, we help the people or organization behind it establish contacts abroad and obtain international patents, and we also offer grants to projects. If the idea becomes commercially successful, we look forward to a share in the profits. We have also started to “commercialize” a dozen ideas through newly established technology companies in which we are minority shareholders. That way, we do not manage the companies, but we want make it possible for interesting projects to be developed further.

We appreciate people who have profound knowledge and want to put it to use. Such people can come up with inventive ideas. We are on a search for partners in science and business to pursue joint projects around the world. Such people include Polish expats who seek opportunities to work with research centres in Poland.

We have organized and conducted interdisciplinary research projects in biomedicine, nanotechnology, telecommunications and IT sciences, and climate change prevention. We have chosen these four areas for their importance to the public and considerable impact on economic development.

Our motto is to efficiently manage knowledge by building it and transferring it to the economy. What is important is that the results of research conducted at EIT+ are precisely directed to the right economic sectors relying on forecasts concerning the development of markets in Europe and across the globe.

We have just completed designing versatile laboratories which we are planning to launch in 2014. The research centre which we have been building at Pracze Campus is the largest research-and-development facility in Poland, worth over zl.500 million. The campus, still in development, will also be home to research centres and laboratories established by large companies from Poland and abroad. We will provide the companies with our laboratories, adapted to suit the enterprises’ needs.

We have been searching Poland for what we call innovation hotbeds, that is, teams of people who continuously come up with new ideas and inventions. The idea behind our project complements services and products provided by technology parks, which we have worked with as well. Products are being invented in our area that can be put to a commercial use through, for example, newly organized technology companies and then further developed in technology parks. We are also planning to open service and production centres in our campus, complete with hotels, restaurants and recreational sites. This huge science and business cluster will be like a new town spreading over 100 hectares near a freeway and an airport.


FACTFILE
Prof. Mirosław Miller, President of Wrocław Research Centre EIT+ since 2007.
Professor at Wrocław University of Technology, Faculty of Chemistry. Specialist in high-temperature chemical processes, physicochemical properties of inorganic materials, high temperature mass spectrometry (KEMS) and nanomaterials. Humboldt Fellowship, FZ Juelich (1986-1987), Welch Fellowship, Texas A&M University (1993). 100 scientific papers, over 400 citations. Member of scientific councils, including the Biomass Research Center in Leipzig and KGHM Cuprum. Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Metallurgy Committee, Associated Phase Diagrams and Thermodynamics Committee and the Societas Humboldtiana Polonorum.

Priority Project
The Wrocław Research Centre EIT+ is conducting a priority project called the Lower Silesian Centre of Materials and Biomaterials, whose goal is to build a modern science and technology hub in Pracze.
Under the plans, the center will have dozens of interdisciplinary laboratories and the historic building at the site will be redeveloped. This will be a meeting place where modern scientific thought is exchanged, creative business ideas are hatched and socio-cultural initiatives are launched. This approach aims to make EIT+ a unique, interdisciplinary institution, providing space for research and for initiatives that help provide a better quality of life and support a regional knowledge-based economy.

Project Office:
Wrocławskie Centrum Badań EIT+
54-066 WROCŁAW
147 Stabłowicka St.
Tel/fax +48 71 354 33 62
biuro@eitplus.pl
www.eitplus.pl
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