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Talentsand Patents
June 29, 2012   
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The Pomeranian Science and Technology Park in the northern Polish city of Gdynia has been designated as an official candidate to host the 2014 World Conference of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP).

The decision was made by the board of the association, which brings together 375 science parks worldwide. Other official candidates competing with Gdynia to host the conference are similar parks in Doha, Qatar; Muscat, Oman; and Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

Work to launch the Pomeranian Science and Technology Park began in 2001, with the adaptation of facilities and a six-hectare site occupied by a former bus-and-trolley depot in the city center. “We received 2.5 million euros in co-financing from the European Union,” says Edyta Depta, deputy director of the Gdynia Innovation Center, the operator of the Pomeranian Science and Technology Park. The grant was intended for “strengthening the competitiveness of Poland’s Pomerania region through the development of innovation and technology for business.”

By 2006, the park had 14,000 square meters of high-standard office and laboratory space, in addition to conference and exhibition rooms, relaxation space and food-service facilities.

Today a total of 500 people work there, employed by a hundred or so companies, and the number of those interested in setting up shop within the park is growing. With these businesses in mind, the park is being expanded. In all, the project is expected to cost a total of zl.208 million, with zl.137 million coming from EU funds and the rest provided by the city of Gdynia.

To be successful on the market, businesses operating in the park must use advanced technology. They can use the services of the Regional Patent Information Center, which provides training and consultancy in the field of patenting and intellectual property protection, including inventions, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, and copyrights. Since it opened in March 2009, the center has provided more than 550 advice and consultation sessions to businesses.

The park focuses on innovative projects. It uses strict criteria for selecting businesses. The selection process is handled by a 23-member Scientific Council.

“The park is not only about infrastructure, office space and accompanying facilities,” says Depta. “It’s about a whole new way of thinking.”

The international financial and economic crisis, which has affected many companies worldwide, including Poland, has proved to be a blessing in disguise for the companies operating within the park. On an increasingly competitive market, they became more attractive in terms of price and quality as providers of services to global corporations, which started to cut their costs. The competitiveness of the Gdynia-based businesses largely resulted from their collaboration with R&D centers, consulting and training institutions, and the overall organizational, legal and financial framework for technology transfer.

The Pomeranian Science and Technology Park aims to develop a knowledge-based economy through the creation of effective ties between science and business and to stimulate innovative entrepreneurship through partnership. This is exemplified by a new course in business innovation launched by the University of Gdańsk and the Science and Business project co-funded by the EU and carried out together with the Medical University of Gdańsk. The latter project was designed to strengthen collaboration between the scientific and the business communities as part of a regional network for the transfer of knowledge and information in medicine, pharmacology, biotechnology and cosmetology.

This last sector is represented in the park by the CERKO s.c. company, founded by a group of pharmacists. It has brought to the Polish market top-quality dermocosmetics for skin care. It also produces equipment for the analysis of drugs, food and the environment.

The key sectors represented by businesses operating in the park are design, biotechnology, environmental protection, computer science, electronics and telecommunications. Products from local information and communication technology (ICT) companies have already won customers on markets at home and abroad. One such product is a speech synthesizer designed by students from the Gdańsk University of Technology. The product has attracted customers including the government of Iceland and the Welsh Language Board. The British Royal National Institute of Blind People is a partner in the project.

Some of the companies based in the Pomeranian Science and Technology Park—Ivona Software, ARound, Bilander, GWPI and Master Telecom—showed their wares at this year’s CeBIT international new technology fair alongside innovative companies from other countries.

The InteliWISE company develops and sells new-generation internet technology. It has a representative office in Silicon Valley in the United States. Fido Intelligence Sp. z o.o.has also had an office in Silicon Valley since the end of July 2010. IT company Bilander creates business intelligence software and software to support decision-making processes in companies.

Adam Grzybowski
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