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The Warsaw Voice » Society » July 30, 2012
Politics & Society
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In Brief
July 30, 2012   
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Flagships of Polish Science
In a new program to support the most promising research institutions nationwide, the science ministry July 12 announced a list of six research centers eligible for extra government funding until 2017. Each of these centers will have Leading National Research Center (KNOW) status and receive zl.50 million in extra funds from the government over the next five years.

“We are launching a national program to support the best research centers in the country,” said Barbara Kudrycka, the minister of science and higher education.

Six institutions—each of them leading the way in its field, as Kudrycka put it—were granted KNOW status for the 2012-2017 period in the first round of the program. These are the Warsaw Center for Mathematical Sciences; the Warsaw Academic Chemical Consortium; the Marian Smoluchowski Cracow Scientific Consortium “Matter-Energy-Future;” the Consortium of the Jagiellonian University’s Collegium Medicum and the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Pharmacology; the Department of Pharmaceutics together with the Laboratory Medicine Section of the Medical University of Gdańsk; and the Innovative Research Center in Białystok.

Over the next five years, each institution will receive zl.10 million annually in extra funding for purposes such as strengthening their scientific and research capacity, improving the skills of their research staff, building a strong and identifiable brand, offering higher pay to scientists, and hiring researchers from abroad.

The top research centers were selected by a board of 24 scientists, six from Poland and 18 from abroad. Selection criteria included the research potential of the centers and their staff, international publications and citation indices, ongoing research projects, patents, and collaboration with business.


Visegrad Summer School
Nearly 50 participants from 11 countries took part in this year’s Visegrad Summer School, hosted by the Villa Decius Association in Cracow in July.

The summer school was set up after the launch of the Visegrad Group in 2002. The group, also called the Visegrad Four or V4, brings together four Central European states—the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia—and aims to increase cooperation between them.

Students, graduates, Ph.D. researchers, young professionals from the Central and Eastern Europe countries and many experts took part in the latest summer school. The event opened with a lecture on the late Czech president Václav Havel and included study trips around the Cracow area and the Małopolska region.

This year’s Visegrad Summer School dealt with issues including the eurozone crisis, liberal democracy, tolerance in society, and the European Union’s Eastern Partnership project, which aims to help six former Soviet republics carry out political and economic reforms oriented toward democracy and closer cooperation with the EU.

Some of the more memorable lectures this year included the opening debate evaluating the EU rotating presidencies of the Visegrad countries and a lecture on corruption given by Martin Ehl, head of the foreign desk at the Czech business daily Hospodárské Noviny.
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