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The Warsaw Voice » The Polish Science Voice » December 21, 2012
Innovation
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BioNanoPark Opens in £ód¼
December 21, 2012   
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One of Poland’s largest laboratory complexes for the bio- and nano-technology industry has opened at the Regional Science and Technology Park in £ód¼.

Bio- and nano-technologies are one of the fastest developing disciplines of science in Poland and are a great opportunity for Polish industry. Today bio- and nano-technologies figure prominently in almost every area of daily life.

“Hundreds of visionary designs for everyday items used by millions of people around the world, such as cordless phones or personal computers, were developed in technology parks in the last decade of the 20th century," says Andrzej Styczeń, CEO of the Regional Science and Technology Park in £ód¼.

In Poland, there are already a dozen or so technology parks, supporting research and technology of interest to business.

The Regional Science and Technology Park in £ód¼ has a number of innovations to its name, including special car seats for children with cerebral palsy and electronic city guides for mobile phones available in several languages.

Officials including Poland’s President Bronis³aw Komorowski say they are aware of the benefits of technology parks. While in £ód¼, Komorowski said, “The Polish economy is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises. Therefore, it is extremely important to have centers such as the BioNanoPark where businesspeople can test their products and place orders for research services they need to implement their solutions in industry. This is where scientific, technical and technological potential is brought together.”

The BioNanoPark is an intermediate stage between a university and a business incubator. The idea is to help university graduates with a business idea to put it into practice.

The BioNanoPark is 7,000 square meters in size, offering comfortable, furnished and air-conditioned office space with broadband internet access. There is enough space for 50 companies. The facilities are intended for businesses that have been in operation for no longer than three years. But the most important part of the complex is its around 3,000 sq m section occupied by modern, specialized industrial biotechnology laboratories and molecular and nano-structural biophysics laboratories. They will provide services to industry and research institutions in both Poland and abroad. Interested parties can also rent conference rooms and take advantage of accounting and marketing services as well as legal advice on preferential terms.

The £ód¼ University of Technology, which is one of the shareholders of the Regional Science and Technology Park in £ód¼, was the first technical university in Poland to secure the right to confer doctoral degrees in biotechnology. £ód¼ says it now has everything to ensure easy and quick transfer of knowledge to business—specialized staff and modern infrastructure.

The BioNanoPark comprises four office and laboratory modules for spin-off and spin-out firms, in addition to a conference room for 300 people, with catering and exhibition space. But the most important are laboratories where research staff hailing from the city’s institutions of higher education will work.

The Industrial Biotechnology Laboratory deals with research into new environmentally-friendly technologies, such as microbiological degradation of toxic substances and chemicals contaminating the environment. The lab works on technology for the production of biofuel and brown coal gasification. It also works on enzymes for enriching textiles and on probiotic and prebiotic preparations. It helps medicine and industry to make use of new biomaterials.

The Molecular and Nanostructural Biophysics Laboratory, in turn, conducts unique research into the impact of new biomaterials and nanotechnology products on man and the environment. It also works on generic drugs and new materials for the pharmaceutical industry.

Before the BioNanoPark complex was completed, a medical implants laboratory was established there, the first in Poland and one of the few such facilities in the world specializing in the production of facial bone implants. The laboratory also produces anatomical models and implants used in neurosurgery, orthopedics, dentistry and other branches of medicine. It creates three-dimensional anatomical models based on computed tomography images and magnetic resonance imaging. This method, developed by scientists from £ód¼, is precise and improves the odds of surgical patients for recovery and reduces the time of treatment. The method is safe, fast and reliable and, most important, affordable.

Both laboratories are able to certify their products in keeping with European Union standards. They will provide research services for micro-, small and medium enterprises as well as research institutes.

The BioNanoPark cost more than zl.76 million to build and equip, with over zl.53 million coming from an EU grant under the Innovative Economy Operational Program. Almost half of these funds were spent on laboratory equipment. The center went into operation in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Danuta K. Gruszczyńska
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