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The Polish Science Voice
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From the Publisher
March 31, 2015   
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Each new issue of The Polish Science Voice reports on projects of various sizes and at various stages of the journey from an idea for a new product or service to market launch. All these projects testify to Poland’s success story and confirm that the Polish economy is slowly but steadily becoming increasingly based on close collaboration between science and business.

In this issue, we report on an idea by a team of engineers from the Warsaw University of Technology and Bydgoszcz-based rail vehicle manufacturer Pojazdy Szynowe PESA. The idea involves building and mass-producing a low-floor disabled-friendly streetcar packed with the latest technology. The streetcar has a low floor along its entire length and no stairs or varying floor levels.

The project has been co-financed to the tune of zl.5.18 million by the National Center for Research and Development (NCBR). The project managers say the Polish design is more innovative than similar low-floor streetcars abroad. They add that Polish streetcar is partly built from composite materials, so it is lighter than other vehicles of this kind, uses less energy and is less harmful to the environment.

A prototype streetcar will soon be tested in the streets. It is expected to travel 5,000 km on selected streetcar routes in Warsaw. If the tests are successful, the prototype will go into mass production. The streetcar could enable PESA to enter the market for such vehicles in Western Europe.

Meanwhile, wire and cable producer Tele-Fonika Kable and the AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow have come up with an idea to recycle old electric cables and production waste into new cables.

Electric cables made from recycled materials using the new method are as good as those made using aluminum and copper straight from a smelting plant, according to the inventors. The new method is environmentally friendly and helps save money.

Based in the southern town of My¶lenice, Tele-Fonika Kable is the third largest wire and cable producer in Europe. A large part of the company’s output is production waste, totaling 8,000 metric tons a year. According to Prof. Tadeusz Knych, head of the AGH research team working on the project, the recycling of old products, tools, appliances and other materials is one of the biggest challenges in contemporary materials engineering.

The zl.8.1 million project received over zl.4 million in co-financing from the National Center for Research and Development under its Demonstrator+ program. The funds were assigned for the construction of a demonstration installation for casting copper wire fit for use in the production of electric cables. Work to assemble the installation is nearing completion and production will be soon launched.

In this issue of The Polish Science Voice, we also report on the Center for Advanced Materials and Technology (CEZAMAT), a new interdisciplinary research laboratory under construction in Warsaw. CEZAMAT will enable researchers from different fields to study and develop technology that will be used in electronic equipment, telephones, computers, processors, new kinds of sensors, detectors, imaging techniques, spectroscopy and holography. Scientists will also be able to find new applications for graphene and study energy production and storage.

One field of computer science researched at CEZAMAT will be the so-called Internet of Things, or wireless sensor networks enabling different objects to communicate with one another.

Prof. Romuald Beck, CEZAMAT’s deputy CEO for research, says the new laboratory is a long-time dream come true for the Polish research community.

CEZAMAT is one of the largest projects to be co-financed by the National Center for Research and Development under the European Union’s Innovative Economy Operational Program. The project has been co-financed to the tune of over zl.355 million in total. The funds are intended to help finance the construction of the laboratory and purchase research equipment. The CEZAMAT project began in 2008 and is scheduled for completion later this year.
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