The Warsaw Voice » Business » Monthly - September 30, 2015
Business & Economy
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Innovation Time
   
For some time now there has been a lot of talk about restoring industry to its former role as a major contributor to Europe’s GDP. However, industry in Poland and other European countries cannot operate along old lines if it is to be competitive with economies such as the United States and China. It must be based on innovation and new technology. Such are the requirements of the times.

The role of innovation in Poland’s further development was discussed at the recent Economic Forum conference in the southern town of Krynica. Hopefully, this debate will go on. For the time being, efforts to turn Poland into a knowledge-based economy have not produced the expected results, as evidenced by the country’s distant place on ranking lists in terms of innovation. Experts say the main barrier in this area today is the lack of collaboration between science and business and inadequate government support. Poland has a large pool of scientists and students winning international competitions in disciplines such as mathematics, inventions and programming, but it is evidently not doing so well in terms of putting this potential to good use.

Fortunately, there are some grounds for optimism about what the future holds. One example is an agreement signed in September between a Polish company named Saule Technologies and Japan’s Sawada Holdings concerning the use of special minerals called perovskites for the production of energy from sunlight. The entire project is based on the research work of one young Polish scientist, Olga Malinkiewicz, who started up Saule Technologies together with two partners. Interest from the big Japanese investor makes it possible to hope that research on the use of perovskites will now accelerate. The project looks solid, as evidenced by earlier support from Poland’s National Center for Research and Development (NCBR).

Andrzej Ratajczyk