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There is no specific policy for IB in Poland, but supporting research policies can be found in the examples below under point 4.
- The Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education’s document titled Biotechnology describes the priorities of strategy on biotechnology and defines biotechnology itself as one of the most important fields of science for Polish economy.
- In March 2008, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education adopted the Action plan: towards the development of industrial biotechnology in Poland. This action plan addresses mainly two types of activities: research and development activities (R&D) as well as system activities (policy)
- The Ministry of Economy project Technological Foresight of Industry – InSight 2030 was published in December 2011. The proposed priorities for the Polish industry for the timeframe up to 2030 were concentrated around 35 competitive industrial specialties, aggregated into 10 research areas. Industrial biotechnology is one of these.
Who is there?
- Polish Federation of Biotechnology was formed in 2003, and is linked to the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB).
- Polish Biotech Association, formed in 2013, is focussed principally on life science SMEs.
- The Polish Biotechnology Platform was developed in 2005, under Suschem. It carries out research programmes in biotech.
- Polish Bioeconomy Technological Platform established in 2014.
- Polish Technology Platform for Biofuels was established in 2006.
Examples to watch
There are several innovative IB related companies in Poland working in partnership with foreign companies to commercialise products.
- Synthos, a rubber and polystyrene manufacturer, is in partnership with Global Bioenergies on the development of biobased butanediene via syngas fermentation.
- Invico coated films are working with Tagleef Industries to develop BoPLA films at their Tarnowski Gory facility
The Industrial Biotechnology Laboratory at Technopark Lodz for developing new or refined unique enzymes for a wide range of applications. It also hosts incubator and conference facilities on site.
There are two principal national funders in Poland. The National Science Centre (NSC) which supports basic research by funding research projects, whilst more applied research and development programmes, commercialisation and strategic research is funded by The National Centre for Research and Development receives funding from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and is the entity responsible for providing grants (among others, biotechnology-dedicated). While research appears to be a priority for the Polish Government, more is spent on basic research than applied research.
National Research programmes focus on 7 key areas for Poland. Of these three appear to be relevant to IB although no direct programme exists at present:
- New Energy Technologies
- New Material technologies (launched 2014)
- BIOSTRATEG (launched in 2013) BIOSTRATEG focusess on the environment, agriculture and forestry (i.e., the bioeconomy).
OPIE (Operational Programme Innovative Economy) programme is one of the 6 national programmes under the National Strategic Reference Framework and aims to improve the innovativeness and competiveness of Polish science and the economy. It is funded through EU Structural Funds.
Poland has well trained scientists and labour costs are competitive. There has recently been an increased funding for IB infrastructure and Poland has good to world class equipment. The Government places a high emphasis on the biotech sector so investors can access several grants according to the scale of their project. Investors with new investments in the Polish Biotech sector can qualify for support under ‘Programme of support of investments of considerable importance for the Polish economy for years 2011-2020’. However, Polish academia and industry rarely interact and Polish researchers are largely focussed upon the modification of existing products, not in the development of new to the world products. Industrial Biotech lacks visibility in Poland so there is a question mark over the predictability of the potential of this sector in Poland. This is compounded by a lack of tools to aid SMEs in IB in Poland and lack of knowledge of those tools which exist. There is a difficulty in attracting large companies to Poland as a result of problems in matching the projects and the money and the research centres and the companies. Polish soils are heavily degraded, with low soil organic matter and low productivity. Coupled with low water availability and high soil acidity, this means that improvements in Polish agricultural production are unlikely for many years.
- Lodz University of Technology – Rector Professor Stanisław Bielecki, PhD., DSc (stanislaw[dot]bielecki[at]p[dot]lodz[dot]pl)
Documents and Links
- Report of the BIO-TIC workshop in Poland – September 2013