Cooperation with Polish industry

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Cooperation with Polish industry
K. J. Kurzydłowski
Vice-chairman of the KBN
Warsaw University of Technology
Cooperation with Polish industry
Introduction
 transitions form central planning to market economy
 risk-free situation of a supply driven market protected against
foreign competition
 obsolete goods were easily sold to customers nervous to spent
their non-convertible savings
 foreign markets - raw materials, the lowest prices, not the highest
quality goods
 the entire economy based state owned
 central system of research institutes developing technologies
already available in the western world
 the research at the universities and institutes of Polish Academy of
Sciences in a large distance from industry
 fundamental studies
Introduction
• Industry
obsolete products, lack of competition, R&D support by a central
system of research institutes
• Research institutes
weak demand for innovations from the industry, orientation on
domestic market, interest in awarding scientific degrees
• Universities
Obligations related to teaching, interest in fundamental research,
participation in world science, careers motivated by foreign
assignments
• PAN institutes
interest in fundamental research, participation in world science,
careers motivated by foreign assignments
Transition period
 introduction of the market economy exposed the entire industry
to a new environment
 market rules started to be also visible in the higher education
sector
 the PAN institutes hardly experienced any change around them
 The surroundings of the research institutes started to change to
fast for them to adjust
 Privatization of whole branches of the industry
 Foreign investment
 Colossal problems of steel and mining sector
Current situation
 restructured, economically viable companies either
private or state owned
 companies struggling to survive
 foreign companies
 emerging small and medium size firms
Current situation
Small businesses - very dynamic sector and rather mysterious one.
 it consists of almost 3 million companies
 but employing less than 9 million people
 large number are offering
(e.g. grocery, agro-truism)
relatively
simple
services
 technologically more advanced, suffer from the symptoms of
under-financing
 it is difficult to assess the demand in this sector for research.
Current situation
 the demand for innovation in Polish industry is in
general week
 the official data proves that Polish companies spend
insignificantly little money on contract research
 in a large number of companies it is hardly possible to
find any research and development units.
New development – European programs
 In the recent months a new opportunity has been opened for both
Polish industry and academia. This opportunity is a consequence of
Polish participation in the Fifth Frameworks Program.
 One of the important consequences of the participation in 5FP is
exposure of polish scientists, working both at research institutions
and in industry, to European standards.
 Some of the research institutions took the chance and were
qualified as Centers of Excellence. Others presented themselves as
useful partners of larger consortia.
Future prospects
 the future prospects for cooperation between the industry and
research institutions in Poland are good, partly due to the room for
improvement which offers the current situation
 increasing competition with foreign companies in the near future
must force Polish businesses to take seriously research and
development
 the other hand the research groups who will survive under the
current a bit chaotic financing schemes are expected to be in a
good position to meet expectations of their industrial partners
 the development of communication channels connecting these two
communities and the specific culture for contract research.

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