The change in the Polish innovations is now. Łukasiewicz reports on 2 years of activities
Almost 400 additional offers for business for research, products and services, new clients, higher profits and income from commercialisation and the efforts of 4,500 scientists and engineers focused on strategic areas. These are the results of two years of the Łukasiewicz Research Network activities to support an innovative economy.
The establishment of Łukasiewicz changed the landscape of Polish innovation. The Łukasiewicz Institutes operate in a planned and coordinated manner as part of various research groups, corresponding to the directions of research indicated by the Centre Council, identified as key in completing the goals of the Strategy for Responsible Development. The goals include smart and clean mobility, digital transformation, health, and sustainable economy and energy. Łukasiewicz has been developing the research programmes focusing the activities of its scientists on the areas strategic for the development of economy and society.
Łukasiewicz is part of the governmental innovation support system, and in real terms, contributes to an increase in interest of Polish enterprises in investments in research and development. ‘The governmental strategy for responsible development identifies, among other key areas, a continuous economic growth based on knowledge, data and organisational excellence, aided by supporting innovativeness and implementing the results of new initiatives within the economy. It resulted in a growing number of tools for entrepreneurs seeking innovation, e.g. R&D tax relief, IP box and simplified joint-stock company. The support system also includes programmes for innovative companies, like Start in Poland or the Future Industry Platform and attempts to reorient the scientific institutes towards business,’ says Jarosław Gowin, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development, Labour and Technology.
Before the establishment of the Łukasiewicz Research network, entrepreneurs seeking scientific and technological support for their ideas had access to a highly distributed system of various institutes. It created a barrier in discovering the offer of the scientists and made it difficult to contact the experts able to provide assistance in solving technological problems.
The establishment of Łukasiewicz has evidently increased the market reach of the offers of the Łukasiewicz Institutes and allowed to create an offer for business covering the entire technological process. A participation of the networked organisation in the competitions has expanded its ability to obtain the means for financing its activity. For the Łukasiewicz scientists and engineers it has opened an opportunity to develop in new scientific and commercialisation fields.
‘ The limited interactions between the enterprises, research organisations, and higher and vocational education facilities still pose a barrier in implementing innovations. Initiating a larger number of pilot projects to facilitate implementation of advanced technologies in the economy also remains a challenge. And this is our main goal – clearly identified in the approved National Recovery Plan,’ says Wojciech Murdzek, the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Education and Science.
Quick and easy solutions for business
Łukasiewicz provides comprehensive and competitive technological solutions for enterprises. The Łukasiewicz Challenges system is a perfect example of a systemic generation of mechanisms of cooperation between science and business. As part of this innovative formula, any enterprise of any size or ownership structure can fill in a form at www.lukasiewicz.gov.pl to report a technological problem that can be solved by a research and development project.
Within 15 working days, free of charge, Łukasiewicz will provide different proposals for the projects aimed at tackling the challenge, as well as recommend the expert teams and the equipment required for the R&D project. Also, thanks to the Łukasiewicz Challenges, if the solution to the challenge is a ready-to-use and existing Łukasiewicz product or service (e.g. ordering a certification or tests in accordance with relevant standards), the offer will be submitted to the entrepreneur within 7 working days. The potential national and foreign sources of research financing can also be identified as part of the Łukasiewicz Challenges. The Łukasiewicz experts will also provide support in preparing the applications for identified competitions.
‘ The interest in the Łukasiewicz offer has exceeded our wildest expectations. Suffice to say, in the Q1 of 2021, the number of challenges reported to Łukasiewicz by the enterprises was similar to the number of challenges reported throughout the entire 2020, and from the beginning of the program, close to 400 offers for research, products and services were made as part of the Łukasiewicz Challenges. But it is still not enough. We want Łukasiewicz to grow and develop its research potential which will translate into a growing number of implementations of innovative solutions for the Polish economy,’ says Piotr Dardziński, President of the Łukasiewicz Research Network.
In this difficult, pandemic-ridden 2020, the Łukasiewicz Institutes have achieved a total net profit of PLN 67.6 million – a 20-fold increase compared to 2019. With a slight 0.4% drop in income reaching PLN 1.375 billion, the good result was achieved by reducing the costs by 3.7%. In 2020, the Łukasiewicz Institutes have received subsidies in the total amount of PLN 274.75 million and the designated subsidies in the amount of PLN 15 million.
Łukasiewicz Team and innovative business
During a ceremonial meeting commemorating its 2nd anniversary, Łukasiewicz, in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin and Minister Wojciech Murdzek, has awarded the most engaged employees, and has given a special award for a Covid-related project and honoured the most active business partners cooperating with the institutes.
The awards were given to: Anna Szerling from Łukasiewicz – Institute of Microelectronics and Photonics and Andrzej Noskowiak from Łukasiewicz – Wood Technology Institute, the hosts of the largest number of challenges, involved in the process of developing a mature and comprehensive offer for the business and the research and development team from Łukasiewicz – Tele and Radio Research Institute, Łukasiewicz – Institute of Biopolymers and Chemical Fibres and Łukasiewicz – Institute of Polymers and Dyes for designing from the scratch and commissioning a production line for medical masks using exclusively Polish raw materials. Łukasiewicz will provide the awarded individuals with an opportunity to participate in a selected conference or training to further improve their scientific and professional competencies.
Dawtona was awarded for the courage in taking up the challenges and the ability to skilfully utilise the potential of Polish science in building a modern Polish brand, and Steico was awarded for consistently setting new trends and its open attitude to innovations.
More information you can find at Łukasiewicz’s Report.