PLUS-IP: new quality in Polish-American innovation

09.10.2015

A modern R&D centre in Wrocław, a Google Campus or grants for Polish universities of technology - these are but some examples of Polish-American cooperation. Polish innovators and inventors will soon be able to make use of PLUS-IP - a new tool that will help them, among others, raise funds for research.

The PLUS-IP (The US-Poland Innovation Program) is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. This new platform is a result of intergovernmental co-operation which will benefit Polish researchers and American investors. Representatives of the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) took part in the work of the committees that dealt with the preparation of PLUS-IP.

The Polish R&D sector and the scientists that form it have often already attracted the attention of global consortia. Founded in this way, among others, was the Global Engineering Center of UTC Aerospace Systems in Wrocław. The centre was built by a U.S. company in cooperation with the Wrocław and Poznań Universities of Technology. It took two years to build this modern unit. Currently, it is home to Poland’s top scientists and engineers involved in the development of innovative aviation systems and advanced technologies on the global scale. Thanks to the co-operation with universities, this undertaking attracts more and more young talented professionals.

Currently, Poland is America’s largest partner in Central Europe, while the U.S. is one of the largest foreign investors in our country. It is estimated that Americans have invested approximately $ 20 billion in joint projects with Poland. With PLUS-IP, it will be possible to streamline these activities by increasing the possibilities of interaction between the two parties. It is an opportunity for Polish-American innovations to become recognisable worldwide.

In addition to new technologies, American companies are also interested in young talents at the beginning of their professional careers. Warsaw Innovation Days, among other events, demonstrated the strength of Polish start-ups. It was then that Warsaw launched a series of meetings for young innovators, with similar subsequent events to be held in Berlin and Tel-Aviv.

It is also not without reason that, after Seoul and Tel Aviv, another Campus of America’s giant Google is to be built in Warsaw's Praga district. This is a unique opportunity for the Polish economy, as young entrepreneurs and innovators will be able to work on their ideas in their homeland, instead of looking for such opportunities abroad.

The governing body of PLUS-IP will be the Polish-American Council for Innovation. This body is composed of representatives of, among others, government organisations and the most important scientific institutions in the two countries, including.: the TOP 500 Association, NCBR, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development and the Science Policy Committee. A fund of funds made of EU money and the U.S. capital will also be created as part of the PLUS-IP. The money will be spent primarily on the development of collaborative innovation.

During the inauguration of PLUS-IP, the Military University of Technology (WAT) and Raytheon Company signed a co-operation agreement in the presence of Undersecretary of State for Science and Higher Education Włodzisław Duch, U.S. State Department's Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Scott A. Nathan and NCBR’s Deputy Director Leszek Grabarczyk. The US company has already founded two scholarships with a total value of $ 100,000 for two Polish universities: WAT and the Warsaw University of Technology. The funds will be spent on the development of MSc studies in engineering. This is just for starters - the company is already in talks with other universities where it could support the creation of high-tech projects.

The PLUS-IP is another program supporting Polish scientists. Its main objective is to enable fundraising for research and promotion of Polish science on the international arena. We have recently seen the conclusion of the TOP 500 Innovators programme, during which Poland’s best 500 researchers and academics participated in overseas training, including in the field of commercialisation of research results. September 2015, in turn, saw the announcement of another competition in the Go_Global.PL programme, which aims to increase the interest in Polish projects and research on foreign markets.

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