Poland is one of the EU’s fastest growing economies and is betting its future on the development of its R&D sector and innovation-based industry. Many Polish companies are now tapping into the potential of Big Science and venture into this market with more confidence, winning orders from the largest Big Science centres such as CERN, ESS and ESA.
Potential driven by talent and technology
Poland is unleashing its potential in Big Science. “We ensure our companies realise that this huge market works based on the synergy of smaller initiatives that may bring tremendous growth opportunities”, says Maciej Potocki, president of Wroclaw Technology Park (WTP). The Polish Big Science market is closely linked to Wroclaw, especially regarding co-operation with CERN. One of the co-founders of WTP, professor Maciej Chorowski, the director of the National Centre for Research and Development, used to be a member of the CERN Finance Committee. “Co-operation with Big Science has been the focus of WTP since its inception. This is where we have launched the BIG SCIENCE HUB national portal – no other institution in Poland is better placed to assist companies in beginning co-operation with Big Science centres. Furthermore, we are fully equipped to help execute their orders thanks to our advanced R&D facilities”, says Potocki. “We integrate Polish business around Big Science, which is why we run projects such as BIG SCIENCE HUB. We also intend to organise more international events that will bring together business and Big Science”, adds the president
Such actions produce tangible results. And not only in Wroclaw; all of Poland is home to companies that provide orders for organisations like CERN. Creotech Instruments, KrioSystem, Techtra, ŚFUP or ZAPAS S.A. are among them. “We are CERN’s regular, qualified supplier of GEM foil. We implemented its production technology based on a license that we acquired and this has been the foundation of our market success”, says Piotr Bielówka, resident of TECHTRA, a company operating in WTP. KrioSystem, a designer and manufacturer of low-temperature installations, has enjoyed similar success. It is partnered, among others, with ESS and DESY (XFEL projects), and produced low-temperature installations for CERN. “Our participation in Big Science projects is an example of a business partnership on a truly international scale”, says Piotr Grzegory, president of KrioSystem. Indeed, seeing the real prospects of success serves as a catalyst, unlocking the Polish potential in Big Science.
BIG SCIENCE HUB
It is safe to say that Poland is witnessing a rapid growth in its Big Science environment. “Polish companies have discovered the potential offered by this market and want to benefit from it. Their technology and infrastructure enable them to compete with high-tech companies from all over the world”, says Sylwia Wójtowicz, Polish ILO for CERN and F4E. Polish companies don’t have to go it alone in the Big Science sector. Industrial liaison officers, business environment institutions such as WTP or government agencies, like the Polish Space Agency are there to provide assistance and advice on the process. So does the BIG SCIENCE HUB project, which was launched recently with the aim of encouraging smooth co-operation with Big Science centres among Polish entrepreneurs, and serves as a source of relevant information or provides the contacts that are required to kick-start this co-operation. ”The heart of the project is big-science.pl – an online platform that guides companies on how to establish international business relations in the sector, and which shows that Polish companies are reliable and trusted partners”, adds Wójtowicz.
Big Science, big possibilities
The institutions supporting domestic industry bring together Polish entrepreneurs and researchers who are willing to team with one another to increase the Polish share in the Big Science market. “The awareness among Polish business people keeps growing. We win more and more tenders, and execute more and more technologically advanced orders for huge research centres. As part of the co-operation with CERN, we actively participate in Open Hardware Repository projects co-created by engineers from around the world”, says Anna Kamińska from Creotech Instruments, a successful player in the Big Science market that delivers projects related to scientific instrumentation, the space sector and the collection of satellite data. Only this year, Creotech Instruments secured an order for the supply of advanced control and measurement electronics for CERN. It is one of four European centres supporting CERN in designing electronic solutions for future accelerators as well as for the purposes of high-energy physics experiments carried out by the institution. For the last 10 years, among the companies successfully cooperating with the European Organization for Nuclear Research has been the Polish WSE-listed company Action S.A., which provides the prestigious research institute based in Geneva, Switzerland with servers and storage devices that support the work of its best-known project – the Large Hadron Collider.“Our cooperation with CERN began in 2009. I can still recall very well how much media attention that news attracted back then – a Polish company, Polish technical thought and the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Admittedly, this has been a great honour, but also a demanding test for us. Within our cooperation, by 2016 alone, we delivered to Geneva almost 4,800 servers of our Actina brand,” comments Piotr Bieliński, President of the Board and CEO at Action S.A. In 2017, Action signed another contract with CERN for the delivery of 130 server units and approximately 180 disk shelves with a total capacity of almost 26 PB. “Cooperation with Big Science centres, such as CERN, is a huge challenge, in the positive sense of the word. From this kind of business partnership, we can not only learn a lot, but it also provides us with great opportunities for growth and immense satisfaction from the fact that our products contribute to the development of science at the highest level, Science with a capital “S”. For every company, it is a source of high prestige, but also a great responsibility,” Action’s President of the Board and CEO Piotr Bieliński adds.
Such examples abound, and are a testimony to the trustworthiness of Polish entrepreneurs as business partners. Polish suppliers are reliable and have a high degree of technical expertise. Poland is held in great esteem in the Big Science sector, and its position will continuously gain in strength. More information on the success of Polish companies and researchers is available at: www.big-science.pl