Polish Smart Specialisations

Smart specialisation according to European Commission is a new innovation policy concept designed to promote the efficient and effective use of public investment in research. Its goal is to boost regional innovation in order to achieve economic growth and prosperity, by enabling regions to focus on their strengths. Smart specialisation understands that spreading investment too thinly across several frontier technology fields risks limiting the impact in any one area.

The aim of Smart Specialisation is to increase regional innovation and consequently to achieve economic growth and prosperity. The basis for this policy is to prepare specific and smart measures dedicated to the particular needs of the given. Due to this policy, the impact of public funding per specific investment is to be increased, rather than allocating funds in too many technology sectors.

Smart Specialisation will state the basis for forming the support from the Structural Funds and the European Investment Fund into research and innovation concerning the section on the contribution to the regions. Smart Specialisation will have an impact on cohesion policy and in addition on the policies regarding stimulation of new jobs. In practice, economic activities covered by any of the Smart Specialization will have a privileged position in obtaining grants. Consequently any activity outside the scope of smart specialization will have less access to EU funds. In the case of high competition, in practice, it will not have an access at all.

Currently, Poland has selected 16 Smart Specialisations for the whole country. These are presented below,  divided into five thematic sections.

Healthy society

1. Medical engineering technologies, including medical biotechnologies
2. Diagnosis and treatment of lifestyle diseases and personalized medicine
3. The manufacturing technologies and production of medicinal products

Bio-agri-food economy and environment

4. Innovative technologies, processes and products of the agri-food
5. Healthy Food (high quality and ecological production)
6. Biotechnological processes and products of household chemistry and environmental engineering

Sustainable energy

7. High efficiency, low-emission and integrated manufacturing circuits, storage, transmission and energy distribution
8. Smart and energy efficient construction
9. Environmentally friendly transport solutions

Natural resources and waste management

10. Modern technology acquisition and utilization of natural resources and the production of substitutes

11. The material and energy use of wastes (recycling and other recovery methods)

Innovative technologies and industrial processes

12. Multifunctional materials and composites with advanced properties, including nano-processes and nano-products

13. Biosensors and smart sensor networks

14. Smart grids and remote sensing

15. Plastic and organic electronics

16. Automation and Robotics processes

The second step, equally important for companies, will be to select the Smart Specialisation at the level of each individual provinces. The strongest influence on the selection of Smart Specialisation originates from the Marshal Offices. Local authorities are decision makers, taking into account the voice of companies affected by these decisions.

Obviously, you might be interested exploring at what stage in the decision making process of creating Smart Specialisation your particular region is. If the authorities still have not taken final decisions in this respect, we may express your voice by taking part in public consultations and/or by expressing recommendations on behalf of your company/industry towards the relevant Marshal Office.

If, however, the local government in your region has already decided upon the Smart Specialisation then not everything is lost yet. Once a year, a review of Smart Specialisation will be made which provides a chance to influence the addition of the industry that affects your particular business.