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At the national level, Poznań is characterised by a high scientific and institutional potential focused on innovation and activities for the benefit of the knowledge-based economy.

During the year, the economy’s expenditures on research and development activities in Poznań increased by PLN 0.2 billion and amounted to PLN 1.7 billion (data for 2016), a quarter of which was spent on development works. Nearly 5.5 thousand people worked in the research and development, including over 4 thousand scientific and research workers. In Poznań, almost half of the employees were in services with high knowledge saturation, high-tech services and high-tech industry.

Innovation institutions

In 2017, Poznań had such innovation institutions as:

  • technology parks, constituting a platform for cooperation between the economy and science and creating a friendly environment for the development of innovation: the Poznań Technology and Industry Park established by the City of Poznań, the Poznań Science and Technology Park affiliated with the Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation, the Nobel Tower private science and technology park with a business incubator, as well as the private Business and Science Incubator
  • multidisciplinary research centres for modern technologies, such as: High Technology Incubators Complex, Wielkopolska Centre for Advanced Technologies, the NanoBioMedical Centre, Mechatronics, Biomechanics and Nanoengineering Centre, BioCentre, Krajowe Centrum Innowacji w Logistyce i e-Gospodarce (“National Innovation Centre in Logistics and e-Economy”), Medical Biology Centre, The Research Centre of Polish Optical Internet , PSNC-Huawei Innovation Centre
  • business incubators and technology transfer centres.

Poznań universities and R&D centres, in cooperation with local governments and enterprises, implemented joint projects aimed at the development of innovation.

Creative sectors

In Poznań, creative sectors have been developing dynamically, especially those related to design and the video games industry. Almost 700 new companies from these sectors were established over the course of a single year. According to the European Culture and Creative Cities Monitor published by the European Commission in 2017, Poznań is characterised by the highest level of development in the field of culture and creative sectors, compared to other Polish cities. The growth of new jobs in the creative sectors and in new media and communication companies was particularly highly rated.

Design

On a national scale, Poznań is becoming an important design centre. The city has higher education institutions in design, such as the University of Fine Arts, the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities with the School of Form, the Poznań University of Technology, and the University of Life Sciences, as well as in technology, graphics, and software and game design, such as the Adam Mickiewicz University, the Poznań University of Technology, the University of Fine Arts in Poznań, the WSB University, and Collegium da Vinci; the first Polish centre of design and creativity, Concordia Design, is also functioning.

Video game industry

The video game industry is developing dynamically. Over a period of 3 years, 9.4% of Polish young gaming companies were established in Wielkopolska, second only to Małopolska and Mazovia, and their activities are concentrated in Poznań.

In 2017, the Poznańska Gildia Graczy (“Poznań Gamers’ Guild”) was operating as a non-governmental organisation related to the video games industry.

The City of Poznań has become involved in the development of the design and gaming sectors, e.g. by supporting the organisation of large industry events, such as the arena DESIGN fairs, the Poznań Design Festival, Poznań Game Arena with its Game Industry Conference and GeekCareers job fairs, the Poznań Game Jam, Blog Conference, promotion of Poznań-based video game developers at the Quo Vadis trade fair in Berlin, Gamescom in Cologne as well as by implementing projects aimed at increasing professional competences of future employees, such as a pilot project for teaching secondary school students from the Poznań Functional Urban Area how to code in popular languages by creating video games.

Urban projects

Entrepreneurs from creative sectors benefited from urban projects aimed at supporting innovative cooperation between business, science, society and local governments, such as:

  • +jeden Coworking Space
  • the Poznań Technology and Industry Park with its Incubator
  • the Startup Poznań programme.

In 2017, the “+jeden” Coworking Space was used by 4.1 thousand people, mainly from the IT, outsourcing, consulting, marketing, e-commerce, HR, and architecture industry, while the Incubator’s offer was used by 34 young, innovative enterprises, mainly from the IT sector.

The “+jeden” Coworking Space hosted 64 events for startups, such as, among others:

  • Hive61
  • Geek Girls Carrots
  • Agile Poznań
  • WordPress WordUP Poznań
  • Rails Girls
  • Poznań DevOps Mee tup #1
  • Allegro Tech Talks
  • the regional finals of the Imagine Cup Smart Cities Tour.

The City of Poznań co-hosted one of the most important events in the country for bloggers, online content creators and representatives of the marketing industry – the 3rd Blog Conference 2017.
The EU project “Gen-Y City – Get into the swing of the City”, aimed at developing and implementing policies to support innovative and creative industries, has been implemented.

Startups

In 2017, there were almost 250 startups in Poznań at various stages of development, which, apart from the City’s offer, could also benefit from:

  • more than 25 co-working zones
  • the PSNC Smart Space of Future Labs
  • the offer of the Poznań Science and Technology Park Incubator
  • scientific, academic, and private incubators, including the CoOffice incubator and the Concordia Design’s centre for design and creativity.

Clustering

The City of Poznań has actively participated in projects aimed at the development of innovative forms of business cooperation, being a founding member of the Wielkopolska ICT Cluster and the Poznań Education Cluster, belonging to the Wielkopolska Clustering Centre – a clustering platform bringing together leaders and partners of cluster initiatives in Wielkopolska.

Regional cluster initiatives with their seat in Poznań were attended by Poznań-based companies, universities and research and development centres. These included, among others:

  • Architect Academy
  • ECDF Klaster
  • Polish Cluster on Innovative Forging
  • Waste Cluster
  • Wielkopolski Cluster of Renewable Energy
  • Wielkopolski Klaster Firm Projektowo-Wykonawczych ARCHI-PROJEKT
  • Wielkopolski Cluster of DESIGN FURNITURE
  • Wielkopolski Medical Cluster
  • Zachodni Klaster Transportowo-Logistyczny.
  • Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe

The prestigious ranking of the fastest growing technologically innovative companies in Central Europe – Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe – includes 2 companies from Poznań: STX Next Sp. z o.o. (36th place) and Netguru Sp. z o.o. (46th place).

Industrial innovation

In industrial processing, the following industries were among the most innovative in terms of introducing new products and services:

  • automotive industry
  • chemical industry
  • rubber industry
  • wood products industry.

The lowest level of innovativeness was observed in the food industry and mineral resources manufacturing.

According to CSO data, annual expenditures on innovative activity in industry amounted to PLN 375 million (data for 2016), including 30% spent on research and development.

Social innovation

Dynamically developing social innovations in Poznań were an important direction of innovation development. In 2017, the following were conducting their operations:

  • Inkubator Wielkopolskie Innowacje Społeczne – implementing innovative solutions dedicated to people at risk of exclusion
  • Centrum Inkubowania Innowacji Społecznych Po-po-jutrze – aimed at lifelong learning of adults
  • Great Tomorrow’s Incubator for Social Innovation – supporting the preparation for implementation of innovative projects in the field of care services for dependent persons
  • Laboratorium Innowacji Społecznych, dedicated to students in order to facilitate their entry into the labour market through the development of competences expected by employers.

In 2017, as a result of cooperation between the Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC) and the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences (SRC), a caesium fountain belonging to the SRC was opened in the headquarters of the PSNC, built in the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, near London. It is the second most accurate atomic clock in Poland and one of a dozen existing in the world. In the device, a cloud of caesium-133 atoms is cooled down and tossed upwards by means of laser light in a vacuum chamber, resembling a stream of water in a fountain, which, after proper tuning of the excited microwaves, allows to obtain a model realization of a second.

Selvita, one of the largest innovative biotechnology companies in Europe, has opened laboratories in Poznań at the Wielkopolska Centre for Advanced Technologies located at the Morasko Campus, which employs specialists in the field of chemistry and biology. These laboratories will primarily carry out research commissioned by the world’s largest pharmaceutical and chemical companies, and ultimately also carry out their own innovative projects, including work on new, original drugs, mainly for cancer.
Selvita is a Polish company employing over 380 people, of which one third has a PhD degree. In addition to laboratories in Kraków and Poznań, it has offices in the UK and the USA, where it conducts clinical trials of a new potential drug for acute myleoid leukemia.

In 2017, the Polish Development Fund signed an investment agreement with Zakłady H. Cegielski Poznań SA (HCP) for the amount of PLN 40 million, which will enable the company to develop new products and acquire strategic partners. HCP plans to carry out the production of new, innovative products, such as modern electric drives and products for the power sector. Zakłady HCP has developed an innovative high-performance electric drive with a high-torque five-phase induction motor for electromobility, rail transport and modern industrial applications. One of the applications of the new drive system will be the URSUS ELVI commercial vehicle, for which HCP will design and implement its electric drive.

In 2017, the Enea Operator Central Power Dispatch Centre (CPD), Poland’s most modern 110 kV network management facility, was opened in Poznań at Strzeszyńska Street. CPD manages and coordinates high voltage transmission in north-western Poland. Modern IT systems applied at CPD are based on Polish solutions. CPD is also responsible for power balancing and managing the generation of renewable energy sources connected to the high and medium voltage grid. Enea Operator SA is one of the four largest distribution system operators in Poland, managing over 100,000 km of power lines over an area of over 58,000 km2 and delivering electricity to 2.5 million customers.