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Dorota Chybowska, Leszek Chybowski and Valeri Souchkov

Abstract

The potential for innovativeness is difficult to measure, though many have attempted to do so. In order to look at Poland’s innovation potential, its current position and its opportunity to grow, compared with developing and developed countries, this study analysed the patent statistics of the Polish and European Patent Offices. Poland has been a member of the European Union for over a decade now. Therefore, we took into consideration the statistics for patent applications and grants for the last decade, up to the first quarter of 2016. The questions we wanted to answer concerned not only the technology fields that Poland patented its inventions in, but also the types of patent grantees and applicants. In order to determine why Poland is still considered to be only a moderate innovator by the Innovation Union Scoreboard, we also gathered information on Polish inventors abroad in 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, to see their number, technology fields, and types of patent grantees. Finally, we attempted to identify the main barriers that seem to inhibit Polish technology and innovation growth, despite significantly growing R&D intensities (up from 0.56 GDP and EUR 1,139 M in 2004 to 0.94 GDP and EUR 3,864 M in 2014).

Open access

Dorota Chybowska, Leszek Chybowski and Valeri Souchkov

Abstract

Poland has a strong ambition to evolve rapidly into a knowledge-driven economy. Since 2004, it has been the largest beneficiary of European Union cohesion policy funds among all member states. Between 2007 and 2013, Poland was allocated approximately EUR 67 billion, whereas for 2014-2020 the EU budget earmarked EUR 82.5 billion for Polish cohesion policy. This means that in the coming years, Poland’s R&D intensity will grow. But the question remains: is 27 years of free market economy enough to enable a country’s economy to become knowledge-based ? This paper offers an analysis of Polish R&D expenditures and investments in terms of their sources (business, government or higher education sectors), types (European Union or state aid) and areas of support (infrastructure, education or innovation). It also characterises the Polish R&D market with its strengths and weaknesses. Then, it examines the process of technology transfer in Poland, comparing it to best practice. Finally, the paper lays out the barriers to effective commercialisation that need to be overcome, and attempts to answer the question raised in its title.