R&D in Poland: Is the Country Close to a Knowledge-Driven Economy?

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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.

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