Małopolska is an exceptional land with strong identity, drawing inspiration from its heritage. It is attractive in every respect – as a place to live, work, and have fun. Undoubtedly, one of the most interesting regions in Poland. Here are some proofs. We have the largest number of monuments in Poland, every year visited by 15 million tourists. Half of the region is under nature protection.
And there is a lot to protect – Babia Góra and Tatra National Parks (UNESCO Biosphere Reserves) are unique places in the world, with unparalleled natural qualities. As many as 14 Małopolska sites have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. In 2017, Krakow took the second position in Europe and the eighth in the world among the most attractive cities for international business services in the prestigious Tholons Services Globalization City Index. But there's something else. A unique investment climate. We say it out loud - Małopolska has been at the forefront of the national ratings of investment attractiveness for many years. Here, entrepreneurial aspirations can be successfully brought about.
1. Life Science
Life science is one of the most dynamically developing industry in the world. This is no different in Małopolska. Life Science is an interdisciplinary specialisation combining medical, biological and biochemical sciences. Here, innovations are created every day.
Life science is a very broad concept. Therefore, it was divided into two groups. The first one is health and quality of life. It consists of products and technologies used in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of diseases of both humans and animals. The other group encompasses bioeconomy and its intermediates as well as products used for the production of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, materials and energy. Innovation costs money. That's why high expenses on R&D of Małopolska companies can be observed. These expenses increase year by year. Life science has a significant share in the education profile of future staff (in Małopolska there is a large percentage of students in the fields of biology, agriculture and environmental protection). Another condition for success in the development of specialisation is close collaboration of various environments. Knowledge transfer from university laboratories to enterprises is necessary. There is a suitable climate for this in Małopolska. A large number of business environment institutions direct their offer to companies from the life science sector. The largest of these institutions are Klaster LifeScience Krakow, MedCluster and the Jagiellonian Innovation Center. The Małopolska Center of Biotechnology supports cooperation between science and business and conducts scientific research. The research and development institutions also include the Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Pharmacology Polish Academy of Sciences and the National Research Institute of Animal Production.
2. SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
Energy consumption is growing very fast. That is the reason why the world is moving towards a sustainable energy system, reduction of carbon dioxide and fossil fuels emissions, development of renewable energy sources. It is also a direction that Małopolska takes.
The global share of renewable energy sources in the production of electricity is approx. 23%, including hydro, solar, wind, photovoltaic energy, biomass and biofuels. Poland generates more than 13.5% of energy from renewable sources nowadays. According to the EU directive, by 2020 the share of renewable energy cannot be lower than 15%. There is little time left. Today, every modern region strives to operate on the basis of sustainable energy. Małopolska is very much in it. What are our actions in this area? We increase the use of renewable energy sources, we enhance the energy efficiency of Małopolska companies, we also reduce emissions and introduce low-emission urban transport. Sustainable energy, as a smart specialisation covers the development of power industry and energy use. It focuses on clean energy technologies, energy efficiency and prosumer energy. The region already has a high potential for research on energy technologies. The AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow coordinates one of the 6 Nodes (CC Poland- Plus) that form the international Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC InnoEnergy). The Community budget is approx. EUR 100-150 million per year. It comprises of the best European universities and research institutes working on innovations in the area of energy. The leading research institutions in the region are the Center for Sustainable Development and Energy Efficiency AGH in Miękinia, the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute Polish Academy of Sciences and the Małopolska Center for Energy Efficient Building. "Zielone Podhale" Cluster and Sustainable Infrastructure Cluster can be found among the business environment institutions working within this sector.
3. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES
Although communication has always accompanied people, the development of technology has made it much easier. Nowadays, we are an information society. It is difficult to find an area of life in which information and communication technologies are not used.
The information resources are constantly growing and, at the same time, they are more and more dispersed. In order to use the collected data efficiently and quickly we need technology. This is where the ICT industry comes in. ICT encompasses all activities related to the production of communication and IT devices as well as the associated services. What is the relationship between this industry and the information society? It is the information society where information processing using ICT creates a significant economic, social and cultural value. ICT fosters the diffusion of information and knowledge, and what is more geographical boundaries do not prevent the flow of information. Małopolska is a region with a high concentration of ICT companies. It is the second region in Poland with the highest employment rate in this industry. Enterprises operating within this specialisation devote high expenditures on R&D. The ICT companies are supported by several business environment institutions: Krakow Technology Park, Center for Intelligent Information Systems (it is a platform for cooperation between the science and the business world including local government institutions; it implements innovative solutions in enterprises) and the Academic Computer Centre CYFRONET AGH (one of the largest supercomputing and network centres in Poland; it has the most powerful computers in Poland).
The chemical industry is a key sector of the Polish economy. It is a large part of Polish export. Its products are used in almost all sectors of the market. The chemical industry is also strategic in Małopolska.
The Polish Chamber of Chemical Industry defines fostering innovation as one of the greatest challenges for the chemical industry. Innovation is the only way for further growth of the European chemical industry on the global market. The chemical industry will undergo many significant changes while the market will force the development of modern production technologies and new materials. The Małopolska specialisation includes particularly programmes aimed at implementing new chemical compounds, materials and technologies as well as solutions in the field of chemical engineering. The industry in the region can be characterized by high work efficiency. New enterprises are still being created. The large-scale of export of chemical products manufactured in the region (in 2016, the value of exports stood at EUR 1.3 billion) is definitely worth noticing. If we look at the map, we will find out that the largest companies are located in Tarnów, Oświęcim, Alwernia and Skawina. The plants situated in those localities are not only manufacturers of products of strategic importance, but also significant employers. Among the business environment institutions offering services directly to entities in the field of chemistry we should mention the Tarnow Industrial Cluster J.S.C. and the Scientific and Technical Association of Engineers and Technicians of Oil and Gas Industry. In addition, the Małopolska chemical industry is supported by R&D units, including: Faculty of Chemistry of the Jagiellonian University (the university authorities plan to establish a research and development centre) and the Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences.
5. PRODUCTION OF METALS, METAL PRODUCTS AND NON-METALLIC MINERAL PRODUCTS
Metal industry is one of the most dynamically changing economy sectors in Poland. Production is increasing, the number of businesses is growing, automation solutions are advancing. However, there are also threats. The geopolitical situation is a challenge as it significantly affects metal prices.
The specialisation (metal production) mainly comprises of research and development of technologies for manufacturing and forming of metallic and ceramic materials as well as waste management. Metal production dedicates particularly to the development of metal products for the electrical and energy industries. It also includes research in the field of material engineering. As for products from other mineral non-metallic materials those are mainly: glass, porcelain, ceramics, cement, lime, plaster. Małopolska shows a very large research and development activity in the specialisation. This, in turn, translates into a high rate of innovation in enterprises (75% of Małopolska companies introduced innovations in recent years). The above-average employment, relatively high salaries and the dynamics in creating new companies indicate a good condition of the sector, and potential to create high added value. Collaboration with specialised centres and enterprises from neighbouring region of Silesia is a great opportunity for the Małopolska metal industry. It will allow the entrepreneurs from both regions to compete more effectively on the international arena. There are several business environment institutions in Małopolska which offer their services to entities from the sector of metal production. These include: Polish Foundrymen’s Technical Association, Technological Foundry Cluster Modern Cast Sp. z o.o., as well as INNOAGH and INTECH PK – institutions enabling the transfer of knowledge from the Kraków technological universities to the industry. There are also research and development organisations supporting metal industry in the region, i.e. Foundry Research Institute and The Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Technology.
6. ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND MACHINE INDUSTRY
Nowadays, electrical engineering and machine industry, as branches of the electromechanical industry, are one of the largest industrial sectors in the world. Products manufactured within this sector (including machinery, electrical devices) are the most important Małopolska export goods.
The industry encompasses the production of electronic and optical products, electrical and mechanical equipment as well as the production of vehicles, means of transport and their components. Investments in machines and devices are not only related to the implementation of modern technologies. In fact these are largely expenses of transferring innovations to companies. Thanks to that, this sector has a high percentage of innovative enterprises (57% of Małopolska companies introduced at least one product, process, organizational or marketing innovation). Małopolska is a significant exporter of electromechanical products. The export of electrical machines, equipment and their parts, as well as vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling- stock and parts and accessories thereof has amounted to several billion euros in recent years. Within this specialisation Małopolska companies operate predominantly in the areas of repair, maintenance and installation of machinery and equipment. The business environment institutions include The Tarnow Industrial Cluster J.S.C which main task is to create favourable conditions to allow entrepreneurial growth. It provides entrepreneurs with full support and legal consulting. The research and development institutions include The Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Technology and the Research and Development Center operating within Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów S.A.
7. CREATIVE AND LEISURE INDUSTRIES
Poland is one of the largest exporters of the creative industry products and services (17th among all world economies). We are one of the ten largest exporters of designer products in the world. Małopolska has a big share in it.
Creative industries are one of the most recent economy sectors. It was indentified only at the end of the last century, when the American sociologist and economist Richard Florida distinguished the creative class. According to him, it was a key driving force for economic development of postindustrial civilization. It is composed of scientists, researchers and inventors, artists, architects, writers, publishers, journalists, IT specialists and programmers. Florida's creative class is characterized by three basic values (so called 3Ts): talent, tolerance and technology. We have similarly defined the Małopolska specialisation. These activities have potential to create wealth and jobs through individual talent. The companies working in creative industries are among the most active on the market in terms of creating and implementing innovations. Małopolska specialisation includes creative industries, graphic design, computer games and software, industrial design, architecture, fashion and leisure industry. The last one encompasses tourism, entertainment and recreation. There is an excellent environment for development of leisure time industries in the region. Małopolska is one of the most attractive tourist regions in Poland. The unique cultural heritage (the largest number of UNESCO sites in the country) and nature (the largest number of national parks in the country), as well as the multitude of cultural offer (various museums, galleries, theatres, international festivals) makes it the most visited region in the country. Krakow was entitled as European Capital of Culture and the UNESCO City of Literature. The largest conference in the gaming industry – Digital Dragons – is organised in Krakow, with more than 1,500 specialists, creators and business representatives participating every year. Creative and leisure industries can count on the support of various business environment institutions, for instance, Małopolska Printing Cluster, Cluster of Culture and Leisure Time INRET, Krakow Gastronomic Cluster and Małopolska Cluster “Turystyczny Beskid”. The oldest Faculty of Industrial Forms in Poland educating industrial designers is a part of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. This specialisation can be characterized by high work efficiency and a high percentage of art students.