Poland was among the top 10 destinations in the world for investment in the STEM area. Poland is also a leader in the modern services sector in the region, both in terms of the number of research and development centers and employment in the industry. Interest in investments in modern technologies is growing, and the pandemic, paradoxically, has accelerated this trend - according to the latest report "Invest in digital Poland" prepared by the Digital Poland foundation and the Polish Investment and Trade Agency.
Poland is the fifth economy in Europe and one of the ten in the world that in 2020 attracted the most investments in greenfield projects, i.e. those built from scratch, in the STEM area, according to fDi Markets data. In all projects of this type, USD 177.3 billion of foreign direct investment flowed into Europe last year. As much as 11% of this went to Poland, and the value amounted to over USD 20 billion. In the overall ranking, Poland took a high third place in Europe, just behind Great Britain and Germany, ahead of countries such as France and Spain. Taking into account that all direct foreign investments in the world in 2020 amounted to over 528 billion dollars, Poland's share in greenfield investments amounted to almost 4%. In turn, Poland's share in the number of all greenfield projects in the STEM area was 2.8%, and Poland was ranked 5th in Europe and 10th in the world, just behind Canada and Mexico. Poland is also a leader in the region of Central and Eastern Europe in terms of foreign direct investment. Over 30% of direct foreign investments in greenfield projects, which were located in the CEE region, were located in Poland. Interestingly, in 2020 Poland was ahead of Russia for the first time in this respect - the difference was over USD 0.5 billion in favor of Poland.
Poland is an ideal place for startups
EUR 12 billion is the amount that PE / VC funds have invested in Poland so far. Poland ranks first in terms of the number and total capitalization of the largest technology companies in the CEE region, according to the Digital Champions CEE report. Our country is also an ideal place for the development of all kinds of startups, whose innovation and maturity of concepts is appreciated all over the world. This is also confirmed by the results of the CEO World Magazine survey, in which Poland was chosen the seventh, most startup-friendly country. We are also slowly becoming a key research and development center for global players from around the world. In the years 2014-2020, thanks to the SmartGrowth operational program, co-financed by the EU, 420 research and development centers were established in Poland, which are the basis for the upcoming R&D boom.
Investment projects in the modern services sector (BSS, R&D) are among the key investments currently serviced by our Agency. It has been the most popular sector in PAIH's investment portfolio for a long time. Since January 2021, we have completed 38 projects of this type with a total investment value of EUR 184 million, and another 37 are underway. The total value of active BSS projects is EUR 121.9 million, and the declared employment is 9,121 employees. This is proof that Covid-19 has not stopped investment in new technologies. On the contrary - we have seen much greater growth dynamics of such projects - emphasizes Krzysztof Drynda, Chairman of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency.
Invest in digital Poland - a compass for a foreign investor
Entrepreneurs, scientists, investors and employees of foreign corporations regularly ask about the state of development of new technologies, digitization, about the most interesting companies, leading universities and research and development centers in Poland. Many of them are considering investing in our country, wanting to establish partnerships as part of research projects or settle down and develop their startups here. Before making such a decision, however, they want to get to know Poland better. That is why the Digital Poland foundation has prepared the "Invest in digital Poland" report, which is an ideal tool to promote Poland as an attractive investment location. It is the most comprehensive compendium of knowledge about the sector of modern technologies, innovation, research and development and digitization in Poland. It contains all the most important information that may decide about investing in our country. The report includes not only numerous analyzes and research on investment opportunities in Poland that may be of interest to foreign investors in the STEM area. There are also statements and recommendations of experts who have share their knowledge and insight on development opportunities and the latest trends. The report also includes a list of organizations that contribute to the development of new technologies and digitization, to which it is worth directing the first steps when investing in our country.
For several years, we have been observing the dynamic development of new technologies and the modern services sector (BSS, R&D) in Poland. Therefore, we decided not only to take a closer look at the factors shaping it, but also to analyze the materials available on this market, as well as the prospects facing our economy. This is how our latest report "Invest in digital Poland" was created, which we prepared together with the Polish Investment and Trade Agency and over 25 organizations and nearly 60 experts - says Nell Przybylska from the Digital Poland foundation.
And she adds that this is the first such comprehensive publication, which is a great tool for promoting Poland on the international arena. It is a kind of compass for foreign investors interested in the development of new technologies in Poland.
We looked at not only the industries that make up the sector of new technologies and digitization in the strict sense. We also wanted to show the potential of the entire innovation ecosystem in Poland, including the R&D area, explains Nell Przybylska.
And so in the report we can see a detailed analysis and perspectives of, among other things, Polish startups, companies from the fintech industries and those investing in research and development. The authors and experts also focused their attention on the dynamically developing BSS, e-commerce and even drones, gaming and e-sport.
Well educated employees are a magnet for investments
Several factors contribute to a good climate for the sector of new technologies and modern services (BSS, R&D) in Poland. The first of them is the human factor. In Poland there is no shortage of employees who are well-educated and open to innovation. They are the driving force behind this industry and a magnet for foreign investors. Suffice it to say that Poles are third in the ranking of "The Best Developers in The World". They are also considered to be some of the most hard-working programmers in the world. This is thanks to, the specifics of the Polish higher education system.
The report includes numerous rankings of analyzes confirming that Poland is a leader among the developing countries of the continent, especially in the field of information technology. The report also includes the voice of experts who emphasize that, taking into account the remarkable ability of Poles to adapt to innovation and the dynamic development of the Polish economy, in the coming years we can expect an increase in the importance of Polish science in Europe and in the world. An additional factor is that labour costs in Poland are still low compared to highly developed countries. Therefore, the value of human capital cannot be overestimated.
University centers are located in all large and many medium-sized cities, which enables the academic community to cooperate with companies operating in their region. Thanks to this, they quickly start using the acquired knowledge in practical conditions. In other CEE countries, one main university center is usually located in the region of the capital.
Good prospects for the sector of new technologies and modern services are confirmed by the trend of transferring services focused on advanced research and development to Poland. The geographical location is also important, as it not only places Poland on the route of the new "Silk Road" but also makes air connections with most European cities possible within a few hours.
The report "Invest in digital Poland" is the first study of this type in Poland. Over 25 organizations and nearly 60 experts participated in the preparation of the report. The report can be downloaded free of chargee from the website of the Digital Poland foundation.