The Poland@ITER 2019 economic mission, which took place on October 17-18, 2019, was organized by the Wrocław Technology Park (WPT), as part of the BIG SCIENCE HUB project, in cooperation with the European Commission. It has been the first event of this kind dedicated to the development of cooperation between the Polish high-tech sector and the ITER Organization (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), which has its headquarters in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance in the south of France.
The Poland@ITER mission took place at the ITER organization in St. Paul-lez-Durance from 17-18 October 2019. Over a dozen representatives from 9 Polish companies and scientific institutions took part in it, including two universities. Poles who work at ITER on a daily basis were also present.
Day 1: Perspectives for cooperation
The Poland@ITER was opened by Bernad Bigot, Director-General of the ITER Organization, who was actively involved in its course, as well as establishing relationships with Polish companies.
Information on the Polish scientific and technical landscape and the possibility of cooperation between science and business was presented by Paulina Styczen from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. On behalf of the organizer – Wrocław Technology Park, the session was attended by Marek Winkowski, vice president of WPT and Sylwia Wójtowcz, ILO CERN and ITER, director of development and commercialization of WPT, who led the session. On behalf of ITER, introductory speeches were given by: Renatas Mazeika, Head of Unit, representing the European Commission, Acting Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General for Energy and representing Fusion for Energy, Stavros Chatzipanagiotou, Head of Communication, Fusion for Energy.
The next element of the session was the ITER presentation and speeches on upcoming tender procedures (which was delivered by Christophe Dorschner, Head of Procurement & Contracts Division at ITER) and the business perspectives offered by ITER and F4E (delivered by Victor Saez, Head of Market Analysis at F4E).
The session ended with presentations of Polish mission participants – they presented their experience, business profile and potential for cooperation with ITER and the entire Big Science market.
+50 B2B meetings
During the Poland@ITER in 2019, there were two sessions of bilateral B2B meetings. Polish participants had the opportunity to meet representatives of Fusion for Energy and ITER – engineers, managers, specialists in tenders and purchases and representatives of French companies.
Particular attention should be paid to the fact that B2B meetings with companies were attended by people in managerial positions at ITER, which shows the organization’s strong commitment to building relations with the Polish market.
Each of the mission participants had at least 4 individual B2B meetings – at least one with representatives of ITER and French companies. Each of them also met with a representative of Fusion for Energy. The variety of meetings has allowed the expansion of business and scientific horizons of companies and institutions, as well as opened new perspectives for collaboration with international entities.
The first day of Poland@ITER 2019 ended with a solemn cocktail held at the Grand Hôtel Roi René Aix en Provence. Not only organizers and Polish participants took part in it, but also ITER and Fusion for Energy representatives, including Director-General of the ITER Organization – Bernard Bigot, thanks to which talks on cooperation between Polish companies and institutions could be continued. The rank of guests present at the cocktail has contributed to the improvement of the quality of networking ongoing during it.
Day 2: ITER Site & conclusions
During the second day of the Poland@ITER mission, the participants had a unique opportunity to visit the ITER construction site and to see the most important parts of the ITER site , which is expected to be completed in 2025.
During the closing session of the Poland@ITER 2019 economic mission, participants had opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities of Polish high-tech sector in the context of collaboration with ITER. It was emphasized that the demand for various products and services generated by ITER is also an opportunity for Polish companies and institutions – ITER is a market for their technologies, products and services. The need to intensify the participation of Polish entities in tender procedures announced by the organization was also expressed. Mission participants also expressed willingness to participate in subsequent initiatives organized as part of the BIG SCIENCE HUB project, which aims to increase cooperation between business and science.
We would like to thank everyone involved in the Poland @ ITER 2019 mission for cooperation!