3 days, over 20 companies and institutions, over 60 participants and more than 120 networking meetings. This is how Poland@CERN can be summarized in one sentence. This visit of representatives of the Polish high-tech sector to the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva was organized by the Wroclaw Technology Park and the National Center for Research and Development.
Let’s get to know each other better!
CERN is the largest research and scientific organization in Europe, which operates thanks to the collaboration with the scientific, industrial and business environments of its member’s countries. Poland has been one of them for nearly 30 years, although beginnings of our collaboration with CERN go back to the 1960s. Poland@CERN 2019 was aimed to strengthen and broaden this collaboration even further, and looking at the opinions of the event’s participants, we can say with great confidence, that this goal has been achieved.
Over 20 companies and institutions associated with various specializations of the high-tech sector participated in the event, including among other companies specialized in cryogenics, electronics, IT, optics, photonics, nuclear energy or quantum physics. CERN’s presentation was made by specialists from purchasing and technology transfer departments as well as engineers, working directly on projects related to the CERN accelerator complex.
Day I: new opening
The event began on April 2 with an opening session during which participants from both polish delegation and CERN had a chance to get to know each other a little better. The session, as well as entire event, was hosted by Sylwia Wójtowicz, Industrial Liaison Officer of CERN, director of development and commercialization of the Wroclaw Technology Park (WPT), who also represented one of events organizers. The opening speech was given by Anders Unnervick – Head of Procurement and Industrial Services at CERN. During his speech, Mr. Unnervick emphasized that CERN perceives the technological potential of Polish companies and very much hopes to strengthen current cooperation as well as expanding it even further by starting cooperation with new entities from our country that would like to be a part of high-tech community.
Participants were also welcomed by special guests – Mr. Dariusz Drewniak, representing Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland, which together with Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, took honorary patronage over the event and Agnieszka Hardej-Januszek, representative of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the UN Office in Geneva.
Following speech was given by prof. Maciej Chorowski, director of the National Center for Research and Development (NCBR), who for years, was and still remains strongly associated with CERN. During his address, Mr. Chorowski underlined the importance of collaboration of polish science and business environment with the European Organization for Nuclear Research, while briefly presenting the scale of development of Polish business sector related to technology in past 20 years, as well as the influence of institutions such as NCBR and WPT had on it. Next part of the session was dedicated to presenting CERN’s potential. It started with the presentation of Anders Unnervick “Introduction to CERN. Best suppliers and new prospects for collaboration”.
Mr. Unnervick presented CERN’s main tasks and projects, embedded them in the context of opportunities for business or industry and explained rules of establishing collaboration with CERN. Particularly emphasized was the role of cooperation with the national ILO and registration to the CERN supplier database.
After this speech, each company and institution participating in the event had a chance to briefly presented on the forum their offer and potential for cooperation. It was an introduction to the second day of Poland@CERN, intended mainly for B2B networking.
CMS, Data Centre i PS
After the official part of the first day of Poland @ CERN, mission participants had the opportunity to see CERN from the inside. Their guides were, among others, Polish scientists working in Geneva on a daily basis. The two main attractions of the sightseeing tour were visits to CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid), one of the detectors at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and CERN Data Center. It was a very rare opportunity to see one of the most advanced scientific installations in the world. Specialists from Polish companies and institutions could get to know up close technology used in some of CERN’s research infrastructure and talk to engineers who help develop them and use them in everyday work. Visit to both CMS and CERN Data Center were a priceless opportunity to gain insight into extremely valuable know-how. The additional attraction was visit to the educational center, where participants could take a look at very first Synchrocyclotron built at CERN, and watch interactive presentation about CERN’s history, development of its research facilities, as well as the implications of CERN’s research results into economy and our daily lives.
Day II – Perspectives for Polish business
The second day of Poland@CERN 2019 was dedicated to business networking. The day began with speeches presenting paths of cooperation with CERN. Jerome Pierlot, Procurement Officer in Industry, Procurement & Knowledge Transfer Department CERN presented upcoming tender opportunities at CERN and general rules for participation in them. Giovanni Anelli, leader of the CERN’s Knowledge Transfer Group, presented another way of cooperation with the Organization – technology transfer from CERN to industry.
It is worth noting that participants of Poland@CERN 2019 mission, included representatives of Polish companies–Creotech Instruments and Techtra, which both had successfully commercialized CERN’s technology. Marcin Nowak, representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in his address, presented additional possibilities for Polish companies to begin cooperation with international organizations, focusing mainly on collaboration with United Nations, which tender opportunities include solutions offered by the high-tech sector.
However, the main part of Poland@CERN second day were B2B networking meetings. Before the mission, organizers, based on conversations with participants, arranged for them over 120 meetings with experts – purchasing specialists and engineers working in the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The networking session was highly appreciated by the participants of the mission. We are very pleased with the time we have spent at CERN, both from the presentation of companies and B2B meetings.
Our interlocutors were extremely well-matched, which allowed us to make the most of the time we had here. The meetings allowed us to broaden our knowledge, about, among others, the ways and rules of cooperation with CERN and potential that goes with it. We get first-hand information, which is going beyond what we can read in brochures or on websites. I see areas of collaboration with CERN for us, despite many differences in the specifics of our work. We are definitely connected by creativity because we, at SpaceForest, are also constantly looking for new solutions. Often, we also adopt those that have been used in other sectors of the industry so far.
– Marcin Sarnowski, Sales & Marketing Director of Space Forest
The fact that Poland @ CERN 2019 presented a large cross-section of competences of companies from the Polish high-tech sector in CERN was also positively assessed.
An event such as Poland @ CERN 2019 is a great convenience for companies in establishing contact with specialists working at CERN. Undoubtedly, many of them have been attracted by variety of offers from companies and institutions that represent Polish business environment. I had the pleasure to take part in the previous edition of Poland @ CERN, which took place twenty years ago. I am glad that this time not only large players take part in the event, but also companies from the SME sector, technologically advanced enough that they can provide solutions for Big Science institutions.
We have already managed to start collaboration with CERN in 2002. We are the only European company supplying GEM foils. It can be said that we have closed the wheel – our technology is derived from CERN, today it is implemented in Wroclaw and returns here to Geneva in the form of a finished product.
– Piotr Bielówka, president of the Techtra company
We are glad that Polish companies from the high-tech sector, are promoted in an organized way, as potential suppliers for CERN. I’m convinced that Polish engineers and enterprises can bring a lot to this kind of scientific and research institutions. Both individual companies and our economy as a whole could benefit from this.
CERN is very responsive in the process of selecting suppliers, and the procedure regulating this process is very transparent. Starting cooperation with it might be demanding. However, we are convinced that we will be able to convince CERN’s decision-makers with our experience and quality of our offer.
– Zbigniew Lewandowski, Commercial Director and Jakub Soszyński, Head of the FrakoTerm Sales Department
During the meetings, Polish entrepreneurs had opportunity to learn the principles of collaboration with CERN and get first-hand knowledge on the principles of selecting suppliers for the Organization. Some companies see CERN’s high requirements as a challenge that they can meet thanks to the high quality of their products.
It is also very pleasing that the offer of companies and institutions met with interest of CERN representatives.
During the B2B meetings, we have met with great interest from specialists working at CERN. We are aware that selling our products here will not be easy, but we have received many tips regarding who should we contact during the offering process. The organizers of the event have removed some burdens for the companies, which are trying to establish the first contact with a large institution as CERN. We hope that similar events will take place regularly. We also hope that there will be an opportunity to take part in similar meetings in other Big Science institutions. We already know how to cooperate with the European Space Agency, but we want to constantly expand our business horizons.
– Mikołaj Podgórski, COO Scanway
Participants could benefit not only from networking with CERN specialists but also with other mission participants.
Meetings with all the enterprises and institutions that took part in the B2B session had great value for me. For me, Poland@CERN 2019 was an opportunity to meet valuable specialists from CERN. At one time, it was possible to establish personal relations with experts who could enable us to develop cooperation with this institution
– Paweł Reszel, co-owner and Head of Business Development at Sparkflow.
We cooperated with CERN in the past, and Poland@CERN 2019 was a great opportunity for us to refresh our contacts with representatives of CERN. It was particularly useful for us to meet specialists who are directly responsible for the purchasing process at CERN. We are also glad that, we could make new contacts with companies and institutions from Poland. Although we were aware of their existence, we did not think that they offer products and services that we could use.
– Szymon Skrzypiec, OEM Sales Coordinator from Prevac
Thanks to the networking session, I have managed to establish new polish and international business contacts. Such meetings allow me to get to know companies, institutions, and researchers. I wouldn’t know about their activities otherwise.
– Krzysztof Pomorski, PhD from Quantum Hardware Systems
Poland @ CERN 2019 was also a great opportunity to show companies the potential of Big Science, which is above all, a good market for Polish suppliers.
Poland@CERN 2019 mission made us pay attention to new areas in which we can operate, groups and people we can collaborate. The presence of not only representatives of CERN, but also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the ESS was an additional value of this event. Gathering information about the Big Science market in one place is a very good solution for companies like ours. We are also happy that such initiatives have their source in Wroclaw, from which we also come from.
– Edyta Petters, PhD, Head of Business Development and Mirosław Korzeniowski, PhD, Chief Data Scientist from MicroscopeIT
Many of them expressed their willingness to participate in subsequent events of this type, dedicated not only to CERN but also to other Big Science centers.
Poland @ CERN 2019 proved to be successful not only for companies that want to enter the Big Science market, but also those already operating in it, including present suppliers of European Organization for Nuclear Research.
– Mateusz Lenart, Head of Technical Design Department from ENKI
Although we have already cooperated with CERN, the mission enabled us to get to know new areas of the organization and to better understand the needs of people with whom we are in constant contact by telephone and e-mail. In turn, meetings with the Procurement Department have made us aware that there are new projects in which our services can be useful.
– Jakub Gawczyński, Head of Business Development, Nanores
We started cooperation with the CERN less than 5 years ago from the implementation of the small Valve Box, which is currently located in the SM18 building. This project has opened for us the way for the implementation of further, more complex installations for the Organization. So far, the largest of them is the Cryogenic Distribution System, located in building 180, consisting of 4 Valve Boxes and several dozen meters of multi-channel lines. Using it, magnet tests will be carried out for another research center – FAIR, to which we also supply our products. These successes in the field of helium cryogenics caused that over time, groups of experts responsible for other projects using liquefied gases such as nitrogen, argon or carbon dioxide began to come to us. After meetings at Poland @ CERN 2019 with representatives of CERN, we are convinced that our possibilities of cooperation with them are very wide. Constantly increasing competences of KrioSystem make us able to carry out more and more extensive and complex tasks, meeting the expectations of even the most demanding customers.
– Grzegorz Orłowski, Chief Operating Officer at KrioSystem
Each participant of Poland@CERN could discover another field of collaboration with CERN for the company or institution, which she or he represented. It’s worth noticing that event was successful not only for companies but also for institutions participating in it – the Institute of Nuclear Physics PAN and the National Center for Nuclear Research.
For us, the knowledge gained here is very important regarding how in many areas you can work with CERN. The first thing that comes to mind when we hear about this unit is the Large Hadron Collider, which in fact is only one of her many projects. We are already very active in the work on the LHC, so cooperation is not new to us, but during Poland @ CERN 2019 we also met with employees unrelated to accelerators. These are very valuable conversations.
– Agnieszka Misiarz, Deputy Director for National Development of the Center for Nuclear Research.
The next step in the future of Big Science
All opinions of Poland@CERN 2019 participants show that such events are needed. Polish business environment is noticing the potential of the Big Science market and wants to reach for contracts from it. Perspectives for that and development of polish Big Science environment was discussed during the “New Opportunities” session. All its participants agreed that cooperating and associating around projects such as the Big Science HUB run by the Wroclaw Technology Park is the beginning of the path to success. Sharing knowledge, contacts, and cooperation, for example by creating consortia and jointly applying for orders, for e.g. with CERN, is a chance for the development of the Polish high-tech sector.
Thanks to everyone who took part in Poland@CERN 2019, not only for joining our mission but also for commitment to convert this meeting into substantial business benefits. We hope that the time spent in Geneva will turn into specific contracts and cooperation!