The potential of Big Science in Poland


Poland is one of the most rapidly and sustainably developing economies, whose position in Europe has been growing from strength to strength during the economic crisis, becoming a reliable, business-friendly market with a lot of appeal for investors. Its development has been inextricably linked with innovations, they key driver, and with the Big Science market.


The Polish economy

The import and export strength of the Polish economy has a solid and secure foundation. The country’s location in the heart of Europe, at the intersection of the main transportation routes, is one of its major advantages. It enables Polish companies to find and connect with international business partners at home and abroad. The stability and resilience of our domestic market is secured by EU and NATO membership as well as by an extensive pool of highly-qualified employees and top-performing human resources. An efficient network of universities educate the best specialists, whereas expansive research facilities further encourage the growth of innovation- and technology-driven economy.


Innovation and R&D market

Polish businesses bet on innovation – related to both introducing new products into the market as well as to implementing new innovative processes aimed at production optimisation. According to the data of the Central Statistical Office, in 2014-2016 as many as 1/5 of industrial companies in Poland were engaged in innovation-related activities. The budget spent on these activities in 2016 was over PLN 28bn.

The level of research and development expenditure is quite similar. In 2016 PLN 21bn was allocated to this purpose, which favours the integration of business and science, also on a large scale.

Innovation is closely linked with Seventeen National Intelligent Specialisations. They are market areas whose development drives the economy and enhances its competitive advantage on the global arena. These fields are co-financed from the EU, which means that Polish entrepreneurs may obtain funds for their R&D activities.


Poland in Big Science institutions

Poland is a member of a number of international institutions constituting the Big Science  market. They include:


The European Organisation for Nuclear Reserach CERN

The history of the Polish participation in the development of CERN can be traced back to 1960s. At that time Poland enjoyed an official status of observer as the only country from the Soviet bloc, to become the organisation’s full member in 1991. Many Polish scientists are engaged in the structures of the organisation – working on, among others, the construction of detectors which are used by the Large Hadron Collider. The first woman to take up the position of the President of the CERN Council was Professor Agnieszka Zalewska from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Science Academy in Krakow, who remained in office for three terms between 2013 and 2015.

Polish scientists are members of international research teams – for example physicists, from the University of Wrocław – have been involved in a number of long-term experiments at Large Hadron Colliders, whose outcomes describe the phase transition of the matter during the evolution of the Universe.

Poland’s membership in CERN translates into new opportunities for Polish businesses – who are free to participate in tender proceedings, or to commercialise technologies developed by the centre. Assistance in this respect is provided by Sylwia Wójtowicz, appointed by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research as a link for the Polish industry, acting at the Wrocław Technology Park.


European Space Agency (ESA)

The space industry is one of the most technologically advanced sectors of the economy and promises huge development – especially in light of Poland’s membership in ESA (since 2012), among others. The Polish Industry  Incentive Scheme (PIIS) was launched especially for the Polish entrepreneurs. Assistance with the participation in the programme as well as the implementation of the Polish Space Strategy are the responsibility of:

Click and read more about:

Ministry of of entrepreneurship and technology

Polish Space Agency POLSA

Industrial Development Agency


The first space incubator of entrepreneurship ESA BIC will be soon launched in Poland. Read more about this initiative (LINK to an article on ESA BIC)


European South Observatory

Poland ratified the agreement with ESO in 2015. Polish scientists conduct experiments using ESO telescopes – for example Professor Roberto Miganin from the University of Zielona Góra observed neutron stars with the Very Large telescope (VLT). In 2015 the institution co-hosted the ESO Industry Day along with the Polish Astronomical Society.

The collaboration of the Polish scientific institutions with ESO deeps developing, and the current information can been found at:

Polish Astronomical Society website


European Spallation Source (ESS)

Poland is one of the founders of the European Spallation Source, an international science and research organisation. The largest and the most technologically advanced source of neutrons will be launched in the Swedish town of Lund as part as part of this EU consortium. The cost of the construction is estimated at EUR 1.8bn. The project is co-financed by 17 European countries including Poland, which incurs 1.8% of the cost, with at least 70% of the amount to be contributed in kind. The following entities are engaged in the project: the Henryk Niewodniczański Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences (dr Dariusz Bocian performs the role of a link for the Polish industry at ESS), the National Centre of Nuclear Research or the Wrocław University of Science and Technology.


Fusion for Energy and ITER project

Poland as a member of the EU is also a member of the Fusion for Energy organisation, which coordinates the European part of ITER project. It enables Polish industry sector, SMEs or science & research institutions to tap into growth potential offered by the construction of the largest Tokamak in the world.  Sylwia Wójtowicz acting at the Wrocław Technology Park as a link for the Polish industry, is responsible for this cooperation.



Logotypy UE

Project co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund.

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