The summary of the first day of GPs' presentations

Which were the most inspiring Practices presented in our online meeting?

The first GP that was presented to us, was the one on Aeropolis (in Podcarpackie Science & Technology Park). Here we saw various services, like the Academic pre-incubator, linked to the university, the Incubator, where some of the companies that went through the pre-incubator turn to. This service includes offices, a production unit, meeting rooms and networking events like the Hackaton or Start up Weekend. Also a fully equipped laboratory for prototyping and material science.

From all this it becomes clear that Podcarpackie is a very interesting zone to invest in. Secondly, we got an insight in the Center of Innovation. This center wants to facilitate for science, businesses and innovators. There is a close collaboration with the universities in order to connect scientific units and businesses. The aim of this center is to support, inspire and integrate stakeholders. They want to understand their needs, help design the business model, and help search for practical solutions. What are possibilities for our universities? How can we deliver to them an innovative service? They have a lot to offer: 1. Grant program: this is a tool for founding ideas and scientific projects. There are however quite some criteria that need to be met before one can profit from these grants.
2. Structured contract research where scientists are considered to be innovators.
3. Protolab where ideas can be developed. We saw the example of the smart tourism hackaton (changes in tourism will become very important in the future!)

After this Center of Innovation, we were introduced to the Samsung incubator which for obvious reasons didn’t need a long introduction. This center is focused on mentorship and help even discover possibilities for commercialization of ideas. Their main partner is the Technical University but they also work closely together with the Regional Development Agency of Rzeszow. The Samsung incubator helps accelerating ideas, also through lots of events. A next good practice was Lublin Science and Technology Park, which is a good practice from the Start Easy interreg Europe project. The main aim here is to link knowledge from science to businesses and start-ups. Basically they offer services to the universities (science – academia), start-ups and businesses. The incubator provides space and services for young entrepreneurs and businesses (so less operational costs) but also R&D facilities, basic equipment for scientific and commercialization projects. Moreover, they offer laboratory space. Also from the Start Easy project we were presented the Smart tools for easy business that want to support companies that aim at exporting. They make use of the ‘Once Only Principle’: people and businesses need to inform public administration only once about data which then are being exchanged amongst other institutions.

The last and very different good practice from Poland was the Urban Lab, an incubator that aims at quality of life and how to improve it. They work with ideas from and for the citizens, and more specific for senior citizens. An example is the Time Bank: during covid people who had some extra time on their hands, did some chores or grocery shopping for others. Apart from these, the Urban Lab also offers conference rooms and an ‘urban caffè’, an informal place to meet and network and discuss.