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From R&D to market: Polish technical universities as forges of deep-tech innovation

Poland's technological future is emerging at technical universities. Warsaw University of Technology is a flagship example of this trend. It educates more than 20,000 students and about 1,000 doctoral students, who not only explore the secrets of science, but also turn them into innovative solutions. With more than 500 research, development and service projects carried out every year, with a total budget of more than 300 million zlotys, Warsaw University of Technology is becoming a forge of technologies that can change the world. 


However, this is just the top of the iceberg. Across Poland, technical universities offer more than ten times the potential - both human and research and technology. 


What is the estimated level of readiness to start a business among the academic community? The GUS reports in its 2021 report that about 13% of Poles are entrepreneurial. With a large margin of caution, one can assume that in the university R&D sector this represents 5% of the population. This would mean that each year technical universities graduate 3,000 and 500 entrepreneurial students and PhD students, respectively. They can count on the support of 1.5 thousand academics with an entrepreneurial spirit. This is a huge human resource and potential, which, if properly directed, can contribute to the development of an economy based on knowledge and innovation. 

Despite this, only 212 spinoffs have been created directly from universities  over the past decade. Against the background of several thousand startups operating on the Polish market, these numbers show that a huge technological and human resource has still not been developed even slightly. 


Polish technical universities have at their disposal not only advanced technologies, but, above all, people - students, doctoral students, scientists - who have the potential and determination to turn knowledge into real business success. WUT IF is an institution that shows how to turn this unexploited potential into success on the international stage. 


What will come of this? I hope we will know the answer soon. 


Prof. Robert Sitnik 

Vice President of the Management Board of WUT IF 


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