The World Bank project summarized in the report proposes a pioneering approach to engaging the private sector, as well as science, public administration, and civic society, in co-creating innovation policy, selecting priorities for public innovation spending, and adjusting public support instruments to the real needs of Polish enterprises.
The new approach, called the entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP), consists of (i) face-to-face interviews with the top management of mostly small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), which help to understand the real drivers and constraints to enterprise innovation that are hard to detect through standard surveys; (ii) Smart Labs, which are a series of business-friendly, time-efficient workshops that help assess the innovation potential of a specific economic activity; (iii) innovation maps, which help tease out information about technological trends perceived by the private sector; and (iv) crowdsourcing, online surveys that reach enterprises that usually do not interact with the public sector.
For instance, it helped identify companies with large innovation-based growth potential, so-called “champions,”
which—if properly supported by the public sector—could become national, European, or perhaps even global leaders
and key drivers of growth. The Polish “champions” are characterized by above-average revenue growth rates; high
expenditure on research and development (R&D); a high percentage of export sales; a large proportion of science,
technology, engineering, and math (STEM) employees; and—above all—a specific “growth mind-set” among top
management, which considers innovation the key source of their company’s competitive advantage. The proposed
EDP also helped identify “sleeping beauties,” companies that do not yet seem to fully leverage their growth potential
and could grow much faster if they were “awakened” through, for instance, improved management practices, better
access to “smart” financing, and support for exports. The project also found that many SMEs did not seem to be well
networked, were often wary of cooperating with peer companies in the same sector, and seemed to have a low level of
social capital, which might be a key barrier for innovation development. Finally, it showed that there was a large scope
for improvement in the quality of enterprise support among public institutions.
The report concludes with policy recommendations on how to implement the EDP; use it to validate, modify, or eliminate
innovation policy priorities (so-called “smart specializations”); and make it sustainable. It provides ideas on how
to build social capital in the private sector, reform business support institutions, and help coordinate national and
regional smart specialization policies. Finally, it suggests how to adjust public support instruments to the needs of
Polish enterprises, encourage the public sector to be more proactive, and ensure that innovation spending will have
a real impact.
Click here to read the report (in English).
Also, Prague replaced Warsaw as the most attractive place in the CEE region for German investors, German-Polish chamber of commerce informed, according to the article published by the e15.cz server. Even labor costs are higher in Poland than in the Czech Republic, the article quotes Deloitte Chief Economist David Marek.
Unlike Prague, Warsaw ia among top European start-up hubs.
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