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Growth of innovation in Poland’s economy is uneven. Some Voivodeships are lagging behind.

05.09.2016


The Polish economy is moving into the next stage of its development. After stage one, where minimising costs of producing goods and services was of major importance, we are moving into the stage where competitive advantage will be built on the basis of innovation – analysts of Bank Millennium are saying in the “Millennium Index – Regional Innovation Potential”.

Leading the list is Mazowieckie Voivodeship with a score of 95.9 points. The Voivodeship had top scores for productivity, Research and Development (R&D) spending, the number of people employed in R&D as well as the number of patents granted, which it owes mainly do data from Warsaw. Breathing down on the Capital’s neck is the rest of the pack, however also inferior players are taking part in the Voivodeships’ innovation race.

Such strong potential of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship is attributable to Poland’s highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to the location of corporate head offices in Warsaw as well as considerable academic activity. Mazowieckie is also the largest beneficiary of EU funding for the years 2014 – 2020 for support of innovation, entrepreneurship, R&D and low-emissions economy (60% from the Regional Operational Programme budget).

- Mazowieckie is characterised by strong differences in research and innovation potential of sub-regions – Warsaw continues to stand-out, although such towns as Płock, Ostrołęka, Sochaczew, Radom or Mława are also striving to attract innovation capital. The Region enjoys high quality of transport infrastructure; highest concentration of business support institutions of all Voivodeships; high propensity of local inhabitants to set up businesses; educated cadre with diverse skills as well as strong inflow of innovative foreign capital, especially from the services sector- Natalia Kukulska from Sectorial Analyses Team in the Rating Department of Bank Millennium said.

Following suit on the list were these Voivodeships: Małopolskie, Dolnośląskie and Pomorskie. They have the biggest innovation potential – and they were the only ones to score above Poland’s average (69.9 points). This suggests that innovative activity is not distributed evenly, but is rather concentrated in main urban and academic centres. The high position of Lubelskie Voivodeship (63.7 points) is interesting, where low GDP per capita does not go hand-in-hand with lack of innovation. Another example showing that even regions with low per capita GDP may be leaders of innovation is Podkarpackie Voivodeship – second-but-last in Poland in terms of GDP and No. 9 on Bank Millennium’s list. In case of these regions, innovation may give them the drive to catch up with the Voivodeships that have bigger economic potential.

Bank Millennium’s experts show however that in many areas the level of innovation may inhibit GDP growth potential. In their opinion innovation growth applies chiefly to industry, while low industrialisation, a high share of agriculture in GDP as well as number of persons employed in agriculture constrains innovation potential.

-Warmińsko-mazurskie Voivodeship fared worst in our survey. Due to extensive forest areas and arable land the food and agricultural sector as well as wood processing and furniture manufacturing predominate. On the other hand geographic location and abundance of fauna and flora put the region among the most attractive ones as a tourist destination – Natalia Kukulska concluded.

According to the report differences in innovation attractiveness of Voivodeships in Poland are not as great as those between the North and South of Italy or between Basque Country and Andalusia in Spain, however they do exist and they determine development of the individual parts of the Bank Millennium’s experts show however that in many areas the level of innovation may inhibit GDP growth potential. In their opinion innovation growth applies chiefly to industry, while low industrialisation, a high share of agriculture in GDP as well as number of persons employed in agriculture constrains innovation potential.

According to the report differences in innovation attractiveness of Voivodeships in Poland are not as great as those between the North and South of Italy or between Basque Country and Andalusia in Spain, however they do exist and they determine development of the individual parts of the country. Nevertheless Poland ranks 39th on the list of the world’s most innovative economies. Bank Millennium’s report is the starting point for a debate about the genesis of regional innovation as well as ways to mitigate the appearing inequalities by effectively supporting development of individual parts of the country.

Millennium Index – Regional Innovation Potential

6 innovation potential indicators

Detailed results of the survey are available in the enclosed report.

1 According to Global Innovation Index 2016

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