Suffice it to say modern biotechnology in Kraków began with the establishment of the LifeScience Park, founded by 2004 as an initiative of the Jagiellonian University – the oldest and most widely recognized higher learning institution in Poland. Kraków has remained at the forefront of Polish scientific research for centuries and the last decade saw further advancements in this regard, made possible by substantial funding for development of state-of-the-art scientific infrastructures. Examples include the LifeScience Technology Park (www.jci.pl) which supports business development, and the Malopolska Centre of Biotechnology (http://www.mcb.uj.edu.pl) dedicated to applied research. New laboratories are emerging throughout the region while older centers continue to expand and upgrade their equipment. A good example would be Jagiellonian Center for Experimental Therapies, which conducts specialized and interdisciplinary research into new endothelial drugs as well as clinical safety assessments of the effects of chemical compounds upon the endothelium and the cardiovascular systems. The Brain Research Laboratory at the Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, together with the “Molecular Biotechnology for Health” project, serve as further examples of new quality and interdisciplinary research opportunities. Such research brings together experts in various fields – medical, plant or pharmaceutical biotechnology, nutrition, active food and cosmetology – dealing with diseases which affect humans, animals and plantlife.
The development of modern lab infrastructures is paralleled by a compelling vision which treats the region as a “life science cluster”, changing attitudes and working habits of various communities – academics, scientists, medical & healthcare personnel, business and administration. The LifeScience Kraków Klaster (LSKK), a collaborative platform established in 2006 aims to integrate innovative developments in the life science domain, promote collaboration between business and academia, foster an innovative culture and ensure internationalization. An example: the Innovation Team is a joint endeavor of various stakeholders who collaboratively develop methodologies, standards and tools to foster knowledge transfer and commercialization of research results. The Team’s open innovation approach has resulted in the implementation of an online application supporting promotion and international co-development of innovative projects (https://tto.lifescience.pl). LSKK also liaises with international networks – it is a member of EDCA, CEBR and SCANBALT and the leader of the Global Innovation Network (www.lsgin.com).
The advantage of the Małopolska Region stems from the great diversity and complementarity of scientific disciplines and activities in the life science sector, which together spotlight the regional strengths as a center for health and quality-of-life innovations.
For more information about the opportunities in the Małopolska Bio-Region and Kraków please visit www.lifescience.pl.
Kazimierz Murzyn is President of Fundation LifeScience Kraków Klaster and V-ce President of Global Innovation Network