Modern biotechnology in Kraków began with the establishment of the LifeScience Park, founded in 2004 as an initiative of the Jagiellonian University – the oldest and most widely recognised higher learning institution in Poland. Kraków has remained at the forefront of Polish scientific research for centuries and the last decade saw further advances 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 (www.mcb.uj.edu.pl) which is dedicated to applied research. New laboratories are emerging throughout the region while older centres continue to expand and upgrade their equipment. A good example is the Jagiellonian Center for Experimental Therapies, which conducts specialised 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 plant life.
Business and academic collaboration
The development of modern laboratory infrastructure runs in parallel with a vision to develop the region as a life science cluster, to develop attitudes and working habits of various communities, including academics, scientists, medical and 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 a culture of innovation and ensure the region has a global reach. For example, the Innovation Team is a joint endeavor of various stakeholders who develop methodologies, standards and tools to foster knowledge transfer and commercialisation of research results. The team’s open innovation approach has resulted in the implementation of an online application supporting the 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 leader of the Global Innovation Network (www.lsgin.com).
The advantages of the Małopolska Region stem from the diversity and complementary nature of the scientific disciplines and activities in the life science sector, which together highlight its regional strengths as a centre for medical and healthcare innovations.
To find out more about the opportunities in the Małopolska Bio-Region and Kraków please visit: www.lifescience.pl
About the author
Kazimierz Murzyn is President of Foundation LifeScience Kraków Klaster and Vice President of Global Innovation Network