Europe, Poland, Private sector development, innovation and knowledge-based economy, R&D, CASE Reports, CASE Network Studies and Analyses

Innovation Systems and Knowledge-Intensive Enterpreneurship: a Country Case Study of Poland


This study surveys the current state of affairs in Poland with regard to the development of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship (KIE), or new firm creation in industries considered to be science-based or to use research and development (R&D) intensively. We place KIE in Poland in the larger institutional context, outlining the key features of the country’s National Innovation System, and then focus on KIE itself. Our findings are perhaps more optimistic than many previous studies of knowledge-based economy development in Poland. We observe significant progress due to Polish access to the European Union. The frequency with which universities are playing a significant role as partners for firms in the innovation process has increased significantly; moreover, we observe a significant degree of internationalization of innovation-related cooperation. Another optimistic development is that the level of activity of venture capitalists seems to be fairly high in Poland considering the relatively low degree of development of capital markets offering VC investors exit opportunities. Moreover, after almost two decades of decline in the share of R&D spending in GDP, there are signs that this is beginning to rise, and that businesses are beginning to spend more on R&D. While demand-side problems continue to be significant barriers for the development of KIE, due to the relatively low level of education and GDP per capita in the country, the trends here are optimistic, with high rates of economic growth and improvements in the level of education of younger generations. Significant improvement is still needed in the area of intellectual property protection.