While the P&B Foundation had been active in the field of technology transfer since its inception in 1991, the Technology Transfer Centre (TTC) was founded as a separate unit in January 1997, in recognition of the growing role which the technology transfer plays in the development of Polish economy. Its activities constitute a direct continuation of the results of the Technology Acquisition Scheme - Phare Project No. PL 9209/03.-03.1 which had been performed by the Foundation jointly with the DTI and CNA Veneto in 1996-97. The Foundation has been responsible for the design and computer implementation of the Technology Investment Tool. The present activity of the Technology Transfer Centre consists mainly in advising Polish innovative companies. We maintain also a commercial database of innovations and innovative companies. The TTC is implementing the Foundation's University - industry cooperation programme.
With their great scientific and industrial potentials, the Malopolska and Upper Silesia regions, which are the Foundation's main areas of influence, are both the most suitable parts of Poland for implementation of new technologies, as well as for the technology transfer support and promotion. From 1991 to 1999, the Progress & Business Foundation and its fully owned subsidiary, P&B Incubator Ltd. completed several projects that concerned consulting support for high-tech enterprises from the abovementioned regions, helping them to implement innovative technologies and clean technologies for environment protection. The TTC of the Foundation co-operates with numerous foreign institutions, such as Segal Quince Wicksteed Ltd., Cambridge, Danish Technological Institute, CNA Veneto, ESSOR France, TNO. P&B Incubator promoted a number of high-tech companies, including the CDN plc., a leading Polish producer of accounting and business control software, Neurosoft Ltd. - the first Polish producer of multimedia software, Elsta - a highly successful industrial automatics manufacturer, ZDANiA Ltd. - an implementation site for sophisticated measurement, equipment, AMSOFT Consulting Ltd. - a local software company which developed one of the world's most successful financial exchange rate prediction tools, and others. Moreover, the TTC has been involved in several SME - dedicated projects, regularly organised workshops and seminars on technology transfer.
The Progress and Business Foundation was founded in Cracow in January 1991, as first modern technology transfer centre of Poland, supporting effective industrial implementation of scientific and technological advancements.
Between 1991 and 2008, the Foundation, and its subsidiary, P&B Incubator Ltd., carried out a number of projects from the areas of entrepreneurship support, advanced technologies, environmental protection among others. The Foundation collaborates with many foreign institutions such as Danish Technological Institute, CNA Veneto, ESSOR, TNO and SINTEF. P&B Incubator has promoted a large number of hi-tech companies, including such names as CDN S.A., Neurosoft Sp.zo.o., Clico Sp. z o.o.
In 1997, the Technology Transfer Centre of the Progress & Business Foundation won first place in a national accreditation competition organized by the Foundation for Polish Science (FPS). As a result, since March 4th, 1998 until the programme's official closure, the Foundation was accredited in the FPS' INCOME programme - as one of six organisations in the country, and the only one in the Cracow area. As part of the programme, the Foundation refereed innovation applications set to be commercialized with support from a special FPS fund. In order to complete this programme more efficiently, the Progress & Business Foundation and the P&B Incubator created a separate Technology Transfer Centre within their structure, which provides a wide variety of consulting and implementation services and organizes regular training seminars as wells as conferences on technology transfer.
Between 2001 and 2006 TTC took part in projects of the Phare (2000-2003), SPO-WKP programmes (2005-2007), Operational Programme Innovative Economy (2010-2013), and Operational Programme Intelligent Development (from 2014).
- Trained employees and consultants from different fields of technology transfer;
- Constantly updated and verified database of innovation projects;
- Experience in promoting new technologies and the marketing of science;
- Knowledge and experience in the fields of intellectual property, copyright as well as patent and economic law;
- Knowledge and experience in verification of innovation projects, preparation of feasibility studies, business plans, technological and environmental cost-effectiveness study for companies;
TTC's experts team includes ca. 200 specialists from different fields, both Polish and foreign.
The activities of the Technology Transfer Centre focus on offering the full process of innovation evaluation, ROI and risk assessment, advising and financing. In 2000 the TTC experts took part in implementing modern technologies in Polish SME´s from automotive, clothing, and furniture sectors within the Phare EXPROM II and within the Polish Ministry of Economy SME Support programme. The TTC monitors the Polish-Georgian technology transfer programme based on the results of the study tour of 15 Georgian businesspeople, who visited the "Progress and Business" Foundation in April 2000 within a USAID "Global Training for Development" programme.
Main activities of the TTC:
- Searching for new high - tech solutions and innovations.
- Elaborating an economical analysis and performing a refereeing process concerning the commercialisation proposals.
- Assistance in accessing financing, bank loans and credits to implement prospective innovations.
- Training of consultants, whose main task is searching and promotion of innovations to be commercialised.
- Legal and economic assistance concerning the intellectual property protection, patenting and licensing.
- Business plans, feasibility studies, and market research analysis elaboration.
- Organising professional and language trainings of Polish high-tech sector employees abroad, primarily in EU countries.
- Giving advices on new technologies, quality, and validation.
The Technology Transfer Centre operates mainly in the Małopolska and Upper Silesia regions, but numerous technology commercialisation proposals from all over Poland have also been submitted to the Centre.
Besides of the above the TTC:
- provides technology audits and train the staff in technology transfer;
- maintains databases concerning innovations from Polish scientists, mainly from the Malopolska and Upper Silesia regions.
- provides assistance in promotion and market research for high technology companies
- performs ecological audits and elaborates ecological balances on the order of local enterprises
- akes part in scientific research programmes carried out at the Foundation.
Within the organisational structure of the Foundation, the TTC interacts intensively with the Economic Information Centre and the Centre for Training and Professional Courses.
TTC uses a tri-level procedure for accepting innovation proposals:
- initial evaluation of proposals by the TTC's Qualifying Commission and selection of experts for carrying out the necessary analyses. If no experts with required expertise can be found among TTC's usual collaborators, the Qualifying Commission requests TTC's director to find them outside the usual collaborator group;
- carrying out of necessary analyses (market research, technological audits, business plans, feasibility studies) appropriate for the evaluated proposals;
- final qualification of the proposals for directing to the sponsor institution.
The registration and selection of innovations proposals is carried out in accordance with the regulations specified in the Quality System of the Progress & Business Foundation. Similar rules apply for the systematic updating and enrichment of the database of innovation projects, technologies and products.
TTC's clients are usually companies implementing new technologies, representatives of Poland's scientific and technological circles, organizations active in special economic zones and Research & Development Units. Typically requested services include:
- Market research
- Technological audits
- Training of employees in technology transfer
- Consulting in the field of new technologies for IT companies
- Registration of proposals requiring funding
- Registration of high-tech companies in online databases
- Assistance in creation and launch of new companies specializing in technology transfer
- Preparing applications for EU Framework Programmes for Research and the Eureka programme, including market research and patentability studies
- Technological Roadmapping
Thanks to our unique experience we take into account the specificity of spin-offs, IT companies and other organizations dealing with implementation of new technologies.
The prices of TTC's services are calculated based on current consultancy rates, the amount of money requested in the proposal and the difficulty of the necessary research.
TTC seeks to obtain subsidies for its services from the programmes run by the Polish Ministry of Development as well as the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and others.