Interview on Bożena Lublińska-Kasprzak, President, Polish Agency for Enterprise Development
K M Rehan Salahuddin: What is PARP?
Bożena Lublińska-Kasprzak: Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) is a government agency operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy. The Agency has been vested e.g. with the task to manage European Union funds and to create beneficial conditions for sustainable development of the Polish economy by supporting innovation and enterprises’ activities abroad.
K M Rehan Salahuddin: What are the objectives of the Agency?
Bożena Lublińska-Kasprzak, President, Parp
Bożena Lublińska-Kasprzak: For over ten years now PARP supports entrepreneurs in their attempts to implement competitive and innovative projects and undertakings. The Agency’s objective is to implement economic development programmes supporting innovation and research activity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), regional development, export growth, human resources development and the use of new technologies.
In the 2007-2013 financial perspective, the Agency is responsible for implementing measures under three operational programmes: Innovative Economy, Human Capital and Development of Eastern Poland.
Under the Operational Programme Innovative Economy, Measure 6.1 Passport to export, micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises may obtain funds to carry out projects which aim at entering new markets and strengthening the competitive position of the enterprise as well as promotion of Polish brands on international markets.
PARP grants support using the resources of the European Union funds and of the Polish State budget. The total budget of the Agency allocated for financing operational programmes in 2007-2013 exceeds EUR 7 billion. Most funds are allocated for financing activities implemented under Operational Programme Innovative Economy (OP IE) – EUR 3.9 billion, under Operational Programme Development of Eastern Poland (OP DEP) – EUR 2.67 billion and under Human Capital Operational Programme (HC OP) – EUR 672 million.
K M Rehan Salahuddin: How does PARP support enterprises who wish to operate on international markets and investors wanting to start operating in Poland?
Bożena Lublińska-Kasprzak: Enterprise Europe Network centre operates within PARP, offering entrepreneurs information on European Union law and the rules of conducting business on the single market. PARP acts as the leader of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) in Poland due to its function as the institution that supports the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. The EEN network provides following services to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises:
- informative and counselling activities concerning law and policies of the European Union, conducting business activity abroad, access to sources of financing, technology transfer and participation in Framework Programmes of the European Union,
- support in finding partners for business cooperation and technology transfer,
- organising visits of Polish companies to cooperation-related events (fairs, missions) co-financed by the European Commission, which aim to enhance cooperation between various regions and countries,
- providing answers to European Union entrepreneurs’ enquiries sent through the network, concerning the formal and legal conditions for running business activity in Poland and opportunities for cooperation with Polish enterprises and institutions,
- organisation of trainings, workshops and seminars,
- services for technology transfer, including technologic audits, exchange of technological offers, assistance in technological partner finding and connecting entrepreneurs with scientific units,
- support for SMEs’ participation in the 7th EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.
Within the framework of the EEN network, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development cooperates e.g. with the EU Project Innovation Center (EUPIC – Chengdu) and IPR Helpdesk (Beijing).
EUPIC is a comprehensive platform for supporting commercial and investment-related cooperation between the EU and China. The centre is actively supported by the European Commission, Torch Centre, Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, the Sichuan Provincial People’s Government, the Chengdu Municipal People’s Government and the Management Committee of Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone.
EUPIC promotes innovative processes in technology and technology transfer between enterprises, universities, technological parks, industry clusters and government institutions. Through this extended network both in the European Union and in China, the EUPIC supports also the soft landing of EU companies on the Chinese market, as well as allows for the creation of the strategy for internationalisation of Chinese companies.
The IPR Helpdesk hotline ensures professional consultancy pertaining to concrete enquiries concerning Intellectual Property (IP) and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Services are provided free of charge. By contacting the team of experienced lawyers through a website, by phone or by fax, you may receive an answer from highly qualified consultants within three working days. Moreover, the IPR Helpdesk offers free trainings on various aspects of managing intellectual property and published a bulleting on the newest developments in the field of IP and intellectual property rights.
PARP promoted three webinars organised by IPR Helpdesk, organised in May and June 2011. PARP invited also an IPR Helpdesk expert to host the seminar that was held in Warsaw.
K M Rehan Salahuddin: What other forms of support are available to entrepreneurs in Poland?
Bożena Lublińska-Kasprzak: One of the Agency’s priorities is to promote innovative approaches and encourage entrepreneurs to use modern technologies in their businesses. For this purpose, Polish Agency for Enterprise Development runs an internet site devoted to innovation www.pi.gov.pl and every year organises a Polish Product of the Future competition. SME representatives can participate in cyclical meetings of the Innovative Enterprises’ Club. The aim of the PARP Academy educational website (www.akademiaparp.gov.pl) is to provide micro, small and medium-sized enterprises with access to business knowledge in the form of e-learning. Through the www.web.gov.pl PARP supports the development of e-business.
PARP also initiated the creation of the National SME Services Network (KSU), which supports entrepreneurs in starting and developing their businesses. Under more than 150 KSU centres (including: KSU Consultation Points, KSU National Innovation Network, loan and guarantee funds cooperating under KSU) in the whole country entrepreneurs and persons staring their business may obtain information, advice and trainings on running economic activity as well as apply for a loan or a guarantee or collateral.
K M Rehan Salahuddin: Poland – China – for developing business?
Bożena Lublińska-Kasprzak: Polish Agency for Enterprise Development organised Polish exhibition for the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai. Poland saw its participation in the EXPO 2010 as a unique – maybe for many generations to come – opportunity to become visible in the Chinese reality, to overcome the cultural and language barriers, as well as an opportunity to bring the Chinese and Polish economies a bit closer together.
The missions organised by PARP engaged companies from such sectors as environmental protection, maritime, eco-technologies (GreenEvo award winners), banking, crafts, IT and mining sector. 40 companies took part in the missions. The talks between companies indicate that Chinese entrepreneurs are highly interested in Polish technology within the area of environmental protection (wastewater treatment plants, renewable energy) and cooperation in container-based sea transport.
Numerous seminars were also organised, e.g. seminars on Chinese Investments in Poland, insurance round table, Investment Forum China – Eastern Europe and a seminar on public-private partnerships.
As part of regional promotion, many entrepreneurs and representatives of voivodeship-level government administration presented their offer specially addressed to Chinese business circles. Representatives of Lubuskie, Małopolskie, Śląskie, Pomorskie and Opolskie voivodeships, along with delegates of the city authorities of Lublin, Kielce and Kraków presented their detailed offers. Around 150 representatives of Polish business circles met with Chinese companies.
The visit of representatives of 11 Polish technology and industrial parks to China (3-5 June 2010) proved especially successful. It was organised under the auspices of the Association of the National Forum for Industrial and Technology Parks (Polish: Stowarzyszenie Krajowego Forum Parków Przemysłowych i Parków Technologicznych). The mission resulted in the conclusion of three Memoranda of Undertaking with industrial parks from Shanghai. These are the first such agreements with parks from Central-Eastern Europe.
Chinese hosts of the exhibition awarded Poland with a silver medal for programme creativity and coherence with the leitmotif of the Expo – Better City, Better Life. The Polish programme of promotion – mainly economic promotion – has also won great respect of Chinese media (1157 Chinese journalists visited the Polish Pavilion at the Exhibition, and the Chinese media featured as many as 600 publication on the Polish pavilion and presentations during the EXPO).
Edited By: K M Rehan Salahuddin
Thanks to Anna Wrobel (Polish Agency for Enterprise Development)
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