Polish American Innovation Week in California

Representatives from Seattle participate in the Polish American Innovation Week (PAIW) in California

During the week of November 17, 2014, Polish and American partners met in Los Angeles at an Innovation Forum inaugurating the Poland-US Innovation Week in California. The agenda focused on developing partnerships, mutual cooperation and business opportunities for Polish-American investments in innovative industries.

Parallel to the Innovation Forum, the Poland-US Innovation Council has come together for the first time. The mission of this intergovernmental body is to deepen Polish-American innovation cooperation. The council was set up during President Barack Obama’s visit to Poland last June (2014). It supports companies, universities and research institutes which invest in R&D projects in the technology, defense, energy and health sectors. The meeting culminated in the signing of a statement of intent, which lays he grounds of innovation collaboration.

The Undersecretary of State Katarzyna Kacperczyk headed the Polish delegation to the United States. . Poland’s Ambassador to the United States, Ryszard Schnepf also took part in the inauguration ceremony, with the signing of a statement of intent for a US-Poland Innovation Program. The program will supplement the already extensive spectrum of cooperation between Poland and the United States in the field of science and technology. Also present was the US Ambassador to Poland, Stephen Mull and many distinguished guests from US and Polish organizations.

Consul General of Poland in Los Angeles Mariusz Brymora opened the conference and moderated throughout the day. During the plenary sessions, the participants were warmly welcomed by a member of the Los Angeles City Council, Tom LaBonge, the Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland, Katarzyna Kacperczyk, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, US Department of State, Scott Nathan and the Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland, Włodzisław Duch.

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”10815″ align=”left” size=”large” fitMobile=”true”] During the breakout sessions the participants discussed innovation in health and bio sector, ecosystem of creativity and innovation, smart energy and green solutions, creative industries & IT. Polish companies presented their products, technologies and ideas to potential partners. At the end of the first day, a special evening Arts Festival with Włodek Pawlik Trio and Arturo Sandoval’s concert was organized to celebrate Polish Independence Day.

On Wednesday, during the Polish-American Innovation Week, the activities moved to the San Francisco area. The events were attended by Grażyna Henclewska, the Deputy Minister of Economy, as well as Bożena Lublinska-Kasprzak, President of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, who opened a new project in San Francisco titled Polish Silicon Bridge. The event’s program included seminars at Berkeley and Stanford universities as well as workshops on fostering cooperation among start-ups held at Rocket Space in San Francisco. Over 25 study visits were scheduled for the Polish companies who were hosted by American institutions already successfully implementing innovations and modern technologies. Additionally, a discussion about women’s role in innovation took place at Stanford University, while the San Francisco Design Centre hosted an event promoting the latest technological solutions developed in Poland.

PAIW’s success was unprecedented from the perspective of being the biggest promotional initiative of this kind in Polish-American relations history. More than 150 Polish companies came to California to talk about opportunities of developing Polish-American cooperation in innovation to benefit both countries via joint ventures and R&D projects in the area of ICT/Creative industries, Biotech, Engineering, Green Energy and innovative technologies.

The Poland-US Innovation Week was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Ministry of the Economy, Ministry of the Environment, and a number of agencies promoting innovative solutions in the Polish economy, such as the National Centre for Research and Development, Industrial Development Agency, Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, and Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency. The project’s strategic partners were numerous Polish and American private sector entities and non-governmental organizations.

The Polish American Chamber of Commerce Pacific Northwest is a proud supporter contributing efforts in promoting attendance and awareness of the initiative. Representatives from Seattle, Teresa Indelak Davis and Marian Strutynski attended the activities in Los Angeles with a gala concert commemorating the anniversary of Poland’s Independence. Congratulations to all organizers who made it all possible.