Taftie Expert Session II 2014: Promoting Innovation: a need or a must?
On 8 May 2014, the TAFTIE Expert Session II entitled “Promoting Innovation: a need or a must?” took place in Katowice, under the PARP Chairmanship. The meeting was organised as a part of the 6th European Economic Congress.
It was an excellent opportunity to discuss new sources of innovation, new communication tools and possibilities to involve the people and institutions around in innovation creation.
Opening the meeting as the chair of TAFTIE in 2014, the President of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development Bożena Lublińska-Kasprzak stated that there was no better word to characterise the mission and activities of PARP than innovation. Therefore, we constantly emphasize it and continually undertake actions to increase the understanding of this phenomenon among enterprises. This is the main task of PARP. Today we see that the impact of our activities on the economy and innovation of enterprises in Poland is clear and significant.
Examples of positive changes in Polish enterprises include a change of Poland’s expenditure on research and development - GERD (gross domestic expenditure on R&D) in relation to GDP which increased from 0.6% in 2008 to 0.9% in 2012. The change is even clearer, when we look at actual figures of GERD. In 2012, Poland's expenditure totalled PLN 14 353 million (approximately EUR 3 600 million), i.e. double the amount in 2008. Since 2010, the number of enterprises financing research and expenditure has been increasing (32% in 2012).
Anna Brussa, Deputy Director of the PARP Enterprise and Innovation Department, invited the participants to read the PARP report entitled “Dawn of innovation society” which presents innovation trends for the following years.
Sergiusz Sawin, Chief Innovation Architect from Innovatika, presented several methods to effectively involve the external environment in the process of creating innovative solutions, such as open idea box and co-creation. He stressed the importance of cooperation with consumers, suppliers and business partners which often generates solutions which otherwise would have never been created. It is also of utmost importance to precisely define the problem to be solved, i.e. what we want to achieve and when.
Alek Tarkowski, Director of Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt: Polska, described how administration authorities may formulate and pursue their objectives and services jointly with the citizens. He emphasized that administration authorities should be more open and transparent in their activities. New models of action occur which are conducive to making the public data available and to their use by people and institutions from the environment.
The next part of the meeting focused on the role of the media in promoting innovation, education for innovation and on how to democratize innovation.
According to Borys Czerniejewski, expert of "Instytut Mikromakro” Foundation, Deputy Chairman of the Board of IPM Sp. z o.o., an important role of the government is to educate the society on innovation, ensure appropriate infrastructure and allow the society to change, i.e. to promote good practices and ensure financial support.
Ewa Gołębiowska, Director of Zamek Cieszyn, stated that innovation started with a belief that the world and things could be better. What is important is to have courage to introduce changes, to take risk, to have a passion, but also to test the ideas. The subsequent step is social inclusion and cooperation with people which are indispensable for innovation, since every business is people-oriented. Diversity is important, as are the things emerging from relationships between various people and worldviews, as they generate excellent ideas and solutions. Design thinking, i.e. a method using observation, is an efficient way of working to create innovation. It can be used by both enterprises and public administration in the process of developing new products and services.
The participants of the meeting agreed that education on innovation must be improved at each level. The need for such action is clear also for Radosław Brzózka, a TV1 journalist, who hosts his own popular science show called “How stuff works?” (Jak to działa?) where he explains the basic phenomena from everyday life and presents the most recent achievements of contemporary science and technology. He sees a gap in the education of both children and adults. The media, in particular the television which has the greatest impact on the society, still present very little information and programmes on science and innovation.
Robert Firmhofer, Copernicus Science Centre President, emphasized that as regards the innovation ecosystem, what we needed was space, platforms and centres where various stakeholders could meet and discuss. Nowadays, we cannot afford to resign from lifelong learning. Science centres allow both children and adults to find their innovation spirit.
The discussion clearly showed that innovation was a multifaceted topic. However, when talking about promoting innovation, it is important that we ourselves change and become increasingly innovative, due to the significant role of innovation both for the economic development of the country and for achieving satisfactory living conditions of the society.