Science is of great importance to the economic development of Krakow. In addition to its centuries-old tradition, 23 universities and nearly 130,000 students, Krakow is constantly conducting and expanding cooperation with the entire research community, drawing on its vast knowledge and infrastructure.
A common goal
The Krakow authorities are aware of the need for the Krakow research centre to strengthen its recognition and position on the academic map of Europe and the world. For this reason, the city is taking a number of measures to enliven and strengthen cooperation in research, business and governments, creating a coherent message in which Krakow and the Krakow research and academic centre are perceived as a space that is open to knowledge transfer and new technologies, but also conducive to the development of entrepreneurship, the implementation of joint projects, and a student-friendly place, integrating their environment and supporting their ideas and achievements. In pursuit of these ambitious goals, an agreement for the implementation of a common goal was concluded in 2021 between the Krakow Science and Academic Centre (KONA) and the Municipality of Krakow.
Potential, Passion, Promotion- the Three “Ps”
The main objective of the agreement is to intensify cooperation with KONA, to use the potential of the city and its universities, research and development units, business environment institutions and enterprises for the sustainable and intelligent development of Krakow, as set out for example in the Krakow Development Strategy. Under the agreement, a Partners Council was established with the main goal of making Krakow the most recognisable research and academic centre in Central and Eastern Europe, by actively participating in recruiting scientific staff with the highest qualifications and attracting students from both home and abroad. Krakow is to strengthen and consolidate its status as a city of science, but at the same time as a place to gain professional experience and do business, not forgetting the development of creative and artistic industries.
With passion and commitment, we cooperate with renowned universities, student organisations and scientific circles in Krakow and elsewhere, institutions such as the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Krakow branch of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University, and the Life Science Cluster Krakow, counted among the national key clusters, or technology transfer centres.
Thanks to this excellent cooperation, last October, Krakow had the opportunity to be the Host City of an international conference entitled "Świat w obliczu nowych wyzwań [The World in the Face of New Challenges]" organised by the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences to mark its 150th anniversary. The conference presented the latest scientific developments illustrating the changes taking place in the modern world in the context of pandemics, the environmental crisis, and the undermining of traditional values. The event attracted a wide range of scientists from all over the world to Krakow, and the opening session featured many reputable speakers, including Mark Brzezinski, Ambassador of the United States of America to Poland, Prof. Timothy Garton Ash, and Prof. Sir Leszek Borysiewicz.
In 2020, support from the city led a research team from the Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University to determine the microbial fingerprint for the first time in Poland, in Krakow (!). Every year, on 21 June, in more than sixty cities, on six continents, scientists and volunteers collect microbiological samples to discover the wealth of microorganisms found on usable surfaces of public transport (global City Sampling Day action). The project is significant in the context of issues such as public transportation safety, sustainability, and planning for the future of cities. We are proud that scientists from MCB UJ continue to work with us for the fourth year. In the context of the survey, 2023 is unique. As the European Games are being held in Krakow, the collection of samples was extended beyond Krakow streetcars. This year, areas including Krakow Airport and TAURON Arena Krakow were also selected for the survey. The researchers examined the impact of the brief but significant migration during the Games on the urban microbiome in Krakow, with a particular focus on new and exotic viruses, bacteria and fungi, as well as variants resistant to available drugs.
We support the potential of the organisation and the life science industry in partnership with a prominent representative of this community - the Life Science Cluster Krakow. Krakow has been actively participating in the Cluster's initiatives for years (weekly Cluster Breakfast meetings, the annual Life Science Open Space event, various consultations and analyses). We are also one of the organizers of the most important popular scientific event of the current year – the celebration of the 550th anniversary of Nicolaus Copernicus' birth, including the World Copernican Congress (the Krakow part).
We act to promote the impressive achievements of scientists and researchers of the Krakow research and academic centre, items that important links in the centre have to offer, such as technology transfer centres, to support the university's efforts to expand the fields of study available, and to encourage and showcase the talents of representatives of the Krakow academic community, and their passion for science in a series of interviews "Why Krakow? Conversations on Science and Business." Inspiring, building community, and integrating the research and development and student community are also a fundamental goal for us. For years, the City of Krakow has been cooperating with the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences on a project titled “Krakow Scientific Conferences,” as part of which our city is promoted at various conferences and seminars organised by units of the Krakow scientific and academic centre. The scope of conference topics is vast, as some of them focus on innovation, new technological solutions, medicine, history, social issues, but also physics, and for example psychology. In the past three years alone, 134 such events were held, bringing together speakers and listeners (on location, hybrid, online) from Poland and other countries in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa, and Australia, with nearly 24,000 participants.
The future is now
We are proud that the activities undertaken by the research and academic community, the business community, as well as our local government help promote the potential of Krakow and expand the platform for cooperation in the implementation of strategic goals for the city. These activities form in the minds of representatives of science and business the belief that Krakow is an excellent place for the development of technology and research, but also for the development of creative industries, such as design, applied arts, and architecture. We act here and now, but we also constantly think about the future and good cooperation between the Municipality of Krakow and KONA. It is to create this good cooperation, to grow, to achieve new goals, and to create facilities, important from the perspective of the academic community, students, and graduates, that we dedicate the emerging Cooperation Programme with the Krakow Research and Academic Centre for 2024-2029. Science is the future of Krakow - let's do it together!