There exist various groups of audience for science communication, i.e. target segments of society. One of those target groups is industry in a broad meaning or in other words, the business sector. The principal aim of communication between science and industry is to facilitate flows/transfers of knowledge. This exchange should go in both directions, should be a kind of two-way road. However, the main subject of interest in this paper is the flows from science to the business sector. Knowledge transfer may happen directly (without go-betweens) or indirectly (via intermediaries). In the paper, the latter type of the flows is the focus of attention.

In Poland, like in other Central and East European countries, the science/R&D sector has been separated from the production sphere for many decades. Simplifying, two separate worlds have existed: Science and Production. Moreover, there has been a lack of go- betweens between the two spheres. The lack was a result of that that the previous state authorities did not like intermediaries of all types. Therefore, when we started fundamental economic and political reforms at the beginning of the 1990s, great challenges appeared; among them a challenge: How to improve co-operation between science and industry? In other words, how to build bridges for science communication with industry?

One of the communication channels is here bridging institutions. It must be added that such institutions together with science parks, innovation incubators and spin-off firms constitute technology-transfer infrastructure. I call them uttis (units making-up technology- transfer infrastructure). Nevertheless, the role of bridging institutions is much wider than only facilitating technological knowledge flows.

First uttis began to appear in Poland at the beginning of the 90s. In 2006, several hundreds uttis operated, among them about 80 bridging institutions of various types. Now they create a network functioning under the auspices of The Polish Business and Innovation Centres Association (SOOIPP). Most of them were established with a public aid from various sources. Their development has been uneven: while some appeared and grew, others disappeared at the same time. Their panorama is highly differentiated. Some of them play certain roles in science-industry communication.

So, the main aim of this paper is to trace the development of bridging institutions in communication between science and industry in Poland. The paper is an attempt to identify and evaluate stages in their growth in 1990-2006. On the basis of this, proposals will be formulated towards the future development of such institutions in Poland and other Central and East European countries. The author’s GAMTE model (Goal-Audience-Message- Tool-Evaluation) will be useful here.

Concluding, existing bridging institutions in Poland did not yet become real bridges for communication between science and industry.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Bridges for communication between science and industry
The case-study of Poland

Andrzej Jasinski   University of Warsaw

There exist various groups of audience for science communication, i.e. target segments of society. One of those target groups is industry in a broad meaning or in other words, the business sector. The principal aim of communication between science and industry is to facilitate flows/transfers of knowledge. This exchange should go in both directions, should be a kind of two-way road. However, the main subject of interest in this paper is the flows from science to the business sector. Knowledge transfer may happen directly (without go-betweens) or indirectly (via intermediaries). In the paper, the latter type of the flows is the focus of attention.

In Poland, like in other Central and East European countries, the science/R&D sector has been separated from the production sphere for many decades. Simplifying, two separate worlds have existed: Science and Production. Moreover, there has been a lack of go- betweens between the two spheres. The lack was a result of that that the previous state authorities did not like intermediaries of all types. Therefore, when we started fundamental economic and political reforms at the beginning of the 1990s, great challenges appeared; among them a challenge: How to improve co-operation between science and industry? In other words, how to build bridges for science communication with industry?

One of the communication channels is here bridging institutions. It must be added that such institutions together with science parks, innovation incubators and spin-off firms constitute technology-transfer infrastructure. I call them uttis (units making-up technology- transfer infrastructure). Nevertheless, the role of bridging institutions is much wider than only facilitating technological knowledge flows.

First uttis began to appear in Poland at the beginning of the 90s. In 2006, several hundreds uttis operated, among them about 80 bridging institutions of various types. Now they create a network functioning under the auspices of The Polish Business and Innovation Centres Association (SOOIPP). Most of them were established with a public aid from various sources. Their development has been uneven: while some appeared and grew, others disappeared at the same time. Their panorama is highly differentiated. Some of them play certain roles in science-industry communication.

So, the main aim of this paper is to trace the development of bridging institutions in communication between science and industry in Poland. The paper is an attempt to identify and evaluate stages in their growth in 1990-2006. On the basis of this, proposals will be formulated towards the future development of such institutions in Poland and other Central and East European countries. The author’s GAMTE model (Goal-Audience-Message- Tool-Evaluation) will be useful here.

Concluding, existing bridging institutions in Poland did not yet become real bridges for communication between science and industry.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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