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Media Corner
17 December 2018

Poland rallies support for Big Science projects

Representatives from various SMEs and startups at the Big Science Partner & Industry Day, Institute of Nuclear Physics, Krakow, Poland

The auditorium of the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Krakow, Poland, is filled with 40 representatives from startups and SMEs who have their eyes set on Big Science business opportunities. They are young in the early thirties, switched on and ambitious. They have already participated in international technology projects by delivering tooling, electronics, software or offering their expertise. In their opinion Big Science is not only for big players. There is a level playing field for all and the time is right for them to compete. F4E, responsible for Europe's contribution to ITER, CERN and the ESS are there to brief them on the progress of the projects and most importantly on upcoming tenders, and contractors looking for sub-contractors. One key characteristic of these projects is collaboration. Tasks tend to be too big for one company and by experience smaller companies are more agile, flexible and adaptable. Therefore, there is room for infinite partnerships.

We spoke to Maciej Potocki, President of Wroclaw Technology Park, before the event started to understand the background. "Poland has potential in Big Science. Our companies have discovered the opportunities offered by this market and want to benefit from it. They have the technology and infrastructure to compete with high-tech companies from all over the world. On a day like this we want to show them how they can succeed."

Sylwia Wójtowicz, Poland's Industry Liaison Officer for CERN and F4E, director of development at Wroclaw Technology Park, has been following the evolution of big projects and has been working to make the information available in a comprehensive and accessible way. "Our aim is to integrate Polish business around Big Science, which is why we run projects such as BIG SCIENCE HUB, which premiered today, on Big Science Partner & Industry Day," she explains. "The heart of it is big-science.pl – an online platform which guides our companies on how to establish international business relations in the sector, and which shows that Polish companies are reliable and trusted partners."

Sylwia Wójtowicz, Poland's Industry Liaison Officer for CERN and F4E, Director of Development at Wroclaw Technology Park, during her address at the Big Science Partner & Industry Day, Institute of Nuclear Physics, Krakow, Poland

Europe's contribution to ITER is by far the largest out of all Parties and this means more business opportunities. "The F4E calls for tender have generated a lot of interest. The project is now moving into the fabrication of components in areas such as Diagnostics or in Technical Support Services. It is a market ecosystem that smaller companies feel more comfortable participating and flagging their interest" explains Benjamin Perier, representing the Market Intelligence Group. During the half-day event, more than 10 Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings took place and an interesting list of competences has been developed including instrumentation and control, wave length systems, image processing, real time monitoring and data acquisition.

Benjamin Perier, F4E’s Market Intelligence Group, presenting Europe’s upcoming business opportunities in ITER, at the Big Science Partner & Industry Day, Institute of Nuclear Physics, Krakow, Poland

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