Poland Poland


The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Warmińsko-Mazurskie stood at 49% of the EU average in 2017, ranking it among the 20 lowest EU regions, and contributing a share of 2.6% of national GDP. However, unemployment in the region reduced from 9.8% in 2014 to 5.6% in 2018, although it remains above the national average of 3.9%.

According to the Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2017, the Voivodeship of Warminsko-Mazurskie is ranked as a modest innovator with an innovation performance below the EU average. The innovation performance has decreased over time from 43.3 index points in 2011 to 38.9 index points in 2017. In 2015 GERD amounted to 0.32% of regional GDP with the first upturn since 2012, against a national average of 1.0% and an EU average of 2.04%. R&R funding from the business sector (BERD) was the lowest in Poland at 18.1%, although it would double in 2016, reaching 36.0%. The business sector tends to lack qualified scientific personnel and links between academia and business are weak. However, the region hosts technological, academic, and entrepreneurship incubators and technology transfer centres and in 2015 had 87 institutions involved in R&D activity. 

In Poland, smart specialisation is defined at national and regional levels, with some convergence across the two levels in terms of selected specialisations. The smart specialisation areas chosen by Warmińsko-Mazurskie are: water economy, food and wood products.

Smart specialisation strategies are coordinated independently by Marshall’s offices in the 16 regions and in the case of Warmińsko-Mazurskie under the Department of Regional Policy. The region proposed to establish a regional steering Committee of experts to support the management and monitoring of the strategies and a series of smart specialisation panels to support each theme. A regional Investors and Exporters service would support internationalisation.


The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Lubuskie was 57% of the EU average in 2017. However, unemployment in the region stood at 3.0% in 2018, below the national average of 3.9%. According to the Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2017, Lubuskie is a modest innovator with an innovation performance of 41. The region has the lowest R&D expenditure per capita in the country: its GERD is 0.2% and its BERD 0.13%, although the share of BERD in regional GERD grew from 40.3% in 2015 to 55.3% in 2016.

The region currently has a small number of universities of which the University of Zielona Gora (a flagship initiative established in 2001) is the most important in relation to R&D in the region. However, whilst it has a fairly strong educational offer and a dynamic scientific environment, its research activities are currently relatively marginal. The small number of research institutions in the region means that innovation is primarily introduced by larger enterprises and entrepreneurs, who demonstrate relatively high levels of R&D activity. However, the region lacks large agglomerations and struggles to keep and attract highly skilled and creative people, having the lowest ratio of people working in R&D to 1000 professionally active people of all Polish regions. R&I related indicators such as patent applications per capita are showing some improvement however since 2014.

The RIS3 focuses on the following themes: health and quality of life, green economy eco-innovation, and innovation and sustainability of traditional industries such as metal, automotive, furniture, mining and paper. The emerging industries of space and ICT have been incorporated since 2018.

Management of the regional RIS3 is divided into strategic management a board of directors, technical support by an innovation development programme working group and executive support from the Department for Regional Operational Programme Management and other units of the Marshall’s office as appropriate.



The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Podlaskie was 50% of the EU average in 2017. However, unemployment in the region stood at 3.2% in 2018, below the national average of 3.9%.

According to the Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2017, Podlaskie is a Modest Innovator with an innovation performance of 43.34 in 2017. The region is one of the least R&I intensive in Poland, with a GERD of 0.75% in 2015, against a national average of 1.0% and an EU average of 2.04%. R&D funding from the business sector (BERD) was 0.23% in the same year, which equalled 21.7% of GERD compared to the national averages of 0.47% and 39.0%. The region has one of the lowest rates in Poland for innovation active companies in the service sector but exceeds the national average for innovation active firms in industry. A number of R&I-related indicators have shown improvement in recent years such as the number of patents requested and design applications and the region is home to some rapidly developing clusters that demonstrate strong business cooperation (e.g. metal processing and construction).

The region has a number of leading scientific institutions and technology transfer offices and the tertiary education levels exceed EU, although not national, levels. The region scores significantly below the national average in relation to scientific publications, and low levels of academic cooperation with industry and of business internationalisation limit technology transfer.

The approach towards regional RIS3 focuses upon promoting ‘eco-innovation’ and the region as the ‘gate to the East’. Regional smart specialisation covers the following themes: Medical sector, life sciences; Eco-innovations, environmental science; Agri-food and Metal and machinery industry and shipbuilding.



The GDP of Kujawsko-Pomarskie represented a 4.4% of share of national GDP in 2017, with GDP per capita at 56% of the EU average. The unemployment rate was 4.3% in 2018, which is above the national average of 3.9% but below the EU rate of 6.9%. The region is characterised by high employment in traditional sectors such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing industries, and high outmigration of educated young people.

Kujawsko-Pomorskie’s GERD (R&D expenditure as a proportion of GDP) was 0.5% in 2017, less than half of the Polish national average of 1.21% and considerably lower than the EU average of 2.11%. The region is a Modest Innovator, and has lost ground compared to 2014 when it was a Moderate Innovator. In 2017, R&D funding from the business sector was of 53.9% of GERD, but was only 0.30% of regional GDP compared to 0.67% for Poland and 1.37% for the EU-28.

The region lags behind the national average on most key indicators around education and innovation, and there has been little convergence since 2011 relative to the EU average. Despite a strong scientific-research base in the region of vocational schools / technology transfer centres and universities (four universities based in Bydgoszcz and Torun), the region suffers from low levels of tertiary education. In 2017, 35.6% of people aged 30-34 years had at least a higher education degree, compared to the national average of 45.7%. 

RD&I and entrepreneurship indicators for Kujawsko-Pomarskie in the 2015-2017 period were below the Polish average, and there is a low level of innovation among companies in the region and limited collaboration between academia and business. However, the region had a higher number of enterprises participating in innovative activities and cluster cooperation compared to the national average. 


The latest RIS3 was adopted in June 2016. It defines eight smart specialisation themes:


  • Healthy and safe food – innovative production, processing, and packaging
  • Health and health tourism
  • Advanced materials and tools
  • Transport and mobility
  • Cultural heritage, arts and creative industries
  • ICT services
  • Eco-innovation – energy and resource efficiency
  • Industrial automation.

Management of RIS3 is the responsibility of the Central Implementation Office under the Board of the Voivodeship.

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