Znak Politechniki Warszawskiej

WUT CZIiTT, or How Science Meets Business

A scientist needs a business partner for his project; a company looks for innovative solutions to implement. The scientist does not boast about his research, the company does not want its competitors to learn about its designs. How do the scientist and the company find each other, meet and communicate? The Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer Management of the Warsaw University of Technology provides support in such cases.

The Centre has been formally established a little over a year ago, on 19 November 2015. The construction of the facility was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the Operational Programme for the Mazowieckie Voivodeship 2007–2013, and using national funds.

Common use of achievements made by scientists and students is a great challenge for any university, not just for the Warsaw University of Technology. WUT CZIiTT supports such endeavours. The Centre is composed of seven departments that support innovation in different ways.

Internal Research and Supporting Scientists

The Research and Analysis Department initiates and executes interdisciplinary research projects. RAD is an interdisciplinary team of researchers with large experience in scientific and commercial research; its employees are knowledgeable and competent in sociology, economy, psychology, IT, social policy, and cultural studies. “We strive to create projects that take advantage of our scientists’ potential, as well as skills and experience of the department’s employees with respect to social and economic research”, explains Anna Rogowska, Director of WUT CZIiTT. “During a single year of operation, we have conducted 36 research projects for WUT bodies and WUT’s social and economic community; over 3,000 respondents have been studied as part of these projects”.

The department uses professional research software (CADAS Software, IBM SPSS Statistics, STATISTICA, Tableau, Atlas.ti) and modern equipment: a network of laboratories (including for social research, data processing and analyses, design works), research facilities (creativity and focus), and recording studios.

Commercialisation of solutions prepared at WUT is the purpose of the Commercialisation and Technology Transfer Department. Employees of this part of WUT CZIiTT help in establishing contact between scientists and companies, provide support in negotiations, and in sales or licensing. “To date, in cooperation with the Institute of Applied Research of the Warsaw University of Technology, we have helped to conclude 18 licensing agreements”, says the Centre’s Director.

WUT CZIiTT also places particular emphasis on supporting our University’s employees and students in obtaining EU structural fund grants for research, education and investment projects. It is the purpose of the Project Support Department. By cooperating with PSD, WUT bodies have concluded agreements for the total value of PLN 53 million, as part of the EU financial perspective 2014–2020.

Care About Continuous Development

Young research teams operating at the University can count on the support of the Development of Young Researchers’ Innovation Department. Three laboratories are at their disposal: for analysis and simulation, for prototyping methods and the laboratory for tool support of scientific and didactic operations, as well as rooms for group activities and meetings. Young scientists also have the opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship, new technologies, and to develop their skills in seminars, conferences, workshops and training courses co-organized by DYRID. “Over 7,000 of our undergraduate and graduate students from over 50 science clubs”, says Anna Rogowska. “We have supported several interesting research projects, such as PW-Sat2 of the Student Astronautics Club – the second student satellite from the University, or the Droplet – a vehicle with minimum fuel consumption of the Vehicle Aerodynamics Student Research Club”.

The department collaborates with WUT’s Scientific Clubs Council, Doctoral Students’ Council, Student Government, and the Rector’s Team for Innovative Teaching Methods (INFOX WUT).

Does my project have the potential to develop it into a company? Searching for an answer to this question is the purpose of the Centre’s Innovation Incubator (ININ). Three support programmes have been prepared for entrepreneurs and start-ups: Start (to verify the idea), Market (to bring about its market début), and Global (to expand its market coverage). Clients that take advantage of ININ have the opportunity to meet experienced businesspersons or even actual clients. ININ provides 20 offices for future entrepreneurs.

On the other hand, the Education Support Department organizes training courses and workshops. It also participates in the execution of educational projects and prepares meetings and discussions promoting cooperation between the academic community and entrepreneurs. The purpose is to spread knowledge of innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialisation, as well as to teach efficient communication between both communities.

All activities of WUT CZIiTT are supported by the Organization Department. It takes care of the body’s ongoing operations and oversees the organization of various events related to the Centre’s activities. “Throughout this year, over 700 events with over 40,000 participants have taken place here”, states Anna Rogowska.

New Enterprises

An agreement between the Warsaw University of Technology and Arrinera Technology S.A. has been recently concluded at the Centre. A competition for undergraduate and graduate students for defended Engineering, Master’s and Doctoral Theses thematically related to the automotive industry was announced under this agreement.

The latest enterprise is the opening of the FabSpace laboratory, which provides spatial and satellite data in the form of open resources. It is an effect of cooperation with WUT’s Faculty of Geodesy and Cartography.

In slightly over a year, we have managed to create a place which is already recognized as a centre for the support of cooperation between science, business and public administration, and for conducting research projects in this area”, says Anna Rogowska. “It’s all thanks to the enormous commitment of our employees”.

WUT CZIiTT’s website: http://www.cziitt.pw.edu.pl/

 

Agnieszka Kapela

Office for Promotion and Information