The Polish president visits Suwałki – 12.04.2013

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On the 12th of April the president visited the north-east region of Poland. This visit was partially related to the emerging Polish space industry.

The president of Poland, Mr Bronisław Komorowski, visited the Suwałki area on Friday, the 12th of April. The main aim of this visit was to sign the amendment of the law on technical modernization and funding of Polish armed forces. The secondary goal of this visit was related to the emerging space sector, which might be also in some form connected to the Suwałki area.

The second part of the visit took place at the Polska-Wschód Scientific Technology Park (PNTPW). The President toured the Park laboratories and later met with local government and enterprises representatives. This was a very interesting meeting from the development perspective of the space industry.

The meeting was opened by the president of Suwałki, Mr Czesław Renkiewicz. He recalled the history on the beginnings of the Special Economic Zone, the Park and the Higher Vocation School in Suwałki. In addition, the president of Suwałki described the policy of the city, which aims to ease the operating costs for local commerce. For example, commercial entities can request a lower property tax if they create new jobs. Moreover, the president of Suwałki talked about graduates, who once lived in this city and some of the incentives to encourage these young people to come back.

Next, the president of the PNTPW park, Mr Wiktor Raczkowski, presented the offer of this entity and its companies. Mr Raczkowski pointed out that the PNTPW’s main goal is to create a proper environment for hi-tech companies to exist in Suwałki. With this announcement, Mr Raczkowski introduced the next speaker – Mr Maciej Urbanowicz and plans, in which he takes part and which are related to Suwałki.

Maciej Urbanowicz described his previous experiences in space-related projects, including the first Polish satellite, PW-Sat. He also talked about the Polish entry to the European Space Agency (ESA). Both PW-Sat and ESA membership happened last year.

After talking about recent achievements, Maciej Urbanowicz mentioned a project, which might be a “game changer” for Suwałki. This task is currently being started by an international team of experts, both foreign and Polish. In a result, a space sector company is being created, that will focus on projects in the Earth Observation, communications and small satellite domains. The foreseen activities include the development and production of hardware and software for ground- and space-based applications. However, Maciej did not give any further details, which are to be announced sometime within the next few months.

After Maciej Urbanowicz’s presentation, the president of Poland began his talk. Mr Komorowski is pleased to see such development in eastern Poland, a region he comes from. The president pointed out how important Suwałki are, as well as nearby installations – both the PNTPW park and the NATO radar site, which is being built in the nearby town of Szypliszki.

This recent meeting is a good example for the growing interest of Polish political elites in the development of the space industry in the country.

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