„From Wrocław Technology Park to INNOPOLIS Wrocław” – this is the name for our multi-year project, the objective of which is to provide conditions to current and future residents of WTP so that they can conduct and develop market-competitive business activities which are characterized by substantial use of innovation, advanced technologies or manufacturing of cutting-edge technology products. Its implementation stage was completed in 2015.
By creating a friendly environment for the development of small and medium companies we have focused both on reducing restrictions in access to modern R&D infrastructure – in order to do that, we have equipped our laboratories and prototyping facilities with modern instruments; and reducing restrictions in access to technology – licenses, patents and know-how. In the established financial model of the project we, as the Business Environment Institution, provide final beneficiaries, i.e. our residents, with funds granted for the project by offering the de minimis aid when charging our residents for using the infrastructure.
The project, the cost of which amounted to PLN 182.72 million, was co-financed from the Innovative Economy Operational Programme 2007-2013. 64% of the funds was used to build 5 office-laboratory and technology buildings which are part of the INNOPOLIS complex, namely: Alfa, Delta, Omega, Lambda and Sigma. The area available for our residents is 34,000 sqm and it is more or less divided equally into laboratory, office and technical facilities (1/3 of the area for each function). It is worth mentioning that this area can accommodate even 1750 employees.
The buildings are used and managed by an intelligent management system, BMS, which is used, e.g. to optimize the energy consumption. In one of the technology buildings there is a trigeneration energy source with the power of 0.6 MWe which consists of two gas engine cogenerators (CHP) which are connected to an absorption chiller that uses the waste heat from processes. Local power house is adapted to, so called, ‘island operation’ in case of power failure of the main grid. It allows to keep the important laboratory equipment up and running.
Within the framework of the project we not only created a modern infrastructure, but we also provided appropriate facilities based on the needs of our residents. We allocated PLN 63 million to the purchase of highest quality research-technology equipment and this allowed us to create 12 specialized laboratories, workshops and prototyping rooms, namely:
- Laboratory and Prototype Workshop of Chemistry and Biotechnology
- Laboratory and Prototype Workshop of Materials and Biomedical Engineering
- Laboratory of Scaling Chemical Process
- Laboratory of Cryogenics and Gas Technologies
- Laboratory of Material Properties
- Laboratory of Optics, Photonics and Metrology
- Laboratory of Electronics, Mechatronics and Spintronics
- Laboratory of Energetics
- Laboratory of Data Digitization, Transmission, Storage and Protection
- Modelling and Collocation and Hosting Centre
- Laboratory and Prototype Workshop of Mechanics
- Laboratory of Non-Destructive Research
The laboratories operate in several overlapping areas like energy, material properties and engineering, chemistry, biochemistry and biotechnology, IT and digitization, electronics and mechatronics. They are complementary, thus allow to conduct a series of interdisciplinary R&D projects in one place.
The completion of the project enabled to decrease restrictions – both financial and infrastructural – for companies that want to implement their innovative projects. Our support in the form of the de minimis aid significantly reduces restrictions related to entering a market with innovative products. It also reduces investment expenditures or the level of risk associated with advanced production technologies implementation. Having lower costs at the beginning of market existence greatly speeds up the growth of companies and allows them to become competitive entities in a shorter period of time. This is particularly important for businesses that are at the beginning of their market path, e.g. those originating from incubators of entrepreneurship or, so called, spin-outs which are based on technology and patents created in research institutes.