Marine Biotechnology in Poland
Overarching science strategies, plans and policies
There are no specific Marine Biotechnology strategies, plans or policies in Poland. Relevant Polish research strategies are described in different documents, including:
- The National Research Programme describes the overall Polish government’s research strategy.
- The National Scientific Research and Development Programme describes Polish government’s strategy on research and development and defines priority research areas .
- The Applied Research Programme covers the Polish government’s strategy on applied research .
- The Basis for the Maritime Policy of the Republic of Poland until 2020 describes the overall Polish government’s maritime policy .
- The Strategy on Development of Polish Maritime Economy for the years 2007-2015 (project).
- The Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education’s document titled Biotechnology describes the priorities of strategy on biotechnology and defines biotechnology itself as one of the most important fields of science for Polish economy .
- In March 2008, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education adopted the Action plan: towards the development of industrial biotechnology in Poland. This action plan addresses mainly two types of activities: research and development activities (R&D) as well as system activities (policy) .
Research funding schemes and programmes
- The Ministry of Science and Higher Education is the main institution financing research and development projects except for military research .
- The National Centre for Research and Development (NCRD) manages and executes strategic research and development programmes, funds applied research and innovation projects and supports commercialization or other forms of transfer of scientific research results .
- The National Science Centre (NSC) supports basic research by funding research projects carried out by Polish scientists and research teams, both on the domestic and international level, as well as doctoral fellowships and post-doctoral internships. NCNs annual budget is around € 230M, with about € 0,2 M being spent on marine biotechnology .
- The Ministry of Science and Higher Education adopted the Action plan: towards the development of industrial biotechnology in Poland. This action plan addresses mainly two types of activities: research and development activities (R&D) as well as system activities (policy).The main R&D activities are:
- Unique and improved biocatalysts, metabolites and microorganisms of new generation as essential tools for bioprocesses
- Production of biodegradable biomaterials and polymers
- Integrated biorefineries – bioprocesses for production of new generation of liquid and gaseous biofuels and recovery of high value added components from by-products and wastes
General research priorities from strategic plans in biotechnology and marine research include:
- Fisheries and aquaculture research
- Industrial biotechnology
- Bio-based industries
- Securing human and animal health
- Biodiscovery and sustainable exploitation of the Baltic Sea resources
- Green energy
- Climate change research
- Pollution monitoring, prevention and remediation
- Preservation of Baltic Sea ecosystem
In December 2005, a conference on the “Perspectives and trends in development of biotechnology in Poland until 2013” was organised by the Polish Academy of science. One of the main foci was placed on the development of industrial biotechnology. As a result of this conference, the following trends for the development of industrial biotechnology were placed on the agenda to develop through 2013:
- Microbial genomics and bioinformatics
- Metabolic engineering and modelling
- Biocatalyst function and optimisation
- Biocatalyst process design
- Innovative fermentation science and engineering
- Bioproduct isolation and purification
- Novel enzymes and microorganisms
There are no strategic documents in the field of marine biotechnology or marine bioprospecting.
Infrastructures and coordination and support capacities / initiatives
- The Polish Biotechnology Platform is one of the 28 technological platforms in Poland. It carries out research programmes in the field of biotechnology, which are strategic from the point of view of Polish government and EU .
- The Sea Research Committee supports research in the field of oceanology and performs the function of the National Committee for cooperation with Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research .
- The Department of Genetics and Marine Biotechnology of Institute of Oceanology of Polish Academy of Sciences performs researches on biochemistry and genetics of marine organisms .
- The Institute of Oceanography of the Univeristy of Gdańsk conducts scientific research in the coastal zone of the shelf seas and implements national and international projects in the field of oceanography .
- The Centre of Excellence for Baltic Development, Education and Research (BALTDER) focuses on research in the field of marine ecology, biology, chemistry and physical oceanography .
- The Maritime Institute is a Polish maritime research and development entity .
- National Marine Fisheries Research Institute is the Poland’s oldest marine science center .
- Pomeranian Science and Technology Park provides excellent conditions for development of high technology-based ideas, mainly in biotechnology, environment protection, computer science, electronics and telecommunication and industrial design .
- Gdansk Science and Technology Park is a facet for cooperation between science and business and promotes entrepreneurship, activity, development and creativity. It takes part in the “Submariner” project .
- Centre of Excellence “Environmental Biotechnology Research Centre” DEMETER is one of the leading Polish research centres in the field of environmental biotechnology with wide contacts in whole Europe with research centres involved in environmental engineering .
- Centre of Excellence BIOMOBIL is the academic department in Gdansk which performs biotechnology research .
- Department of Environmental Biotechnology develops advanced technologies based on biological systems to improve efficiency and reduce or utilise waste to benefit a wide range of industries and the environment .
- The West Pomeranian Maritime Cluster 
- In 2012, Poland operates 3 local/coastal vessels from 12,17m to 32,5 m (), 2 regional vessels of 41m and 48,93m (Baltica, Oceania), 1 oceanic of 60,3m (Nawigator XXI), registered at the European Research Vessels Infobase  .
- In 2012, Poland maintains about 2 large marine research equipments registered in the European large Exchangeable instruments database .
The Polish Technology Platform for Biotechnology has been established in January 2005 in the framework of the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem). It is coordinated by the Technical University of Lodz and the Centre of Excellence of Industrial Biotechnology. It gathers 18 industrial partners, 5 advanced technology centres, 7 centers of excellence, 4 research institutes, the Polish Federation of Biotechnology and the National Contact Points for EU Research Programmes of the EU. The main objectives of the platform are:
- to build a platform between science and industry in scope of development of new biotechnologies
- to integrate key economic and research partners interested in technologies based on bioprocesses
- to build a strategy for developing modern biotechnology in Poland
- to elaborate implementation methods of new biotechnologies in industrial processes, health care, environment and agriculture
- to take optimum advantage of Structural Funds
- to participate actively in European Research Programmes
- to promote biotech processes and products
- to cooperate in creating policies and law facilitating the development of biotechnology
Observations, trends and future prospects
Biotechnology is considered by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education as one of the most important fields of science, which the Polish economy may benefit from a lot. There have been numerous investments in infrastructure for biotechnology research centres, which indicates how important role will play the biotechnology in the Polish economy in the nearest future. It surely concerns marine biotechnology as well. Although an overall strategy for marine biotechnology or bioprospecting has not been developed yet, it will be surely developed in the future, because the Polish government makes the effort to develop comprehensive strategies for all sectors of economy and research.
This draft country profile is based on available online information sources and contributions from various country experts and stakeholders. It does not aim nor claim to be complete or final, but should be considered as a dynamic and living information resource that will be elaborated, updated and improved as more information becomes available, including further inputs from experts and stakeholders.