A €365 million loan for the National Science Centre and a €177 million agreement in favour of the Polish Academy of Science will boost research, development and innovation (RDI) in Poland.
Both loans go to the Polish Ministry of Finance, which will provide state budget financing to these research institutions.
The financing agreements showcase the fruitful cooperation between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Republic of Poland in the science sector, which was kicked off in 2004 and has since seen the signature of more than 20 projects.
The European Investment Bank and the Polish Ministry of Finance have signed two loans to finance basic research grants disbursed by the National Science Centre and the RDI activities of the 70 research institutes that are affiliated with the Polish Academy of Science countrywide.
€365 million will go to the National Science Centre, which has benefited from EIB financing on five previous occasions. The money will fund research projects in all fields of science, technology and the humanities, either by individual researchers or by research teams. The Science Centre is based in Krakow, but the projects it supports are located across Poland. Another €177 million is dedicated to the Polish Academy of Science, one of the best-performing research organisations in Europe, with the objective of furthering scientific knowledge in all parts of society.
“Over the past decade, Poland has drastically increased its expenditure on research and development,” said EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska who is in charge of lending in Poland. “Nevertheless, the country needs to do more to reach the EU average and fulfil its own ambitious goals. With its continued support, the EIB is lending a helping hand. I am happy to see another two operations in the sector come to fruition. The loans will provide excellent researchers — many of them women and young people at the start of their career — with resources to conduct high quality work. This is an important step to achieving gender parity in science and keeping some of our brightest minds in the country.”
“Thanks to the agile use of the Bank's financial support as well as its knowledge and experience, we have been able to implement many projects of strategic importance for our economy for many years. Our excellent mutual cooperation is also showcased by these two financial agreements covering science, research and development. These fields, which are among the government's priorities, will help strengthen the competitiveness of the Polish economy in the long term,” said Tadeusz Kościński Minister of Finance, Development Funds and Regional Policy.
Both operations will contribute to the growth of the Polish economy, which is aiming to become increasingly knowledge-based. EIB-funding is especially important because capital markets fail to provide funds for basic research. The support for both scientific institutions will also go to projects in less advanced regions, thereby strengthening economic and social cohesion in the country and within Europe. The operations will create or secure quality jobs for researchers who might otherwise find it difficult to pursue their career in Poland. Each year, about 8 000 researchers at universities and research institutes receive funding from the National Science Centre. In addition, the financing provided to the Academy of Science will result in an estimated 14 000 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals. It is expected to support some 150 patent applications.
In 2020, the EIB Group allocated €5.2 billion to the financing of projects in Poland. Traditionally, the Bank’s public lending activity in Poland was focused on large transport infrastructure and urban development. In the past decade, research and development in the country moved centre stage. The current signature concludes the sixth EIB operation with the National Sciences Centre and the fourth operation with the Polish Academy of Sciences.
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