The aims of the Cohesion Policy for 2007-2013 are closely associated with the implementation of the key priorities of the renewed Lisbon Strategy, outlined in the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs. They include support for innovation, entrepreneurship and knowledge-based economy, through development of research and innovation capabilities, new ICTc as well as supporting investment in human capital.
These aims of the Cohesion Policy in Poland have been specified in the National Cohesion Strategy (National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013), a document outlining the use of EU funds granted to Poland for 2007-2013 under EU structural funds programmes (European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund) and the Cohesion Fund.
The strategic objective of the NCS is to create the conditions for the improvement of competitiveness of Poland’s economy, which should be based on knowledge and entrepreneurship, provide more jobs and ensure a higher level of social, economic and spatial cohesion. The detailed objectives of the NCS are:
- Improving human quality capital and enhancing social cohesion (Objective 2),
- Improving the competitiveness and innovativeness of enterprises, including in particular the manufacturing sector with high added value and development of the services sector (Objective 4).
The objectives of the National Cohesion Strategy are implemented, inter alia, through operational programmes managed by the Ministry of Regional Development and by Voivodeship administrations.
The Ministry of Science and Higher Education also takes part in the implementation of these objectives as an Intermediate Body for three operational programmes managed by the Ministry of Regional Development. They include the following:
- Infrastructure and Environment Operational Programme
- Innovative Economy Operational Programme
which implement Priorities supported by the ERDF, and
- Human Capital Operational Programme
co-financed by the ESF.
Investments in the R&D sector and in higher education are essential for creating favourable conditions for the development of knowledge-based economy. It is particularly important to support research in areas of major significance for the economic and social development of the country, to stimulate involvement of entrepreneurs in R&D activities, to modernize and expand research and university education infrastructure as well as to improve university teaching standards and adjust university education to the needs of the economy and the labour market. These are the focus areas of the aforementioned operational programmes with regard to science and higher education.
Out of the total amount of euro 85.6 billion (including euro 67.3 billion from the EU budget) for the implementation of the National Cohesion Policy, euro 4.15 billion (including euro 3.53 billion from the EU budget) has been allocated for science and higher education under the programmes for which the Ministry of Science and Higher Education is an Intermediate Body. This amount is split as follows between individual Priorities and Measures:
Operational Programme – Innovative Economy
Priority 1: Research and development of new technologies – EUR 1 299 270 589
Measure 1.1: Support for scientific research for the development of a knowledge-based economy – EUR 465 000 613
Measure 1.2: Improvement of the human potential of science – EUR 70 037 029
Measure 1.3: Support for R&D projects benefiting entrepreneurs and implemented by research centres – EUR 373 880 771
Measure 1.4: Support for goal-oriented projects – EUR 390 352 176
Priority 2: R&D infrastructure
Measure 2.1: Development of research centres with high potential – EUR 691 423 530
Measure 2.2: Support for the development of shared research infrastructure – EUR 349 117 647
Measure 2.3: Investments related to the development of science’s ICT infrastructure – EUR 258 729 412
Operational Programme – Infrastructure and Environment
Priority 13: Higher education infrastructure – EUR 588 235 294
Operational Programme – Human Capital
Priority 4: Higher education and science – EUR 960 366 839
Measure 4.1 Strengthening and development of didactic potential of universities, and increasing the number of graduates from faculties of key importance for knowledge-based economy – EUR 898 866 839
Measure 4.2. Developing staff qualifications in the R&D sector and increasing the awareness of the role of science in economic growth – EUR 61 500 000