According to the Europe 2020 Strategy, effective use of public funds for projects that are based on a strong partnership between businesses, research institutions and public institutions especially in the area of science and business will create smart specialization. The primary effect of such actions is to stimulate entrepreneurship both in the local and regional level. University of Lodz also joined into activities whose aim was creating smart specialization. Cooperation between science and business with the use of European funds allows for to develop practical courses of study based on regional specializations. These activities will allow for the effective learning professionals who directly after graduation can support the company based on regional specializations. Lodz region has a huge potential in terms of creating practical courses of study based on regional specializations.
The study of European funds made it possible to create new avenues of practical studies based on regional specializations. Below are examples of projects at the University of Lodz in cooperation with the business. The new financial perspective 2014 - 2020, developing regional economy and the number of universities creates the potential for the development of joint research projects and new practical fields of study. Previous experiences of joint research projects aimed at creating new fields of study allow an indication of the huge potential of the Lodz region in this regard.
The best practice can be used the results of research projects e.g.:
- Sustainable Development of Tourism region of Lodz
- DRIM project
- Analysis of the Processes in the Polish Labour Market and Social Inclusion in the Context of Economic Policy (realization period Sep 2011 - Oct 2015)
- PRACTIS - Privacy-Appraising Challenges to Technologies and Ethics. Partners: Interdisciplinary Center for Technology Analysis and Forecasting at Tel Aviv University (Israel), Université de Namur ASBL (Belgium), Fundacja Europejskiej Współpracy Naukowej (Poland), Turun Yliopisto (Finland), The Interdisciplinary Centre for Comparative Research in the Social Sciences – ICCR (Austria), Tel Aviv University (Israel), Nexus Institut für Kooperationsmanagement und interdisziplinäre Forschung GmbH (Germany), Uniwersytet Łódzki (Poland)
- Green Infrastructure and Urban Biodiversity for Sustainable Urban Development and the Green Economy Partners: Kobenhavns Universitet (Denmark), Helsingin Yliopisto (Finland), Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin (Germany), Technische Universität Muenchen (Germany), Wageningen University (Netherlands), Stockholms Universitet (Sweden), Forestry Commission Research Agency (United Kingdom), Iclei European Secretariat Gmbh (Germany), Metropolitan Research Institute Ltd. (Hungary), Universita Degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro" (Italy), Triple Me Holding Bv (Netherlands), Uniwersytet Łódzki (Poland), Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet (Sweden), Fundação da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal), Univerza v Ljubljani (Slovenia), Technische Universität Berlin (Germany), Institut za trajnostni razvoj (Slovenia), Lavaco podjetje za gradbenistvo in trgovino doo (Slovenia), TISA doo (Slovenia), Profin Service Srl (Italy), C-O-M-B-I-N-E Arkitekter Ab (Sweden), Scandinavian Branding As (Denmark), Seebauer, Wefers und Partner Gbr (Germany), Eco-Metrica Limited (United Kingdom)
- „Innovative recourses and effective methods of safety improvement and durability of buildings and transport infrastructure in the sustainable development” financed by the European Union from the European Fund of Regional Development based on the Operational Program of the Innovative Economy coordinated by Lodz University of Technology, 2010-2013
- Dendrimers in biomedical applications
- Assessment of the bioaccumulation of selected metals in benthic invertebrates (Chironomidae) displaying various adaptations to the environment
- Biological traits of pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) favouring the species’ invasion in view of predicted climatic changes
University of Lodz was a platform for cooperation between the main stakeholders in the region in the field of work related to the creation of regional specialization. The study included:
• Micro, small, medium and large companies operating in the territory of the Lodz region
• Experts representing units, i.e.: public universities, private universities, research - development centres of excellence, research foundations, regional innovation centres, industrial research institutes, technology transfer centres, technology parks, regional development agencies, business support institutions, regional inspectorates of the province of Lodz.
Mapping relationships was conducted in five stages:
Phase I - development of a catalogue of technological processes within each of the four key technologies for the Lodz region (nanotechnology, biotechnology, mechatronics, ICT), essential for the development of specialization, based on available research strategies, methods of forecasting the type of Foresight and indications entrepreneurs (under consideration They are taken primarily those processes for which there is scientific and research potential in the Lodz region).
Phase II - Identification of areas of economic specialization based on the classification NACE.
Phase III - Examination of the relationship between identified (in phase I) and the technologies identified (stage II) economic areas (PKD) - Identification of processes essential for the functioning of the economic area.
Phase IV - Identification of related technological processes (within each of the areas of business (PKD)) grouping of technological processes - the creation of innovative subcategories for the economic area.
Phase V - Analysis of innovative sub-categories for all areas of economic activity (NACE) for their mutual complementarity and synergy. The most common relationship (between subcategories) have become the basis for the identification of niches of specialization.
University of Lodz participated in many of initiatives that aim was the development of entrepreneurship in the context of regional specialization. An example of action may be development of new courses corresponding to the needs for: elderly people; protection environment; entrepreneurial skills for young people; corresponding to the new social challenges like climate changes, Bioeconomy clusters, Clusters for healthy life, etc. On this basis created new courses corresponding to the demands of regional specializations, e.g. on the basis on Biotechnology
and Environmental Protection created courses Economics of Ecobusiness and Economics of Ecocity;
Organization of new courses (master degree) as the common Programme of Teaching (Programme of the Revitalization of Cities), proposed by the University of Lodz and Technical University of Lodz.
University of Lodz also began to transform the courses of study for more practical alluding at the same time cooperate with companies that operate in areas related to regional specializations eg. Company W4E - renewable sources; BIOWIN company - regional products.
Within the new study courses began to be formed student scientific circles on topics related with regional specializations for example Student Scientific Circles Ecobusiness Economics. The Student Scientific Circles enable students to collaborate research - scientific related to regional specializations.
University of Lodz in applying for grants for research projects promotes research aimed at the development of smart specialization thereby encouraging especially young scientists to create projects in cooperation to regional companies. University of Lodz promote closer cooperation with regional institutions through preparation joint curricula with business and local government for specific regional needs; joint research projects and educational whose subjects and objectives are concentrated on regional specializations.
The University of Lodz does not have created a special department that deals a strictly the development of regional specializations at the University. Generally staff and scientific - teaching at the University of Lodz and students collaborating with the different stakeholders both internal and external, i.e. at the central level and at the level of Departments (at all levels of research - teaching) have the awareness of the importance of regional specialization. Specialties regional penetrate in all activities of the University of Lodz in both scientific work and teaching - where possible. It can be said that the University of Lodz conducts a general policy whose aim is to promote cooperation with regional authorities, businesses and other institutions, scientific - research in the development of smart specialization.
Prof. Zofia Wysokińska
Vice - Rector of the University of Lodz in Charge of International Affairs
Project Officer at The University of Lodz, Coordinator of The Regional Contact Point for EU research programmes