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Visit by Commissioner Hahn

Commissioner Hahn is travelling to the Podlaskie region ("Voivodeship") in Poland on 4 October 2012 to visit EU co financed projects and to attend the 40th Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions General Assembly. He will also meet with Ms Elzbieta Bienkowska, Polish Minister for Regional Development, in Warsaw.

What are the region’s priorities?

The Podlaskie region has borders with Lithuania and Belarus. Its capital is Byałystok. With a population of 1.19 million and GDP per head of 44,7% of the EU average in 2010, the Podlaskie region is a convergence region with a genuine economic potential, especially under the aspect of smart specialization.

Food processing, light industry, wood industry and the production of machines are of great importance in the region's economy. The regional government of Podlaskie encourages innovation and the use of modern technologies in these sectors

Other dynamic branches of the local economy are in the business sector, such as consulting and advisory services, as well as banking and protection services.

The region follows three main objectives wit are in line with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy:

- Make the region more attractive to investors

- Boost the competitiveness of the enterprises, both nationally and internationally.

- Develop tourism focused on the region's natural and cultural heritage.

What contribution does the EU’s regional policy make?

To fulfil these objectives, the EU contributes with 673 million to the financing of the programme 'Podlaskie' which has with a total budget of around EUR 0.79 billion. It is approximately 0.95 % of the total EU money invested in Poland under Cohesion policy 2007-2013.

The Programme aims to create around 14 000 new jobs and generate an additional GDP growth of 2.88% and sets up following priorities:

  • Boost innovation and support entrepreneurship via direct support to businesses - both in sector of manufacturing and services - in order to improve competitiveness and innovation, especially in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), and measures to create investment zones and enhance the cooperation between the Research & Development sector and SMEs.

  • Development and modernisation of transport infrastructure with regional road and railway connections as well as local road schemes to link rural areas to their next located cities and a better urban transport.

  • Boost tourism to attract tourists from abroad and to extend the average stay by offering an integrated tourism product that is less dependent on high seasons via investments in enterprises in the tourism sector and improvements in tourist accommodation services.

  • Improve the use and take-up of the internet by providing the required IT infrastructure -local broadband networks, Public Access Points, informatisation of public offices- and appropriate e-services in administration, health protection, education, culture and sport.

  • Preserve the natural heritage by infrastructure investments reducing negative impacts on the environment like waste management, water and wastewater installations, risk prevention measures and biodiversity measures to promote renewable energy sources.
  • Improve social infrastructure like the quality of education and the quality and accessibility of medical and social care services in the health sector.

Project examples

  • Website to inform the public on the Regional operational programme for Podlaskie Voivodeship 2007-2013: EU contribution EUR 13,432

    This website is one of the most important tools in the communication strategy adopted by Poland’s Podlaskie Voivodeship province. It presents comprehensive, detailed information on EU co-financed investments (including presentations, photos, and maps showing the investment location) and programme beneficiaries. It enables the user to quickly and efficiently search for the required information, and helps to promote the programme and investments to various audience groups. The website provides user friendly tools with which to examine the effects and see the implementation status of projects. Moreover it presents initiatives and examples of best practice that have significantly contributed to the growth of Podlaskie province. This projects has receive the European Commission "RegioStars Award 2012" in the Category "Information and communication".

  • Anatomic fixation of femur injuries by applying the implant technology by ChM LLC: EU contribution EUR 517,307

    The ChM company is a manufacturer of specialist implants, orthopaedics and traumatology instruments. An intramedullary nail called CHARFIX is an innovative product that ChM launched onto the market. With the help of the EU co-financing, the company could invest in specialized machines in order to manufacture CHARFIX nails needed by surgeons and it developed solutions to enable surgeons to make a smaller incision in the patient's body during an operation. As a consequence the wound would heal quicker and an organism would accept the implant or a nail easier.

  • Enhancing the competitiveness and the growth of PLUM company’s production and technological capability: EU contribution EUR 599,680

    PLUM LLC is a manufacturer of advanced industrial electronics. This project aimed to expand its production of innovative products – the controllers of heating technology, as well as to increase the production capacity of the firm by building a new production plant. The investment enabled PLUM LLC to produce innovative heating technology controllers on a large scale, the company’s competitiveness and its technological capabilities have increased considerably and the entire production process has been modernized. Moreover, the project enabled the company not to be dependent of one single industry, namely the natural gas industry and it has increased the flexibility of its business activities. 24 new jobs were created.

  • Enhancing the capability of Bialystok University of Technology through the extension and equipment of its teaching and laboratory facilities: EU contribution EUR 1,920,959

    Bialystok University of Technology is the largest technical university in the North-EDastern Poland. The project implementation will enable the creation of modern education and research infrastructure focused on the needs of highly qualified specialists-engineers in the fields of construction, renewable energies, energy efficiency, environmental protection, biomedical engineering, agricultural and forestry engineering, and nanotechnology.

    The project involves modernizing more than 1,700 m2 of teaching areas at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering with the adequate multimedia equipment. Scientists' and engineers' seminars and conferences will be held and six new laboratories will be built. Six new fields of studies and two new specializations will be offered. By 2016, 14 000 students and university employees should benefit from this new infrastructure.


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