The government wants to help startups and boost Polish innovation by establishing the Fund of Funds. With 500 M in the pocket, this would be the largest investment programme in Poland.
On March 11th, 2016, The government announced the establishment of the largest Fund of Funds in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe. With a budget of nearly PLN 500 million, the fund will support start-ups and the development of innovation. Funds for this purpose will be allocated by the PZU Group and other private investors, in cooperation with the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) which will serve as a catalyst for the development of innovative technology companies with a Polish element.
“We want the Polish economy to be competitive. We must therefore base the economic growth on the resources of Polish science. The creation of the Fund of Funds is a milestone on this road. We build an entrepreneur-friendly ecosystem for those who commercialise research results. We will thus forge the potential of Polish innovators into economic success,” says Jarosław Gowin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Higher Education.
The NCBR, PZU SA and PZU TFI signed a letter of intent on cooperation on commercialisation of research results today at the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. This is the first step to create a Fund of Funds which will invest in the development of innovative technology companies. Thanks to this initiative, companies that bring the greatest value to the Polish economy as a result of research commercialisation will also be able to benefit from the co-investment programme to be prepared by the NCBR. The innovative funding formula will enable innovative Polish projects overcome the investment gap challenge.
“Polish universities, research institutes and science institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences all germinate many innovative solutions. However, their originators often have difficulties with reaching investors to obtain project funding. By directing a stream of funds towards them, and at the same time leveraging the know-how of our partners, we remove another barrier that restricts R&D commercialisation,” says NCBR Deputy Director Prof. Jerzy Kątcki.
Experienced experts from the PZU Group will ensure that the Fund is managed according to tested market practices. The joint initiative will help attract the best venture capitalists to Poland.
“We would like projects with the greatest potential and a chance for rapid commercialization receive support. Investments in innovative, knowledge-based economy require an ecosystem created by the involvement of many entities. What should be emphasised is the position of PZU as the most active and the most advanced investor in terms of knowledge and technology in this latitude,” says Paweł Surówka, Member of the Management Board of PZU, responsible for investments.
The establishment of the Fund is one of the tools implementing the assumptions of the government Plan for Responsible Development and writes itself into the initiative to support innovative Polish startups.
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