The Morawiecki Plan: a helping hand for Polish startups

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Poland’s new government, led by the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, has adopted a long term development plan for the country, aiming to boost innovation and improve Polish competitiveness on the international stage.

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Unveiled on February 16, 2016, by Development Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the long term “Plan for responsible development” is good news for Polish startups, as it aims to support innovation and promises large scale investments to make Poland more competitive internationally. The plan is based on five pillars:

  • reindustrialization (creating new competing advantages while supporting the existing ones; developing new and strong specializations of the Polish economy)
  • the development of innovative companies (creating a friendly environment for businesses, as well as a system that will support innovation)
  • capital injections and increased savings
  • foreign expansion (boosting both Polish exports and foreign investment in Poland; new economic diplomacy; promotion of Polish brands)
  • sustainable social and regional development (integrate small towns and rural areas into the country’s development processes; vocational training and labour market reform)

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The main assumptions of the Morawiecki Plan is to make Poland stand out when it comes to cybersecurity (the Cyberpark Enigma program, under which The National Center of Cybersecurity is to be created), the production of combat drones (Żwirko i Wigura program), and manufacturing of electric cars.

Undoubtedly, however, the main idea behind the new government initiative is the development of innovative Polish companies and startups. PLN 1 trillion is planned to be spent on investments over the next 25 years with up to PLN 80 billion located in development programs, carried out in cooperation with international institutions, such as The World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Here is what startups will get :

  • the amendment to The Innovation Act, expected to be introduced in July 2016
  • a completely new, improved Innovation Act planned for the first half of 2017
  • Start in Poland – a totally new initiative, aiming to foster closer operation with those responsible for innovation in leading companies.
  • new provisions on which EU co-financing will be awarded to the projects
  • new legal form for startups, which besides minimizing bureaucracy and providing significant incentives to locate investments in Poland, introduces already popular in the USA, modern investment mechanisms, such as convertible notes and option pools.
  • The Polish Development Fund, which will come from merging existing institutions, including The Export Credit Insurance Corporation (KUKE), The Polish National Economy Bank (BGK), The Polish Agency for Enterprise and Development (PARP), The Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ), Industrial Development Agency (ARP), and Polish Investments for Development (PIR).
  • Export Support Agency, an entity under the above Polish Development Fund, which will aim to support and encourage Polish exports
  • visas for the most entrepreneurial people, introduced to attract those with the potential to initiate and implement innovative business projects in Poland
  • annual hackathons to engage startups in dialogue with public administration authorities in Poland.  

Mr. Morawiecki and his team hope to hit the following targets: Poland’s GDP at 79%, the level of investment – 25% of GDP, the number of mall and medium sized companies to grow to 22 000 and Poland’s outward FDI to increase by 70% – all of that by 2020. The Morawiecki Plan has been the most ambitious plan so far in the history, hopefully it will go on well.

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The Morawiecki Plan: a helping hand for Polish startups