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The second day of impact’17, the largest conference in Central and Eastern Europe devoted to innovation and entrepreneurship, began with an important announcement. Six companies – Dirlango, Ghelamco, MCI Capital, Onet – RAS Poland, Polpharma and T-Mobile Poland – will join their efforts in supporting the development of digital economy in Poland under a common banner of a brand new initiative Digital Poland.

“We want Poland to take advantage of the opportunities of digital transformation and to consolidate its position in the global innovation ecosystem,” said Aleksander Kutela, the president of the Digital Poland foundation. “We believe that the prerequisites for success are strengthening the cooperation with global entrepreneurial hubs, international promotion, and development of an innovation ecosystem similar to the ones in Silicon Valley, London, or Zurich.”

Anna Streżyńska, the Polish Minister of Digital Affairs, presented the progress made on the implementation of the mDokuments program, which was announced during impact’16. The digital IDs are just a first step in the GOVtech program that aims to reduce the bureaucracy of all administrative issues.

“We are breaking down the barriers between individual digital services,” said Streżyńska. “We have already proven that the benefits are worth our efforts – currently, our digital platforms are flooded with over 250 thousand Poles who prefer to register in the computer systems instead of visiting physical offices.”

One of the most important topics discussed during impact’17 was the implementation of the 5G network. Tim Höttges, the CEO of Deutsche Telekom, stressed that introducing 5G requires a lot of cooperation, fair competition, and decreasing the administrative barriers. “I came to this conference to tell you that Poland will be one of the first countries with 5G network,” he said. “I would like to invite all of you, including the Polish startup ecosystem, to cooperate with us and to share your ideas.”

He also suggested that since not all funds for the broadband internet access from the “Digital Poland” program were distributed so far, the remaining funds could be invested in the 5G network. “I would like to propose a digital partnership between the Polish authorities and Deutsche Telekom. This partnership would support an ambitious 5G road map, i.e. a 5G-connected city by the end of 2020,” said Höttges.

During the second day of impact’17, special keynotes were devoted to topics such as biotechnology & digital health, creative industries, foodtech & agritech, and techcity, proving that innovation in the economy doesn’t end solely in the media industry.

Jadwiga Emilewicz, the Undersecretary of State at the Poland’s Ministry of Economic Development, summed up the first year of Start in Poland program, which was announced during impact’16 conference. The program supports Polish startups at all stages of their development, from incubation, through acceleration, to international expansion. She stressed that the assets of Poland lie not in natural resources, but in the people – world’s best programmers and bold, creative entrepreneurs.

“The protagonists of the fourth industrial revolution are both large companies and smart, agile startups.  We want our program to support the implementation of the most beneficial type of cooperation between the “big and small”,” she said.