During a recent expose, prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has brought attention to the fact that 75% of deaths in Poland are caused by cancer and cardiovascular diseases. In hopes to put a larger emphasis on preventive care, as well as on treatments of these prevalent health issues, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education has decided to invest in the biomedical industry.
On a global scale, the biomedical industry is considered to be very promising in terms of innovation potential, so the investment does not come as a surprise. In the next few years, Poland is planning to allocate half a billion Zloty to the development of IB-Med, which will be the name of the newly created Institute of Medical Biotechnology. The ministry hopes that the Institute will serve as a first step towards Poland becoming a real contender in the global pharmaceutical market. Part of the investment will also go towards the development of innovative products, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic methods.
According to the Ministry’s plan, Wroclaw’s EIT+ Research Centre will conduct a search for the best research teams in the country. Each of the selected teams will be fronted by a scientific leader chosen in an open competition, with a stress on the candidates having world-class scientific accomplishments. The leader will get the task of assembling their research team, and will go on to managing their work as a whole. The research teams and their leaders will get to conduct their day-to-day work in their home scientific units, so the grants will not be spent on brand new laboratories and science centers, but on the research work itself.
Down the line, the products developed at the IB-Med institute will go on to be commercialized. This process will be conducted by a special technology transfer team. The ministry is planning to hire professionals with specific market experience for the team, such as investment fund analysts, and patent attorneys.
Through this approach, the ministry hopes to make most of the Polish scientists’ potential, who are already conducting world-class studies in the medical biotechnology field. The success of this endeavor will be ensured by the involvement of European experts from the intellectual property sector.
Due to the focus on commercialization, the ministry has already figured out the strategy for the allocation of profits of the implemented products. The funds gained directly from the researched methods and products are to be divided between the institute and the teams’ home scientific units in order to relegate most of the profits towards future studies. This way, the initial investment of half a billion Zloty will multiply, and fuel the national R&D market in the biotechnological and pharmaceutical sectors.
As for the financial support of the research, it will not come as a single large sum – funds for the Institute’s work will be relegated in 5-year cycles. The specific method of funding is innovative on its own, as the money will not be assigned to the entire project, but to each sponsored team’s leader. This way, the research team will gain access to effective reactive tools able to adapt dynamically to the work’s progress, and won’t have to strictly rely on a schedule of their project when it comes to money allocation.