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If you can’t believe a city might undergo a complete transformation within just 25 years, take a look at Łódź, one of the biggest Polish metropolitan areas. It was once known as Europe’s biggest textile centre, yet when the industry declined in the 90s, the city had to rapidly reinvent itself. And what an amazing job it did!

If you’re still unconvinced, the recently revealed Strategy for the Sustainable Development of Łódź 2020+, shows exactly how creative, dynamic and innovative place this city can be.

Now Łódź is best known for its focus on knowledge, technology and innovation, especially in the fields of electrotechnology, domestic appliances production, BPO, IT, logistics, as well as pharmaceutical science. That’s why R&D is crucial in the development of this metropolitan area; it gives it an undeniable advantage over competitors and attracts investors.

However, everyone is aware that innovation powered by the cooperation of businesses with universities. Łódź is lucky in that respect – as a busy academic centre, it manages to provide the job market with around 30 thousand graduates each year. The innovation and talent-focused business sector is more than happy to give them an opportunity to shine.

One such place is BioNanoPark, part of Technopark Łódź, where business and science meet. This modern implementation centre is everything you can imagine, and more. There are bio- and nanotechnology labs full of high-end equipment. Young companies can join the incubator programme, which gives them an access to office infrastructure at preferential prices, as well as free consulting, training and promotion. BioNanoPark definitely has a lot to brag about – since it was established, over 100 companies have benefited from the help they’re providing. Some of these companies were very successful; they patented three innovative devices for disabled people and designed an internet browser operated by blinking, which allows them to use the computer.

This story shows how big Łódź’s potential is, and investors clearly see it. Many world-renowned businesses decided to open R&D centres in Łódź. Among them, you’ll find Oberthur Technologies, one of the world’s leading producer of  IT solutions for debit cards and mobile payments. They’re helping Mercedes develop their Connected Cars system as well as cooperating with banks and telecommunication companies. Ericsson also relies on Łódź for the development of their Ericsson Radio System, which manages nearly 40% of mobile phone calls worldwide. They’ve recently finalised the acquisition of Ericpol, which have been building software for Ericsson for years. The Dutch TomTom employs over 700 people to develop precise maps for their navigation system, which will be used by autonomous cars in the near future. Since 2010, Mabion’s R&D centre has been working on biotechnological meds for cancer and metabolic disorder treatments. It’s one of the few places in Europe offering such a comprehensive production system, from design to manufacturing.

So what’s in store for Łódź in the nearest future? Well, there’s the city’s biggest strategic project, Nowe Centrum Łodzi (New Centre For Łódź), which aims to transform the 100-hectare area around the Łódź Fabryczna train station into a hub for high-end business centres.

If you want to learn more, come visit Impact fintech’18, on November 28th–29th in Łódź! There’re still some tickets left, so be quick and get your pass here. See you soon!