A rehabilitation robot for children, a 3D printer, a smoke ventilation system for staircases and innovative aircrafts are the awarded projects selected from 30 applications last year. The awarded companies create tools that save lives, develop new materials and improve the solutions that are used every day.

So far, several hundred enterprises from construction, medical, transport, chemical and electrical engineering industries have taken part in the Innovator Małopolski competition. Thanks to original solutions, Polish enterprises build their competitive advantages, and simultaneously positively affect the region’s economic attractiveness. Małopolska is a region that most dynamically implements strategies that support innovation. Małopolska is a region that most dynamically implements strategies that support innovation.

Innovation and the present-day economy 

For twelve years, the Innovator Małopolski competition has stimulated and rewarded experimental activities carried out by companies from Małopolska. It is organized by Technology Transfer Centre of Cracow University of Technology, in cooperation with the Marshal’s Office of Małopolskie Voivodeship, and functions as part of the Enterprise Europe Network project – an international network created under the initiatives of the European Commission, of which TTC is a member. Creative business has a big impact on the modern economy. The developed products and services revolutionize the everyday functioning of many industries, optimize or improve processes, and even create completely new applications.
A good example of a company that successfully implements innovation is the laureate of last year’s competition in the start-up category, NEWind Energy. Although the company specializes in innovative methods of obtaining energy from wind, it was awarded for the project called Hoverbike – a pioneer flying vehicle that was initially designed to be a means of transport for the Army. The invention hovers thanks to two propellers that are supported by several smaller ones allowing manoeuvring. Its lightweight but durable construction is made of a carbon-epoxy hybrid composite. The goal of Hoverbike is to be used in places where quads or off-road vehicles cannot, or even, in some situations, replace helicopters.
Hoverbike, an innovative aircraft, an award in the Start-up, 2017.

Five areas of IMP3Rove

Innovator Małopolski is an example of how it is possible to support enterprises that implement innovative solutions effectively and on a long-term basis. It is also an incentive for taking risks by companies from the region, which cooperate with research units on developing modern technologies, products or services. Furthermore, the competition is also a great chance to select and award companies that operate in Małopolska and want to base their competitiveness on an unconventional approach to a product or service. Micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as start-ups, are free to enter the competition.
In order to evaluate company innovativeness, the organizers use IMP3Rove method, which includes audits of five areas: innovation strategy, organisation and culture, innovation life cycle process management, human resources, knowledge and finance. This methodology is characterized by a flexible, but at the same time, standardized way of managing innovation and has been used in European projects for several years. This year 37 companies took part in the competition. The winners will be presented at the special award ceremony on September 27, 2018.

Małopolska as a transfer of knowledge for business

Małopolska is a region that most dynamically implements strategies that support innovation. These include Regional innovation strategy of Małopolska 2020, or such initiatives as the Innovator Małopolska competition organized by Technology Transfer Centre of Cracow University of Technology. Such forms of support and rewarding of companies, which stand out from other businesses, show how important a step this is in the development of the region. Actions of this kind resulted in an increasing number of companies
in the region that have decided not to base their business model on proven and commonly used methods, but take action and look for new solutions. Although competitions and strategic support have an impact on the way ambitious entrepreneurs see the attractiveness of Małopolska, the development of such companies favours the attracting of talents and specialists, increases the competitiveness of the environment, and allows the transferof knowledge to business.