12th Congress of New Industry 2015 – Innovative energy needs appropriate facilities
Good cooperation of science and business, acceptance of risk, tolerance of failures – such conditions must be met in order to create an innovative economy. At the panel “Innovation in the energy sector. From idea to market” during the 12th Congress of New Industry it was discussed how the energy sector copes with this.
When it comes to innovation energy is a specific sector – dominated by huge concerns, which raises certain conditions. On the one hand, large companies have a powerful capital base, enabling to finance innovative activities, but on the other hand, the corporate structures sometimes block the rapid implementation of ideas. “In a small structure, the approach to innovation is not difficult. In a large one, because of certain customs of the structure, inertia, this often looks different,” said Dariusz Marzec, Vice President of development atPGE. “It is difficult for a transatlantic liner to zigzag,” he added.
This does not mean that energy concerns are doomed to conservatism by definition. “In our strategy from last year, innovation became a central element, connecting its other goals. Let’s remember, however, that innovation is never an end in itself; it always serves the goals of our business, increasing revenue, reducing costs, increasing the company’s value,” convinced the Vice President of PGE. He admitted that a big problem is the acceptance of risk which is inherent in innovative activities. He stressed that the shift of the company onto innovative tracks is a problem not only of the organizational structure and money (and it is already happening at PGE) but above all a change of mentality. “Innovation is in our heads,” said Dariusz Marzec.
These changes can be accelerated through organizational changes. “New procedures are needed in management systems,” said Grzegorz Putynkowski, Vice President of Centrum Badań i Rozwoju technologii dla Przemysłu. “We have already grasped the problem organizationally, we are working on several promising projects, but we will have to wait for the effects. We are still at the beginning of the road,” said Dariusz Marzec.
However, industry will not become innovative without cooperation with science. Here, too, there are encouraging signs, especially in the case of energy. At AGH the Energy Centre was established which is to focus research and development work in this sector in one place. There will be 40 terrifically equipped laboratories operating as part of the centre. “We will not employ professors permanently but provide laboratories to teams appointed to solve specific problems reported by business,” said Prof. Wojciech Nowak, director of the Centre.
Patrycja Zielińska, Vice President of the Industrial Development Agency emphasized that Polish innovation is slowly entering a new stage. “We have well-equipped laboratories, research and development centres, we have already prepared facilities and begun working on specific projects. Sooner or later the effects will come,” said Patrycja Zielińska.