Poland moves up the value chain in high-tech manufacturing
According to the latest available Eurostat data for 2007 Poland with the total number of 56,185 high-tech entities is the fifth largest EU market according to the number of high-tech firms. Between 2003 and 2007 (so before the recent economic crisis) the total number of high-tech firms in Poland increased by 28%. Around a quarter of the total number of high-tech businesses in Poland are those engaged in high-tech manufacturing.
PwC asseses that over the same time, the number of people employed in the high-tech and knowledge-intensive sectors in Poland increased by 16%, and the employment growth rate for this sector was higher than for the economy as a whole, where it amounted to 12%.
Total production value of the high-tech sector increased in nominal terms between 2003 and 2007 by 35%, and for high-tech manufacturing by as much as 56%.
Gross investments in the sector also recorded dynamic growth rates in the years covered by the Eurostat data. In 2006 investments were 25% higher than in 2003 for the high-tech sector as whole and by 46% for high-tech manufacturing.
The development potential of Poland’s high-tech sector is not only borne out by sectoral date from the recent pre-crisis period. The availability of highly qualified labour significantly increased in most recent years as the share of those with tertiary education in the total labour force increased between 2000 and 2010 from 12% to 24%. Among Poland’s 25 to 39 year-old age group this increase was even more pronounced – from 13% to 35%.
Poland’s public sector bodies also support development of high-tech by participating in the creation of technology parks. Currently there are 18 technology parks in Poland located across the whole country offering a wide range of services to potential investors.
Among the most notable clusters of high-tech manufacturing is the Aviation Valley – a fast-growing cluster of over 80 aviation industry companies located in the Podkarpackie Voivodship in south-eastern Poland. This network of high-tech firms (including Pratt & Whitney, UTC and Goodrich), scientific research centres, technology parks and pilot training centres employs over 22,000 highly skilled employees and delivers over 90% of Poland’s aerospace output.