PLUS-IP: Fostering Economic Partnerships

Innovation is a key driver of U.S. economic growth, creating millions of high-quality, well-paying jobs. While American companies are recognized leaders in innovation, no one country has a monopoly on good ideas. That is why it is so critical that we partner with others to share ideas that can lead to the next scientific or technological breakthrough, helping to drive inclusive economic growth around the globe. 

Poland is just such a partner.  The United States is one of the largest investors in Poland. American companies have invested more than $20 billion in the Poilish economy, and employ more than 200,000 Poles. As the sixth largest economy in the European Union and one of its fastest growing, it’s no surprise that Poland is amongst the United States’ largest commercial partners in Central Europe.

One example of this deepening relationship is the U.S.-Poland Innovation Program (PLUS-IP), an initiative that began as an outcome of President Obama’s visit to Warsaw last year. PLUS-IP is a public-private partnership that provides opportunities for cooperative research and development and joint ventures. It aims to promote access to capital and more rapid and effective commercialization of technology.  The Council hopes to strengthen and expand regional innovation clusters, improve collaboration in key economic sectors, and foster the “innovation ecosystem.”   

Last week, we marked the one-year anniversary of PLUS-IP in Warsaw. I was pleased to join Polish Undersecretary Wlodislaw Duch of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and our PLUS-IP Council members from government, business, and academia to establish our goals and objectives for the next year. The meeting also recognized a project that embodies the spirit of PLUS-IP, as Undersecretary Duch and I witnessed the signing of a research and development letter of intent between the Polish Military Technical University (WAT) and U.S. companies Raytheon and Vescent Photonics to research the use of liquid crystals to steer lasers.

Our Council members organized nine different side events throughout the week focused on various sectors, including healthcare, energy, defense, science, and technology. Hundreds of public and private sector experts participated, and identified collaborative initiatives such as regional cooperation on aerospace between Poland’s Aviation Valley in Podkarpackie and Washington State, as well as a joint effort between the University of Louisville and the Medical University of Lodz to work on telemedicine and cardiovascular care.

PLUS-IP has the potential to create other successful partnerships. I encourage anyone interested in getting involved or in learning more about PLUS IP to log on to the PLUS-IP website for more information.

About the author: Scott Nathan serves as the Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. Follow @EconEngage on Twitter.

Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Scott Nathan discussing the power of joint ventures and research between the United States and Poland. [State Department Photo].
Posted by Scott Nathan
October 16, 2015

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