Local authorities of the four south Polish districts of Silesia, Lesser Poland, Opole and Lower Silesia signed an agreement earlier this month to form an Innovation Highway, along the main A4 motorway that links the region.
This, the largest initiative of its kind in central and eastern Europe, aims to focus the resources of the 125 academic institute in the region to pull in EU funding, support the spin out of high tech start-ups and create a high tech cluster.
“We want to establish the Central European Silicon Valley,” said Marek Nawara, speaker of Lesser Poland district.
Apart from having the advantage of being linked by the A4 corridor, the region has a number of international and regional airports and railway links. There are six European capital cities within a 600 kilometre radius.
In total the four districts have a population of almost 12 million, or one third of Poland’s total.
The local authorities believe investors and companies will be attracted by the region’s massive science base. Kraków, Katowice, Opole and Gliwice have as many as 125 academies (universities, polytechnics, music and medical institutes and others), with over 600,000 students.