PBICA Conferences – all’s well that begins well...
Polish Business and Innovation Centres Association’s conferences are invariably associated with enthusiasm, openness, friendship and lively atmosphere. Having participated in similar events around the world over the last years, it is easier for us to understand our guests’ admiration for the unique atmosphere of our meetings. The exchange of thoughts, shared discussions and substantive disputes are one side of the meetings. The other is less official but not less important for creating this unique atmosphere.
This is probably the reason why PBICA is an organisation which connects people and stimulates the exchange of experience and knowledge, instead of hiding them enviously in hopes of their commercial use; the attitude which is so common in recent years. We all have drawn on this unique atmosphere, both the novice organisers of incubators, technology parks, business support centres and loan funds as well as the veterans of business incubation in Poland and other countries.
Thanks to the conferences we have managed to show our numerous guests, and get to know ourselves, the charm of the castles and palaces, which usually offered cheaper accommodation than hotels in the city. The reason for this was probably the fact that in the early 1990s there were many renovated buildings, especially in Wielkopolska, and there were few modern hotels. Unfortunately, the castles and palaces soon turned out to be too small and we had to move to bigger buildings in Kiekrz and Baranow near Poznan.
Then we divided the conferences into those held in the autumn and in the spring. As a result, we had a chance to go to Mierzecin and Krasiczyn palaces.
Lively atmosphere did not succumb even to bad weather. In the early 1990s in Rydzyn it was raining. However, it did not prevent the participants from having good time at the bonfire party. There was a performance of a folk band from Poznan University of Life Sciences. The band played some folk songs and performed dance pieces to suit everyone’s taste.
In December 2001 in Kiekrz it was snowing. The snow pleased our guests from Tajikistan and put them into trouble with winter clothes. Nevertheless, the bonfire and dance party was held outside.
The undoubted value of our conferences is the vitality of female and male participants of our meetings. It was visible to such an extent that one of the most important heads of regional development and enterprise incubators in the USA eagerly participated in two conferences.
The performance of the vocal and dance group „Izlarah” was a manifestation of a great talent. The group presented their skills in Kalisz in 2003, after some successful performances abroad. The members of the band were: Heinz Fiedler – President of SPICE Group, Izabela Stelmaszewska – head of PBICA office and Larysa Browarska – head of SPICE office. The accompanist, a guitar player, came from Germany.
Later, we were honoured by the presence of Andrzej Siemiaszko at our conferences, Director of National Contact Point in Poland of the 5th, 6th and 7th European Union's Framework Programme. Playing the guitar, supported by a group of followers he performed a rich and varied repertoire which covered the whole conference.
Our conferences would not be so special, if it were not for the outstanding participants, who discuss important issues. Many political decisions concerning the development of innovation and enterprise in Poland resulted directly from our conferences and talks between the ministers and employees of the ministries who participated in the conferences. They often came to the conferences with a specific aim to consult some pressing matters. Some of the careers at a governmental and self-governmental level began at PBICA Conferences.
It is worth stressing that the successful activity and development of PBICA and its members were strongly supported by the Polish government right from the outset. Admittedly, the first incubator initiatives were local in nature but in 1990 The Office of Science and Technology Development and Implementation together with the Ministry of Economy financially contributed to building the innovation and business centres as well as science and technology parks. Significant financial help was provided by Jerzy Sekiewicz and Barbara Listkiewicz-Charuba from Department of Enterprise as well as Tomasz Niesiołowski, Krzysztof Gulda and Aneta Wilmańska. There is not enough space here to list all PBICA’s friends.
Our international contacts were facilitated by Heinz Fiedler, who came to Poland in 1990 and since then has been our friend and promoter. He participated in many conferences. Our cooperation resulted in locating the secretariat of Science Park and Innovation Center Experts in PBICA office in Poznan.
Up to now, the benefits from network activity are acknowledged by PBICA members. We have many friends from Poland and abroad. Our honorary members are the authorities in the field of innovation and enterprise. We have achieved a lot. Is this not a good enough reason for us to be creative?