LifeScience Klaster Krakow (LSK) is the network of institutions from Krakow and Małopolska Region (Poland) which agreed to collaborate in order to develop and deliver to the market innovations in the field of life sciences.
These organizations represent six areas of interests: biotechnology and life science business, research & development, science and education, healthcare, business support and local government actively guiding and facilitating the cooperation at the regional level. As such the LSK is the perfect exemplification of a so called Triple Helix cooperation.
Established in October 2006, LSK has been the concept of Jagiellonian University developed in conjunction with another bold decision taken in 2004 — to build first technology park in Poland be devoted to life sciences.
Since the very beginning the LSK has been considered as the research driven collaborative network aiming to pursue following mission:
- to create and sustain a life science network in order to enable effective global connectivity and the optimization of existing potential of individuals and organizations
- to support innovation and to encourage effective commercialization of research results in the life science field
- to develop the resources and competences in order to effectively explore existing and future opportunities related to development of a knowledge-based economy.
Development of biotechnology and life science sectors has been directly addressed as the priority field in the Regional Innovation Strategy, overall aim of which is to build knowledge-based economy. This focus of the Region has been strongly supported by the complementarity of the local science and business activities, which include healthcare and medicine, pharmacology and drug development, food and agriculture, biology and zoology as well as informatics, nuclear physics or chemistry and environmental services — to name the most important ones.
Important aspect of the life science strategic intent in Krakow and Małopolska Region is to associate “technologies and products improving quality of individual life”. This would involve drug discovery & research services, medical diagnostics, e-health and telemedicine, advanced-non-drug therapies as well as complementary food, cosmetics and environment technologies.
What distinguishes Life Science Klaster in Krakow from others in Central and Eastern Europe is advancements in life science an biotechnology fields achieved due to interplay of several factors:
- access to knowledge and skilled labor: Krakow is in fact the number one city in Poland with regards to quality and availability of labor force; take life science field only and you will meet more than 1000 scientists and 16000 students;
- great business climate and best economic potential: Krakow and Małopolska have been ranked 6th alone and 7th within larger Southern-Poland region as having “best economic potential” in Europe;
- strong science base: a number of universities and science institutes located in Krakow is active in research and development; this includes not only the oldest and the most prestigious in Poland — Jagiellonian University (est. 1364) together with its Collegium Medicum — but also University of Agriculture or University of Science and Technology followed by independent Pharmacology, Nuclear Physics or Animal Production national institutes;
- diversified life science economy: number of biotech and life science businesses active in manufacturing of generic drugs, vaccines, innovative drugs R&D, imaging or molecular diagnostic technologies and services, clinical research, innovative cosmetics, functional food, diet supplements and others;
- investments in infrastructure and R&D programs: due to availability and access to EU funds, only in the two recent years more than 0,5 billion € have been put in research infrastructure and research programs solely by LifeScience Klaster members in order to build both capacity and opportunity for collaborative development;
- established networks for cooperation and support for innovation: coming to Krakow cluster you will meet ready-to-collaborate networks of interdisciplinary dimensions; technology transfer, VC & seed capital, marketing and business development, special economic zone and investor relationship;
- quality of life in Krakow: the magic of the city is created by a unique combination of architecture, art and culture. Over 25% of Polish works of art are collected in Krakow due to more than a millennium of history and tradition. Thanks to that heritage in 2000 the city was honored with the title of the European Capital of Culture. Today, Krakow — a former capital city of Poland — is one of the most important cultural and tourist centers of the country.