Transport research in Poland is defined by the National Programme for Scientific and Research & Development (R&D) activities and by a range of national transport policy documents.
In general, current research policy goals focus on implementing science sector reform packages:
- Implementation of the Building on Knowledge reform;
- Implementation of the reforms to the higher education system;
- Launch of the new National Research Programme;
- Elaboration of the long-term innovation strategy.
Policy priorities in thematic research were established in the Programme for Scientific Research and Development, for a five to ten year period. They comprise:
- Society in conditions of secure, dynamic and sustainable socio-economic development;
- Energy and infrastructure;
- New technologies for the economy;
- Environment and agriculture.
In each area, the National Programme formulates Strategic Research and Development Programmes to be implemented with a perspective of three to five years.
The latest National Research programme was launched in 2011 in response to challenges set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy, an updated document is yet to be published but is expected. This strategic document provides a framework for developing and funding research. Transport related topics are integrated in the research areas 'Energy and Infrastructure' and 'New Technologies for National Economy'.
The transport policy framework is determined by several general strategic documents of national importance and key industry documents on the development of specific transport modes. The 2017 Strategy for responsible development, among other goals, indicates the way in which changes in mobility should be achieved in the perspective by 2020 and 2030. Other strategic historic documents related to transport research include:
- National plan for energy and climate for 2021-2030
- Master Plan for Rail Transport up to 2030
- Regional Development Policy (2010-2020)
- Recommendations of Maritime Policy up to 2020
- Development Direction of Inland Waterways Transport in Poland
- Airspace Strategy for Poland
Organisations of the innovation system in Poland include:
- governmental bodies which set policy directions,
- intermediary bodies of the public sector which act as intermediaries between governments and research organisations,
- research-performing organisations (universities and higher education institutions), research institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences and branch R&D units which concentrate more on applied research,
- private organisations.
The Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MNiSW) is the policy maker for research and innovation in Poland. In defining transport-related research priorities, the Ministry is supported by the Ministry of Climate and Environment, Ministry of Infrastructure, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, and the Ministry of Environment. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education regularly conducts evaluations and certification of all national scientific and R&D units.
The two executive agencies have also been established:
These centres are fully operational and support research and development in Poland.
The Committee for Evaluation of Scientific Research Institutions is an advisory body to the Minister of Science and Higher Education and carries out comprehensive assessments of scientific research and development or research units according to international standards, along with the Scientific Policy Committee. The Main Council of Research Institutes (RGIB) represents the interests of the Polish research institutes to the state and local government authorities and to the scientific, economic and public organisations.
Transport research is funded on a horizontal project-based approach. Research is funded under public funding in the National Programme for research and development and by private sources. All transport research projects financed by the National Programme are registered in a project database, which is maintained by the Information Processing Centre.
Projects funded by private organisations are mainly industry-applied projects. Private-public funding schemes are also available
Organisations responsible for the institutional framework and funding:
- Ministry of Environment
- Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MNiSW)
- Ministry of Infrastructure
- Ministry of Development
- Ministry of Treasury
- National Research and Development Centre
- National Scientific Centre
- The Information Processing Institute
- Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP)
Current programmes related to transport include:
European Funds for Infrastructure, Climate, Environment 2021-2027 - the biggest national infrastructural programme supported by the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund in the EU. It focuses on the challenges of the European Green Deal by co-financing investments that contribute to transition of Poland to a green economy. This transition encompasses sectors like energy, transport, environment, health and culture sectors.
- The European Funds for Eastern Poland 2021-2027 - The main objective of the programme are consolidation of conditions conducive to economic competitiveness and a higher quality of life in Eastern Poland regions; strengthening economic and social potential of the Eastern Poland regions; and continuation of trans-regional investments in the key areas which are complementary to the support available from other national and regional programmes.
Historic national funding programmes related to transport include:
- Polish Applied Research Programme (2014-2021) - enhances performance of Polish applied research in Poland through improved research cooperation between Poland and Norway.
- Operational Programme of Infrastructure and Environment (2014-2020) - supports research in low carbon economy, environmental protection, adaptation to climate change, transport and energy security.
- National Road Safety Programme (2013-2020) – to help limit the annual death toll of at least 50% by 2020 and the number of seriously injured by at least 40% by 2020.
- GEKON Generator of Ecological Concepts - supports projects from the private sector aimed at conducting scientific research and development works, and then at implementing the resulting pro-ecological technologies. This includes novel technologies for production of fuels, energy and materials from waste and recycled waste.