The Association of TOP 500 Innovators is an initiative of the alumni of the TOP 500 Innovators: Science - Management – Commercialization Program of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The Association has been set up in order to create an interdisciplinary platform of cooperation between representatives of science and technology transfer in Poland. This cooperation draws on the experience of its members obtained during a 9-week period at one of the three world’s leading research centers: Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, and Cambridge University. The activities of the Association include promoting innovation, academic entrepreneurship, as well as commercialization of research results. The Association also actively cooperates with government institutions and public benefit organizations in developing the best environment for the cooperation between science and business. The Association has over 420 members, both scientists as well as technology transfer and commercialization specialists from research institutes and technology transfer offices from all over Poland. You can read about our Association (in English) in the Lodz Creates Innovation magazine (pp. 9–11).
The Association has been operating since April 5th, 2013 and currently its Management Board comprises: Katarzyna Walczyk-Matuszyk – President (National Contact Point for Research Programmes of the EU), Krystyna Malińska – Vice-President (Częstochowa University of Technology), Szymon Szott – Secretary (AGH University), Mariusz Woźniak – Treasurer (Polish Academy of Sciences), and the following board members: Jan Chełkowski (Poznań Science and Technology Park), Anna Nikodym-Bilska (Air Force Institute of Technology), Radosław Ratajczak (UTP University of Science and Technology in Bydgoszcz), Joanna Szustakiewicz (Gdansk University of Technology), Mateusz Wirwicki (University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz), Magdalena Garlińska (National Centre for Research and Development in Poland), Magdalena Rutkowska–Sowa (Bialystok University of Technology), Michał Maciejewski (Lodz University of Technology, CERN), and Anna Gayer (Warsaw University of Technology).
The Top 500 Innovators Science-Management Commercialization Program was created by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland to help bridge the gap between academia and business in Poland. In the course of the Program selected individuals complete a 9 week academic program taught at partnering universities from the Academic Ranking of World Universities – for example Stanford University or the University of California, Berkeley. The courses provide the participants from Polish universities, research institutes as well as technology transfer offices with skills needed to manage cooperative research projects and bring high-technology products to the market. During the program, its participants also have the opportunity to visit key technology companies from a variety of areas (including energy, biotechnology, information technology and technology transfer) in order to obtain a broad understanding of how companies have taken intellectual property and changed the landscape of various industries. The curriculum’s focus is on innovation, execution and leadership, entrepreneurship, intellectual property and technology transfer.