Poland Wins Research Race

Heading Research

Heading Research

According to Nature, Poland has become a scientific leader within Central Europe. In terms of scientific publications, Poland has moved ahead of the Czech Republic and Romania but as far as investment in research is concerned Poland still lags behind other CEE states. 25 years after the fall of communism, researchers have found themselves in a more stable situation. In the past decade, many counties have rebuilt their economies, which in turn has allowed governments to invest more money in the development of science. “EU membership has been a major driver of change,” emphasises Nature. In 2004, the EU welcomed eight former communist states, including Poland, Estonia and Hungary. Three years later Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU and Croatia in 2014. One in five EU citizens is from one of these new member states. As Nature stresses, the huge financial injection from EU structural funds was designed to reduce economic and social disparities between different regions of Europe. According to data from Scopus, Polish scientists and academics published nearly 30,000 papers last year – three times more than those in the Czech Republic or Romania. However, this is still dwarfed by Germany and the UK whose scientists and academics publish five times more. Nature estimates that Poland, which has undergone rapid economic and scientific growth, is taking the lead in Central Europe. The authors of the report give Wrocław Research Centre EIT+ as an example of the positive transformation. At the same time, the authors claim that there are major distinctions between different nations. Poland undertakes far more research nowadays and is fast becoming a political and economic powerhouse in the region. Estonia is now reaping the benefits of investment because the country reformed its research system relatively early on. Hungary, on the other hand, managed better during communism but now there is a lack of appropriate investment in science and research.

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