The Ministry of Science wants to establish a National Institute of Technology

The science ministry wants to establish a National Institute of Technology. Critical opinions from RGIB

The establishment of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), which will include dozens of research institutes, is envisaged in a bill prepared by the science ministry. NIT is to conduct scientific research and development work in priority areas for Poland.

Public consultation on the project ended on Thursday. The activities of NIT will be supervised by the Minister of Science.

As we read in the draft, „The purpose of NIT is to conduct scientific research, and development work particularolnie important for the implementation of the country’s economic, scientific, scientific-technical and innovation policy, as defined in the development strategies and the National Research Program”.

NIT, combining the potential of smaller current centersow, has – As envisioned by the author of theoin the project – facilitate a unified government policy in the field of innovation, increase the chances of Polish scientistsow for international grants, improve efficiency in obtaining patentsoin and raise the percentage of foreign researchers employed at the institutes. The basic organizational unit of the NIT will be institutes grouped into competence centers, covering the areas of activity included in the statute of the NIT. Not all institutes will have to be included in their.

Currently, there are 114 institutes in Polandoin research, Institute of Meteorology and Water Management – PIB, the Institute of Mother and Child, the Scientific and Academic Computer Network (NASK), the National Geological Institute – PIBs, supervised by 16 ministersoin (e.g. defense, health, development). The institutes conduct research work in almost all areas of science. Each of them has its own legal personality.

The draft lists 35 institutesoin, whichore will be incorporated into NIT (all of them are currently subject to the Ministry of Development). As of the effective date of the NIT law, they will lose their legal personality. NIT is to take over the zaroemployeeow, property, as well as receivables and liabilities of the instituteoin, whichore will be incorporated into its structures. Deputy Science Minister Piotr Dardzinski told PAP that more institutes may join this group while the legislative work on the bill is still underway. After the establishment of the NIT, the procedure for incorporating more institutes of theow will be made by ordinance rather than by law,” the deputy minister informed the. This will be able to be done by the Council of Ministersoin on their own initiative or at the request of the supervising minister after consultation with the director or the scientific council of the institute, whichory is to be included.

NIT is to be financed from the fundsow of basic subsidies – those thatore up to now have received the individualolne institutes. The NIT account will also receive funds thatore receive by the other institutes, whichore, however, will not be part of the NIT (a ktore will gradually receive smaller and smaller subsidies). In 2021. They will be stripped from all IBs except those thatore are involved in health care (this is the 16th instituteow supervised by the Minister of Health and three – by the Minister of National Defense).

As a consequence of these changes, from 2021., After NIT takes over the entire statutory subsidy (opro(and at most five vice-presidents), the new institute will receive an additional approx. PLN 335 million per year – according to an assessment of the impact of theoin the regulation prepared by the ministry of science.

The authors of the draft proposed Warsaw as the seat of the NIT.

NIT is to be headed by a president (appointed by the Minister of Science) and at most five vice-presidentsow. A college of advisors will operate under the NIT chairmanow consisting of fifteen membersow, including ten representatives of the socio-economic or financial community and five professionally active academicsow.

Under the draft, the NIT will be headed by oprohe president’s council, composed of four membersow (ds. informatization, science, regional development and higher education). They will be designated by the relevant ministers, and appointed by the Minister of Development. Council will approve the institution’s annual activity plans and give opinions on its annual plans and financial statements. It will be headed by a chairman appointed by the minister responsible for development. economy.

The introduction of the law on NIT requires the amendment of more than a dozen other laws – on the principles of financing science, the Polish Academy of Sciences or the Law on Higher Education.

According to the provisions of the draft, NIT is to begin operations on January 1, 2018.; part recordoHowever, the law is expected to enter into force poLater, and some earlier – October 1, 2017.

The draft law on the NIT should be withdrawn or radically modified, according to the Council of Govsowna Instituteoin the Research Council (RGIB). It referred in this wayob to the idea of organizational changes dot. instituteoin research, proposed by the ministry of science.

"The draft law on the National Institute of Technology should be withdrawn or radically modified, since in its current form it may limit the creation of new Polish solutions to improve state security" – We read in the opinion of RGIB to the draft law on NIT.

According to the Council, a better solution would be the creation of a Network of Institutesoin research "with preservation of legal personality and identity of the instituteow included in such a structure". – Proba implementation of this idea would entail virtually no risk,” noted in an interview with PAP the chairman of the RGIB, prof. Leszek Rafalski.

"The draft law on the NIT discriminates against most of the institutesoin research. Funding cannot be cut from the middleow for statutory activities, necessary to carry out anticipatory research only for a certain group of institutesow, as institutes regardless of departmental subordination should conduct anticipatory research" – reads the RGIB opinion.

Advance research is that for whichore institutes usually do not have external funding. – At such a stage, a good research direction is sought, ktory poThen moheads would result in implementations – explains Prof. Rafalski.

The council also notes that depriving instituteoin research measuresow for statutory activities means, in fact, preventing implementation and commercialization of research, which "remains in legal contradiction with the determination of the categorization of scientific units by the NSC (Committee for the Evaluation of Scientific Units – note: the Committee for the Evaluation of Scientific Units). ed.)".

Are the institutes whoore find themselves outside of the NIT, they will be able to continue to operate without a core subsidy? – This is blackmail: either you enter the NIT or you will be starved ofowka – summarized Prof. Rafalski. As he pointed out, the institutes te "They will manage, although they will be worse off".

According to the RGIB, the inclusion of instituteoIn the NIT, the research companies will lose their position and brand in Poland and Europe, and will reduce direct support for the NITocooperation with entrepreneurs. As a result, the efficiency of zar may decreaseoboth companies and the institutes themselvesow.

"Currently, the activities of industrial research institutesoin research is very effective due to: daily cooperationohe cooperation with companies in the implementation of the projectoin research at the laboratory, pilot and industrial scale; knowledge of world technologies; possession of pilot installations and unique research equipment; having a cadre of scientistsow – specialistow who are recognized leaders in specific areas of industrial science" – reads the letter from RGIB.

After incorporating some of the institute’sow they will lose their legal personality. According to the council, this will result in the suspension of the activities of accredited laboratoriesow and will make it impossible to conduct certification activities. "Thousands of certifiedow, enabling the legal introduction of productsoin to the market, will lose their validity. Manufacturers certified by the institutes – in Poland and within the European Union – They will not be able to introduce their productsow (e.g. construction, industrial, military, pharmaceutical) into the market" – reads the RGIB’s position.

– Concerned may feel zarowno institute employeesoin research, whichore to be included in the NIT, as well as those whoowho will remain outside the mega-institute,” says Prof. Rafalski. In institutes thatore going to be incorporated into NIT, there may be redundancies in administration and a reduction in salaries,” speculated Prof. Currently, salaries in eacholnych institutes will become very roThey will be worse off,” Prof. Rafalski, however, expects that the NITs may be in effect "unified tariff". Employee situation may also worsenow institutes outside the NIT – because by 2021. institute’s statutory subsidy is planned to be extinguishedow.

Research institutes included in the NIT will lose the authority to grant doctoral and postdoctoral degrees under the law. – Thus, they will cease to play a strong scientific role, according to the RGIB chairman. The lack of the possibility of granting scientific degrees – in the opinion of the council – may negatively affect the level of scientific research in Poland and their competitiveness internationally.

In the justification for the NIT law, the science ministry notes that research institutes are inefficient in many respects, and that e.g. 37 instituteow have higher revenues from property rental than from the sale of research and development services. "This information is presented unreliably, as the revenues of all institutesoin research from property rentals in 2015. amounted to only 4.9 percent." – stressed in its letter RGIB.

The Ministry of Science and Higher Education also pointed out that many institutesoin research is completely inactive in obtaining patentsow – 32 of them in the period 2009-2015 did not receive any. – Patents are not at the moment, in a modern country, an adequate indicator of efficiency, because sometimes it is not worth patenting, but selling knowledge, or know-how,” said Prof. Rafalski.

The RGIB chairman recalled a study conducted by Index Copernicus, from whichorych shows that for 84 percent. of implementations in Poland in 2009-2012 is the responsibility of research institutes. Their contribution to the achievements of Polish science in those years was set at 34 percent of the.

– Is this a bad result? It’s asking to enhance our environment rather than claiming it’s for nothing, believes Prof. Rafalski. As he admitted, part of the instituteow is actually weaker. – But it should not result in their "milling" and the creation of one large institute; this is not the direction. Rather, one should consider how im pomoc and strengthen, improve funding and make them more modern,” concluded Prof. Rafalski.