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The Jagiellonian University, founded in 1364, is the oldest university in Poland. It was the second university in Central Europe after the one in Prague (1348).Studium Generale was the University’s name at the beginning of its history. Modelled on universities in Bologna and Padua, it comprised three faculties: liberal arts, medicine, and law. Over more than six centuries, the benches of Krakow's Alma Mater have been occupied by many famous Poles and Europeans. It was here that Nicolaus Copernicus studied – the man who “stopped the Sun and moved the Earth”. In 1938, Karol Wojtyła began his Polish philology studies at the Jagiellonian, interrupted by the beginning of the Second World War and later continued in the university’s underground teaching. Karol Wojtyła worked at the Jagiellonian until 1954, and as Pope John Paul II he became a doctor honoris causa in 1983.

 

Today’s Jagiellonian University combines tradition with the challenges of contemporary society. Over 45 thousand students study in 15 faculties at each of the three stages of study: bachelor, master’s, and doctoral, in accordance with the Bologna Process. The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) enables students to combine studies at the Jagiellonian with those in other European countries. The teaching staff is made up of over 3 600 academic lecturers, of whom almost five hundred are titled professors. Researchers from the Jagiellonian effectively battle for grants from European research programmes, and the University graduates do very well for themselves in the national and international labour markets.

 

The University’s Arts heritage ensures that it is more than just a research and teaching centre. It is one of the centres of Polish and European culture. It gathers together artists, and encourages artistic endeavours among its employees and students. Publications by people connected with the University influence the world around us and join Europe’s artistic output.

 

SUPPORT FOR INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

 

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Motorola, Google, IBM and Onet.pl are good examples of IT companies which cooperate in research, education and exchange of students with two University Faculties, Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, and Faculty of Physics Astronomy and Applied Computer Science.

Jagiellonian University provides dynamic support for innovative and entrepreneurial activity of academic scientists. The Centre for Innovation, Technology Transfer and University Development (CITTRU) is a unit which fulfils this mission at the University. In the beginning of this year complex regulations associated with protection of intellectual property and creation of spin-off companies were given by the Senate. There are already first positive effects of new University commercialization politics noticed.

Commercialisation, primarily is a trade of patent rights (IPR), creation of academic companies and organization of commercial research. One of the last, especially interesting, actions is patent on application of University astrophysics, who developed revolutionary method of weather forecast (development of storm maps). Application of this method will certainly have great impact on meteorology and will bring profits to discoverers.

Good example of commercial research is the project carried out by Krakow chemists for South Korea concern and cooperation with pharmaceutical company - Pliva. There are several spin-off companies On the Jagiellonian University. MicroBioLab is an example of the last established spin-off which was created in Molecular Biology Department JU.

After IP regulations were accepted, also CITTRU started to realise „bizLAB – Laboratory of Academic Business” project, which provides patent and business experts counseling, meetings with investors etc. CITTRU works also as a contact point of governmental programme – “Technological initiative” - which provides financial support for academic research with business application potential.

For over three years at the Jagiellonian University there has been developed “Innovative Data Base: experts, projects, equipment - www.cittru.uj.edu.pl/ibd”. It is internet system which collects data and enables to find information about University scientists, research projects and unique equipment. In the middle of 2007 the Data Base possessed over 2000 records.

Numerous analysis indicate that great Malopolska potential lies in biomedical sector. Therefore University authorities decided to encourage development of Malopolska Biotechnology Centre (Małopolskie Centrum Biotechnologii, MCB) which can provide complex research and expertise. MCB will comprise of 7 cooperating departments, such as: genetics, nutrigenomics, structural biology, nutrition safety, bioinformatics, neurobiology and bioremediation. The first strategic goal of MCB activity is to build specialist laboratory space (GLP standards) used, between others, for skin cell cultures and viruses and bacteria growth. Other goal is to tighten cooperation between research – development sector and economy and to increase usage of R&B research results in enterprises. One of the most important steps to MCB creation was establishment in the end of 2006 of The Life Science Cluster Krakow. This Cluster gathers companies, public institutions and higher education units which are interested in cooperation within biotechnology sector. The MCB project was also classified as the most important for the development of Polish economy and placed on indicative list of “Innovative Economy” programme.

Significant part of CITTRU activity concerns support in development of scientific and business careers of students, PhD students and young scientists. Over 1,1 million zlotych was divided as grants between 48 PhD students from 8 faculties. Purpose of this funds was to give financial support for innovative research conducted by young researchers. Within various education-counseling projects CITTRU helped in establishment of 50 companies and few hundred students took part in workshops.