15 years in the European Union

  • Benefits of being an EU member. Experience of Poland, Baltic states and Slovakia
  • In search of a new Europe. A need for a fresh view
  • After the European elections – power structure, expectations and projections
  • Europe versus protectionism, trade barriers and limitations
  • Eastern neighbourhood in a new Europe. Opportunities and threats for Poland and the Baltic states
  • How will the EU’s future budget respond to social challenges and expectations?
  • Fifteen years of Eastern Poland – effects of changes. The role of support from the European Union

Eastern Poland – challenges for the future

  • Utilisation of EU funds – an attempt at assessment
  • Content, coverage and potential expansion of the “Eastern Poland” programme
  • Impact of major infrastructural north-south investments on regional development
  • Development models, support models. Metropolitan and non-urbanised areas of Eastern Poland
  • Major investments in Eastern Poland
  • Role of local government in creating conditions for economic development


Foreign direct investments (FDIs) in Poland

  • Factors determining the location of FDIs in Poland
  • Eastern Poland in the eyes of foreign investors
  • Relations between local authorities and foreign investors
  • Cultural differences, formal legal issues, tax system
  • Prospects of FDI inflow to Poland
  • Experience of foreign investors

Start-ups in Eastern Poland

  • Effective tools to implement start-up solutions. Risks and threats
  • Success of start-ups and what’s next? In search of a universal formula
  • Potential of local institutions to support start-ups
  • Development trends and directions of young entrepreneurs in Poland
  • Start-ups and investors. Risk of losing independence versus development opportunities
  • Innovations as support and an alternative to agriculture. Start-ups in villages?

Dry Port on the Euro-Asian transport route

  • Transport and logistics infrastructure between Europe and Asia
  • Eastern Poland on the global trading map – how can the existing infrastructure’s potential be used?
  • New Silk Route. Experience, prospects, limitations
  • Podlaskie – a dry port on the European-Asian route
  • Renaissance of railways and development of multimodal transport. New technologies in logistics centres

New trends on the food market

  • Where is the market heading? Millennials, growth of affluence, development of digital technologies. Preferences of informed consumers
  • On a carousel of trends. A new offer for food producers
  • Top quality food, superfood, unprocessed and natural products
  • Marketing strategies, packaging and distribution versus life styles. Known brands newly presented

Business and science

  • Potential and competitive advantages of universities in Eastern Poland. Leading majors
  • Science in cooperation with business – big and small, domestic and foreign
  • Commercialisation of research, cooperation models with companies. Role of spin-offs and spin-outs
  • Science and employers in dialogue to improve the quality of education and the labour market
  • Constitution for Science and other reforms – the role in the education system, commercialisation of research and innovations in the eyes of practical scientists
  • A network of universities in Eastern Poland?

Digitisation and new technologies

  • Technologies that change the world. Fourth industrial revolution as a sum of opportunities and threats
  • Digital transformation as a challenge to companies
  • Industry 4.0 – available technologies and conditions related to implementation
  • New tools in business – e-commerce, 5G, broadband networks
  • Crime and threats in cyber space – learn, protect, prevent

IT Sector – Silicon Forest

  • ICT sector in development strategies and economic reality of Eastern Poland
  • Achievements and emerging IT centres in the macroregion of Eastern Poland
  • Conditions to develop the sector. What are the expectations of the IT sector?
  • A system of local and central support. Investors, incubators, accelerators, clusters and technological parks
  • “Silicon Forest” as an example of comprehensive efforts to develop an environment for creative business based on IT technologies

Logistics and cross-border infrastructural investments

  • Eastern Poland at a crossroads of transcontinental road and railway routes
  • Large infrastructural projects – concepts, the reality of cooperation, prospects, place in the EU’s transport policies
  • Via Carpatia – the road that will connect the Aegean Sea with the Black Sea, the Adriatic and the Baltic Sea basin
  • Railway to the East – Rail Baltica. Progress status
  • Connecting Western Europe with the Baltic states – Via Baltica

Future of the food market. Innovations now!

  • Agri and food industry in Eastern Poland – Advantages and competition today and tomorrow
  • How can exports of food be expanded? Who will replace Russia? In search of new markets, products, business models
  • Automation and digitisation. Investments in technologies and effects. Agricultural Valley 4.0
  • Combination of natural aspects and tradition with modern developments in the food industry
  • Family food businesses. Will the generation of young entrepreneurs revolutionise the market?
  • Foreign investments in food industry – a threat or an opportunity?

Energy in local authorities

  • Power engineering in villages and towns. EU programmes as a form of fight against exclusion and low emissions
  • Programmes improving energy effectiveness and their beneficiaries. Thermo modernisation
  • Use of communal waste for energy purposes. Co-generation, geothermal energy, systemic heat. What will local authorities focus on?
  • financing possibilities for projects related to energy management

Investments by local authorities and how they are financed

  • More difficult funds – EU funds yesterday, today, tomorrow
  • Alternative non-EU tools to finance investments. Models, arrangements, partners
  • Public-Private Partnership as an opportunity to accelerate infrastructural investments
  • End of investment, beginning of troubles? Road management in the region

Cross-border cooperation – experience and prospects

  • status and future of cross-border cooperation programmes
  • Poland's economic cooperation with Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. A view from both sides of the border. Special investment zones
  • European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs) “Eastern Poland”. Utilisation of funds from cooperation programmes
  • Regional Intelligent Specialisations as a priority for cross-border cooperation
  • Poland's eastern border as the EU's border. Cooperation between local authorities, the government and Frontex (EU)

Labour market

  • Challenges of today's labour market – new professions, new technologies, demography
  • Professions in demand – who is missing on the labour market in Eastern Poland
  • Vocational training as a response to the needs of the labour market. Employers’ expectations and involvement
  • Flexibility on the labour market as a response to changes – a fashionable trend or a necessity?
  • Labour Code and new migration policies – when will new solutions be implemented?
  • Employment Offices in the new market reality. Their role in Eastern Poland

Financing, organisation, HR – several difficult questions about the health service

  • additional funds for health services as part of the “Six percent” Act by 2024 – in which areas are funds most badly needed?
  • Health care structure in the regions of Eastern Poland
  • Number of hospitals, wards, bed designation and utilisation versus rational spending; what should be changed in the organisation of in- and out-patient clinic treatment?
  • The role and place of basic health care (POZ) in the health care system; are the competencies of doctors in the basic health care system used appropriately?
  • Financing of hospitals. Possibilities to provide funding within the lump-sum system; share of salaries in the costs
  • Situation on the market of medical personnel and its impact on the functioning of health services in regions – what are the projections?

EU funds after 2020

  • Use of EU development funds – a challenge for the region. Successes and shortcomings of regional programmes
  • Support mechanisms in EU programmes after 2020. Prospects for Eastern Poland
  • What will change? Repayable funds, methods and potential for use. Priority investment areas
  • Financing of territorial cooperation with EU funds – possibilities, needs, potential effects
  • Education and new competencies. Universities versus soft regional projects

Renewable Energy Sources (RES) for Eastern Poland

  • A green light? Regulatory framework for distributed and prosumer power generation
  • Energy clusters – have they proven their worth?
  • An investment boom in photovoltaics. Reasons, progress, effects
  • Biogas plants, biomass, use of communal waste for energy generation – lost potential?
  • RES as a way to energy independence for local authorities

Climate for investors

  • The art of encouragement. Attractive for investors – what does that mean?
  • Local authorities as a partner to business. What do companies expect, what do they get?
  • Sites, infrastructure, transportation – an offer of less urbanised towns and areas
  • Multimodal transport centre in Podlasie. With investors for investors
  • Labour market – resources, future
  • Local regulations and incentives for investors
  • The role of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and clusters in the macroregion. Local leaders, environment and cooperation

Family businesses

  • Time for the new generation. Business facing changes
  • The process of handing over power in family businesses. Hazards and risks
  • The law that supports succession. Proven solutions?
  • Succession scenarios. New models of management. The role of external investors
  • Specific features of family businesses and attracting new personnel

Globalisation, expansion, cooperation

  • Companies from Eastern Poland on global markets – achievements, practice, ambitions
  • Strategies for entering foreign markets. Leading sectors, specialisations, leaders
  • Available tools supporting economic expansion and their use

Time for green business

  • Ecology – does it make business sense? Sustainable development as an offensive trend in the economy
  • Pressure by regulations and consumers
  • The renewable energy sector in Eastern Poland – generation and services
  • Technologies in waste management. Idea of the circulating economy
  • Monitoring first. Technical tools in support of environmental protection
  • Eco-construction, thermo modernisation, energy effectiveness – an opportunity for the sector
  • Healthy because its natural. Certified products in food industry

Mediation and arbitration

  • Economic mediation that is friendly to enterprises
  • Application of mediation clauses in trade
  • Role of the Arbitration and Mediation Centre
  • Meaning of settlement resulting from mediation
  • Education on compromise and innovative ways to settle disputes
  • Mediation versus reform of the justice system

Social dialogue in public space

  • The Act on the Social Dialogue Council has been in effect for 4 years
  • How and whom should be listened to so that dialogue can be effective?
  • Effectiveness and plans for the future
  • The invaluable role of WRDS in developing public space

Strategies in regional development

  • Actual impact of strategies on regional policies and the life quality of inhabitants
  • Do/how strategic plans stimulate economic growth?
  • To who, for whom and what for – addressees of the useful aspects of strategies
  • New conditions and new development directions of provinces
  • Draft update of the Podlaskie Voivodeship Development Strategy

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