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Secretary Pritzker Hosts Innovation Roundtable with Polish Industry Leaders and Startups

Secretary Pritzker Hosts Innovation Roundtable with Polish Industry Leaders and Startups
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and a delegation of U.S. CEOs yesterday met with Poland's Minister of Higher Education and Science and a group of Polish innovators to discuss the country's efforts to encourage innovation in their economy. Secretary Pritzker was in Warsaw with a group of U.S. CEOs who are members of the President's Export Council. 
The Polish government has made the promotion of innovation a top priority. Poland will be receiving a total of $106 billion in funds from the European Union by 2020. Poland plans to invest about 70 percent of those funds to promote innovation. The United States is well-positioned to serve as a partner in these efforts by sharing best practices and engaging our private sector leaders in Poland to further promote innovation.
The discussion centered on obstacles that individuals and businesses are experiencing when it comes to innovation, and how the United States can serve as a partner in support of innovation in Poland. For example, while a strong commitment to R&D is one principal driver of innovation, Poland’s current spending on R&D is less than 1 percent of GDP.  
However, R&D is only one component of a strong innovation economy. The Department of Commerce is America's "innovation agency," and helps build an innovation ecosystem in the United States by supporting a strong patent system, making investments in regional business incubators and science parks, expanding access to broadband and developing technology standards. 
The Obama Administration and the Department of Commerce are also committed to building entrepreneurship programs. In April, President Obama and Secretary Pritzker launched the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship, a first-of-its-kind collaboration between 11 of America's most inspiring and prominent entrepreneurs and a range of federal government partners. The goal of PAGE is to harness the energy, ideas, and experience of its members to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs in America and abroad. Secretary Pritzker chairs the PAGE initiative and has held events on four continents since the program's inception. 
The Department of Commerce's leadership on entrepreneurship is supported by numerous federal agencies. This past June, Secretary of State John Kerry helped create the U.S.-Poland Innovation Council to expand bilateral innovation cooperation and facilitate links between our academic communities, industry, high-tech companies, and governments with the intent of creating commercial projects. The Innovation Council, of which the Department of Commerce is a member, is just one concrete way that the U.S. and Poland can work together to further support innovation.

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