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Polish ActInSpace finals at the KTP 27/05/2016

Polish ActInSpace finals at the KTP

The winner of the Polish edition of ActInSpace (AIS) is Blue Divine 1 from Łódź, who designed an app to let lorry drivers enjoy what is known as eco-driving. Congratulations!

Today, Kraków became the stage for fierce competition for the title of the best Polish concept to find everyday uses for space developed technologies. Our interstellar teams competed in the ActInSpace contest. Although it may sound farfetched (from space?), it is not. After all, the water filters we use in the kitchen were originally made to cater for the needs of space stations and were not brought down to the Earth until many years later. With this in mind, we can easily realise that such ideas can have magnificent business future. This year, the concepts were assessed by a number of experts, including Marek Moszyński, Vice President of the Polish Space Agency and Bartosz Sokoliński, the Director of the New Technologies Division in the Industry Development Agency (ARP).

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The finals were held at the Kraków Technology Park (KTP), which applies an array of means to support new technologies and promotes their application in Polish businesses. The finals gathered four teams: two from Kraków, one from Warsaw, and one from Łódź. All the four were winners of hackathons held previously in Warsaw and Kraków, where they proved better than 7 and 11 other teams respectively.

The winning team will represent Poland during the international finals in Toulouse, France. If you want to support the Polish team contending for the title of the best business idea in the space technology sector, do cheer them on Twitter, using #actinspace hashtag and don’t forget to add #gopoland.

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20/05/2016

Success of Digital Dragons 2016!

The jubilee 5th round of the Digital Dragons attracted over 1300 participants from 30 countries to Kraków. For two days, the capital of Małopolska became the centre of the video games world and the electronic entertainment sector. The Digital Dragons Awards were presented for the best games of 2015 during the event, which has earned itself a permanent place in the agendas of leading game developers and producers. For the first time, the main partner of the conference was Małopolska Region.

During two days, Kraków’s Old Tram Depot and the Museum of Municipal Engineering, provided the stage for 71 lectures and presentations by world-class specialists in various fields connected to the production, development, and marketing of videogames. The lectures by the brightest stars of the event – John Romero, Chris Avellone, Feargus Urquhart, and David Brevik – enjoyed great popularity, yet crowds arrived in the lecture halls also during the addresses by Polish developers, which corroborates the power and popularity of Polish games sector growing from year to year. Altogether, in the two days of the Digital Dragons, the participants listened to nearly 3200 minutes of talks and lectures.

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Success of Digital Dragons 2016!

A special guest of the Digital Dragons 2016 was Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin. Held during the event was a press conference with participation of Jarosław Gowin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Higher Education. The conference entitled Let’s Play Innovation: Millions for the Support of the Polish Games Sector addressed among others GAMEINN, a sectoral program addressed to the games industry that the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBiR) announced two weeks ago.

For years, the Digital Dragons Awards presentation ceremony has been one of the most important elements of the Kraków event. The awards are presented for the best productions of the previous year. In 2016, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt proved absolutely beyond match, winning four statuettes in Best Polish Game, Best Polish Game Art, Best Polish Game Audio, and Best Polish Game Design categories. The winner in the Best Polish Mobile Game category was This War of Mine produced by 11bit Studios, and the title of the Best Foreign Game was awarded to Life is Strange, a production of Dontnod Entertainment studio. Two special awards were also presented: Małopolska Game Award to Bloober Team for their exceptional contribution to the development of the sector in the region, and Michał Madej from CD Projekt RED was recognised for special contribution to the Polish gamedev. The partner of the gala was G2A.com.

The Digital Dragons was also an opportunity to run another round of the Indie Showcase for independent game developers. This year’s rivalry stood at a very high level, which was jointly emphasised by both conference participants and representatives of the jury evaluating the projects. Among the 60 projects submitted, it was a simulator of the emergency number operator, 911 Operator developed by Jutsu Games, that proved the winner. Besides the statuettes for the best game of the Indie Showcase, the creative artists left Kraków with PLN 10,000 from the Municipality of Kraków in their pocket, and an Oculus Rift from 11bit Studios, sponsor of the Indie Showcase. The runner-up was Crush Your Enemies from Vile Monarch studio, while Book of Demons from Thing Trunk ranked as third. Community Vote Award went into the hands of Space Boat Studios for Out of Reach. It is worth emphasising that nearly 3000 votes were cast in the online plebiscite.

Another great tractor during the Digital Dragons was the tent of Techland, one of the main partners of the event. Set up in the courtyard of the Old Tram Depot, it attracted developers and conference participants, giving them a short break opportunity, and inviting to participate in numerous competitions and meetings with developers working on Dying Light, the latest hit of the Wrocław-based studio. Techland also used the Kraków event for recruitment, actively seeking personnel for the two AAA productions announced in Kraków and developed at the Wrocław HQ of the company, with the total budget of PLN 300 million.

This year again a session of VC Speed Networking was organised during the Digital Dragons. During the short, two-minute presentations, the participants tried to attract the interest of representatives of 10 investment funds with their game-related projects. A regular element of the conference, the networking sessions enjoy an ever greater popularity, as proved, among others, by the growing number of potential investors participating in the event.

The Digital Dragons continues to develop, following the expectations of game developers. The Kraków Technology Park (KTP) persistently supports the development of this innovative sector of Polish economy.

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Kraków zone expands 18/04/2016

Kraków zone expands

The Council of Ministers decided to expand the Kraków special economic zone. Its area grew by 159ha, of which 99.9ha are public grounds, and 59.6ha – private land over which the status of the zone was extended for carrying out new investments. Once the decision comes into force, the total area of the Kraków Technology Park (KTP) will increase from 707ha to approximately 866.8ha.

The change implies setting up entirely new subzones in locations ranging from Nowy Targ, Zakliczyn, and Jędrzejów to Klucze and Tuchów. New investments will be carried out in the Kraków zone, including those by Kolejowe Zakłady Nawierzchniowe “Bieżanów” sp. z o.o. (Kraków), Velvet Care sp. z o.o. (Klucze), and Lajkonik Snacks sp. z o.o. (Skawina). The total investment of the companies for whom the zone was created will exceed PLN 195 million, moreover, the declarations include opening 185 new jobs and retention of 1065.

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“We have long waited for this expansion, but we are convinced that it was worthwhile. Thanks to the change of the borders of our zone, it will be possible to carry out the investments and develop companies that invest in innovation and develop their products. We hereby thank the company boards and local and regional authorities for patience. I am glad that the process of shifting the borders of the zone was successfully streamlined, which will probably also result in new projects in the near future. There are three regions that in this way have obtained new opportunities for investors, therefore we invite you very cordially to invest in Małopolska as well as in Świętokrzyskie and Podkarpackie regions”, Wojciech Przybylski, President of the KTP, explained

The KTP is devoted to professional services for investors and partnership in business relations. The companies entering the Kraków zone may count on post-investment care, training and consultancy, and the package of technology park services. The KTP’s competitive advantage over other zones results from the synergy between the offer of a technology park and a special economic zone. The KTP offers the investors fully developed land for greenfield investment. After the expansion, we will be present in 30 communes in three regions. 

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01/04/2016

Comarch investments and employs again

Comarch, a company operating in Kraków special economic zone since 1992, has gained another permit to conduct business in the zone. So far, the company has constructed six office buildings offering over 55,000 m² of space in the Czyżyny subzone. The total investment outlay in Kraków zone has exceeded PLN 230 million.

Under the new permit, the company will develop a building offering around 27,000 m², which will significantly increase the company’s production capacity for developing ICT systems. The planned investment outlay will exceed PLN 69 million. Creation of at least 300 new jobs is also envisaged.

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Comarch investments and employs again

Of note: Comarch is a producer of innovative information technology and communication systems for key sectors of economy: telecommunications, banking, and finance listed at Warsaw stock exchange. It also provides services for public administration and businesses involved in commerce, services, and production, at the same time expanding the range of its services for the medical sector. Comarch is one of few Polish IT companies successfully operating in foreign markets.

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Easter! 25/03/2016

Easter!

Happy Easter time! KPT team

16/03/2016

Feargus Urquhart and Chris Avellone – leaders of the legendary video games studio at Kraków’s Digital Dragons in May

This is going to be a great holiday of electronic entertainment. Arriving in the city of Wawel Dragon, side by side with John Romero, who gave as Doom and Quake, are role-playing game developers of prime magnitude: Feargus Urquhart and Chris Avellone.

The Witcher is the largest export product of the Polish games sector. It represents the RPG (role-playing games) genre, in which players become fictitious figures, experience their adventures, and develop their skills according to set rules. The Witcher is Gerald of Rivia, a hero called to life in books by Andrzej Sapkowski, while the heroes of other RPG hits, such as Skyrim and Dragon Age, are characters developed by the players themselves. The computer-based variety of RPGs is currently experiencing a great period, as attested by the market results. In just over four years, Skyrim sold more than 22 million copies. The Witcher 3 sold 6 million copies in only the first six weeks of sales.

Yet it remains unknown whether this genre would have been so successful if not the a turning moment that took place several years ago. To discuss it more broadly, one needs to move back in time to the mid-1990s, when role-playing games, being an heir to the role-plays played in the real world and following the conventions of theatre improvisation found themselves in a slump after a few successful years in the market. It seemed that they were sentenced to oblivion. And this might really have been the case if not for Interplay, and American games publisher, who decided to open Black Isle Studios, a new division, and setting up a team who breathed a new life into the seriously fossilised genre.

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Feargus Urquhart and Chris Avellone – leaders of the legendary video games studio at Kraków’s Digital Dragons in May

Standing at the helm of the group was Feargus Urquhart, who named it after Scotland: the country his ancestors hailed from. Interplay created and released a number of games on Black Isle label that made their permanent place in the history of the role-playing genre.

The series that began the entire revival deserves special attention. A product of BioWare, a Canadian company operating under the patronage of Black Isle Studios publishing, it made an impact on the renaissance of the RPG games that cannot be overestimated. It can be simply said that a whole generation of players grew up on the saga telling the story of the Bhaalspawn. This is true also about Poland, where the localisations of the game have been the product of nobody else but CD Projekt, at the time, not yet offering own works on CD Projekt RED label, but being a recognised distributor. The Polish edition of Baldur’s Gate (Polish: Wrota Baldura), with Jan Kobuszewski, Wiktor Zborowski, Gabriela Kownacka, and many other stars of Polish stage and silver screen is recognised one of the greatest achievements in the history of games publishing in the Polish market.

Baldur’s Gate is the most famous title of the role-playing games revival, yet the renaissance brought also other productions. Even before Baldur’s Gate premiered, the first game developed by Black Isle Studios entered the market. It was Fallout 2, one of the best parts of a series that continues to present a vision of a post-nuclear world to this day. A great role in the success of the title was played by Chris Avellone, the second best-known name in Black Isle Studios. Avellone became famous mostly thanks to another great game from this company, Planescape: Torment. As in the case of Baldur’s Gate, what made the product highly popular in Poland was a highly successful and rich Polish edition with Adrianna Biedrzyńska, Emilian Kamiński, and Władysław Kowalski in the leading roles.

Despite the great artistic success and returning RPG to the ranks of major game genres, the Black Isle Studios fell victim to the crisis in its mother company. Riven with financial problems, in 2003 Interplay was forced to an unprecedented decision: laying of the developers who in five years created a number of games of highest assay. Black Isle was gone. Urquhart started his own studio, Obsidian Entertainment, and persuaded Avellone to enlist under his banners. The duo worked together for another 12 years, continuing the tradition of role-playing revival for over a decade.

In 2015, they ceased producing games together, yet there will be soon an opportunity in Kraków to see them together, as they both announced their arrival at this year’s round of the Digital Dragons – the largest games conference in our part of Europe. After an extremely successful year in the video games sector in Poland, marked by the great success of The Witcher 3 from CD Project RED and produced by Techland Dying Light, the organisers expect an even greater interest in the meeting than in 2014, when more than 1100 representatives of the games, media, business, and VC fund representatives arrived in Kraków. “”The Digital Dragons is not only a bevy of magnificent guests and an opportunity to meet the legends of the gaming world. It is also a place for exchanging experience, presenting achievements, and doping business. This is why events of this type enjoy such a broad interest among the sector. The Kraków Technology Park (KTP) became aware of these expectations five years ago already, and the games world has honoured the Digital Dragons with its trust. Thanks to this, the event enjoys today the status of one of the most important in Central and Eastern Europe”, the President of the KTP, Wojciech Przybylski emphasised.

This year’s edition of the Digital Dragons will be held on 16th and 17th May in Kraków. Besides Avellone and Urquhart, it will also be graced by John Romero, the developer of absolutely cult productions: Doom and Quake. Tickets to the conference are already available from www.digitaldragons.pl.

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Brembo reinvesting in the zone 18/02/2016

Brembo reinvesting in the zone

Brembo Poland, a company operating in Niepołomice since 2013, has decided to start another investment within the Kraków special economic zone. The company will purchase new machines and installations worth in excess of PLN 11 million, and will open a number of new jobs. This is the third permit issued to the company. The total investment planned at the location will have exceeded PLN 155 million. The company has already spent close to PLN 58 million.

The new permit opens the development of the plant in Niepołomice, where the competence centre for production of braking elements was launched in 2013.

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The company runs business in the automotive sector in 12 countries on four continents. Brembo Poland has operated in Poland for 18 years, and operates plants in Dąbrowa Górnicza and Częstochowa. The braking systems produced by Brembo are installed in cars of the most prestigious brands, including BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Ducati and Ferrari, and also used in motor sport championships and rallies.

Niepołomice is the largest subzone of the Kraków Technology Park (KTP), and the place of successful development of automotive companies. The Niepołomice subzone is home to such companies as MAN, Nidec, and Meiller.

The permit for Brembo is the third one issued by the board of the KTP in 2016. Two successive once are being processed.

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12/02/2016

The opening of MultiLab, and the first anniversary of the Kraków Film Cluster

On 6th February the Kraków Film Cluster (KKF), the largest alliance of Małopolska businesses and artists in the film industry, celebrated its first year of operation of. Bringing together 50 film sector businesses and organisations from the region, over 200 specialists capable of providing complex services for any film production, and participation in over around a dozen productions and events – the achievements of the cluster are already impressive.

“The idea behind setting up the KKF was to consolidate Małopolska film people and businesses. What we are especially keen on is the leveraging of the synergy effect and promotion of the region’s film potential. This is why we’ve built a platform for exchanging experience which will let us reinforce our image. KKF was set up in February 2015 by ten founding partners from Kraków. The coordinator and the good spirit of the cluster is the KTP, that is the Kraków Technology Park”, says Aneta Zagórska, Director of the KKF.

The chief success of KKF in the first year of operation is taking over the management of MultiLab. This multimedia laboratory is situated in the newly opened headquarters of the Kraków Technology Park and answers a broad array of needs of businesses, also from the film sector.

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The opening of MultiLab, and the first anniversary of the Kraków Film Cluster

“The Kraków Technology Park looks for niches both within the ICT sector (e.g. cloud computing, smart city), and in the markets and on the fringe between the ICT and other sectors. One of the most promising subjects is the interconnection between the ICT and creative sectors. For years, we have efficiently supported Polish computer game developers, and now we count on producing a similar effect in the sectors of multimedia, film production, animation, and special effects”, Wojciech Przybylski, CEO of the KTP emphasised.

Beginning with February 2016, the Cluster has managed the exceedingly modern multimedia laboratory, which currently is the only one in Małopolska that allows to perform the complete film image postproduction up to the complete DCP files with your audio, image, and data. MultiLab offers access to two colour correction studios, five independent editing studios, a MoCap studio, a green-screen studio, and an open space with 24 computers designed for computer graphics and a powerful rendering farm. Its accompanying infrastructure includes production rooms with a conference hall sufficient for a 30-person-strong production crew. For larger production teams, MultiLab has prepared workstations in open space. This production conglomerate offers also filming, lighting, and sound equipment including a Red Dragon camera with accessories.

“I’m very glad that such a place was started in Kraków. It satisfies the needs of filmmakers not only from our region but also from the whole southern Poland”, Aneta Zagórska, Director of the KKF says.

 

Following the opening of the multimedia laboratory and to commemorate the first anniversary of setting up the Kraków Film Cluster, a press conference was held today at the KTP. The meeting was organised in MultiLab’s cinema hall literally bristling with its state-of-the-art equipment. Participants of the conference included the Board of the KTP, CEO Wojciech Przybylski, and Vice President Małgorzata Popławska, and the cluster was represented by its Director, Aneta Zagórska, and Marcin Lech, head of the postproduction department at the KKF.

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Kraków to host prime magnitude games industry star 10/02/2016

Kraków to host prime magnitude games industry star

John Romero, one of the most recognisable figures in the history of videogames, developer of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake; co-founder of the id Software will be with us at the Digital Dragons in Kraków in May.

Remember that tickets to the Digital Dragons 2016 are available at lower prices only for a limited time (till 15th February).

John Romero is an award-winning game designer, level designer and programmer whose work spans over 130 games, 107 of which have been published commercially, including the iconic works Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM and Quake. Romero has worked in the mobile, hardcore, mid-core, casual and MMO space. Romero has co-founded eight successful game companies including the likes of id Software, Gazillion Entertainment, Loot Drop which celebrated its 5th anniversary in 2015, and most recently Romero Games. He is considered to be among the world’s top game designers, and his products have won well over 100 awards. One of the earliest indie developers, Romero began working in the game space in 1979 on mainframes before moving to the Apple II in 1981. He is a completely self-taught programmer, designer and artist, having drawn his inspirations from early Apple II programmers. Romero co-owns Loot Drop and Romero Games and resides in Galway, Ireland.

More information: www.digitaldragons.pl

04/02/2016

New year – new permits

The Board of the Kraków Technology Park (KTP) issued two permits for doing business in Kraków special economic zone as two companies Comarch and Alupol Films sp. z o.o. decided to return to the zone with their investments.

Comarch will invest in the Czyżyny subarea in Kraków, where it has run research and development as well as IT activity for years. The company will spend at least PLN 14 million and open at least 15 new jobs.

The first permit in the zone was issued to Comarch in 2000: it was the first investment in the subzone and one of the first in the Kraków zone.

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New year – new permits

So far, the company has invested over PLN 225 million in the Kraków special economic zone, and employed more than 1700 people within it. Czyżyny, a part of the Campus of Kraków University of Technology, became one of the most vibrantly developing centres of science in business. According to our estimates there are approximately 6000 people working there. Other investors in the area include for example Radionika, and CD Projekt Red – Polish games developer of global renown. Other tenants include international corporations, notably the Brazilian Stefanini and the American corporation GI Healthcare. Operating in Czyżyny is also the KTP Technology Incubator and the business in Małopolska Centre.

In turn, Alupol Films, a part of the Alupol Packaging group being a branch of Grupa Kęty, has received the second permit for operation in the Oświęcim subzone of the Kraków special economic zone. By 2022, Alupol Films will have invested from PLN 90 million to PLN 117 million. The investment aims at increasing the operational capacity for production and enhancement of synthetic foils.

In the 19 years of its operation, the KTP issued 210 permits altogether. The area of the zone increased from 66 to 707 ha. The company constructed two buildings offering the total space of 16,000 m², where we have launched two technology incubators, and provided coworking space and a multimedia laboratory.

We support business development not only thanks to the zone but also with a variety of other tools that we have invented and developed.

 

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