According to reports on AI by the Digital Poland Foundation, 85 of the surveyed companies in Poland are located in the six largest Polish cities, including Wrocław – the capital of Lower Silesia. Additionally, in a study for the report on the local IT sector prepared by the Wroclaw Agglomeration Development Agency, most companies indicated AI as a key growth path.
The strong presence of Wrocław on the Polish AI map has prompted in-depth analysis of the local sector, resulting in the report “The AI sector in the Wroclaw Agglomeration 2021”, published on September 2, 2021.
“AI development is already progressing in the region thanks to our universities, the local IT sector and projects carried out by leading companies and startups. We wanted to go a step further, so we decided to broaden our knowledge of the local AI sector and collect up-to-date data to support the development of the local business ecosystem. This knowledge is crucial because we want the Wroclaw agglomeration to become a leading hub for AI applications and competences in Poland and Europe,” says Jacek Sutryk, Mayor of Wroclaw.
Most AI companies surveyed meet the SME criteria and are mainly software houses and startups. The data showed that businesses are generally established locally. In addition, the fact that the survey did not include responses from Polish AI companies with their headquarters in another city suggests that local tech companies are expanding their activities to other regions of the country, and not the other way around. This confirms the observation of Startup Poland: if there is a Polish equivalent of Silicon Valley, it is located in Lower Silesia.
Over 50% of the surveyed companies provide AI solutions in the form of products, both in the SaaS and On-premise models. Many interviewees confirmed their plans to further productization of their AI offer. However, the outsourcing of projects and teams remains significant.
Productization is associated with ambitious projects and technical challenges. Entrepreneurs perceive this element as crucial for business development and start competing between themselves for AI experts.
“AI development definitely needs qualified specialists. Poland, and our region, is famous for educated specialists, but the pace of changes requires an increasing number of talents, which set us new goals and challenges for the coming years,” says Magdalena Okulowska, president of the Wroclaw Agglomeration Development Agency.
70% of respondents live and had previously operated an IT business in Wroclaw, so adding an AI component was a logical move for them. Other key factors include good access to qualified employees, Poland’s membership in the EU, high-quality business infrastructure and the presence of numerous universities offering courses and study programs in the field of AI. Almost 80% of respondents plan to increase their investments in AI solutions in the future.
“The results of the research confirm that the enormous creative potential of Wroclaw and the region is an effective basis for the development of AI. Companies not only understand the need for this technology, but see it mostly as a natural and logical direction, especially in the view of the challenges revealed by the pandemics,” says Okulowska.
The publication “The AI Sector in the Wroclaw Agglomeration 2021” is available in Polish and English. You can download it for free:
English version: The AI sector in the Wroclaw Agglomeration 2021 Report
The report was prepared by the Wroclaw Agglomeration Development Agency. The publication’s substantive partners are: ITCorner, SoDA, ABSL. Strategic partners are: SDZLEGAL SCHINDHELM, Randstad and JLL. The publication’s partner is the City of Wroclaw as part of the “Entrepreneurial Wroclaw” project.