The feedback is taken from representatives of the travel, outsourcing and industrial companies and the main acpect concerns the phenomenon of sick absence related to exposure to polluted air in the Małopolska Region. The study was conducted in three groups of entities in which the level of air pollution plays different but important role. For the tourist industry, the occurrence of natural values and the condition of the natural environment is crucial. Air pollution in naturally attractive areas can, for example, discourage tourists from visiting such places, which of course will lead directly to the outflow of capital from the tourism business. In the business services industry (outsourcing), air pollution is treated as an indicator of the quality of life and attractiveness of a place from the point of view of locating investments in the area of services and advanced technologies. On the other hand, in the industrial sector, economic activity is associated with the generation of pollution and incurring the costs of their emission and reduction.
Although we are increasingly aware of the importance of ecological behavior in our everyday lives, there aren’t still enough resolute, systemic and common solutions that would eliminate the problem of polluted air. We are already used to living in a contaminated and depleted environment, but it is not a natural state in which man and nature can exist. As long as its resources and balance are not disturbed, nature is able to absorb pollution to some extent and regenerate itself. But humanity is on the border of this balance, and its exceeding may eventually prove irreversible.
According to the definition, the cause of air pollution, in addition to natural factors, such as volcanic eruptions or forest fires, is the introduction of solid, liquid or gaseous substances into the air in such quantities that may threaten human health, negatively affect climate, living nature, soil or water, and cause other damage to the environment. This has been happening since the outbreak of the industrial revolution and the emission of pollutants is increasing every year, although in recent years its decline has been noticeable, especially SO2 (by 59%). Despite this, a huge amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) [336 557] is still released into the atmosphere – in this case even an increase of 6% was recorded, carbon monoxide (CO) [2,534], non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) , oxides nitrogen (NOX)  and ammonia (NH3)  [in thousand tonnes data for 2017]. In turn, dust emission of 341 thous. tone.
Map 1. Average annual PM2.5 dust concentration (µg / m³) from modeling results together with results from measuring stations in 2018.
Source: Instytut Ochrony Środowiska – Państwowy Instytut Badawczy i Główny Inspektorat Ochrony Środowiska, own calculations
Małopolska Region inhabitants’ lose from 2.05 million to 2.23 million working days a year due to air pollution. In terms of the number of days of sick leave due to poor air quality, the highest number for the analyzed years was obtained by Kraków. This is not only due to the state of the environment, but mainly due to the largest population of the city in the province. Krakow has the largest number of lost work days: in the after-heating season of 150,000 and 430 thousand during the heating season. The threefold difference between the seasons is mainly due to the significant difference in air quality between these periods. The worst month in years 2015–2018 was January, which means that, on average, this is the worst period in terms of smog and it has the most lost work days attributable to air pollution.
The average annual number of sick days absence for Małopolska is 2.12 million. The average annual cost of lost working days associated with the gross salary is 400 million PLN. Among diseases related to air pollution in Małopolska, the most represented groups of diseases (% of absenteeism days per group of diseases) are respiratory diseases (14%), nervous system diseases (6.6%), mental disorders and behavioral disorders (6, 2%), cardiovascular disease (4.6%), cancer (3.4%).
Map 2. Number of sick days absence attributed to air pollution (%) in 2018.
Source: Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych, own calculations
Małopolska is the region where environmental pollution and its protection have a dual impact on economic development. On the one hand, there are areas with a very high investment attractiveness for industry (Kraków and Oświęcim subregions), and on the other, attractive areas for economic activity based on environmental and natural values (recreational tourism, spa tourism, health care, services establishing the work of specialists for whom good life conditions are crucial for employment’s decision).
The report clearly shows how the diversity of Małopolska is shaped in terms of investment attractiveness at the level of subregions. For example, the Kraków subregion together with City of Kraków is characterized by the highest level of investment attractiveness in industry, services and technologically advanced activities. Similarly, the highest level of investment attractiveness in industrial activity has the Oświęcim subregion. There was still a high level of investment attractiveness in the service area in the Tarnów subregion.
The residents of Małopolska Region voiced their views on factors affecting health, performing check-up and preventive examinations, assessing a degree of air pollution in the place of residence, sharing knowledge about ecology and taking action to protect the environment. The study also included the subject of social economy and knowledge of the offer of social enterprises, needs and preferences regarding the use of digitized resources of cultural heritage were examined, and how małopolska residents use social media.
One of the most important issues raised in the study was health protection and preventive services. Health topics, especially prevention, have occupied a lot of space for weeks in social life, as well as in the media, especially in the face of the current covid-19 epidemic. Although the study was carried out a few months before the pandemic, it contains many interesting opinions about the general health condition of Małopolska residents
According to 64% of Małopolska respondents, the factor that determines the health condition of the population to the greatest extent is lifestyle (e.g. physical activity, diet, rest). According to the respondents, access to healthcare is the least important (1/4 of the declaration). So, do residents of Małopolska attach importance to prevention and check-ups before they get sick? It turns out that the inhabitants of the region usually carry out check-ups only if disturbing symptoms occure (55.7% of opinions) and at the request of a doctor (40.1%). The most systematic in carrying out control tests are the inhabitants of Krakow, because over 40.0% responded “I do it systematically”. The fewest declarations were made by respondents from the Sądecki subregion – 28.9%, as well as young people aged 18-24.
Almost 85.0% of respondents declare that in the last two years they performed basic tests (including blood or urine tests, ultrasound examination). Over 3/4 of them underwent a blood pressure test, and what is significant, hypertension is indicated as one of the most common complaints among the inhabitants of Małopolska (1/4 of respondents). As for women-dedicated tests, over 68.0% of female in Małopolska admit that they have had cytological tests in the last two years, 65.4% have had a gynecological ultrasound scan, but only 44.1% have indicated that they were doing a breast ultrasound or mammography at that time . The situation is slightly worse among male because in the last two years prostate tests were performed by less than 1/4 of male respondents.
Picture 1. Factors which determining the most a health condition of the population in Małopolska Region
According to independent data, polluted air increases the risk of many diseases, including respiratory and circulatory systems. Małopolska’s residents also pay attention to the fact that the external environment (e.g. air quality, working conditions) can significantly affect health. Meanwhile, despite many efforts directed at environmentally friendly solutions, Małopolska Region is still struggling with the problem of polluted air. As many as 60.0% of the Małopolska respondents assess the degree of air pollution in their place of residence as “very high” or “high”. The inhabitants of Krakow pay special attention to this problem, as up to half of them think that their place of residence has “very high” air pollution. The inhabitants of the Nowy Targ subregion have a different opinion, only 4.4% think that the air condition is bad.
Chart 1. Assessment of the level of air pollution at the place of residence in Małopolska Region
Małopolska Region is one of the richest and most culturally diverse regions in Europe, and Krakow itself boasts several million exhibits in its museums. The preservation of all kinds of cultural goods in digital format has become possible thanks to the digitization process. The inhabitants of Małopolska know that there is an electronic, digitized form of culture, and the inhabitants of Krakow demonstrate the greatest knowledge in this area – 77.4%. The most popular are the so-called contemporary works (e.g. e-books, films, TV programs) available via the Internet – 60.6%. The second position is taken by library resources (e.g. books, old prints, manuscripts, maps, notes) – 38.6%.
As regards the use of social media, as many as 86.4% of respondents declared that they had an account on at least one website. Facebook is the most popular social website among Małopolska inhabitants (69.3%). In the case of the three websites most frequently indicated by respondents, i.e. Facebook, Instagram and Nasza-Klasa, the main motive for having an account is “keeping in touch with friends, groups of friends”.
Chart 2. A state of knowledge among Małopolska’s inhabitants about the possibilities of using digital resources of culture and their age
Social economy through the eyes of Małopolska residents is a chapter devoted to knowledge about this sector of the economy where all projects are oriented on social utility. From a formal point of view, the social economy is usually associated with activities on the border of the private and public sectors. Inhabitants of the region are most often associated with local development and “entrepreneurship” (37.5% and 27.8%). Almost 60.0% of respondents have never met the offer of social enterprises. About 1/5 of responses concerned the answer “yes – in the media (Internet, TV, press, etc.)”. According to the data, the youngest respondents (i.e. 18-24 years) are the age group that most often meets the offer of social enterprises. Interestingly, the offer of social enterprises is the least frequently encountered by the inhabitants of the city of Krakow – 67.6%.
The survey of the inhabitants of Małopolska has been conducted since 2012, and one of its goals is to present the diversity of opinions of the inhabitants of Małopolska in relation to their place of residence in individual subregions of the region. Such analysis is a hint to identify the key challenges facing development policy in territorial cross-section. The study involved residents of all six Małopolska’s subregions, and a total of 3002 computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted. At least 500 respondents participated in the study in each of the territorial areas.
Source of charts and maps in the article: own study based on research results.
Małopolska is increasingly experiencing the effects of the global pandemic caused by coronavirus from Wuhan. This is not only a test for the healthcare system, but above all a huge challenge for entrepreneurs who found themselves in a crisis due to restrictions imposed by quarantine requirements. Under current circumstances the fact that Malopolska is the most visited region in the country does not fill us with pride as much as anxiety. In all industries strongly associated with tourism, which will certainly suffer from the impending recession, i.e. accommodation and catering, there are about 13.6 thousand companies. Another 1.9 thousand companies operate as tourism organizers.
Minimizing the negative effects of the pandemic is not just a recommendation, but a clear necessity. Therefore, taking advantage of the possibility of flexible use of funds from the Regional Operational Program for Małopolska, the Management Board has decided to allocate part of the money to combat the effects of the epidemic in the region. The Małopolska Anti-Crisis Shield is PLN 325 million which will help to protect the economy and purchase the equipment necessary to save human lives.
The Małopolska Anti-Crisis Shield is consisting of the three packages addressed to the healthcare and business sector. The resources will be donated to hospitals and entrepreneurs, thus protecting the jobs of thousands of inhabitants.
In addition, it should also be mentioned that additional funds have been previously spent on hospitals in Malopolska, which gives a total help value of PLN 325 million.
All information on the activities and facilities prepared by the regional government is available at Regional Operational Program of Małopolska Region website in Funds and coronavirus section. You will also find there information about changes and shifts in the deadlines for calls for proposals introduced by institutions announcing competitions and other news important for those who want to implement EU projects during the pandemic.
Current news about european funds in Małopolska and their spending in the current epidemic situation can also be found on the Facebook profile: MałopolskaFunduszeEuropejskie
The analysis answears following questions:
Smart Specializations in Małopolska Region set strategic directions for the region’s development by supporting cooperation in the sphere of science and business, help to create innovative and modern solutions. Seven Smart Specializations support areas with the highest development potential and strengthen the region’s competitiveness.
Enterprises, that implement innovative projects, fit into the following fields:
have the opportunity to apply for additional sources of financing, including the Regional Operational Program.
According to the analysis, 711 co-financing agreements were signed under the first and third axis of the Regional Operational Program with a value of over 1.4 billion złoty. Applicants who represent the specialization of chemistry and production of metals, metal products and non-metallic material products, have achieved the greatest effectiveness. Applicants from around Chrzanów, Oświęcim and Wadowice are the most effective, while the least successful come from Nowy Targ county.
Among 1,146 completed or implemented projects, which do not belong to the Regional Operational Program I and III axes, 327 (28.5%) were associated with at least one Smart Specialization. There was an above average demand for a design service within creative and leisure industries, and for LivingLab as part of information and communication technologies (in both cases it was over half of all projects applying for innovation vouchers).
Specializations in six counties were distinguished:
The distribution of the number of fields / technologies shows the strong dominance of Krakow.
Companies located in Małopolska Region submitted almost 2,000 projects related to the national Smart Specializations to the Intelligent Development Operational Program (it was the third highest result among 16 polish regions). The average value of projects from Małopolska amounted to slightly below 4.3 million złoty, which was an average result compared to other regions. Kraków is the seat of almost half of the units in the area of Smart Specializations. Clearly the least (about 0.6% each) of such entities are located in three counties: Proszowice, Dąbrowa Tarnowska and Miechów.
What kind of threats result from geopolitical competition to human? What does spirituality look like in the modern world? What is the health condition of our society? Participants of the event, which took place in the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) in Kraków, had discussed about problems and challenges for two days, argued and inspired. The conference was organized by the Regional Development Observatory of Małopolska Region.
The Kraków Conferences are a series of debates organized every year since 2008. They show Poland’s position on the international arena in the context of progressive economic and social changes.
An introductory speech of this year’s event was given by professor Jan Tadeusz Duda, Chairman of the Małopolska Region Assembly. He recalled the words of Antoine de Saint – Exupéry: “We did not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we only borrowed it from our children.” That is why it is so important that we should care for the earth and do everything to at least leave it in the same condition as we received from our parents. – he said.
Participants often pointed out that the world was changing very quickly and it strictly depends on us which direction it will go in.
Will our current actions have positive or negative impact on the world in 10 or 50 years? Will next generations be able to enjoy fresh, healthy food, general safety, growing economy, and our family that performs the most important social functions?
This year’s conference has been divided into five panels:
The event was held under the honorary patronage of Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland.
You can find more about the event on the Kraków Conferences website.
The number of foreigners who live and work in the Małopolska Region is increasing every year. In particular, this process intensified after 2014. There was also a dispersion of the stream of immigrants so far concentrated in few regions, with Warsaw and the Mazowieckie Region. At the end of May 2019, 39.8 thousand had valid residence permits issued by the Małopolska.
The purpose of the study is to update information on foreigners staying and working in Małopolska, the scale of their inflow and structure. The basic data were residence permits and documents authorizing them to work in Poland.
The report prepared by the Małopolska Regional Development Observatory presents a number of information on the state and structure of inventive activity in Małopolska in the years 2012-2018. The analysis covers, among others, such issues as:• number of inventions and designs and utility applications submitted to the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland,• number of patents and protection rights granted,• types of entities submitting inventions and utility models and their leaders,• technological classification by Ulrich Schmoch, dividing technology fields into 35 types. Analysts have taken into account, such issues as: the activity of inventors in Małopolska, comparison to other voivodships, division of entities by sections of the Polish Classification of Activities, inventive activity in individual regions (powiaty) of Małopolska.
According to research conducted over the years 2012-2018, 10% of all inventions submitted to the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland were developed in Małopolska region. Entities in Małopolska that worked on innovative technological, product or process solutions submitted 2,972 inventions. Only two regions turned out to be better – Mazovia, where over twice as many inventions were reported (6,106), and Silesia, where 3,742 inventions were reported.
The same situation applies to utility models, except that in the case of Małopolska, more than three times less utility models have been reported than inventions to the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland. The 809 utility designs submitted give Małopolska the third place in the country, after Mazovia (1,141 designs submitted) and Silesia (1,163 utility designs submitted). In the years 2012-2018, patents were granted for 63.2% of the inventions reported – 1,879 patents, which gives Małopolska the fifth position, after regions such as Opolskie (83.2%), Dolnośląskie (72.7%), and Lubelskie (65.2%) and Silesia (63.7%).
Małopolska, with a result of 62.9% (509 protection rights), was on the 12th position in the country in terms of protection rights granted by the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland. In this case, the group of three leaders included the following voivodships: Podlaskie (82.8%), Podkarpackie (80.5%) and Opolskie (79.0%).
Higher education, which dominates in terms of creating innovative technologies, fares favorably in Małopolska. The share of universities in Małopolska in the creation and submission of inventions as well as utility models is the highest in the country (12.4% and 14.2%, respectively). In 2012-2018, Małopolska’s universities submitted a total of 1,160 inventions and 75 utility models.
These results represent, respectively, 39.0% of the total inventions and 9.3% of the total utility models submitted by all Małopolska entities and institutions during the last seven years.The leader of all universities in terms of the number of reported inventions was the University of Science and Technology in Kraków (AGH), with the result of 668 applications (57.6%). The top three universities initiating innovative solutions also include the Krakow University of Technology (Politechnika Krakowska) (294 inventions – 25.3%) and the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (164 inventions – i.e. 14.1%).
New solutions in the form of utility models were developed in the years 2012-2018 only in the case of four universities in Małopolska, most of which concerned: the Krakow University of Technology (31 utility models – 41.3%), the University of Science and Technology in Kraków (29 utility models – 38.7%) and the University of Agriculture in Kraków – 14 utility models – 18.7%.
The “Culture in the time of artificial intelligence” conference was devoted to the functioning of culture in the realities of Economy 4.0. The purpose of the events was to answer a number of current questions about the creation, dissemination and activities of culture in the calculation of social digital phenomenon.
Speakers and invited guests were wondering about the role of the artist – to be more of a visionary or a craftsman for social services? The talks revolved around the growing importance of creative industries in Małopolska, the culture – forming role of large cities and smaller centers, and the activities of cultural institutions.
The results of the latest research carried out by the Małopolska Regional Development Observatory on creative industries in region were also presented. The conference was supplemented with a series of thematic workshops organized in cultural institutions and FAB – LAB. The conference was held on April 26, 2019 at the International Cultural Center in Krakow. The event was addressed primarily to representatives of cultural institutions, non-governmental organizations, artists, craftsmen, creators and entrepreneurs operating in the creative industry and others interested in culture. The event was organized by the Marshal’s Office of the Malopolska Region, the Malopolska Regional Development Observatory Team.
The study took into account the diversity of opinions of residents in the subregions of the Malopolska region (with the additional separation of the city of Krakow from the Krakow Metropolitan Area) and in terms of gender, age, education, place of residence (city / village), income per person, etc.