Intelligent specializations of the Subcarpathian Region

-Automotive drives innovation

6 September 2021 Posted in Members, News, News

More than 120 companies and over 20,000 employees create one of the strongest intelligent specializations of the Subcarpathian Region. It has a high share in the industrial production sold in the region. Almost 65 percent obtains income from export sales. It also leads the way in terms of investment in innovation – today it focuses mainly on zero-emission production and ever lighter and durable materials. The most important issue is educating the staff. Entrepreneurs gathered in the industry cluster initiated the project Subcarpathian Academy of Automotive Industry – Innovative Vocational Education and co-create curricula for new professions that the automotive industry will need of the future.
According to the reports from 2018, the automotive industry in the region was represented by 122 companies employing over 21,000 people, its sales revenues amounted to PLN 12 billion and mainly came from exports. – The automotive industry in Subcarpathia is a strong industry – it has potential measured not only by the number of enterprises, but also by quality, related to knowledge, development and innovation. The long traditions of this specialization date back to the pre-war Central Industrial District. In the 1990s, new factories appeared – investments of large international companies. This influenced the development of companies providing services for them and strengthened the Subcarpathian automotive market. The development of the Regional Development Strategy for the Subcarpathia Voivodeship and entering the automotive industry on the list of smart specializations motivated companies to cooperate – notes Ryszard Jania, president of the Eastern Automotive Alliance, one of the three organizations, next to the Polish Automotive Group and the Sanok Land Industrial and Scientific Cluster, which unite the industry.

Polish Automotive Group – Key National Cluster, based in Sedziszów Malopolski, associates approx. 60 factories with Polish capital, including approx. 20 from Subcarpathia. Among them there are well-known brands from Subcarpathia, such as PZL SĘDZISZÓW – a producer of car filters, FA KROSNO – a supplier of gas springs, and one of the largest Polish automotive producers – SANOK RUBBER COMPANY – a leader in the production of rubber products. Braking system components are manufactured by UNION PARTS, suspension components – PELMET, plastic products – SPLAST, SIEROSŁAWSKI GROUP and GUMAT, consumables – IMPOL, and metal processing is handled by ZPH J. TARAPATA. There are also engineering companies, such as CADWAY AUTOMOTIVE, IT companies, such as INFOSOFTWARE, and startups such as NOWAK INNOVATIONS. Their customers originate from the group of vehicle manufacturers and from the spare parts market – says Bartosz Mielecki, managing director of PGM.

The automotive industry, both in terms of research and teaching, is supported by the Rzeszów University of Technology, conducting engineering and master’s studies in the fields of: transport engineering, mechanics and machine construction, specializing in “motor vehicles”, transport and electromobility. Scientific circles also provide an opportunity for the development of automotive passion. In one of them, students created a unique racing car design and can boast of many successes in the annual international Formula Student competition. – At the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Aviation there are organizational units, research laboratories, focused and strictly specialized, among others precisely in the automotive field. The Department of Motor Vehicles and Transport Engineering conducts research on the development of vehicle structures and technologies, or the use of alternative and ecological fuels and energy sources in transport. Experimental and simulation studies are carried out in the field of the impact of road transport means and transport processes on the natural environment and road safety, as well as studies of mutual interactions in the driver-vehicle-environment system. Perfectly equipped research laboratories allow for the implementation of scientific and research works in accordance with the requirements of European and world standards – lists Assoc. Eng. Paweł Woś, prof. Rzeszow University of Technology, head of the Department of Motor Vehicles and Transport Engineering at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Aviation of the Rzeszów University of Technology.

Bartosz Mielecki confirms that the automotive industry is at the fore in terms of investments in innovation: – Almost every company with PGM conducts research and development to some extent. Cooperation is important to us, among others with the Lukasiewicz Research Network, which includes almost 40 research institutes from all over Poland.

Entrepreneurs committed by the European Commission also strive to achieve zero emissions in the entire process of vehicle production. That is why one of the most innovative companies in Subcarpathia – SPLAST – has built a large photovoltaic farm next to the factory, which allows it to reduce CO2 emissions to zero. – Automotive remains one of the most important sectors of the economy in the world. It is an industry of the future that is constantly developing, which forces innovation and investments, and is a stimulus for technological progress. For the Subcarpathian Voivodeship, which has made the automotive industry one of its smart specializations, these are very promising forecasts, sums up Bartosz Mielecki.

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