Jacek Kasz is the director of the Center for Technology Transfer (CTT) at Cracow University of Technology, Poland’s second-oldest TTO. He tells us how the office came to also be responsible for regional SME support and Horizon Europe applications, and how Cracow’s ecosystem has been shaped by IT.

But while Kraków’s ecosystem is full of opportunity, challenges remain and Poland sometimes struggles to retain its brightest minds, who continue to be drawn overseas to Silicon Valley.

Kasz also talks about how sometimes government programmes are actually fantastic and how CTT’s involvement in the EU project IMPACT — which aims to improve the teaching of sustainability-oriented innovation and entrepreneurship — is adding value to his work.

And with the Ukrainian border just 250km away, Kasz also discusses how his university, and CTT itself, are helping refugees.


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Please note, the intro and outro have been omitted.

Jacek, welcome.

Good afternoon.

Good afternoon to you. To start with, hopefully an easy one, can you give me an overview of your office?

My office is 21 people grouped in three, let’s say, teams. And as usual with the Center for Technology Transfer, this TTO has been growing, let’s say, randomly, let’s call it. So in Poland, it started from the pre-accession funds before 2004, and we were founded in the year 1997. And originally, this was the European Fund Office, which grew up to technology transfer and also Horizon programmes.

So altogether, we have 21 people in three teams. The major team, or in the sense of the existence of this unit, is the commercialisation team. We have five people, including me — I just count myself as a member of this team. I will talk about it later.

The second team is the Enterprise Europe Network team. This is seven people, six FTEs. Enterprise Europe Network is one of the most successful European programmes in promoting and supporting small and medium enterprises.

And the third team is the regional contact point, now called horizontal contact point for EU funds, which basically deals with the support of individuals, organisations applying for Horizon funds — not only Horizon, but basically Horizon funds — in three southeastern provinces of Poland, in the province of Kraków, Rzeszów and Kielce.

So 21 people, three teams, plus we have secretariat function and we have accounting, financial function plus me.

That’s very interesting. It’s interesting that you’ve been around since 1997 as well. I think that’s…

We are second oldest TTO in Poland after Wrocław. We just celebrated 25th anniversary in September.

Amazing. I do want to talk a little bit more about the fact that you offer services to SMEs and also deal with Horizon Europe, EU-funded applications. Was that always the case where you set up that way from the start?

These programmes evolved and they were, let’s say, added on the go. We had also the programmes that we discontinued or projects like we’ve been the center for the Europe direct project for many years. But you know, these are the three pillars of our activity.

Is it logical to some extent? Is it synergetic? Yes. We try to create synergies or enable synergies between the teams. But we could exist without Horizon or SMEs. Of course we could. And this is the case in some organisations in Poland. I will dwell on that later when we talk about maybe bigger organisations like PACTT and so on.

My point is we are trying to first identify and then utilise the synergies that exist between particular teams. For instance, when our Enterprise Europe Network team offers different solutions or funding schemes or tax breaks or any kind of help to the local SMEs, they can also offer our technologies. And this is the case.

On the other hand, when we are looking for particular addressees or maybe users of our technologies or solutions, we, not always, but often turn to our colleagues in the neighbouring room who work with the SMEs in our province. So these are the synergies.

Horizon Europe also is contributing to it. Pillar number three, the accelerator and transition programs within Horizon are offered to small and medium enterprises. And these are just the examples. So we work together and we’ve been growing together. But this is not that this is the ideal setup, this is basically a random setup because it was needed.

OK, yeah, that makes sense. What are some of the opportunities in Krakow at the moment? Are there any sectors in which you excel, for example?

Krakow is an amazing city. We’ve been the capital of Poland since, I don’t know, always, 1000 years maybe. And we are the historical city of the beautiful architectural monuments and locations. But we are also a very modern city in terms of industries and business.

The business which has been booming in our city for the last 10 years is, don’t get me wrong, shared services or business process outsourcing. And if you look at the top 10 list in the world, there have been always eight Indian cities, Manila and Dublin. And now this is for the last five years, this is eight Indian cities, Manila and Krakow.

How do we differ from those eight and Manila? We differ that way that we are delivering not even better service, different service and different level in more sophisticated solutions. So, this is not only accounting, this is not only help desk or any kind, because that’s kind of simple thing.

Business process outsourcing in our city is focusing mostly on IT sector. And as such, it also encompasses IT research and development centres. So we are basically the IT focal point in Poland and centrally in Eastern Europe. We have an abundance of IT talent educated at 15 Krakow public — just public —universities, out of which my university is one of the major ones.

We educate fantastic people in IT and this is appreciated by investors. So Krakow is the city of BPO with a total population of around one million. We have at least 100,000, if not 150,000, people working in the BPO sector, out of which maybe 80% or 90% are IT people.

And the second thing, which I would like to mention here, we have at least 180,000 students in the city.


Yeah, so half of them are the Krakowians and half of them are coming all the Poland and abroad. So altogether, I would say the total population is around a million, over one million. We’re a mid-sized city and we like it very much.

By the way, we also have high-technology businesses, manufacturing businesses. We have electronics, we have aerospace, also mechanical things, automotive like MAN. We have smaller, but also pharmaceutical companies.

This is creating, and I would say almost an ideal ecosystem for growing startups and deep tech startups, spinoffs from the universities and so on. So ecosystem in Krakow is quite solid, is developing. I wouldn’t say it’s mature, but it’s maturing at least. It is a great place which attracts investors and company owners from all over the world.

It’s… I remarked in the American Chamber of Commerce, I’m meeting all the time, young people coming here for the IT talent, starting their own companies in Krakow. This Monday, I joined the French tech meeting or meetup rather, they say, with a lot of young French investors happy to be here and grow their business in our city. So yes, the ecosystem is fine and it’s providing the right opportunities for the interested people.

Amazing. That is wonderful to hear. One of the initiatives that you offer in Krakow is the Innovation Incubator. Can you tell me a little bit about this programme?

That is a Polish invention, which I would, as much as we do not like ministries and governments and all bureaucracy, as we call it, this is a very fine invention, which started in 2014. And this was addressing the gap on financing the pre-proof-of-concept type of projects.

We do not have much financing for the projects between TRL 01 and let’s say five, six, because five, six, this is really what is achievable at the university.

So the ministry’s concept was to find the best projects, best ideas, and try to bring them to the level which would allow talking to the venture capitalists or the industry investors or any type of investors.

Of course, investors and venture capitalists, you know, they love eight or nine nicely wrapped products which they could take and sell further, you know. No, this is very rare. And you can see it from your experience that eight or nine at the university is almost impossible. So we are basically delivering at five, six at the best.

But it’s… Innovation Incubator is basically the ministerial project in which the consortia of universities or universities and special purpose vehicles or any kind of PRO — as you call it, public research organisations — gather together, apply for the money and receive the money.

Then they, let’s say, distribute this money to the research teams, which in turn deliver incredible growth in the short time from 01 TRL to maybe four or five.

And we are now finishing the fourth edition of it, actually in the end of April, and we will be soon applying for the next edition. There’ll be some changes, some names changes.

We will also have some gap, which is difficult for me from the organisational point of view, because we have to assure the continuity of the team and we need to have the financing of those people. But overall, I think this is one of the best ministerial or governmental programmes supporting the ecosystem and overall innovation at the universities.

Amazing. I hadn’t realised that it was created by the government.

This is governmental. Yes. Believe me or not, some smart people there too. 2014, so it’s old.


At this stage, because we never talked about it, this is one of the problems that we’re facing every day. This project is finishing. And out of 21 people that I mentioned in the beginning, only two people are paid in a way by the ministerial subsidies or governmental subsidies. So this public university is basically financed by the government, but we only get the financing for two people. The remaining 19 we have to finance from our own projects.

So let’s say these are major three projects of Enterprise Europe Network and the contact point, and as I mentioned, Innovation Incubator. Now we, let’s say, work on financing ourselves from our savings in the way our proceeds from the other projects. So this is a continuous play in which we need to find the financing for different people because keeping the team together of qualified professionals is so important.

And so far we’ve been successful in keeping all those good people with us.

Fingers crossed it’ll stay that way.

Yes, yes.

Another project that caught my eyes, is the IMPACT Project. Can you tell me a little bit about this one as well?

This is a different type of project. This is more educational in the sense of educational for the team. And we are learning many things. This is not exactly the line of development of this centre, but we are working on the issues which are important in this world, which are really the focal points of European Union activity.

So if you look at the title of this, first of all, values-based sustainable innovation in entrepreneurship. So what we are working on is understanding what is the sustainable innovation and how does it work in the current contemporary companies? Would it be big corporations and smaller businesses?

Then we would define the major drivers of it, the barriers and challenges, address them and come up with the end product, which is going to be a certified programme curriculum in English to be used by universities in Europe.

And this program, this major, let’s call it, maybe not major, this is 12 ECT points. So this subject, this programme, this curriculum is meant to teach the students to use the sustainability idea, values-based sustainability in their future work in the companies.

It is a combination of… Let’s say, it’s an interdisciplinary programme. And what we bring to the table from our university is the engineering approach. So we are practical guys, understanding the numbers and willing to use the numbers in our practice.

And we work with the business psychologists, we work with the sociologists, we work with all type of the people. It’s a great combination which delivers results. We’re just finishing… we’re into work package six, starting this actually, which is the crucial point of the total project. We are working on the curriculum.

Cracow, my university, is coordinating this. By the end of the year, we will have the curriculum and the programme ready and certified by the German company ASIIN to be used at the universities of EU. And I believe and I hope that this is only the beginning of our collaboration with our partners.

Partners are great. We have HHL, which is the Handelshochschule Leipzig, business school. We have the University for Economy and Communication in Berlin. We have University of Florence and University Complutense in Madrid.

So great partners and also the business partners, altogether 15 partners in the project. It’s financed by Erasmus+, whatever you mean by that. Plus or rather plus. I don’t know. That is the impact. And, you know, we are just finishing. We hope for the next one, the next edition of it. We don’t know what it’s going to be, but certainly will be interesting and continuing.

That is fascinating I will have to dig more into that once we’re done recording this, because that is really, really cool.

This is impact-project.site.

Amazing. I will look that up. Thank you.

What are some of the challenges that you face in your ecosystem?


This is a big question.

Wow. Where should I start? Basically, if you measure the activity of the TTO, you ask yourself the question, how much money do we generate for the university? It’s not only what we bring to the community and how do we save the planet, but also how much money do we bring? And this is a, I would say, difficult question in the sense that nobody wants to answer.

When I came to this environment from business, this was the first question I asked myself because I was business-oriented. And I said, okay, so here we go. This is our product. This is what we do. This is what we sell. What are our proceeds or maybe revenue and what profit are we making?

So basically, I’m going to tell you the following: nobody wants to talk about it, first. This is not very optimistic, maybe that’s because.

To my best knowledge, maybe five universities in the world can support their TTOs from the proceeds or maybe revenues of the TTOs themselves. That would be Stanford, MIT, and Columbia, which is great in life sciences, medicine, biotechnology, everything. And in Europe, I would only think about two British ones, Oxford and Cambridge. And maybe, you know, there are many universities in Western Europe mostly, which are doing great and they’re very strong. But I’m not sure if they’re able to support themselves in terms of keeping the team and financing the team from the royalties.

This is not the major question. The major question is how do we fit into this ecosystem? This is what you mentioned. And our task is not exactly generating profits for the university. Not only that. We are more than that. We are educating the society, not only our university students and scientists, but we’re educating society about science and about application of science in life.

We are also creating the social impact, which is so important. You may say this is the third pillar of the university activity after teaching and after research. And if you look at the evaluation of the universities in Poland now, this is equally important to the other, let’s call it, legs of our activity.

So what is the problem of the ecosystem? I would say if you look at what’s happening now in AI, maybe this is going to be a good example.

In the highly regulated environment, like in Europe, it would be difficult. ChatGPT-3 was invented by the Polish guy from the small city of Kluczbork, Wojciech Zaremba, who through studying in Warsaw, then École Polytechnique Paris, and then at the, I guess it was Columbia or New York University, PhD, Google, blah, blah, was picked up by Elon Musk to create a company with him.

And he was given funds and the quiet and the ease of mind to produce what he could produce. And he did it. And after Musk withdrew due to conflict of interest, he is now delivering the ChatGPT-3.

Will it be possible in my environment? Probably not. Probably not, because it requires things like, first of all, capital. Talent we have. This talent will, you know, boom or blossom more in the environment like Silicon Valley. But even here in my city, that could develop itself.

But you know, people are here demanding results, demanding plans, and not living on a vision like Mr Musk, for instance. I believe he lives on a vision. And he would tell you, say, let’s do something. Do this, order this. And they did it. And they got this money and this ease of mind. We don’t have it.

Now today, March 15th, we have the launch of GPT-4, the version four. It’s Jakub Pachocki. It’s another Polish guy who is behind it. And again, studied in Poland, you know, PhD Carnegie Mellon and employed by, I don’t know, I don’t even know if this was Microsoft or anything.

My point is we have the talent, we have the people, we are lacking capital.

And first of all, we’re lacking private, big private capital. And as far as the public money, public money cannot accept risk, meaning the risk and loss is not calculated in the Ministry of Education or higher education spending. The same with my university, public university. We’re not here to make loss.

And in this business, you need to face loss as the reality of this life. So these are the challenges of the ecosystem.

But you know, coming down from those top achievements, ChatGPT and so on, everybody’s talking about it now. But if I look at my everyday activity and I see my incremental technologies, which are maybe not saving the planet, but they are good and they’re moving us from step one to step two to step three.

First of all, my dream would be that these technologies match the company’s needs. And secondly, I would dream that those companies would really be interested in acquiring those technologies to improve their financial results, because at the end of the day, this is the major motivation for the companies to invest in innovation.

This is what we are trying to develop, to work on by day in, day out, work with scientists on discovering what is needed in these disciplines, contacting them, communicating with companies, doing this discovering process, as we call it, with companies, and not maybe ending up doing the contract research of the type, measure this and measure A and B, and then tell me what it is and why.

This is not… We are trying to be more open and create new opportunities, but working beyond those contract research projects. So we want to create the intellectual property within the common projects that we’re doing with industry, and then we would share this intellectual property and sometimes on a happy day we would valorise it, as the French would say. So this is environment, otherwise environment is great.

It’s just too many opportunities, too many meetups and conferences. Just the people of 20, 30, you know, they love it. They love this, you know, creative chaos in which they are living and they’re loving growing their companies from 10 to 1,000 to 10,000. And at certain stage, people at my age are asking them, okay, but where’s profit here?

No, no, because we don’t have sales yet.


So… and those more educated that say even Uber is making loss until now. So what do you want?

This is startup environment, but we are in a different environment, more conservative. We are trying to marry fire and water by working between the relatively conservative public university and fast-moving, unorganised, sometimes chaotic startup environment or society or whatever.

So I would say, come to Krakow if you want the nice ecosystem, if you want to work in a nice environment.

Amazing. I have never been to Krakow, so…

You have to come over.

Yes, it sounds like a great place. Do you track your engagement from researchers that come from a diverse background or do you run any programmes targeting those people?

This is not exactly our task.


But we were, let’s say, seminal, let’s call it, of some areas. You know, currently, after all those years, we have, you know, the formal units at the university taking care of diversity, equity and inclusion. Also, let’s say, anti-harassment, that kind of thing and initiatives. We’ve been active in achieving the excellence in HR.


Do you know what it is?

I’m not sure.

This is something which guarantees the researchers to be treated in the same equal way at every university, you know, bearing this logo.


And this is also, I guess, from this perspective of Horizon Europe, this is a necessary factor in achieving the Horizon funding at all. So the universities, in a way, have to be certified. We at this Center for Technology Transfer, we did it. We brought it on the silver plate to our, you know, president and now we show it on our website.

It of course doesn’t have to do, at least much to do with our major activity, but nobody was, you know, designated to do it. So we did it. Otherwise, if you talk about diversity and inclusion, we have researchers and students from all over the world. I was even amazed to see how many international researchers do we have from the countries like Iran, Arabic countries, Central Asian countries, of course, Ukraine, even before the war.

By the way, I need to mention this, that my university has been very, very helpful and my people, even my people within the TTO individually were extremely helpful and provided assistance to Ukrainian refugees. One morning, I need to mention this, I wanted to use the smaller meeting room. It was locked. I asked for the keys and they came to me and said, you know, you can’t enter this because we have three adults and two children, you know, sleeping on the floor.


They came three o’clock in the morning to the railway station. They were taken by our people and brought to the office because there was no space for them and incredible. By noon, they already had the house. They had an apartment in which they could live.


But on a more, let’s say, formal note, my university provided programmes with the Ukrainian as the language of instruction.

Huh, that’s cool.

So currently, we have, for instance, a programme in civil engineering, educating over 70 future engineers, civil engineers that’s going to be needed for rebuilding of Ukraine and so on. We have many researchers working at our university coming from Ukraine even before the war. Some of them extremely good.

I just worked with, you know, on one project right now with a Ukrainian professor who is just now transferring for the scholarship at Stanford. This is just amazing how those careers progress. So inclusion, no problem, diversity and equity.

As far as equity, I understand this is the balance between female and male employees. We are ahead of generation because I have 16 ladies and only four guys and me. So I’m good.

Brilliant. You’ve already mentioned PACTT earlier, I think, Poland’s association of tech transfer professionals or Poland’s version of AUTM, I guess. You’re active at ASTP as well. Is there anything that you wish Poland would learn from its European peers or maybe the other way around, something that you wish you could teach them?

We are lifelong learners and technology transfer is no different. Because of my international, let’s call it background in business and some connections that I had, I started working initially informally as the envoy to or maybe delegates to the ASTP committee.

Everybody knows what ASTP is. They have the national assemblies advisory committee representing the groupings of TTOs. And this association of TTOs in Poland is called PACTT. It was developed that way that it sounds good.

So this is called in Polish Porozumienie Akademickich Centrów Transferów Technologii — not even word Polish in it, P stands for Porozumienie… doesn’t matter.

PACTT is the Polish, let’s say, Netval in Italy or PraxisAurol in UK or it is, you name it. So this is the national organisation.

What can we learn? First of all, we participate in the formal trainings which are delivered by the top notch people from the business like Jeff Skinner, Anja Zimmerman. You met Jeff, you met probably Andrew Miller.

Yeah, yeah. I’ve met Jeff, great guy.

And of course, Amanda Zeffman. Amanda is from Cambridge. And these are the types of the people who really know a lot about this business. And you can excel at this business by just listening to them and working with them. So we take part in training. We learn a lot by participating in the conferences. And these are annual conferences. with a break for the pandemic.

I started at the conference, I guess, in Dublin in 19. I’m only in this business since 18. And last year, this was a great conference, very successful, 500 people or more. You mean conference as an event, but it’s not only a nice city, nice location, nice food and nice company and nice wine at night, but it’s also a lot of interesting and just right-to-the-point presentations that you can utilise in your activity in life. So what I’m trying to say is, yes, we can learn a lot from our Western colleagues.

What can they learn from us? Our worlds are basically getting closer and closer. What we are good at, I don’t know, of course, we’re good at improvising. We’re Polish, yeah, so we’re good at improvising.

But except for that, we have quite nicely developed relationships with Ministry of Education and Science. And we, as PACTT, started to be a valued partner, not only in contacting them on behalf of the society professionals but also as the trusted advisor, I would say. We are good. We are designing the programmes for ministry together. We have them in our meetings every year. The next one will be in April in Gdańsk.

And I believe, how you utilise the governmental funds and also EU funds in the country is something the others could learn from us. Also, there are many initiatives in which are participating, voicing our point of view. The last one was the — I participated in it — this was EU community on creating best practices in, again, French world valorisation. This is now the buzzword and it’s used by French or Francophone people. And valorisation is basically monetisation or maybe even commercialisation.

So it’s a two-way street, but you can always say they’re the best people in the class. And so far, they are mostly in those developed centres of technology transfer, like London, Holland is great, France is also great, and Germany.

Okay, so yes, we can educate the colleagues, but to a bigger extent, probably they can educate us at this point of time.

Okay. I think you said you’ve only been in this for a few years before you joined the Centre for Technology Transfer, you were a researcher, you were a professor, you worked in industry for a few companies. How did you end up in tech transfer and how did you end up at this university specifically?

I started in academia years ago. And I just after a PhD in Berlin, became an assistant professor in Poland and went on different stints in Germany, Norway, and ended up with several stays at the University of Texas at Austin. And I ended up there as the Fulbright professor, a senior Fulbright scholar formally, but I was teaching. So they used to call me professor as they do it in US.

I had a stamp in my passport, which required that I came back to Poland after Fulbright for two years. And immediately after coming back, I thought that for many reasons, there was no life for me at the university. I just joined the first good American company in my city, which showed up and stayed with this company for the next 20 years. So I was in the American business for over 20 years, and then five years in a German business and I thought I’m gonna retire in this industry, but I didn’t because, and this is honest, by chance I found this announcement. And they said this was like second or third attempt to employ the director of TTO, the conditions were quite difficult.

I, of course, fulfilled all of them because I was on the both sides of this barricade and I knew those worlds in and out. And I didn’t have any experience in this particular way of working with technology transfer, but I knew business and I knew academia. And I thought this was an ideal work for me because my work at that time wasn’t about money. I worked for money earlier, 20 years earlier. This wasn’t for money. This was more for fun and for satisfaction. And this was the major argument.

The second argument was that I had to… I wanted to come back to my city because business brought me to the other city in Poland, which was also nice, but not as nice as my place here in Krakow. So those things combined brought me to this business, which is, I believe it’s a great business for me.

Yeah. You certainly seem to be enjoying it from this still quite brief conversation we’ve had. You’re very enthusiastic about everything, which is great to see.

Yeah, but what is important is continuity in bringing your enthusiasm or putting this in the framework of daily activity and looking for the end result always, every day. So enthusiasm is needed. There’s nothing without enthusiasm and optimism, but let’s call it controlled optimism.

I like that, controlled optimism. If you had a magic wand, is there something that you would change about how tech transfer is done?

We are what we are. We are not in Silicon Valley. We’ll not have Larry Page, you know, drop off from our university and bring us profit of $1bn a year, but we can do something. We can educate our scientists to work closer with the industry and do the things which are needed and appreciated at the industry.

At the same time, we need to educate the industry that they need to come over to us and look at our solutions and bring those to their environment and that way to profit and increase profitability.

So what if I would have a magic wand, I would say more understanding of both sides of commercialisation, of those partnerships, industry, academia partnerships, and all that based on the very solid base of financial funding, which would allow great things happening.

I always like to ask people as well, if they can give me some examples of their spinouts. Are there any companies that you’d like to give a shout out to?

First of all, Thierry, you need to understand that we have an environment talking about innovation based on the UK experiences. So the UK invention is the SPV, the special purpose vehicle, which is a company wholly-owned by the university, which takes all the risk coming from doing business with small companies, but at the same time is representing university in those spinouts. Also it is a subject of the commercial code and not of a public organisation. So we have the same setup in our country.

We have public universities, which may or may not, typically they do create the SPVs and these SPVs are 100% owned by the university. They take ownership, shareholding in the spinout. Now that may transfer the IP through the licence or they can transfer through the assignment.

All in all, what I’m trying to say for the last two minutes is that we as the Centre for Technology Transfer, we are not busy with setting up, starting these spinoffs. What we do, we sometimes, and this is rare, but we do create the companies with no SPV participation. We just help the scientists to find investors or arrange for the licence of the technology in starting the company. Any company which has university participation has the SPV in it.

We are always busy with selling the technology or valuation of the technology at this stage of creating or selling or transferring the technology to the spinoff. So basically we do spinoffs, but we don’t do.

Now what do we have? We have several ones. Interesting spinoffs that we have is for instance, the latest which was created is one of the younger professors of the chemical engineering department and chemistry department created a company active in the 3D design of any — that’s very vague… — but different things, let me call it that way, and also the special purpose materials. These are typically nanomaterials.

We have a company which is busy with flex and robust connections in the construction practice. So in construction, very interesting.

We have, continuing in materials in construction, we have a spinout which is active in creating geomaterials in which we replaced cement in the concrete and use the natural materials, sometimes the waste materials to create and form building blocks and building materials.

We have the architectural spinoff, which is busy with the laser measurements of the inner and outer volumes, let’s call it, of the buildings.

And sometimes we have strange situations in which our scientists do things that do not have any connection with their daily activity and two guys busy with the mills and milling and overall mechanical treatment of things, they came up with a fantastic dryer for honey because one of them owns the hives and produces honey. Does it have anything to do with their activity? No. In this case, this IP, which does not belong to the university, but still, because they are employees, we help them with the commercialisation of this invention and they own the company, but this is not owned by the university, by Politechnika Krakowska.

By the way, the name of my university is Politechnika Krakowska and our patron is Tadeusz Kościuszko, our national hero.

I am not going to pronounce that because I think I would butcher the name.

He is also the hero of the United States and he’s standing next to the White House. “Kostzusko”, they say. Kościuszko is the name. Doesn’t matter.

We are sadly out of time. Is there anything else that you wanted to mention just before we go?

I have a question to you. Thierry, this is great getting to know you and speaking to you. How did you find me? How did you come up with the idea of interviewing me?

I can’t remember. I think I saw you participated in a discussion around knowledge transfer, database management, ASTP.

In Antwerp?

Yeah. I saw you took part in that.

Yeah, I had a small presentation there. This was on our CRM system, but this was bigger than that. We’ve been talking about open science and open data in regard to that. So this is one element only of this. Okay, good.

I think that was it. I hadn’t interviewed anyone from Poland yet, and I try and be as diverse as I can with countries. I looked at your CV. You’ve got a fascinating life so far.

So far.

Yeah. You’re still young.

And still counting, as they say at McDonald’s.

Yes. Well, Jacek, thank you so much for talking to me today. It’s been a great pleasure.

Thierry, my pleasure.

Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).