Business and investment
In October, Wroclaw hosted the 7th edition of "Made in Wroclaw", a business event that puts innovation and new technologies at the center. The conference part presented three thematic blocks, focusing on issues related to current trends, the investment potential of Wroclaw and the surrounding area, as well as expert debates on the future of the mobile sector in the context of economic change. Inspiring speeches and panel discussions provided many inspiring conclusions, which were shared by more than 30 experts. In addition, an Expo Zone was organized, where 40 exhibitors presented their business concepts, including a Martian rover, state-of-the-art gaming machines, original electric bicycles and a robot dog. The fair attracted not only the business community, but also locals eager to see what local companies are working on. Made in Wroclaw is an opportunity to meet and exchange contacts and integrate the entire business community.
As every year, Karpacz also became the focal point for the largest political and economic conference in Central and Eastern Europe - the Economic Forum. It is a place of intense debates and exchange of ideas that shape the economic direction of Poland.
Participants focused on security issues, prospects for economic development and challenges of the modern business world. It should also be added that a unique highlight of the program was the third presentation of companies awarded by the Mayor of Wroclaw in the Socially Responsible Business category. The awardees, including BASF, Selena and BNY Mellon, are companies gaining recognition for their contribution to social development.
Mateusz Jarzombek, director of the Business Support Center
Wroclaw also promoted itself at the MIPIM International Real Estate Fair in Cannes. This unique event brought together industry representatives, giving them a chance to explore the latest trends and innovations in the real estate sector. The Wroclaw stand was the place for intensive talks and the establishment of strategic partnerships. Investors had the opportunity to learn more about Wroclaw's attractiveness as a business destination. Participation in MIPIM, as well as other promotional activities of Invest in Wroclaw, such as an image campaign on business TV stations and at 5 Polish airports, were made possible with EU support under the project "Promotion of Wroclaw and Lower Silesia in the country and abroad as an area attractive in terms of economy and investment".
Wroclaw and the region is certainly gaining a name for itself as an attractive market and a dynamic technology hub, which was also confirmed by the awarding of honors in the European Cities & Regions of the Future 2023/24 ranking. The city remains at the top positions, being a leader in terms of business friendliness, economic potential and investment strategies, among others.
Evidence of the strong position of the Wroclaw agglomeration on the economic map of Poland are this year's decisions by investors to locate their business here. First and foremost, this year's huge success is the attraction of Intel to the region, in which ARAW had no small part. The U.S. company will build a semiconductor integration and testing plant in Miekinia, near Wroclaw. The value of this investment may reach as much as $4.6 billion, and up to 2,000 employees will find work there. In addition, the construction itself will create several thousand additional jobs.
Aneta Herbus, head of the Investor Services Department
This year, quite a few companies already present in our market have announced the expansion of their operations in the agglomeration. BNY Mellon announced its expansion in Wroclaw, opening another branch. The 3M conglomerate, which produces plastics, abrasives, electronics and pharmaceuticals, has unveiled investment plans and intends to invest $146 million in a new factory in Wroclaw's Kowale district, which will produce filtration equipment for biopharmaceutical companies. BASF, which has built Europe's most modern catalyst plant in the metropolitan area, has made another investment in Wroclaw. BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions has opened a new office from which global processes will be handled in the areas of automotive catalysts and precious metals trading, among others. In September, Viessmann opened an innovative laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art research equipment at the Wroclaw Technology Park. The Viessmann R&D Center will enable work on new energy-saving solutions to advance heating innovations. In turn, the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices, Align Technology, has opened a state-of-the-art Educational Training Center in Wroclaw, which is dedicated to the education of doctors from Poland, as well as throughout Europe.
What's more. The leader in the telecommunications sector has laid the cornerstone of a Technology Center that will be an important part of Wroclaw's growing technology ecosystem and create more innovative jobs. A new Bosch heat pump manufacturing plant will also be built in the Wroclaw metropolitan area. The investment is worth nearly PLN 1.2 billion. The new factory will create 500 new jobs by 2027. In turn, the dmTECH drugstore chain has opened its Polish headquarters and its first stores in our country right in Wroclaw. At the same time, dmTech launched its first international branch - an IT technology support center, where it plans to employ 300 people. This year, companies such as Grid Dynamics, Industrial Bank of Korea, Aptean and Aryzta also decided to open their headquarters in Wroclaw.
In 2023, the Startup Wroclaw team continued its activities, the main goal of which is to develop the Wroclaw startup ecosystem and promote Wroclaw on an international level. The past year was intense in terms of the number of business events, successes of Wroclaw startups and the city's achievements as a business-friendly technology hub. 2023 brought record numbers! More than 600 people attended the Startup WRO Meetup series, three editions of Pitch Me Baby were organized together with Accelpoint, 17 startups participated in pitching competitions, and the flagship event Evolutions: Meetup & Showcase, in a new and expanded form, attracted more than 250 people interested in technology and startups.
Moreover, thanks to the involvement of the entire ecosystem, Wroclaw defended its title as the startup capital of Poland. For the second year in a row, according to the "Polish Startups 2023" report, it is Lower Silesia where the largest number of Polish technology companies are registered. The Startup Wroclaw team also participated in foreign conferences (ViennaUP, We Make Future Rimini, Web Summit and Unique Summit Ostrava), during which they presented the solutions of Wroclaw companies and the possibilities of the local ecosystem.
There is a lot of activity behind us, a huge amount of plans ahead. Wroclaw's startup ecosystem is developing excellently and, above all, supports itself in all projects. We are confident that 2024 will bring even more good things and will strengthen us not only in Poland, but especially internationally.
Paulina Muszynska, head of Startup Wroclaw
As every year, ARAW strives to provide valuable publications relevant to the local business community. This time we focused on the local ICT industry, which, being a horizontal industry, can directly influence the solution of global problems. We decided to predict several possible scenarios for the development of this sector in the Wroclaw agglomeration over the next 15 years. The report "Digital Co-creation and other scenarios for the future. ICT development in the Wroclaw Agglomeration 2037" was created in cooperation with infuture.institute and strategic partners: the city of Wroclaw and the Entrepreneurial Wroclaw project team, and companies: Michael Page, CBRE, SoftServe and Wiewiorski Legal. While working on this publication, we drew knowledge from many different sources: from entrepreneurs, representatives of NGOs, universities, investors and representatives of the Wroclaw agglomeration administration. The process of creating the report was accompanied by thematic workshops dedicated to all stakeholders involved in its implementation.
An important aspect of ARAW's activities for local business is cooperation with investors within the Foreign Workers Support Department.
In 2023, we served 1,070 foreigners from 25 companies operating in the Wroclaw agglomeration. We obtained positive residence decisions for nearly 800 people from more than 30 countries, a record number of completed proceedings. We also directed training in legalization procedures for investors and their employees, engaging in comprehensive assistance and education. Our activities not only focused on the formal and legal area, but also had an impact on raising awareness and competence related to the legalization process. The year was full of challenges, but the results achieved give us motivation for another year of effective support.
Jakub Fraczyk, head of the Foreign Workers Support Department
Local government and education sector
This year, in addition to the implementation of projects aimed at the development of local government units in the Wroclaw agglomeration, we also supported local business, the labor market and education.ーFor the Center for Partnership Projects implementing development projects with EU funding, the passing was primarily the end of the 2014-2020 financial perspective and the first competitions from the 2021-2027 perspective. We completed 2 projects for the construction of bicycle roads and P&R parking lots in several municipalities in the agglomeration. Together with the CWB, we have completed activities under the economic promotion project, implementing image campaigns of Wroclaw, in addition, we have paid 22 companies with grants for research and development work in the amount of up to PLN 200 thousand under the project "Voucher for innovation - grant support for Lower Silesian companies".
However, the most important achievement is the acquisition of a new educational project under the European Funds for Lower Silesia. For the next 2 years, we will implement a wide package of activities to support the acquisition of competencies by students and teachers of 5 Wroclaw vocational and trade schools in the project "Professionally into the future - development of skills necessary in the labor market of the Wroclaw agglomeration.
Tomasz Spiewak, director of the Center for Partnership Projects
As for attracting foreign students to Wroclaw universities, this year we continued our campaign targeting Central Asia. Candidates from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan or Georgia showed considerable interest in studying in Poland.
We had the opportunity to convince ourselves of this during the spring and autumn editions of educational fairs, during which we were accompanied by Wroclaw University of Technology. This year we also carried out our regular series of informational meetings for new international students - the Study in Wroclaw Academy
Miroslaw Lebiedz, project manager
The Spatial Analysis Center was mainly engaged in monitoring the residential and office investment market, collecting data, preparing analyses and updating the database on developer investments, helpful in the area of urban infrastructure planning and the development of commercial service and production activities.
At the request of the Municipality of Wroclaw - the Office of Integrated Territorial Investments WrOF - we prepared a study covering the area of 36 municipalities of the MOFW, consisting of calculations and a report determining the percentage of the population living within 800 meters of stations and railroad stops or 500 meters from a public transport stop. In addition, we worked on study materials and spatial analysis for the sub-strategy Municipality of Wroclaw-MPWiK S.A. "Adaptation to climate change of sewerage and rainwater drainage systems in the city of Wroclaw," and we reviewed real estate for the purpose of developing public functions or identifying investment potential for the development of commercial activities.
Natalia Kinga Matyja, director of the Spatial Analysis Center
Communication with residents - portal and newsletter Wroclaw.pl
The year 2023 was a good time for the wroclaw.pl portal. To begin with, some numbers. We recorded as many as 130 million page views of our website (23 million hits from search engines), 6 million direct hits, 8 million hits from Google Discovery and 1.3 million hits from social media.
The most-read topics in 2023? Education, social topics, greenery and recreation - these are what our readers read. And, as has been the case for years, the main place in the text categories was taken by public transportation. Numerous renovations, changes in schedules and the biggest change in the transportation network in years meant that residents of Wroclaw regularly looked at this section on the city portal.
But the Wroclaw.pl portal was not only alive with educational, sports and animal-related topics. More and more often we published plebiscites, polls in which residents expressed their opinions on various topics concerning life in Wroclaw. A novelty on Wroclaw.pl in 2023 was also the appearance of quizzes - testing the knowledge of Wroclawians in various fields: from historical, economic, cultural to everyday knowledge of our city. In addition, we implemented promoboxes - special services on the main page, for example, for All Saints' Day 2023, Christmas 2023, or the opening of the TAT at Nowy Dwor. Since this year, we have been publishing "live" coverage of important events in Wroclaw with greater frequency - e.g. the match between Slask and Rakow, the opening of TAT na Nowy Dwor, the opening of the streetcar through Popowice. A big success was the launch of the #InwestycjeWRO service - a map with the most important investments in Wroclaw. We also launched a special election service, handling the most important elections in Poland for 8 years. We were with voters until late in the evening, showing key information on an ongoing basis, including the fact that anyone who came until 9 pm - despite the queue - would have the opportunity to vote.
Robert Migdal, editor-in-chief Wroclaw.pl
We have started to write about neighborhood problems in a balanced way. No other media do this. For a simple reason. A housing estate topic described in a balanced way will be read by 500, maybe a thousand people. Not 10 thousand. Meanwhile, serious treatment of problems close to the people builds the credibility of Wroclaw.pl and shapes local public opinion. On Wroclaw.pl we also wrote about investments and economic issues in 2023. We described the activities of companies that are already in Wroclaw and those that are just starting out. We emphasized that they were creating new jobs and stated what kind of employees they needed.
We described Wroclaw's markets: economic-office, warehouse, residential, industrial, new technology and scientific and business centers and technology parks. We analyzed and published company reports on these topics. We cooperated with and reported on the activities of the Economic Development Office of the Wroclaw Municipality and the Treasurer on topics related to the economy and business development. We published offers of the Municipality of Wroclaw posted on the municipal real estate exchange in the following areas: residential and business premises. We acted for the development of the startup market in Wroclaw by informing about the activities of young companies and events organized by ARAW: Made in Wroclaw, Startup Wroclaw. But we also described and reported on economic events in which the municipality of Wroclaw participates - such as the Economic Forum in Karpacz.
In 2023 in Wroclaw.pl we wrote about the achievements of scientists and students from Wroclaw. During the year there were many publications about research, scientific projects and events branded by Wroclaw universities and the successes of our, Wroclaw's scientific community. Wroclaw.pl in 2023 was full of information about the cultural life of the capital of Lower Silesia. We informed our readers about the most important film, music, theater or book premieres. We reviewed the most important plays, concerts and exhibitions. There was also plenty of lifestyle content: about the lives of artists associated with Wroclaw, or films serialized in our city - such as "Erynie" based on books by Marek Krajewski. Our service in 2023 also abounded in great photos by our photojournalists: we posted galleries of historical as well as contemporary photos, as well as photographs of events important to the residents of Wroclaw.
Wroclaw.pl is also a printed newsletter, which is distributed throughout the city and which has managed to gain a wide circle of regular readers. In 2023, 48 issues of the bulletin were published. This year we wrote about the most important city investments and events, such as the opening of the Pomeranian and Chrobry bridges, the greening of Legnicka and Lotnicza streets, the Lesnica bypass and the streetcar line through Popowice. We also published special material thanking Wroclaw residents for helping Ukrainians and information for refugees. The Wroclaw.pl bulletin in 2023 was also a source of information for residents about city campaigns, such as not selling alcohol to juveniles, legal cabs or the deratization information campaign, as well as events such as the Night of Museums and the Wroclaw Festival. This year we published a special issue about changes in transportation, which included new schedules and maps. - In 2023, the Wroclaw.pl bulletin is 956 pages of the most important information about the city," summarizes Anna Aleksandrowicz, editor-in-chief of the bulletin.
Fast, concise and not only in Polish - Video section
About 800 materials, more than 20 million views, changes in video formats to those more suited to social media. Plus a regular program with translation into Polish Sign Language, live broadcasts of important events and several new series. This is how 2023 can be summed up in a nutshell for the city's video channel, Wroclaw TV.
ARAW's Video Department accompanies with its camera the most important events in the life of the city, including the largest ongoing investments in Wroclaw. It was also present at the Economic Forum in Karpacz. In addition, it has supported social campaigns, such as "Wroclaw without violence," the pro-frequency campaign before the elections "Don't sleep or they'll vote you out," or the WBO vote and the "Change the stove" campaign. Video materials are also regularly prepared for public consultations organized by Wroclaw.
The past year has seen the development of the "We ask about Wroclaw" program, in which officials and experts talk about the city's most important issues. Wroclaw TV also created reportage materials for sessions of the Wroclaw City Council, e.g. about the natural wealth of the Irrigation Fields or the Pracki Forest, the presentation of which preceded the councilors' vote. In addition to content in Polish, this year the video team prepared more than a dozen materials in Ukrainian dedicated to the issues of the Ukrainian community living in Wroclaw.
We also notice how audience preferences are changing. Viewers want short, specific content that they can watch while waiting for the streetcar or during a break at the university. We are trying to meet these expectations by preparing more content from city events in the form of reels and shorts. We have also created short formats dedicated to these needs, including "Did you know that...", where we talk about interesting facts, records and the history of Wroclaw.
Janusz Krzeszowski, head of the Video Department
Wroclaw TV has produced more than a dozen episodes of the "Wroclaw HITstories" program telling about the city's past, which can be viewed on YouTube or listened to on Spotify. For several months it produced the daily podcast "Wroclaw.pl na dzien dobry". The radio show "Musical Walks in Wroclaw" was also quite popular, and the series "Holidays in Wroclaw" encouraged Wroclawers to spend their vacations in the city.
We also place great emphasis on making sure our materials are adapted to the needs of people with disabilities. That's why every week we prepare a film Summary of the Week with translation into Polish Sign Language, and the vast majority of our productions have subtitles added.
At the end of the year, Wroclaw TV's activities were rewarded. At the Local Some gala organized by the Association of Polish Cities and the Institute for Internet and Social Media Research, the video team received the Golden Laurel for the best achievement among large Polish cities in social media. - For which we would like to thank you once again," concludes the head of the Video Department.
Social projects targeting Wroclaw residents
In 2023, the Social Projects Department could not complain about boredom - on the contrary! It abounded in a variety of projects that not only filled it with pride, but also provided considerable satisfaction. Key marketing campaigns and events were successfully implemented to the highest effect, and the results speak for themselves.
- Saturday with Green Wroclaw was once again brilliantly received by the city's residents. A record number of exhibitors showed up, as many as 40 booths. The event was held in a challenging area, the Millennium Park. We noticed the huge interest in the event and realized that we had to be ready for all eventualities. We acted at the highest level to accommodate both exhibitors and attendees flawlessly - we succeeded! The confirmation was the broad smiles on everyone's faces during the Saturday. This is not only a meeting with ecology, but also a celebration of successful initiatives and the joy of making a positive impact on the community! - recalls Alona Mach, project coordinator.
The end of summer was associated with the announcement of a new public transportation network. These were changes affecting the organization of life in the city, so the campaign had to reach every resident in the best way possible. We rose to the challenge, using marketing strategy elements that had been unusual up to that point.
Przemyslaw Wronecki, director of the Promotion Center
As a result, the campaign achieved its main goal, providing the community with full awareness and understanding of the transformations introduced in the public transportation system.
- We are using various communication channels and developing our social media. For a year we have gained as many as 40,000 Facebook followers. We keep track of statistics and see which trends are working. We want to reach out to our audience, intrigue them and enjoy our city with them," recalls Natalia Bogdanowicz, Project Implementation Specialist.
The year 2023 is a milestone year for the Projects Department. We are constantly keeping up with the pulsating life of society, adapting our content to specific target groups. We are introducing a modern approach to communicating with residents, closely observing their reactions and enjoying the visible impact of our activities. We are not afraid of difficult topics, such as noise in the city or waste segregation. We use language tailored to the audience, and dress the words in creations that hit with a powerful effect. We have successfully implemented projects that are already well known to residents, such as WBO or Change the Furnace, supported nationwide activities in the pro-frequency campaign "Don't sleep, because they will vote you out" or promoted investments that have been made in Wroclaw. We are proud of this year and we know that the next one will bring equally interesting projects!