Łódź: Report on arrival

This week signals the start of a new ProCEedS secondment to Łódź, Poland. The team of ESRs comprises of three members from two institutions, namely doctoral researcher Meletios Bimpizas-Pinis and MSc graduate Cristian E Bergen Riquelme from the University of Sheffield (USFD) along with doctoral researcher Raffaele Leonese from the University of Parthenope (UPN). All of them are seconded to Fundacja Rozwoju Przedsiębiorczości (FRP), a private, non-profit foundation that provides training, consultancy and information services for startup businesses that want to engage in Circular Economy (CE). This secondment comes at a great timing considering not only the growing number of EU investments in CE but also the promising role of Poland in becoming one of the main hubs of agricultural production in Europe.

On Tuesday, ESRs had the chance to meet with Bartosz Kalinowski and his team, Assistant Professor at the Department of Operational Processes Improvement/Logistics at the University of Lodz (ULO), where they discussed the findings of their preliminary research. Focus was placed on the barriers that the Polish agri-food section is facing towards the transition to a Circular Economy. Both sides conferred on relevant issues and agreed to establish an open channel of communication where they will share their findings, relevant papers and industrial reports from both English and Polish related literature. In addition, they expressed their will to provide access to their network of industrial partners and alumni in order to increase the potential of collecting more data and gain further insights. Furthermore, all parts agreed to organise a meeting next week where they could brainstorm on ideas and identify future research opportunities.

In the afternoon of the same day, the team of ESRs met with Fundacja Rozwoju Przedsiębiorczości (FRP) representatives at the organisation’s premises. The visit started with a tour at FRP offices which are housed in the historical Gutenberg House building which owes its name to the sculpture of the inventor of printing Johannes Gutenberg located in the niche of a bay window. Following a presentation regarding FRP’s activities, the team of secondees communicated the key discussion points with ULO as well as a summary of their preliminary findings. Being proactive, FRP informed them that it has already arranged a series of meetings with academics, companies and policy-makers during which secondees could run some interviews. The meeting concluded with questions with respect to FRP’s consultancy approach, awareness campaigns and network of partners that ProCEedS could utilise.

More updates will follow.