The growing role of Katowice on the international market.Cities & Regions
Originally Published in March 2018
Katowice is the capital of the Upper Silesian Region in Southwestern Poland. Deeply marked by the industrial age, Katowice has been investing in culture and creativity to revitalize and regenerate, summarizing its vision by the motto “from heavy industry to creative industries”. There are six European capitals within a distance of approx. 600 kilometers from Katowice: Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava.
The city’s origins are connected to the development of mining, metallurgy and heavy industry. In recent years, Katowice has undergone a noticeable metamorphosis: from a post-industrial city it has become a dynamic metropolis with over two million inhabitants in the region. Redeveloped mines became areas where business and culture can flourish. The ‘Culture Zone’, created on the grounds of a former coalmine, is now home to the magnificent Silesian Museum and its historic mineshaft offers panoramic views of Katowice. Located right next to it, is the famous International Congress Centre (MCK), the place for business, science, sports and culture events. The MCK has served as an arena for events such as Intel Extreme Masters, Tauron New Music Festival, and European Economic Congress.Such events also favourably stimulate the development of domestic entrepreneurship.
This makes Katowice City’s Mayor Marcin Krupa very happy as he outlines the city’s development strategy: “We want to develop business tourism in Katowice. Undoubtedly, the events that take place in Spodek Sports Hall and the International Congress Centre help us promote our city and the whole region. Business tourism has become an important lever for the city’s development. It’s worth adding that Katowice is the host of the largest event in Poland – Intel Extreme Master, which attracts over 170,000 participants each year. Our city has now become the global capital of eSport. What also leaves a great impression on our foreign partners is the fact that in December we will be hosting the COP 24 Climate Summit and the World Anti-Doping Conference. These events are a great promotion for Katowice on a global scale. As befits UNESCO’s creative city in the field of music, our cultural offer is rich and diverse. All these events show that our efforts and activities are noticeable and appreciated even outside of Europe,” concludes Mr. Krupa.
Katowice wants to facilitate their expansion into the global market by strengthening the cooperation with investors, building an innovation ecosystem and supporting the city’s start-ups.
The Silesian Investor and Exporter Assistance Centre located in Katowice provides an array of services for investors, completely free of charge. The city representatives, called the investor’s guardians analyze the entrepreneur’s needs, indicate possible forms of development and help with administration proceedings and establishing contacts with local entities. Katowice wants to facilitate their expansion into the global market by strengthening the cooperation with investors, building an innovation ecosystem and supporting the city’s start-ups. The city has decided to create a Municipal Entrepreneurship Incubator, a creative space for the knowledge and experience exchange for everyone interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. The city of Katowice recognizes the potential of start-up companies, offering them support and opportunities for expansion into the US market. As part of the cooperation with Silicon Valley, Katowice has set up a representative office in Palo Alto, operating since October 2016. Thanks to such initiatives Katowice has one of the lowest levels of unemployment in Poland – below 3 percent. Katowice proves that investing in creativity can transform a once-industrial district into a vibrant creative city.