Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodship is situated in north-eastern part of Poland. Warmia and Mazury borders Kalinigrad Oblast of Russian Federation from the North. Over 200 km Polish-Russian border is also an external European Union border.
The Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodeship is one of Poland’s most attractive regions, both in terms of its landscape and tourism. The basis for this region’s uniqueness are numerous lakes, rare natural and cultural environment features, on both domestic and European levels. Having protected areas which constitute of 46.3% of the region, the environment in Warmia and Mazury is scarcely extended and is mostly unpolluted. Most of the area of Warmia and Mazury belongs to the Green Lungs of Poland. Moreover, a large part of the voivodeship has been included in the NATURA 2000 network.
The region’s economy is strongly linked to existing natural resources. The Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodeship is situated in one of the ecologically cleanest regions of Poland, amidst huge forest complexes and lakes, which has been the main factor behind the development of a healthy food industry, wood industry , ecological forest management and (agro) tourism in the region. Other industries important from the point of view of the development of the voivodeship include: tires industry, metal processing machines, coniferous timber and hardwood timber industry.
Warmia-Mazury region is Polish furniture hub and lead in the export of furniture and joinery (about 14.3 % share of the domestic production of furniture). It has second place in Poland in terms of the number of organic farms, so it is a natural starting point for the development of organic food processing. Warmia and Mazury has dominant position on the national scale in the production of poultry meat, beef and pork, ham, butter and beer. Warmia-Mazury is famous for the production of high class yachts and boats which are characterized by high quality and comfort of usage. Yachts from Warmia-Mazury are bought all over the world. Warmia-Mazury region has long tradition connected with the machinery sector. Companies located in Warmia-Mazury manufacture, among others, turbines for power stations, agricultural machinery, cleaning machinery, wood processing machinery, industrial, pneumatic machinery. About 40% of appliances manufactured in the region is exported. Moreover the ICT sector was identified as industry with a high potential and of a great opportunity.
The main region’s industries were specified as ‘smart specialisations’ and they are as follows: production of timber and furniture, high quality agri-food processing as well as water economy that refers to tourism.
The biggest higher education institution in the region is University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, educating over 30 thousand students on seventeen faculties. The university provides students with the opportunity to attain a comprehensive education in a wide range of studies: humanities, pedagogy, theology, fine arts, law, veterinary medicine, agriculture, engineering, biology, economics, mathematics and medicine.
Olsztyn, the capital of the region, is a respected in Europe center of dairy industry development.
There are university institutes of Dairy Development as well as Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research – Division of Food Science with a lot of scientific achievements. University Department of Environmental Protection and Fisheries and Polish Academy of Sciences is also an important research potential of inland fisheries.
Warmia and Mazury Regional Development Agency Joint Stock Company in Olsztyn was established in 1993 on the initiative of local governments of Olsztyn Voivodeship.
WMRDA operates for the development of Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship towards an increase in competiveness of its economy. It fosters relations between domestic and foreign entities for business operation and stimulates the activities of institutions, social and local government organizations and business entities.
The Agency’s mission is to operate for economic development of the entire region, particularly through providing support for small and medium-sized enterprises. This aim is achieved through various activities connected with direct support for enterprises in the form of subsidies, granting loans for the expansion of business operations, consultancy in various forms and scope, organizing and conducting training and information activity. WMRDA also provides local companies with innovation and internationalization support.
Currently, Warmia and Mazury Regional Development Agency actively participates in the development of the region by taking part in the process of programming for years 2014-2020.
The WMRDA’s structure consists of Regional Financing Institution, Regional Consultancy Point, Regional Loan Fund, Enterprise Europe Network Contact Point, Investor Assistance Centre and Centre of Innovations’ Implementation and Promotion.