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Special Economic Zone in Warsaw - mini-Silicon Valley around ATM

Today, ATM S.A. has received a message reading that the Council of Ministers has issued a Regulation on expanding the £ódľ Special Economic Zone with the Warszawa Grochowska subzone, where ATM S.A. runs its operations.

— The idea of creating conditions favorable for a truly innovative Innovation Centre, which would gather companies in one place in Warsaw that deal in modern ICT technologies, was conceived a few months ago. The purpose of it is to create such a place, which could gather outstanding engineers and scientists developing new solutions in telecommunications and IT, to be applied at home and abroad. ATM S.A. has long been involved in such development, so we concluded that it is worthwhile to join forces with other industry players — all the more that the selected location for the Innovation Centre is ideal for such activity thanks to telecommunications infrastructure available and IT infrastructure built by us — said Tadeusz Czichon, Vice-President of the Management Board.

We can reach this goal thanks to the presence of the special economic zones in Poland. The Act on special economic zones lays down a special form of support of economic developments by the State. Companies that obtained a permit for running business in the zone shall receive public aid being tax exemption, prorated to the volume of qualified capital expenditure made. Initially, the act was to combat structural unemployment in selected regions, and now has also become a tool to support the growth of priority economic areas.

ATM investment is consistent with the key objectives of development of Poland and the European Union expressed in the Country Development Strategy and the Lisbon Agenda. This is to create in the Warsaw Praga Po≥udnie district an environment whereby entities that provide services based on the state-of-the-art telecommunications and IT technologies find favorable conditions to grow. The Centre will provide support in the form of capital, technology and organization and access to a unique infrastructure (office space and adequately equipped technical facilities for processing and storing data and reliable and efficient telecommunications lines).

— It is mostly the young gifted ones that are to benefit from the ATM Innovation Centre, for whom conditions will be created that foster interesting careers and commercial use of their intellectual capabilities. We intend to make an important step, which may persuade the most gifted students of Warsaw higher education institutions to stay in Warsaw and take up employment here, by giving them the opportunity to respond to world class technological challenges — said Roman Szwed, President.

ATM intends to give an example and attract other companies of similar profile and ambition. The company intends to invest in increasing existing potential of the telecommunications node and infrastructure to provide services based on fully working telecommunications. The other objective is to develop new products and services — one of certain “tenants” of the Centre is to be the R&D Centre, ATM-Lab. The company wishes to focus on telecommunications technologies such as mobile and multimedia. The range of projects implemented at the Centre will be certainly wider and to a larger degree rely on the creativity of engineers and IT people, so several hundred people will find employment there.

ATM has for many years been involved in R&D work comprising, among others, building technological platforms for various services added to the telecommunications. The company holds a position in the market that is called technological enabler, and gives other operators the tools for adding value to the services provided to their subscribers. In addition to own R&D, in 2006 the corporate venturing was launched, whereby the ATM invested in companies at an early development stage, elaborating innovative products and services. Each of them has an opportunity to be globally successful and bring multiple return on investment. The purpose of corporate venturing is to gain rapid growth of value for shareholders by the right choice of entities participating in the program that are capable of commercial success through combining their innovative ideas and experience and the potential of ATM group of companies. The synergy effect between the corporate venturing program participants requires organized forms of ATM cooperation with the acquired companies. Gathering such entities round ATM, also in one location, may facilitate the positive exchange of experiences and joint solving of difficulties thus reducing cost of services implementation.

Last month, during the Warsaw Council session dedicated to creating the subzone of the £ódľ Special Economic Zone, the initiative of ATM S.A. received favorable feedback and may become the ground for a wider program, whereby cities being strong academic centres use the available tools to stimulate investment in most recent technologies in the area of IT, telecommunications, genetics and nanotechnology etc.

The decision on expanding the £ódľ Special Economic Zone opens a new, ambitious project implemented by ATM. Stage one will comprise signing an applicable agreement with the entity that governs the Zone, and then shall follow the erection of the Innovation Centre of a size adequate to the Warsaw position as a European capital. It is expected that the total expenditure for the erection of the Innovation Centre may come to as much as PLN 380 million over the forthcoming decade. The method of financing the Innovation Centre, including funds necessary to invest in new office space with extensive technical infrastructure will be considered following signature of applicable agreements that will govern the conditions of operation in the Zone. Revenue will be generated through ICT maintenance services for companies invited to do business in the Centre, and innovative business activities of ATM S.A. and its subsidiaries. For all companies that operate in the Zone, the vital issue shall be CIT exemptions, adequate to the investments made.

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