Dr. Eng Grzegorz Rarata from the Institute of Aviation came back from the Stanford University


15 May 2012 we wrote about Dr. Eng Grzegorz Rarata from the Institute of Aviation, which has been admited to second edition of TOP500 Innovators.

Now we present what he says about his motivation to join the project, what did he expect and what are his reflections.

“My main motivation that made me want to join TOP500 Innovators program was my interest in commercialization issues. I am personally devoted to my professional activities very much. Through all these years I have been working as a researcher I have noticed that in Poland there is a constant need for the staff, especially at the academia, to tighten the cooperation with private sector! Besides, research management at many academia centres in Poland is sometimes less then poor. Thus, commercialization of the research results happens extremely rare compared for example to our neighbour country, Germany. From my own experience I know that there is quite little interest in scientific research done in our centres by our industry as well. I have been sending tens of letters on the possible cooperation within the technology I am working on, and usually the response was minute. There are very little industry-sponsored projects in Poland as well. And something like science sponsorship by industry or related private sector is almost unknown phenomena. Just opposite situation is here, in the States. The interdependent research relationships between universities and companies is easy to see. And easy to understand that the fact enables both entities to sustain growth in their areas. While companies in Silicon Valley rely on university researchers for product innovations, faculty gain prestige through increased external research funds. Just as industry needs innovative ideas to ensure profits, researchers need additional research dollars to sustain faculty productivity. That’s the basis for a healthy relationship for both sectors…

At the time I applied for TOP500 Innovators program I already knew that Stanford University was one of the best US universities in the Shanghai ranking. And when I learned that my stay at Stanford is going to be two months intensive courses consisting of over 200 hours of different types of activities (such as lectures, workshops, study visits, etc.) I was really excited about that. I also had my expectation toward that. First of all I expected to have a chance to learn completely new things as well as to improve my knowledge in some other areas. I mean here that I wanted to learn more on the methods of working at Stanford, its research capabilities, see modern laboratories, methodologies and meet people there and to talk to them. So, in general the opportunity appeared to me as a great chance to extend further my professional experience, for the benefit of myself as well as my department, but it was also a kind of big challenge to learn as much as possible, and to try to utilize it after, especially when I am back, in Poland…

It is quite hard to summarize, even shortly, ad hoc, what the journey and the course at Stanford mean to me. But there are a few things that I know now for sure now. First of all I have noticed openness to multidisciplinary research, not only within Stanford’s schools and departments, but also in its laboratories, institutes, libraries, research centers and companies as a key factor. This factor causes that there are numerous benefits that derive from university-industry relationships, including benefits to local society, university, and companies in Silicon Valley. I am also very glad that I had the chance to learn at the Stanford Center for Professional Development. I think that here is particular need in Poland for such centers that would connect professionals from whole country and even worldwide to the research and teaching.

I also noticed that despite the multitude of differences in the Stanford University and Silicon Valley environment in terms of beliefs, religions, cultures, races, tendencies, occupations, etc., we all possess innate abilities or goodness. And they are the same here as people have in Poland! It means to me that the life that we have as human beings presupposes conscience, consciousness, and propels us in our search for truth whether it be through research and science as it is in my case. Thus, in such depiction, there are no barriers for such things as design thinking or innovation in Poland as well. When more and more my fellow-citizens understand that truth, the will be chance the whole system changes…

Thus I presume that challenge, open-mindedness and commitment are key factors in determining success for changes in Poland for all of us, as a participants of TOP500 Innovators program…

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe said; “whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it”.


With best regards,

Grzegorz Rarata, Institute of Aviation”

Gallery from the trip to the US you can watch here.


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  • October 13, 2015 @ 14:04:42 [Current Revision] przez admin
  • July 25, 2015 @ 22:16:05 przez admin