Krakow: a breeding ground for talent
Paweł Molenda, Director of the Motorola Solutions Krakow Design Center, explains why Motorola has decided to build its largest European research and development centre in Poland.
Aleksandra Stanisławska,Polska.pl: What role does the centre in Krakow play in Motorola’s global network of R&D labs?
Paweł Molenda: We are Motorola’s largest software centre in Europe, and the second largest in the world, right after the United States. We employ approximately 800 engineers. Motorola products are developed by a network of centres in the US, Europe and Asia, so Poland's location in a time zone halfway between North America and the Far East is very convenient for getting in touch and working together.
What specifically do Polish engineers do for Motorola?
Each year, our centre develops 6–7 versions of different products, which are then used all over the world as Motorola software systems. For example, we work on the TETRA and ASTRO systems that are dedicated to uniformed services, including police and fire fighters, and we create LTE broadband communication solutions. Some of our systems have already been implemented, e.g. a communication network for public security services which is currently under construction in Norway.
Motorola was the first Western tech company to set up its research and development centre in Poland. What made you choose this location?
When selecting a place for its operations, Motorola looks at the availability of talented engineers, and economic stability. We found people with adequate skills and qualifications in Poland, which back then had already been seen as a country with a stable economy. Poland’s technical universities and their graduates do very well in global rankings, which is why Motorola’s first software centre in Central and Eastern Europe opened here in Poland in 1998.
And why did you choose Krakow, a former capital of Poland situated in the south of the country?
Krakow's atmosphere is good for locating an R&D centre here. It’s a calm city full of historic sites; it attracts creative people and has lots of comfortable office spaces to choose from. Yet the key thing is that graduates of Krakow’s technology faculties are very well trained. Nearly 95 percent of our engineers graduated from Krakow's universities, above all the AGH University of Science and Technology, but also the Jagiellonian University and the Krakow University of Technology.
Is Motorola engaged in formal cooperation with those universities?
Yes, at these three universities and at the Rzeszów University of Technology we give lectures about what the Motorola Centre actually does. Students are then offered year-long internships. We usually have around 40 interns at any given time. The training may round off with an MA thesis written in collaboration with our centre, and a job offer at Motorola. Over 90 percent of trainees stay with us as full-time employees.
Interview by ALEKSANDRA STANISŁAWSKA
*Paweł Molenda, director of the Motorola Solutions Krakow Design Centre