The contribution of Polish technical thought to the quality of life in developed countries
Due to the fact that technological progress is an important factor influencing the quality of life, the purpose of the paper is to determine what is the contribution — measured by the number of inventions — of mobile Poles to increasing the quality of life of their host countries. The paper considers two fundamental questions: (1) how many inventions, including area of technology, Poles generate for the benefit of countries which they emigrate to and (2) what part of the inventive output of the host countries, including the area of technology, are inventions created by immigrants from Poland.
The paper uses the method of quantitative and qualitative analysis of patent applications made in the years 2004–2012 within the frames of international procedure by residents from developed economies of Europe, the United States and Japan (a total of 9 countries), which has made it possible to: (1) separate those applications in the case of which the creator of the technical solution is an immigrant from Poland and (2) determine the number of inventions created abroad by Poles for the benefit of their countries of destination.
The study involves individuals exceptionally endowed with high human capital who have especially contributed to technological changes occurring in the world, i.e. creators of inventions filed for patent protection within the frames of international procedure — The Patent Cooperation Treaty — who at the time of making the applications lived in the developed countries covered by the study and came from Poland.
The analysis of over 1700 PCT patent applications has made it possible to say that in the years 2004–2012: (1) Poles to the largest extent contributed to increasing the quality of life of Americans, for whom they created a total of 828 inventions, then Germans and Britons, whose inventive output they increased by 425 and 143 inventions, respectively, while their contribution to the improvement of the quality of life of the Japanese, Swedes or Finns was very small; (2) Poles to the largest extent contributed to increasing the quality of life of the inhabitants of developed countries by generating inventions in the following areas of technology: (a) chemistry; metallurgy and b) human necessities. Starting from 2009, the creative activity of immigrants from Poland is less and less related to the improvement of the quality of life of the inhabitants of their economies of destination.