Frequently asked question
What is 3W Idea?
Today – not only as Poland, but as the whole world – we are facing huge civilisation challenges, because climate change is moving faster than we initially assumed. Societies in developed countries already expect us not to develop at the expense of future generations and the environment, and the coming years and decades will be crucial in this regard.
Big changes are ahead of us, linked above all to the transformation of the economy towards zero carbon. Modern civilisation is based on creating added value: making new things, transforming simple substances into increasingly complex materials, products and services. All this requires resources and a huge amount of energy.
The 3W Idea responds to this challenge: it is a vision of the future in which we, as a whole society, responsibly manage the resources at our disposal and in which we can maintain and improve our quality of life while using less energy and fewer non-renewable resources. 3W focuses on 3 resources that will have a huge impact on our future: they are water, hydrogen and carbon. Hence 3W: from water, hydrogen and carbon.
What is the mission of the 3W initiative?
3W aims to build and integrate a community of talented scientists, ambitious students, courageous entrepreneurs, visionary NGOs and responsible representatives of the public sector, financial institutions and to activate society.
Produce studies and reports on 3W. We gather know-how and provide tools to share information between people and institutions. 3W integrates the world of science and business and facilitates collaboration. We are building an ecosystem for innovative scientific, economic and legislative solutions. Through the 3W initiative we also want to build social capital and strengthen consumer awareness and attitudes that will support the development of the 3W sector.
In this way, BGK – the initiator of the 3W Idea – will create an innovative sector of the economy, through a model unprecedented anywhere in the world, which combines “Water-Hydrogen-Carbon” into a coherent socio-economic ecosystem.
Will the 3W initiative influence the transformation of the economy towards zero carbon?
Definitely yes – it’s one of the goals we set for ourselves!
First of all, hydrogen solutions will help to replace emission-intensive energy sources with zero-emission hydrogen – provided, of course, that it is green hydrogen. However, our thinking is much broader than just hydrogen.
There is a great deal of work going on around the world in which the element carbon is used to capture and store CO2 generated in various technological processes. These are still expensive technologies, but many experts predict that with advances in technology and economies of scale, it could become cost-effective.
3W technologies can also reduce CO2 emissions in other – and quite surprising – ways. In our report, for example, we describe graphene concrete – that is, concrete reinforced with graphene. To construct the same building with graphene concrete technology, 30 percent less material is needed than with classic concrete. And if less concrete is needed, less CO2 will be emitted in its production.
Why water, hydrogen and carbon?
These three elements are key to the sustainable development of our country.
Water is a source of life, but also an essential resource that we use in industry and power engineering. It is of great importance for the further development of new technologies. We must manage it responsibly, because we are already feeling the effects of water shortages. In Poland, there is an average of 1,600 m3 of water per inhabitant – three times less than in Europe. We must therefore take care of retention and drainage systems. It is very important, in a rapidly changing climate, to manage water resources wisely and thoughtfully. We must work towards a modern, closed-loop water management.
Climate change also means investing in modern and renewable energy sources – hence the hydrogen, which is already being called the fuel of the future. Not only in the context of the automotive industry, but also in the energy sector or in industry such as steel. The whole world is entering the race to lead in the production of green, eco-friendly hydrogen. We have a chance to be the leader in this race. Hydrogen valleys, wind farms that produce green hydrogen, hydrogen-powered buses and trains, all this is not a distant future. These things have already become a reality.
The last W is carbon, an element that occurs in all living organisms. It is about modern carbon technology and not about carbon as a fossil fuel. As an element, carbon exists in many forms that have different and very valuable properties. Thanks to new inventions, it is making a comeback in completely different applications.Graphene, fullerenes, carbon nanotubes or activated carbon carry enormous potential. They make it possible to create lighter and more durable engineering materials, which enables their use in many industries: electronics, medicine, construction, aerospace and automotive.
Will 3W Idea influence the emergence of new technologies and solutions?
Yes – one of the main assumptions of the 3W Idea is to create conditions for effective cooperation between scientists, entrepreneurs and the public sector.
Poland has a significant intellectual potential. Innovative solutions created by our scientists should be an inspiration for the growth of new business. And vice versa: business in need of new technologies seeks support in science.
To succeed, an integrator is needed to bring together potential partners: scientific and business, on the one hand, and to help create a friendly ecosystem for them, on the other. BGK, as a Polish development bank supporting sustainable social and economic development of the country, has taken on this role.
How long will the 3W initiative be implemented?
3W is a long-term programme to activate society, business, science and government.
Although it is an idea that starts today, it will accompany us on the path of sustainable development for years to come. It will be a viable and fast-growing sector of the economy over the next few years and will contribute to the development of energy and technology strategy, even over decades.
Who is the main beneficiary of the project?
The beneficiary of the project in a broad perspective is society as a whole.
In the nearer horizon – 3W benefits:
- scientists and research centres to whom 3W facilitates finding business partners and supports legislative changes initiated by this environment,
- business representatives, who can more easily reach interesting innovative research projects with a high potential for commercialisation and find a suitable partner for cooperation in solving specific development issues,
- local governments introducing 3W innovations and programmes,
- and the society for which these changes are a source of a better life.
Is 3W a Polish initiative?
3W is a Polish initiative launched by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego.
As a Polish development bank, BGK supports the sustainable social and economic development of the country. 3W is a unique opportunity for Poland and Polish companies to build real strength and competitive advantage.