The Ministry of Infrastructure was formed in October 2001 as the result of the transformation of the previous Ministry of Transport and Maritime Management. The main activity areas of the Ministry of Infrastructure cover issues related to road (motorways and national roads), rail, maritime and air transport and telecommunications. Port infrastructure and inland waterway transport are also included. The scope of Ministry of Infrastructure also covers construction and architecture, housing policy and management, spatial management and development support and the revitalisation of cities, as well as state aid for the repayment of housing credits.
The Ministry of Infrastructure places great emphasis on the development of the domestic road infrastructure network (at present with a particular effort to improve infrastructure for the Euro 2012 football tournament). The Ministry of Infrastructure executes the ownership supervision over PKP S.A. (Polish Railways) and PKP PLK S.A. and supervises the implementation of the restructuring process of PKP S.A. These activities aim at building safer roads and structurally reforming Polish State Rail (PKP), the development of the rail infrastructure and a decrease in the social cost of rail transport operation. Within the air transport industry, due to the activities of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Poland has opened itself to inexpensive carriers.
The Ministry of Infrastructure takes an active part in many European financial programmes, such as Sectoral Operational Programme – Transport, Cohesion Fund, TEN-T Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment, etc.
In 2011, the Ministry of Infrastructure was replaced by "Ministry of Transport, Construction and Maritime Economy".
R&D activities are governed by the general objectives of the 'Sectoral Operational Programme Transport for years 2004-2006' such as:
- Enhancing the competitiveness of the Polish transport sector and economy
- Modernisation of the transport sector
- Improvement of safety in transport
- Reduction of adverse environmental impacts of transport.
Several current activities focus on the Trans European transport network - allowing goods and people to circulate quickly and easily between Member States and assuring international connections.
The R&D projects for the transport sector are compiled by the Ministry of Infrastructure based on the ministry's R&D policies and objectives and proposed to the Ministry of Science and Information Technology and KBN (State Committee for Scientific Research) for financing and implementation. In the ministry, the Department of Programming and Strategy (Division for Co-ordination of Technical Programmes of Transport and Research) is responsible for the Ministry's R&D programme.
The Ministry supervises some 40 public institutions among them some 5 institutions which are involved in transport research (e.g. Research Institute of Roads and Bridges in Warsaw, Railway Scientific and Technical Centre in Warsaw, Maritime Research Institute in Gdansk,National Road Safety Council, etc).
Results of transport R&D projects are disseminated by the Ministry's own Department for Scientific, Technical and Economic Information (ROI).
Examples of projects are:
- Study for an ITS (Intelligent Transport System) Strategy for Poland
- Safety systems for air transport and passengers on land-side of airports
- Airport infrastructure for small aircrafts
- High-speed railway project in Poland in the framework of the TEN
- Wheels and rails as safety elements of railway transport
- Suspension of railway vehicles in the context of high speeds and safety aspects
- Air rescue systems in the context of multi-modal transport
- Modular systems for low noise aircraft
- Environmental risks of railway transport in Poland
- Geometric parameters for high-speed railway tracks
- Experimental analysis of situations of road accidents
- Methods of analysis and forecast of urban transport systems
- Technical safety of sea vessels under certain risk aspects
- Braking systems of rail vehicles
- Bearing capacity of safety barriers for road traffic
- Dynamic of vehicles with ABS/ASR/ESP systems.
TEN-T related projects include feasibility studies, road building and modernisation of TEN rail corridors.