CzechInvest has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the two biggest partners of the Brno-based CEITEC consortium, the CEITEC science and research centre of Masaryk University (MU) and CEITEC of Brno University of Technology (BUT). By signing the MOU, all three partners formally confirmed their interest in advocating for a common objective, which is to support domestic and foreign investments in innovations derived from the results of Czech science and research.
CzechInvest plays a key role in the area of comprehensive support for business and investments. The agency’s unique combination of regional, central and international operations ensures the integrity of its services and its ability to connect global trends with the regional conditions in the Czech Republic. One of CzechInvest’s primary objectives is the transformation of the Czech Republic into an innovation leader of Europe. Support for both young, innovative companies and established firms and emphasis on science and research to a significant extent contribute to achieving this objective. The agency has a long and successful history and has supported a full range of business opportunities through its services and programmes. CzechInvest is a state contributory organisation subordinate to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic.
“By joining forces with the state and private sectors and the academic sphere, we are striving to bring together and support modern technologies, researchers and the sharing of know-how between Czech companies and foreign investors. During the coronavirus pandemic, for example, together with the CEITEC BUT research centre and other volunteers, we took part in the coordination of production of 36,000 protective shields for healthcare workers and for children and teachers at schools and preschools in the Brno region. Similar cooperation with universities and companies proved successful for us during the Hack the Crisis hackathon, which we concluded in the second half of June,” says Patrik Reichl, CEO of CzechInvest.
The CEITEC science and research centre was established through a joint project of universities and research institutes in Brno. Its uniqueness, at least in the Czech Republic, consists in, among other things, the fact that it possesses state-of-the-art research infrastructure, connects scientists in various fields within a single institute and supports internationalisation to a significant extent. More than four hundred scientists, nearly one-third of whom are from abroad, work at the two aforementioned CEITEC facilities. They are involved in research in the fields of molecular medicine, structural biology, brain and human mind research, genomics and proteomics of plant systems, advanced materials, cybernetics and advanced nano- and micro-technologies. This broad interdisciplinarity offers strong potential for resolving complex issues facing today’s society and having a major impact on the quality of human life and health.
“CzechInvest played an essential role in founding CEITEC and I am very pleased that it will continue to collaborate with us. Even now, as our scientific results have finally begun to show potential for commercialisation. Basic research is a run on a long track and we are clearly succeeding in bringing forth socially relevant results that can lead to innovations,” added Jiří Nantl, head of CEITEC at Masaryk University.
Of course, high-quality science is a prerequisite for the corporate sphere’s interest in collaboration and the creation of innovations with high value added. Researchers at CEITEC MU and CEITEC BUT annually publish more than 600 scientific studies in impacted scientific journals. More than five percent of all scientific studies of both partners are published in prestigious international scientific journals with a very high impact factor (IF) in the top fifth of the world’s best scientific journals (T5) and more than half of all scientific studies are published in journals in the first upper quarter (Q1).
The subject of collaboration between the CEITEC research centre and CzechInvest is particularly support for the inflow of foreign investors with research and development activities to the Czech Republic and expansion of cooperation between contract and collaborative research with foreign investors and Czech companies that cooparate with CzechInvest, which will provide researchers not only with professional cooperation in presenting research results to potential investors, but also support in the implementation of significant events and targeted visits to relevant clients of CzechInvest, as well as lectures for doctoral students from CEITEC MU and CEITEC BUT with the aim of maximising CEITEC’s innovation potential.
“CEITEC's collaboration with CzechInvest is very closely related to the successful participation of our science teams in the research consortia of numerous European research projects within the Horizon 2020 programme. A number of leading industrial partners in, for example, the field of research and development of smarter mechatronic systems, such as Siemens and Philips Medical Systems, as well as major research partners such as Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, University College Cork and Laboratorio Iberico Internacional de Nanotecnologia, are involved in these projects, in which we transfer the results of our basic research into industrial applications and innovations,” adds Radimír Vrba, head of CEITEC BUT in Brno.
Editor's note: Impact factor (IF) in scientometry represents the average number of citations of an average publication in a given scientific or professional journal and is an important tool for determining the quality of scientific publications.