In cooperation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, CzechInvest recently organised a technology mission to the United States, which took place from 25 to 29 May 2015. Besides government representatives, the mission also included four research workers and representatives of prominent Czech research institutes and centres.
“The objective was to present the Czech Republic as a technologically advanced country that is capable of the highest-level cooperation in science and research, and to familiarise American partners with our research infrastructure and possibilities of using it for mutually interesting projects. Another purpose of the mission was to learn more about possibilities of financing from the US for joint research,” explained CzechInvest project manager Roman Pašek.
For these reasons, the delegation met with, among others, representatives of the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, who encouraged the Czech researchers to actively strive for cooperation with American partners using grant funding from both agencies. Particularly the representatives of the National Institutes of Health emphasised that they have strong interest in the excellent research conducted in the Czech Republic and that they are willing to play a substantial role in the implementation of joint research projects. NIH financing is based on the principle of excellence and is in no way connected with the location of the given financed project.
Another programme included, for example, visits and discussion of collaborative research at George Washington University, the University of Maryland, Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Office of Naval Research Global, which has an office in Prague. The main topics in which there is evident interest in deeper cooperation are modelling of the human body, cyber security and cryptography, industrial automation and agent technologies, advanced materials and nanotechnologies, and cooperation between newly constructed shared laboratories in the Czech Republic and the United States.
The mission culminated with a joint meeting at the Czech embassy, to which most of the mission participants from both the Czech and American sides were invited by Ambassador Petr Gandalovič. “The strengthening of research cooperation between the Czech Republic and the United States is one of my priorities in my role as ambassador and I highly value the outstanding cooperation with CzechInvest in these activities. The mission uncovered numerous cooperation opportunities for Czech researchers which, however, have not yet been sufficiently exploited even though the opportunities available in the US are among the biggest in the world,” said Ambassador Gandalovič.
CzechInvest has long been involved in supporting the internationalisation of Czech research and development and considers the United States to be one of the most important partners in this area. The agency therefore plans to develop similar activities in future.