"In 2006 we've seen U.S. technology companies look to the Czech Republic for highly skilled infrastructure technology and software engineering talent," said Tomas Hruda, CEO of CzechInvest. Approximately 30 percent of new investment in the Czech Republic registered by CzechInvest was R&D or services-related.
CzechInvest's Silicon Valley-based office is experiencing an uptick in the number of companies in the IT and software sector considering offshoring R&D. Out of nearly two dozen new projects and inquiries under negotiation, more than 70 percent are interested in the country's engineering R&D talent, mainly in IT and software. "Approximately 30 percent of the new projects and inquiries have originated from small enterprises based in Silicon Valley seeking affordable, high-end design," Radomil Novak, Director, U.S. Operations-West and Adviser to the CEO, CzechInvest.
"As an emerging technology company based in Silicon Valley, we're looking for highly skilled engineers and cost-effective solutions that will help us move our product development forward," said Fred Luk, president, Quadbase Systems. "We selected the Czech Republic for its talent pool and resources. We've got an aggressive growth strategy and timeline to market for new products."
"In our Chicago-based office, we see a similar trend in increased interest for R&D in the automotive and aerospace industries. Overall, companies are looking for world-class talent, solid infrastructure and the ability to reach key European markets," said Bohuslav Frelich, director, CzechInvest-Chicago.
U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic Richard W. Graber said about U.S. investments: "The Czech Republic is an important business partner of the U.S., and these investments are examples of the deepening ties between our two countries." Executive Director of The American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic Weston Stacey adds: "The past year shows that the Czech Republic is just beginning to scratch the surface of its intellectual potential. With continued reform, this country can become continental Europe's catalyst of innovation."
Selected U.S. investments in R&D in 2006
Out of 16 U.S. companies announcing new investments or major expansions in the Czech Republic 12 are R&D and high value-added services projects. New projects include the following:
- Sun Microsystems opened a new state-of-the-art development and technology center.
- Microsoft opened its first world-wide center for mobile applications.
- Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), a leading supplier of information technology services, opened a new center for the development of software applications.
- Quadbase Systems Inc., providers of Web-delivered reporting and charting tools, opened a new software R&D center.
- Solectron Corporation, providers of product design, supply chain management, manufacturing and aftermarket services, announced this month it is establishing a new high-tech repair center in the Czech Republic.
- Hewlett-Packard established a computer technology supply chain headquarters to serve Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
- Honeywell International established a global aviation center.
- Rannoch Corporation acquired ERA a.s., Czech aerospace surveillance technology company, to expand Rannoch's technology capabilities and reach in Europe.
- Procter and Gamble is expanding its production and opened a new engineering center.
- Ingersoll-Rand announced the company is opening a new research and training center.