In recent years, four scientific diplomats have devoted themselves to the support of Czech science, namely in Brussels, Tel Aviv, Taipei and Washington. However, the Ministry is now planning to include in the scientific diplomacy agenda also the employees of Czech embassies, who are already working abroad in the positions of economic diplomats. There should be about 110 diplomats in total.
“We don’t want to do science, we don’t want to do business, but we want to help those who are already doing it. We need to hear what their interests are and how we can help them. So that companies know that they have a partner at the MFA, and diplomats know that this is an important topic for us,” explained Deputy Foreign Minister Jiří Kozák (ODS).
“It’s about finding opportunities. We will be happy to connect and make contact afterwards,” he added.
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Science and schools
By the end of June, the department wants to map where the greatest potential of Czech science and research lies. Thanks to scientific diplomats, it will then coordinate cooperation between Czech academics, researchers and companies with a foreign network. The goal of the new department will therefore be to collect information about the interests and needs of scientific institutions and companies and then pass it on to diplomats working abroad, who can contact potential partners.
Nevertheless, the Ministry promises that cooperation will take place on both sides.
“If we see good know-how that is being done somewhere else, one of the embassies’ tasks will be to transfer it to the Czech environment,” explained Marek Svoboda, director of the Department of Economic and Scientific Diplomacy. “We see this as a huge opportunity for the Czech economy in the future,” he noted.
The Ministry does not increase the number of employees
Kateřina Joselová, a diplomat who has been working in the sustainability section of the ministry for many years, became the head of the new science diplomacy department. He will thus expand his agenda. At the same time, the Ministry drew attention to the fact that the creation of the new department is based on its own personnel savings and thus does not require an increase in the number of employees.
“The preparation of economic diplomats is to some extent a reaction to the fact that we do not plan to increase the number of scientific diplomats,” stated Kozák.
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The department also closely cooperates with the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Helena Langšádlová (TOP 09), e.g. on the issue of the operation of Czech universities abroad. Under her leadership, a joint offer of Czech science and research for abroad will be created, which will take the form of a catalog and other Czech ministries will also participate in its creation.
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Science and schools
The Czech Republic is doing well in technology research
The Department of Foreign Affairs sees the greatest potential in modern technologies, where Czech companies are among the world’s best and already cooperate with companies from Taiwan, for example. Czech companies specializing in healthcare and the automotive industry are also doing well in terms of international prestige.
The Office of Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský (Pirates) also plans to prepare the so-called Map of Global Industry Opportunities, which will contain information on research and scientific opportunities for Czech academics, researchers and companies. During the year, the embassies will present economic diplomacy projects.
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Science and schools
In the past, scientific diplomacy has already participated in Czech successes abroad several times. A well-known example is the Czech company Unicorn, which supplied a platform for managing the charging of electric cars in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The scientific research center ELI Beamlines, specializing in laser technology, has in turn established cooperation with Taiwan’s Tamkang University. She wants to use Czech technology to treat skin and breast cancer.
The operation of Czech companies in Israel is also successful, for example, in the field of guidance and control of aircraft, the University of Technology (VUT) in Brno cooperates with the Israeli Technion University.
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