This year´s main topic of the Best Cooperation of the Year was analysis of evaluating financial success (or even failure) of investment into R&D in the private sector. Therefore, Association for Foreign Investment – AFI together with Technology Agency of the Czech Republic held the seventh year of this project. It took place in the premises of Česká spořitelna, Rytířská street, Prague on 5 June 2018.
The current concept of the event was different from the previous years. There was no competition for various projects involved as it used to be in the past. The key part of the evening was a moderated panel discussion on the topic of commercialisation of R&D in which four speakers took part with their projects that had proved, after several years from them being launched, to be successful not only in the Czech Republic but also in the foreign markets. The main goal of approximately one-hour-long discussion was not to present the projects in details but to focus on and talk about the cooperation between R&D and application sphere as such, projects´ pitfalls, examples of good practice, and recommendations for others. Jindřich Houžvička (CRYTUR), prof. Miroslav Václavík (VÚTS) together with Ján Pagáč (TOS Varnsdorf) and Karel Volenec (ELLA-CS) took part in the discussion which was moderated by Aleš Vlk. The panel discussion was followed by networking as an opportunity to evolve the ideas arisen during the first half of the event.
Kamil Blažek, Chairman of Association for Foreign Investment – AFI: “We believe that this project creates a suitable platform for all interested parties to meet and that it will ignite discussion, what criteria are really important to evaluate the commercialisation of R&D – thus will come with benchmarks for financial and commercial success of products. We consider talks about commercial success of Czech science to be very important as well as promoting examples of best practice which can be inspiring for other subjects.“
In the past, the goal of this initiative used to be choosing and appraising the best innovative projects based on the cooperation of public and private sphere. What has remained the same is the idea to promote mutual projects between universities, R&D centres on one side and company sphere on the other, to motivate to intensify mutual cooperation and increase awareness about its significance.
Petr Očko, Chairman of Technology Agency of the Czech Republic: “All engaged companies have shown that cooperation with the academic sphere is beneficial for the private sector not only for exchanging know-how, research background but also in the synergic effect. Nevertheless, this cooperation requires a long-term communication. Therefore, we are glad that in case of all participating companies, Technology Agency helps building bridges between research and commercial sphere.“
Silvana Jirotková, General Director of CzechInvest: “Cooperation of firms together with R&D sphere is one of the most important premises for their further successful development. CzechInvest has been gaining significant experience in this field for many years. This concerns not only Czech Republic but also international environment, thanks to which we are able to connect entrepreneurs with the right partners.“
The event was held under the auspices of Prime Minister and Chairman for Science and Research Andrej Babiš, Minister of Industry and Trade Tomáš Hüner and Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Robert Plaga. The main partner was CzechInvest, partner Česká spořitelna, supporting partners were Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Export Bank, Czech Trade, EGAP, Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, and Zátiší Group.