Canada is a long-term partner to many Czech researchers and fortunately, this cooperation might receive a considerable boost in the future. This week the Czech Republic has hosted a visit by Canada’s Ontario province Minister of Research, Innovation and Science Reza Moridi, and the mutual interest in bilateral projects was confirmed.
At the occasion of the visit, Czech Deputy Prime Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Pavel Bělobrádek stressed the similarity of both countries given the importance of applied industrial research. He also said that Czech research capacities and programs for international cooperation in research, such as the program Inter-Excellence of the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports can help strengthen cooperation (see article). Ontario is particularly interesting for Czech researchers as one of the key Canadian provinces in terms of R&D capacities, including a Canadian version of Silicon Valley around Waterloo and Kitchener. Therefore, the political negotiations could have a significant tangible impact.
A concrete step in this direction is undoubtedly the memorandum signed today between Minister Moridi and the Chairman of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TACR), Mr. Očko. The main support should be aimed at projects of applied research and experimental development between institutions and companies from Ontario and the Czech Republic. Concrete calls in the DELTA (or DELTA 2) Program of the Technology Agency should serve to co-fund (together with Canadian counterparts) bilateral projects in the future. More information from TACR in Czech is available here.
The agency CzechInvest has been actively trying to spur bilateral relations between Canada and the Czech Republic as well. This year’s aerospace mission focused on technology cooperation in the field, and in the long run, institutions from both countries will be able to benefit from a new office of CzechInvest in Toronto.