Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

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Science diplomacy is one of the top priorities of the Czech MFA

 

The Czech Government considers international collaboration in research and innovation to be a very important task in further advancing unique qualities of the Czech research (knowledge potential, developed human resources, state-of-the art facilities) as well as an important instrument of multilateral efforts to address current major global challenges. Subsequently, the Czech MFA develops strategies and builds capacities in science diplomacy.

Czech diplomatic service facilitates international collaboration in research and development of new technologies, both bilateral and multilateral, involving Czech scientists and innovators (activities usually referred to as diplomacy for science). Diplomats can build on unique qualities of Czech research and education (knowledge potential, developed human resources, state-of-the art facilities). From this perspective, diplomacy, and science diplomacy in particular, is based on an ability to communicate, establish and maintain contacts and build mutual trust in the long run. Such skills are usually called “soft”. However, in a more and more complex and more and more contradictory world of today, these “soft skills” are needed more than ever before.

One of the main goals is to support mutually beneficial collaborative projects in specific areas (such as digital technologies, artificial intelligence, new materials, e-health, green technologies etc.) The capability to embrace new discoveries and technologies will determine future economic growth and prosperity of advanced nations. At the same time, it will have major repercussions for their societal development and stability as well as their international standing. Disruptive technologies may bring about some risks that, if unabated, may undermine our democratic institutions. Those challenges can be ameliorated by international collaboration in developing and implementing global common rules and norms of behavior.

The Czech Republic has an ambition to become an innovation leader by the year of 2030. This objective is stipulated in the Innovation strategy 2019-2030 recently adopted by the Czech Government. This strategy stipulates a number of goals:  

  • increasing, year-by-year, the investment in RandD (so that they reach 3% of GDP by 2030)
  • major overhaul of research outputs evaluation
  • support for technology-based start-ups
  • support for excellent science
  • increased focus on international collaboration.

Main pillars of the strategy are detailed in a vision entitled “Country for the Future”. 

Czech MFA has been an active participant in efforts described above. It builds its capacities in science diplomacy by:

  • establishing Special Envoy for Science Diplomacy
  • deploying specialized “scientific attachés” in Brussels/EU, Washington, Tel Aviv, Taipei (with support from the Research, Development and Innovation Council and the Office of the Government)
  • training career diplomats to be deployed in selected countries.

 

Useful links

Research, Development and Innovation Council

Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports

Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

Czech Science Foundation

Technology Agency of the Czech Republic

Tertiary Education in the Czech Republic

European Commission

Horizon 2020

Key Documents on Czech Research and Innovation

Czech R&D&I system is regulated by the respective legislation. Its priorities are outlined in a number of strategic documents adopted by the Czech government, namely in Innovation Strategy of the… more ►

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