Active support of science and research can help the Czech Republic and the companies that operate there to remain prosperous for years to come. For Michal Strnad's industrial-technological group Czechoslovak Group (CSG), innovation support has therefore become one of the main pillars to build on. Companies as well as entire divisions within CSG invest massively into research and development, and also cooperate with universities. CSG is now the general partner of the prestigious Czech Head Award; in this year's 22nd edition, the Industrie award will bear the name Czechoslovak Group. The project partnership is to be three years long.
The Czech Head is the most prestigious award a scientist can achieve in the Czech Republic. It has been announced since 2002, and the winners of the main National Government Award "Czech Head" include e.g. Professor Antonín Holý, Professor Miroslav Bárta (a well-known Egyptologist) or Professor Václav Hořejší (a molecular geneticist). The purpose of this award is to popularize science and to make the general public aware of the many great results achieved by Czech scientists. At the same time, the Czech Head aims to facilitate private investment into research and science and to support applied research that has the potential to bring profit to companies and society as a whole.
"Science and research are fascinating fields, and we invest a lot of resources into R&D projects in our companies. Let me mention, for example, the hydrogen-powered Tatra truck project. However, significant results are also achieved by the companies from our aviation division or, for example, DAKO-CZ – the manufacturer of braking systems for rail vehicles. As part of our philanthropic activities, last year we supported a research project outside our group for the first time: we are funding research at the Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, focused on the treatment of acute leukemias," says Radim Ochvat, Director of Corporate Relations, Communication and Marketing at CSG.
Therefore, the partnership with the traditional Czech Head Award is the next logical step on the part of CSG. And so is the fact that the Group has chosen an award no other than Industrie, an award for the most significant product or technological innovation that has been created in the Czech Republic in the last few years on the basis of own research or in cooperation with a research organization. The winner of Industrie can be a Czech or foreign legal entity with its registered office and activity in the Czech Republic. In addition to the award, it will be given the opportunity to use the protected "DEVELOPED IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC" mark for its technology or product.
The new Heyrovský or Wichterle & Keeping up Czechia's competitiveness
"It's great that such a financially strong industrial group as Czechoslovak Group has joined the Czech Head project. The satisfaction from this works on two levels – also because the core of CSG's business, despite its foreign expansion in recent years, has always been on the Czech-Slovak territory. The purpose of the Czech Head project is to support and popularize science, to raise funds and talents for science so that new personalities such as Otto Wichterle, Jaroslav Heyrovský or Professor Antonín Holý (who, by the way, was the founder of the Czech Head in 2002) can grow in the Czech basin," reminds Václav Marek, Director of Česká hlava PROJEKT (Czech Head PROJECT).
The Czechoslovak Group invests massively into new product development and innovation. That is why the manufacturer Tatra Trucks is working on a hydrogen-powered Tatra truck in cooperation with its industrial and academic partners. Last year, companies incorporated into the CSG Aerospace division also presented the CSG Unmanned solution which integrates drones into air transport. DAKO-CZ has developed an electromechanical brake unit that uses the technology "Brake By Wire", which means that it does not need compressed air or oil to brake. There are many other projects across the group.
"For many years, CSG Aerospace has been running an internal grant system to which the companies in the division can submit interesting projects and seek financial support. This year, 5 percent of the EBIDTA division will be allocated to these projects by decision of the group's owner Michal Strnad. Of course, companies from other divisions are also active. Moreover, our companies cooperate with universities, and our new partnership with the Czech Head project fits perfectly into our strategy," says Professor Bohuslav Přikryl, Vice-President for Science and Research at CSG Aerospace.
However, CSG is also well aware that it cannot do everything. "We have focused on building our cooperation with universities in the Czech Republic with the aim to purposefully transfer scientific knowledge to the Group's companies and to deepen mutual cooperation. The defined strategic partners include, among others, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Brno University of Technology, VSB – Technical University of Ostrava, Technical University of Liberec or University of Pardubice. We also expect the academia to help us identify the future to prepare for what awaits us in ten or fifteen years," adds Bohuslav Přikryl.