15 June 2017 - AmCham selected its venue for its 25th General Assembly to serve as a symbol. The Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC), the creation of AmCham member Vladimír Mařík of CertiCon, represents what the country is becoming, and what it should be.
“We have been discussing why we are not closer to German prosperity after almost three decades of economic freedom,” explained re-appointed AmCham President Michal Nebeský of Citibank. “The answer is that we have been following, and not leading. We have been borrowing and improving on other people’s technology and know-how. If we want to create prosperity at the level of Germany, we have to create our own, and that make Professor Mařík and his colleagues here at the Institute a key strategic factor in our economic development plan.”
The Institute is one of the seven projects identified by AmCham’s Real Estate Council as key developments for the economic growth of the city. Those seven projects include both housing and transport improvements that would expand access to Prague’s hot job market for citizens in other parts of the country.
During the annual General Assembly held on 14 June 2017 at CIIRC, Michal Nebeský, Citibank Country Officer for the Czech Republic, was re-elected to serve as AmCham President. As a part of the evening sponsored by CertiCon, the Projects for Prague which will be in the main interest of AmCham in 2017-18 were presented by Bert Hesselink of CBRE, AmCham´s Real Estate Council chairman and the panel discussion on the Future of Research took place.
“We believe Prague needs to be better connected to its regions and to the world, and that its universities should serve as the incubators of new ideas that will become the next generation of high value-added export,” Hesselink told the members gathered in the beautiful facilities designed by Petr Franta. “These projects are meant to deliver the infrastructure necessary to make Prague a center of business in Europe.”
Professor Mařík, Chairman of the Board of CertiCon and the CIIRC Institute will play a central role in that development. His teams are already cooperating with major global players such as Medtronic, Eaton, and Rockwell Automation, and the talent accumulating at the university is attracting more and more attention.
“We want to become one of the top centers in our field,” prof. Mařík declared. “One of the major parts of that is to build a test bed for the improvement of industrial robots, and we think the institute can also attract even more talent by being a place that companies can send their engineers to work on their doctorates.”
Eaton sees the value in this offer. “We came here first because we want to optimalize our factories,” explained Andrea Kirschner of Eaton. “We are also benefiting from all the open innovation inside the institute, and from our sponsorship of doctorate students.”
AmCham will be working with the Institute to promote the capabilities of Czech research to companies, and to persuade the government to have a more focused research and incentive policy that rewards product development.