On 13 December, AmCham Brno-based companies discussed future of the city with Deputy Mayor of Brno Tomáš Koláčný from the Pirate Party responsible for the Townhall's participation platforms and smart city projects, among others. The event was hosted by the Courtyard by Marriott hotel.
The future of the Czech economy (and almost every other economy) is the export of technology. To have the best technology, you have to have the best research. For any EU country, that means competing with the German research juggernaut that accounts for 30% of all research spending in the EU. The Czech Republic now ranks 12th in research investment. To increase that requires a higher amount of business investment. In 2017, the ratio of business spending to government/university investment was 1.69. The EU average is 1.89. Germany's is 2.26; Austria's 2.40. The key question to answer is how we can leverage government and university research (particularly using EU funding) to increase private investment exponentially.
"The discussion was open and constructive," Michal Klimes of HPe, who leads AmCham's Brno Council. "We identified the same challenges to building our high-tech export base. Now comes finding an agreement that works for the city, the region and the national government, as well as the businesses that ultimately will take the risk and invest."
"We both want to increase the research into and export of high tech products", Executive Director of AmCham Czech Republic Weston Stacey commented, adding that "our companies have some very good stories of how Brno-based research turned into Brno-based product development."
The companies also talked issues in the areas of transportation (D1 highway to Vienna, City Ring Road/Velký městský okruh), early morning flights from Brno/connection to other flights), housing, brownfield development, immigration (quality progressive education, child-care, administrative burden related to employment of foreigners), as well as digital office and organization of work to speed up administrative processes.