During our meeting in Brno on November 12, business, research and public sector organizations shared data and insights into the issues that hamper Brno’s growth.
Innovation means finding novel solutions to important problems and the Czech Republic is a little below average in Europe in this area - but could do much better. Public-private publications, sharing of knowledge and results of R&D between companies and universities, creating the results together is the key. Venture capital level does not always correlate with innovations.
Brno’s potential is represented by the following data: there are 433 businesses (out of which 237 companies are small with up to 50 employees) with in-house R&D in the Czech Republic and one-third is located in Southern Moravia. Every year 16,000 graduates leave Brno universities, almost half in STEM fields. Currently, the number of enrolled students is lower due to demographics, but in up to five years the number of students entering universities should increase. The companies and research organizations present at the session agreed that students should have a global mindset and show higher entrepreneurial spirit – and this should be supported by universities.
We have learnt that there are more than 60,000 daily commuters by public transport, plus 60,000 commuters by cars. Additional 20,000 commuters reach Brno on irregular, not daily basis. More than 40% of Brno population use public transport and around 30% use cars. Transportation issues span from high-speed trains (planned towards Prague, Vienna and Bratislava, increased speed trains are planned towards Ostrava), Ring Road (relieving the city center) to safe bike routes and hamper Brno’s potential to develop.
Businesses account for 70% of R&D investment in South Moravian region. Companies cannot invest more in the Czech Republic, regions or even in Brno alone, if the infrastructure is not in place. Lacking interconnection of large Czech cities by air (and rail & road as well) are blocking the growth of the economy. Fast, functioning connection to and from the airports is a prerequisite for international companies and their experts focusing on high value-added product & solution development. Brno has also many plots suitable for residential housing development, but the Master Plan has to be approved and legislation improved (permitting process).
AmCham is working on a proposal covering the above mentioned areas. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.