Czech Republic sends second innovation diplomat to US

The Czech Republic has appointed its second diplomat tasked with boosting Czech innovation and research. The country’s second appointee is Luděk Moravec, and he will be posted to the United States. Mr Moravec, who is 37, has until now worked in the security, research and education department of the Interior Ministry. He is scheduled to start in his new job by the end of July. I asked Mr Moravec what he sees as the main priorities of his job:

Luděk Moravec, photo: CTKLuděk Moravec, photo: CTK “Currently, we are aiming at promoting cooperation related to the domains of interest for both of the countries. In practice, it means we would like to put emphasize on defence and security technology, energy and medicine.

“Although this list is by no means of exhaustive, these domains actually cover a wide spectrum of research fields and therefore they also bring equally wide opportunities.

What would you say is lacking in the Czech-US cooperation at the moment?

“Cooperation between the individual researchers and some of the research organisations is actually flourishing, especially in fields such as physics, space science or neuroscience. We are ready to step up the cooperation in Information and Communication Technology or nuclear technology, to name just a few.

“One thing which could be mentioned as a downside of the cooperation is the applied research cooperation and advanced technological development where apparently the activity is lower compared to primary research.”

Where will you be based? I expect you will be moving around the US a lot.

“So far I am to be located at the embassy in Washington. Certainly the role will require some travelling. Although the East Coast itself is an important research hub in many areas so I assume we will first focus on the eastern coast of the US.

The first such Czech diplomat for innovation and research has already been posted in Israel. How well this has it worked out there?

“So far, all the reviews I came across have been very positive. Posting a specialist in Israel brought forward a significant impulse for bilateral communication in this very specific field, such as R&D, which in turn led to many new partnerships to be built both between individual researchers and at the level of institutions, such as the Technical University in Liberec.”

What qualifications have you got to do this job? What are you bringing personally to the job?

“Well apart from quite a significant time spent abroad during my studies and a period of service in NATO, I have worked very closely with the local R&D community for the last five years. We have been developing financial support instruments in R&D, which gave me quite a lot of indispensable insight in the local community’s function. This role also entailed some project facilitation on the international stage so I already have some experience with this kind of work.”