Ambassador of Israel meets at IOCB Prague with students that visited Israeli research institutions
The ambassador of the State of Israel to the Czech Republic Anna Azari visited, for the second time, IOCB Prague. This time her aim was to listen about the experience of interns from Czech universities, whose study stay in Israel was supported by the IOCB Tech Foundation and the Neuron Foundation.
The program named Neuron & IOCB Tech Internships in Israel kicked off in 2022 and all parties involved praise the results of its first two years. The reason is that eleven Czech university students not only gained first-hand experience with high-level science, but they also had an opportunity to observe how the transfer of scientific knowledge works in practice. After all, this is also the goal of the initiator of program, Prof. Martin Fusek, who is one of the pioneers of technology transfer in the Czech Republic and heads IOCB Tech, a subsidiary of IOCB Prague.
The internships are financially supported by the IOCB Tech Foundation whose chairwoman Dr. Barbara Eignerová explains: ‘We are proud to be contributing to such a good cause. Importing experience from a country so advanced in technology transfer as Israel can expedite the much-needed positive systemic change in Czechia.’
The planning of this year's study stays is complicated by the security situation in Israel, which has been dramatic since the October terrorist attack. The organizers are therefore considering not only sending several Czech students back to the Middle Eastern country but also supporting internships of young colleagues from Israel in Czechia.
‘The situation is challenging, but we at IOCB Prague are hopeful and believe that Czech–Israeli study stays will take place this year. We are focusing mainly on maintaining and deepening our traditionally good mutual relations, though the logistics of such an event will certainly be hard’, says Prof. Jan Konvalinka, Director of IOCB Prague.
Israeli ambassador Anna Azari welcomes the idea of exchange internships. ‘At a time of rising anti-Semitic sentiments, Czechia remains a country where Israelis can feel truly safe’, she emphasized during the discussion at IOCB Prague, adding: ‘I particularly wish to thank those involved in the organization of this project.’
The main organizer is the Neuron Foundation, and, according to its chairwoman Monika Vondráková, it turns out that even a two-month internship is vastly enriching for students. ‘I am happy that we have set the project in motion. Study stays broaden the horizons of students and allow them to perceive the world from multiple angles. This includes the attitude towards project management and research itself. Also important are contacts with people from world-class institutions, especially those that persist after returning home’, says Monika Vondráková.
The cooperation between IOCB Prague and Israel has historical roots. The most prominent is the partnership with the Weizmann Institute of Sciences, which some years ago resulted in the holding of the now highly popular joint summer school. The event, initiated by the director of IOCB Tech Prof. Martin Fusek, takes place alternately in the Czech capital and in the Israeli city of Rehovot. This year it is Prague's turn and the lectures will for the first time take place on the premises of the National Library of Technology in Prague. This is because the interest in them is so great that it was necessary find a larger venue than the one available to the previous host the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague.