Last week, Prime Minister Petr Fiala, accompanied by representatives of selected Czech research institutions, undertook a diplomatic trip to India. The University of West Bohemia was represented during this trip by NTC Director Petr Kavalíř.
Prime Minister Fiala, together with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, discussed strengthening relations between the two countries, developing trade and defense cooperation, and joint scientific research projects. At the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar, both heads of government agreed on a strategic partnership in the field of innovation. Inter-university collaboration, applied research, and scientific mobility will receive better support. The main areas of cooperation will be defense industry, cybersecurity, medical research, green energy, smart cities, intelligent transportation, sustainable agriculture, and the food industry.
"Many representatives of states and governments from various countries participated in the Gujarat Summit. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the Czech Republic as an important partner in his speech, confirming the exceptionally good relations between the two countries. This statement opens new possibilities for cooperation in this part of the world," says Petr Kavalíř from NTC.
During the visit to Rajasthan on January 11, 2024, Prime Minister Fiala and the delegation visited the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (NIMS) at the University of Jaipur. Here, they discussed the development of joint research projects and expanded cooperation between universities and research institutions with the rector Balvir S. Tomar and other representatives of the school and academia. The Prime Minister received an honorary doctorate from NIMS University during the visit.
The delegation also visited the site of the construction of the Mařík Institute of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Cybernetics, which is set to open this year. Additionally, the Prime Minister unveiled the foundation stone of the Petr Fiala Global Institute of Health Research Innovation which was named after him. This institute will focus on various research activities in the field of medicine and healthcare, including biomedical research, healthcare systems research, and innovation in medical technologies.
Prime Minister Fiala emphasized support for scientific collaboration and innovation as a key theme of his trip to India. The collaboration should include student and scientific staff exchanges and joint research projects. The first ones should focus, for example, on biomedicine and robotics for the industry, with others to follow.
"India is becoming a significant global player, with many global companies operating here and new companies and universities specializing in areas such as semiconductors, IT, robotics, new technologies, AI, advanced materials, energy, green technologies, and, of course, the automotive industry. This reflects the enormous potential for cooperation in this rapidly growing country. I believe it represents an extraordinary opportunity for the entire University of West Bohemia in Pilsen," emphasized Petr Kavalíř.
The University of West Bohemia maintains very good relations with India, particularly in the area of student exchange programs and academic mobility. Additionally, seven scientists from India are already working at the NTC research institute. Last year, the Indian Ambassador, H.E. Shri Hemant Harishchandra Kotalwar, visited the UWB twice.