Prague/Vienna, July 20 (CTK) – The Czech Republic and Austria will promote cooperation in the field of science according to a memorandum Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek and former Austrian president Heinz Fischer signed today, the Foreign Ministry has said in a press release.

Fischer is now board chairman of the Vienna Institute for Human Sciences (IWM).

The two countries have agreed to financially support the institute.

The agreement aims to boost the institute’s role in the exchange of knowledge in human and social sciences in Central Europe, the Czech ministry said.

A special emphasis is laid on reinforcing the Czech-Austrian dialogue and on support for research into the work of Czech philosopher Jan Patocka, particularly his works focused on Europe.

Patocka (1907-77) was the first spokesman for the Czechoslovak Charter 77 human rights manifesto. He died after interrogation of several hours by the StB communist state police.

According to the agreement, the Czech Foreign Ministry will support the institute’s research with five million crowns annually during the next three years.

The financial contribution includes scholarships for Czech scientists.

Poland has had a similar agreement with the IWM for several years.

The IWM, founded in 1982, aims to support dialogue between scientists and intellectuals from western and eastern Europe.

($1=22.572 crowns)