Prague, June 26 (CTK) – The Czech Republic and Israel want to strengthen cooperation in advanced technologies, such as robotics and cybernetics, Czech Deputy PM for Science, Research and Innovations Pavel Belobradek and his Israeli counterpart Ofir Akuniska told reporters after their talks today.

Both countries also want to support cooperation in humanities, they added.

Both ministers praised the work of Czech economic diplomat Delana Mikolasova. She has been working at the Czech embassy in Tel Aviv since 2015.

At present, bilateral cooperation in research focuses mainly on sciences and technical fields.

“It includes biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, cybernetics, robotics, automotive industry and plant genomics. Water management and the implementation of technologies in practice and commercialisation are naturally very interesting to us as well,” Belobradek said.

So far mainly quite small projects have been supported, he said.

However, both countries are seeking other ways of funding and would like to boost, for instance, the Gesher programme of Czech-Israeli cooperation in applied research and experimental development and the Horizon 2020 European programme for dozens of billions of euros in which Israel is involved.

“We would like to hold a conference at the end of September and the beginning of October with European Commissioner (for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos) Moedas about the future of Horizon to be able ti draw more money,” Belobradek (junior government Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said.

Akunis visited three top research centres in the Czech Republic today.

He went to the ELI Beamlines laser centre in Dolni Brezany near Prague, the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Science Academy (AV) and the Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics of the Czech Technical University (CVUT) in Prague.

Akunis stressed that Israel was strongly interested in cooperation in robotics.

Both countries would like to focus on cooperation in the automotive industry and the development of autonomous vehicles primarily.

New technologies, mainly cyber security, robotics as well as nano- and biotechnologies, include not only technical, but also social and scientific aspects that raise some ethical questions, Belobradek indicated.

Representatives of universities and research institutions also took part in today’s meeting of the Czech and Israeli ministers.

About 100 young Czech scientists left for Israel of late with support of the Government Office, AV President Eva Zazimalova said.

On the basis of the memorandum of cooperation, which Zazimalova and Israeli Science Academy head Nili Cohen signed last week, both institutions want to cooperate in the fields of history of music, art and sociology as well.

The Czech Science Foundation is considering extending bilateral projects with Israel, too, its chairwoman Alice Valkarova said.