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CEITEC research centre to continue operations

Four universities and two research institutes headquartered in Brno have agreed to further cooperate on the CEITEC project.

The four Brno-based universities and two research institutes that founded the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) ten years ago have agreed to keep operating the centre after 1 January 2021, when the existing cooperation agreement of 2011 and its addendum of 2015 expire.

An agreement to cooperate on the further development of CEITEC in keeping with the centre’s strategic plan has already been signed by the rectors of Masaryk University (MU), the Brno University of Technology (BUT), the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno (VFU), and Mendel University (MENDELU) and the directors of the Institute of Physics of Materials of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the Veterinary Research Institute.

In its ten years of existence, the CEITEC research centre has gained recognition and the respect of the international science community. It has attracted many foreign researchers to Brno, who have made significant contributions to improving research and internationalization not only at the six partner institutes but also within the entire Czech science community. CEITEC, with its system of shared laboratories, exemplifies the effective use of research infrastructure. Its existence has also contributed to the development of the South Moravian Region in which it is located. “Thanks to CEITEC’s presence, the region has become more attractive to both foreign and Czech investors and as a consequence has created new jobs,” says MU rector, Martin Bareš. He adds that CEITEC is special because it provides opportunities for research and development in both the life sciences and advanced materials and technologies in a scope that is unheard of elsewhere in Europe.

CEITEC enables more than 1,000 scientists from 45 countries to study both biotic and abiotic phenomena at all scales, from single atoms, molecules, and cells, to entire organisms, including humans. Research focused on improving quality of life and health is conducted in buildings that were special built for this purpose at the MU University Campus Bohunice and at the BUT Campus under Palacky Hill. They are equipped with nearly 700 special instruments and pieces of equipment.

“The fact that this project will continue means that we will be maintaining a state-of-the-art, internationally renowned research institute. Our researchers will therefore be able to continue to engage in regional collaboration, which often has international impacts. This shining example of cooperation and collaboration has helped motivate other research teams at BUT. Moreover, the creation of the BUT-initiated Cybernetics in Material Science research group at CEITEC will allow for closer cooperation between partners,” notes BUT rector, Petr Štěpánek.

“We think of CEITEC as an international research brand that we have spent years building. Therefore, it is important that this collaborative effort continues in the future,” states MENDELU rector, Danuše Nerudová, noting that the further development of CEITEC will provide all partner institutes opportunities for cooperation.

“VFU Brno has been a main part of CEITEC since its founding and made major contributions to its outputs in the biological and veterinary sciences, for example, as a result of international contract research on animal models,” emphasizes VFU rector, Alois Nečas.

“We expect that this research infrastructure, equipped with costly instruments in shared laboratories and featuring a team of excellent scientists, will be able to produce solutions to the problems that our society faces and will continue to face. Thanks to the broad scope of research conducted at CEITEC, the centre is capable of producing comprehensive solutions to complicated issues and developing practical applications for new materials that are instrumental for ensuring quality of life. New materials are essential for the healthcare, manufacturing, energy, and food industries. I believe that continued cooperation between all six partners will contribute to achieving the ambitious goals set out in the Innovation Strategy of the Czech Republic, 2019–2030,” adds Ludvík Kunz, director of the Institute of Physics of Materials. “Our goal is to take advantage of the opportunity to continue communicating and cooperating with the largest players in the research sector in Brno,” notes Martin Faldyna, director of the Veterinary Research Institute.

The CEITEC research centre is regularly awarded prominent research grants by the European Union. Its international PhD School provides education to young researchers. With an annual budget of nearly 30 million EUR and investments exceeding 200 million EUR, the institute has succeeded in meeting its goals and becoming an irreplaceable part of international research networks. It actively cooperates with leading international universities, research institutes, companies, and public agencies.