The ICRI event, organised by Masaryk University together with CEITEC and the Ministry of Education, focuses on research infrastructures, i.e. everything related to scientific research, be it software, supercomputers, microscopes, as well as archives and collections. The event, which brings together 450 of the world’s leading figures in science and research, is one of the few organised outside of Prague as part of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Over the course of three days, participants will have the opportunity to learn about Brno as one of the vibrant centres of science and technology in Central Europe.
Conference participants were welcomed at Hotel Passage by Czech Television presenter Daniel Stach, who quoted one of the greatest theoretical physicists of all time, Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”He also reminded the attendees that the main goal of the event is to share knowledge in the field of research and science. “We are here to learn from each other, to strengthen international collaboration and to get the tools we need to make the world a better place.”
This year’s ICRI event is being held under the auspices of the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. “The conference is important not only for the Czech Republic but also for Europe as a whole. I am very glad that Brno has the honour to host this important event. As a university town and a progressive city, Brno is aware of the importance of supporting research and education,” said Minister of Education Vladimír Balaš at the opening ceremony.
Cathy Foley, Australia’s Chief Scientist advising the government on science, technology and innovation, is one of the guests to speak at the opening session. She stressed that research infrastructures are an invaluable source of scientific discovery and innovation. “But research infrastructures have other benefits, too, whether in supporting the regional and global economy or developing cutting-edge technologies that ultimately have a much wider utility beyond their original scientific purpose,” said Foley.
After the opening plenary session, ICRI continued with a segment on Covid-19 and pandemics of infectious diseases, followed by a session on the environment, climate change and mitigation. “The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the fact that we can only fight global crises by working together and sharing the data we collect. We realised one important thing: the ability to preserve and maintain the scientific data collected over the long term at a high level is crucial,” noted Edith Heard, Director General of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, at the conference.
ICRI 2022 offers many interesting segments over the next two days. The full programme is available on the conference’s official website.