Young Czech Scientists Head to Israel Thanks to New Scientific Internship Project

Czech-Israeli Innovation Internships are a new programme of study internships that will enable young scientists to experience science in Israel with a focus on commercialisation and technology transfer. In the pilot phase, the program was supported by IOCB Tech, the Czech-Israeli Joint Chamber of Commerce, the 1st Medical Faculty of Charles University, and the Neuron Endowment Fund. The first students will leave at the end of April; the project has also received support from the Embassy of the State of Israel in the Czech Republic. 

The aim of the Czech-Israeli Innovation Internships is to get to know the Israeli scientific ecosystem, to establish contacts in the start-up environment, and for Czech scientists they provide an opportunity to study at prestigious institutions under the guidance of Israeli scientists.

"Israel, as a scientific and technological power, is an inspiration for us. I am glad that IOCB Tech, as a leader in technology transfer, can offer the best examples from the world to aspiring Czech scientists. Thanks to our project, students will get to know the functioning of Israeli science and gain a new perspective on how to tackle their own work," Prof. Martin Fusek, Director of IOCB Tech and a technology transfer guru in the Czech Republic, explains.

In 2022, the Czech-Israeli Innovation Internships will start with a pilot phase and the grant will cover students' travel, visa, accommodation, and travel allowances. The two-month stays will run from April to October, with an evaluation of the project and announcement of the next year's run taking place in November.

JUDr. Pavel Smutný, President of the Czech-Israeli Joint Chamber of Commerce adds: "In Israel, our programme has been welcomed with enthusiasm and Czech students will head to top institutes such as the Weizmann Institute of Science, Tel Aviv University, or the Technion.  The Czech-Israeli Joint Chamber of Commerce has been supporting applied research and technology transfer for a long time.  In cooperation with our partner Israel-Czech Chamber of Commerce (ICCI) and the Czech Embassy in Tel Aviv, we help to facilitate further contacts with the widest possible range of Israeli companies, so that students get to know the complex advanced Israeli start-up ecosystem. I look forward to the students being able to help develop a similar ecosystem in the Czech Republic upon their return."

"The internships of Czech students in Israel will perfectly connect the cutting-edge biomedical research of both countries. Not only will the programme put young scientists in contact with new technologies, but it will also give them an insight into the system of science in this country, including the rapid transfer of scientific results into practice, which is at a high level in Israel and which we are intensively targeting today at the 1st Faculty of Medicine of Charles University," the Dean of the 1st Faculty of Medicine of Charles University, Prof. Martin Vokurka, says.

Two students of the University of Chemistry and Technology, Anežka Kramná and Jan Trnka, Kateřina Veselá, a postgraduate student of medicine at the 1st Faculty of Medicine, who is researching new drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, biologist Anna Kampová, and Klára Janoušková, an expert in computer vision and text recognition, will travel to Israel.

In the pilot phase of the project, students were selected on the recommendation of members of the Neuron Endowment Fund's scientific board. "We have been supporting young scientists for a long time and the connection between science and business is an important topic for us, thanks to which we can further popularize Czech science. We were happy to give the new study programme an expert perspective and to guarantee the quality of the students," Monika Vondráková, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Neuron Endowment Fund, says.

The students who will take part in the Czech-Israeli Innovation Internships have already been received by the Israeli Ambassador Anna Azari, who was enthusiastic about the idea of supporting young scientists. "I welcome any activity that will bring Israel closer to the young generation. Through the internships, students will have a unique opportunity to make valuable contacts that they will be able to use in their future careers. I hope that their stay in Israel will give them a boost both on their projects and in their overall approach to science and business," she said at a meeting with the first interns of the new scholarship program.