Czech/SlovakiaCzech RepublicSlovakia

CEITEC cluster to get the green light

01.06.2011

Brno – Plans for building a Central European Insitute of Technology (CEITEC) in Brno look set to take a big step closer to becoming reality. In mid-May, CEITEC representatives announced that EU financing for the EUR260m technology park in South Moravia only awaits the signature of the Austrian Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn. The go-ahead from Brussels will pave the way for the Czech Education Ministry to proceed with appointing research managers for the center, according to spokesman Petra Stítecká. CEITEC is to be located near Brno Technical University (VUT-Brno) and Masaryk University (MU). It’s aims are to establish research hubs for genome-based medicine, animal model development, a clinically-orientated centrr for “brain and mind” disorders, and a centre for structure biology and molecular plant biology. These centres are to flourish alongside complementary nanotech and medtech activities. “The project is with the Commissioner’s cabinet, and we expect his signature authorising the grant within around a week,“ Jakub Hodiná, the Czech Deputy Education Minister told local media. As this issue went to press, Hahn’s spokesman Marie-Pierre Jouglain told EuroBiotechNews the funding “is in the very final stage of the decision procedure, and should be shortly approved by Commissioner Hahn.”

Region expects to attract top researchers

CEITEC sceptics say that despite the EUR24.5m investment in state-of-the art instrumentation, it will be difficult both to cover the institute’s annual running costs of nearly EUR29m and to hire top researchers. Stakeholders in the South Moravia region have downplayed the concerns. They say researchers will be attracted through its SoMoProm programme, and would be highly motivated because Brno already ranks among the EU’s 50 most innovative regions. Miloš Šifald, the head of the South Moravian Center for International Mobility, told local media that “Our target for 2020 is to be in the top 20. We should be up there along with cities like Heidelberg and Gothenburg.”

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