On February 28, the unique fellowship programme of the Central Bohemian Innovation Centre called MERIT kicked off its first meeting gathering all of the partners from the Czech Republic and most of the partners from abroad. The Mobility Programme for Excellence in Research, Innovation and Technology, MERIT, aims to attract talented postdocts, bringing with them knowledge and new experiences to the research centres of the Central Bohemian Region and to increase the international influence of the entire region. Representatives of 51 partners organisations including 15 research organisations, several companies, foreign universities and secondary schools, attended the event at the ELI Beamlines laser centre.
“I am glad that so many partners and supporters of the programme attended the event, some of them came from Poland or all the way from Mexico. The participants complimented especially the MERIT website, and the afternoon networking session not only brought a lot of new connections between partners from the research and corporate areas, but also new links for international cooperation,” says Martina Vycudilíková, MERIT’s Programme Manager.
As one of the speakers during the one-day event, Martina Vycudilíková talked about the plan to bring and train the best minds from all over the world to the region as part of the MERIT. Also, she highlighted another interesting aspect of the fellowships, which are the compulsory temporary stays in other academic or corporate organisations (referred to as secondments). Furthermore, she reminded the audience of the five strategic areas of knowledge covered by the programme: biotechnology and biomedicine, laser technologies, space technologies, sustainable energy and materials, and the cross-cutting area of digitalisation.
Representatives of all 15 participating research organisations, including the HiLASE laser centre, the University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings of the Czech Technical University, the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Science, and several institutes of the Biomedical and Biotechnological Centre, BIOCEV were in attendance at the kick-off meeting. Coming from the corporate sphere, representatives from VALEO and EATON also participated in the event.