The Mission of the SAS
The SAS is a national institution which undertakes scientific research in Slovakia as an autonomous non-university research institution which is primarily funded from public finances. This sort of research has a tradition in Slovakia; its existence is justified because of the research’s highly systematic and concentrated character, which allows it to be connected to global trends in the development of human knowledge. The perspectives gained from research undertaken at the SAS are based on evidence and are qualitatively comparable to research undertaken abroad.
The SAS is an autonomous science and research body established under law. Its aim is to undertake basic research in the natural, technical, medical and social sciences as well as in the humanities in areas which are innovative, demanding in terms of personnel and research infrastructure, and which develop innovative technology and diagnostics. Its primary purpose is to enhance knowledge for the development of Slovakia and its citizens. The values of the academy are grounded in the principles of independent scientific inquiry (without any political affiliation), critical thinking, excellent knowledge, a high level of expertise and specialization, effective competitiveness and interdisciplinary cooperation.
The activities of the SAS build on the historical traditions of scholarly and scientific societies in Slovakia, starting with the projects of Matthias Bel (1735) and Andrej Kmeť (1892) and the activity of the scientific branches of Matica slovenská (1863) through to the first institutionalized scientific research undertaken at the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Arts (1942). From its establishment in 1953, the SAS initially existed as an independent institution, and subsequently within the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (1960–1992). Since 1989 the academy has undergone gradual modernization in its organizational structure and in its overall research focus. In addition to its proportionate role in enhancing knowledge through international cooperation in scientific endeavour, the academy fulfils its social mission through the development of progressive technologies, patents, innovations, expertise and the transfer of knowledge to many areas of practical implementation. The academy has an established research infrastructure which meets international requirements. Its employees constitute a unique and irreplaceable amount of intellectual wealth, which is concentrated in its excellent scientific personalities and research teams. Without the valuable work of these people, it would not be possible to develop Slovakia’s national and cultural identity. The SAS is an institution which has great potential to develop Slovakia’s economy, technology sector, society and security. With these interests in mind, the academy cooperates with non-academic entities in the public and private sectors, providing them with scientific information to help in solving problems and development tasks.
The SAS cooperates with universities in many ways and takes part in their scientific research. The SAS also plays an indispensable role in the training of university students, especially in the training of doctoral students as well as experts in key and highly specialized (rare) areas which are not taught or studied at universities.
The academy develops its research activities through its own scientific organizations, which as a rule are involved in national and international projects which are funded from grants. Within this framework, the academy undertakes research focused on current global issues (e.g. climate change; the renewal and maintenance of the quality of water, soil and the air; managing environmental risks; protecting biodiversity; biotechnology and the health of populations), social issues (e.g. growing inequality and the issue of social solidarity, social exclusion and marginalization, ageing, migration and security), the protection and development of cultural heritage (the Slovak National Corpus, the Dictionary of Contemporary Slovak Language, the Library of Slovak Literature and Encyclopaedia Beliana) and detailed regional research. The academy also undertakes systematic research into the state-building elements of the Slovak Republic (its social, economic, legal and educational systems), offering critical insights in light of global developmental trends, and it is building a unique array of documentation and archival sources in this regard.