New perspectives and opportunities for cooperation with the USA
On Friday, April 14, 2023, President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, prof. RNDr. Pavol Šajgalík, DrSc., received the Ambassador of the United States of America, J. E. Gautam A. Rana, who was accompanied by Petra Augustínová, an expert of the American Embassy in the field of economics, on the premises of the Academy. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Vice-President of the SAS for international relations MUDr. Tomáš Hromádka, PhD., and Mgr. František Fundárek, CSc. from the Department of International Cooperation SAS.
The president of the SAS informed his American guest about the structure and functioning of the SAS as the largest research institution in Slovakia and the creation of its budget, highlighting the recent successful transition of the institutes and centres of the SAS to public research institutions, which should, among other things, facilitate cooperation with the private sector.
In the subsequent discussion, T. Hromádka stated that cooperation with the USA has long been limited to individual contacts between SAS institutes and American research institutions, while a certain possibility of change in this respect was indicated by last year's meeting with the U.S. Office of Naval Research Global (ONRG), which offers various collaboration schemes in a wide range of scientific fields from materials science to nanotechnology to robotics and biotechnology.
G. Rana was interested in the current state of cooperation between the SAS and China, taking into account the changed international political situation and the increased risk of hybrid threats. In this connection, P. Šajgalík informed the American ambassador that in the period before the COVID-19 pandemic, SAS tried to deepen cooperation with some Chinese institutions (especially with Northwestern Polytechnical University, with which it signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2015), but due to the pandemic, the process of cooperation was interrupted. Currently, the Academy takes a rather neutral position on this issue, that is, it will not take active steps in the interest of its further development.
Both sides see promising potential in deepening and developing cooperation, especially in the field of material and chemical sciences, as well as biomedical research. G. Rana promised SAS maximum cooperation in this respect, and expressed his belief that in the future, it will be possible to create a similar model of cooperation, which our academy has successfully maintained for many years with, for example, Taiwan or Turkey.
Edited by František Fundárek, Department of International Cooperation SAS
Photo: Martin Bystriansky