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Czech delegation to present the Czech automotive industry, research and development in Australia

(PresseBox) (Prague, ) With its experience, know-how, location in the centre of Europe, skilled workforce, innovation and high-quality and reliable suppliers, the Czech Republic has something to offer Australian businesses in the area of the automotive industry, research and development. A Czech delegation will travel to Australia to present the country's advantages during the Czech-Australian Technology Days, which will take place from 4 to 8 July 2011 in Melbourne. The event is being organised by CzechInvest and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and the Australian Trade Commission, Austrade.

"Due to its upsurge, Australia is one of the world's most noteworthy countries. If we manage to demonstrate that we have something to offer in the area of science and technology, this will be beneficial for both sides. It would also be good to establish cooperation with Australian universities and technology institutes as well as businesses. Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic were and have always been among the top countries in terms of technology, so I hope that we will prove ourselves on the most distant continent," says Karel Schwarzenberg, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

"The Czech Republic has one of the most highly developed automotive industries in Central and Eastern Europe. Thanks to its long tradition and technical know-how, the Czech automotive sector has developed into an advanced automotive base while maintaining its attractive cost/performance ratio," says Miroslav K?ížek, CEO of CzechInvest. "This involves not only production, but also research and development. There is a range of research facilities operating in the Czech Republic whose results are used by global automobile manufacturers."

The Czech representatives will take part in the international "Australian Automotive Week 2011" conference, where the Czech Republic will be the only European state represented. Besides the conference, the Czech delegation is preparing three workshops at three local universities - Deakin University, RMIT University and Swinburne University. Czech delegates will meet with the former premier of Victoria, Steve Bracks, who is now the Automotive Envoy for the Australian Government at RMIT University.

"The Czech mission to Australia and in particular their visit to RMIT University will enable both sides to learn more about our respective research capabilities in automotive engineering. RMIT in particular as one of the leading universities in this region in the automotive field aims to expand it's research partnerships globally. The visit is well aligned with this objective," says Professor Aleksandar Subic, Head of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at RMIT University.

More information about the Czech-Australian Technology Days is available at http://www.czechtechnologydays.org/au-2011.

The Czech automotive sector

The Czech Republic is at the centre of the European automotive industry. There are over 850 companies active in the automotive industry in the Czech Republic with combined turnover of EUR 32 billion. The automotive industry makes up over 20% of the country's exports and employs over 260,000 people. The potential of Czech industry is used by companies such as Porsche Engineering Services, Mercedes-Benz Technology, Ricardo, Swell, Valeo, Visteon, Aufeer Design, Bosch, Continental, Honeywell, Siemens, TRW, ZF Automotive and many others. Czech technical universities and their development centres cooperate closely with these companies and provide them with the necessary workforce and know-how.

The confluence of the increasing number of automotive-related centres of excellence, very strong academic and institutional base and unmatched, deep-rooted engineering tradition creates a culture of competitive innovation which sets the country apart from others, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. Indeed, a policy objective of the Czech government is to ensure that the country's automotive sector remains in the vanguard of competitive innovation by providing a business climate conductive to sustained growth through a range of activities aimed at fully unlocking the Czech Republic's scientific, engineering and intellectual capital.

About the Czech Republic

Increasingly, the Czech Republic, which joined the European Union in 2004, is recognized as an optimal business environment from which to better serve international customers. This is due to several factors, the most notable being the sustained enhancements of the business environment implemented by the Czech government and the ability of the country's pre-eminent natural resource, intellectual capital, to respond to the needs of knowledge-based and innovation-driven businesses.

Moving forward, the record inflows of foreign direct investment, European dominance in computer production, the country's complete automotive supply chain and its track record in supporting global ICT operations, the burgeoning growth of Czech suppliers and the shift away from labour-cost-sensitive investments to high value added activities and extensive R&D as integral parts of global networks are all pillars sustaining the Czech Republic's growth and underpinning its international competitiveness.