Representatives of the Neuron Endowment Fund, the IOCB Tech Foundation and other partners gathered at the residence of Israeli Ambassador Anna Azari to launch the first year of the Neuron & IOCB Tech Internships in Israel student scholarship program.

The new program aims to transfer foreign knowledge to Czech science: university students will conduct their own research in Israel, and learn about the Israeli scientific ecosystem with a focus on transferring scientific knowledge into practice and commercialization.

“At the Neuron Endowment Fund, we systematically connect science with business and inspire the next generation to pursue science,” says Monika Vondráková, Chair of the Management Board of the Neuron Endowment Fund. “The new program is unique because we can guide students in the right direction thanks to our contacts and links with the best Israeli universities. That way we can ensure that they gain the most out of their two-month stay for their work,” she explains. 

The program is supported by the Neuron Endowment Fund and a foundation set up by IOCB Tech, which also funds it. The founding father of the program, IOCB Tech Director Martin Fusek, adds: “There are excellent relations between the Israeli and Czech scientific communities. Science in Israel is conducted at an excellent level, and you can meet Nobel Prize laureates in the corridors of its universities, along with successful entrepreneurs. And we want to enrich our students with transfer experience and a business approach to science, to show them how to apply science in practice.” 

The Neuron & IOCB Tech Internships in Israel program is available to ten students who will receive CZK 60,000 for their travel and stay. Applications are open until March 15, and the internships will run from May to September 2023. 

Neuron & IOCB Tech Internships in Israel are also supported by the First Medical Faculty of Charles University, the Czech-Israeli Joint Chamber of Commerce, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Israel and the Embassy of Israel in the Czech Republic. 

“We welcome yet another activity that introduces Israel and its approach to science to Czech students,” said Israeli Ambassador Anna Azari during an informal meeting to launch the project, “I believe that your students will get a thorough introduction to science transfer in our schools. In Israel, there is a long tradition of applied science and a well-functioning system whereby commercialization puts money back into fundamental research.”

Neuron & IOCB Tech Internships in Israel are open to students of all fields of study – they choose their own supervisor and the Israeli institution in which they will work on their research. An important task after their return from Israel will be to present the acquired knowledge to the Czech scientific community and the possibilities of scientific transfer or the transfer of ideas, knowledge or inventions from research to practice.

“The students can broaden their scientific horizons, make new contacts and become exposed to the unconventional way of thinking that is so typical for Israelis and that is behind the success of their start-up thinking. I am convinced that a stay in Israel will allow Czech students to look at their own research from a completely different perspective,” notes Czech Ambassador in Israel Martin Stropnický, who granted Neuron & IOCB Tech Internships in Israel his support. 

The Neuron & IOCB Tech Internships in Israel program aims, among other things, to introduce students to an environment that actively supports the transfer of scientific knowledge and technology into practice. It is a long journey, during which it is necessary to secure sufficient funding, legal protection and the right commercial direction for the original idea. The successful Israeli approach can provide great inspiration for talented Czech students.