Building on a successful technology-sharing partnership with the Czech Republic that dates back to 1999, the Office of Naval Research's (ONR) Global division opened a new international science and technology office in Prague today.
The Prague office establishes a regional presence for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps within Eastern Europe's international science and technology community. Staffed by four people, it will promote collaboration at an open-source, unclassified level with scientists in the Czech Republic and Central and Eastern Europe.
Together, U.S. and Czech scientists will partner to identify and pursue technology-based defense needs and solutions. They will also enhance ONR's ability grow the basic research capacity to deliver the S&T necessary to maintain a technological edge for Navy and Marine Corps, as well as U.S. allies. Additionally, Prague provides a relationship-enhancing geographic base for collaboration with researchers in the Czech Republic and throughout the region.
"We believe this partnership will tap the power of the best science and scientists in the region to grow our combined research capacity," said Capt. David Maynard, ONR Global commanding officer. "It will help us to invent high-payoff solutions to complex challenges and maintain a technological edge for the Navy and Marine Corps, and our allies."
The relationship with Prague goes back more than a decade, Maynard said. Czech researchers have produced quality independent and university research in S&T. Czech scientist and graduate of Ceske Vysoke Uceni Technicke, Dr. Antonin Svoboda invented the world's first fault tolerant computer and is a pioneering researcher in cybernetics.
The U.S. Navy presented Svoboda the Naval Ordnance Development Award in 1948.
The Czech Republic has also recognized the accomplishments of U.S. researchers. ONR Global Associate Director, Dr. Yvonne Masakowski, Naval Undersea Research Center, Newport R.I., was awarded the Cross of Merit by the Czech Ministry of Defense in 2002 for her collaboration with human factors research and development.
The Czech-ONR Global relationship includes advances in technologies, including Multi Agent Systems (MAS), with the assistance of cybernetics researchers at Czech Technical University (CTU). As a Department of Defense/ONR Global science and technology engagement strategy with a new NATO partner, CTU researchers developed world-class MAS technology in three areas - Adversarial Reasoning, Distributed Control Systems and Distributed Computing.
ONR Global's four other domestic and international offices are located in Washington, D.C., London, Tokyo, Singapore and Santiago, Chile. The Prague office will be the second Navy international technology office to open in Europe in 64 years.
About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps´ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning, and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel.