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15. 2. 2024

More about this event


The Czech-Israeli cooperation conference brought together leaders, experts, and innovators to discuss ways of enhancing technology and innovation. With the speakers coming from different backgrounds like politics, diplomacy, business, and academia, the conference was aimed at showcasing existing collaboration and identifying further areas of cooperation and strategic partnership between the Czech Republic and Israel. After the opening remarks from Pavel Smutný, President of Czech-Israeli Mutual Chamber of Commerce and Jan Macháček, Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Politics and Society, the conference continued with keynote speakers: Karel Havlíček, Vice-President, Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and Nati Bloch Damti, Senior Director of Israel Innovation Authority.

“Israel is one of the most developed countries in the Middle East and is the only western style democracy in the region.” – Karel Havlíček

“Relationships between the Czech Republic and Israel are based on several key pillars – the first is security, the second pillar is the economy, the third pillar of our creation is a social proximity.” – Karel Havlíček


The first panel called “Start-Up National Mentality” was moderated by Ondřej Malý, analyst and Former Deputy of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade. The panel discussed the Israeli entrepreneurial spirit and its relevance to the Czech Republic. The topic of this panel was the start-up nation mentality and lessons that can be learned from Israel’s approach to entrepreneurship. In this panel, we had the honor to be accompanied by Yuval Ben-Itzhak, General Partner of Evolution Equity Partners, Linda Štucbartová, Founder of Diversio s.r.o., Tomáš Jelínek, Executive Board Member of Czech-Israeli Innovation and Partnership Center (MVŠO) and Pavel Kysilka, Founder and Chairman of the Board, 6D Academy.

“What makes Israel unique in the market, even more unique than in the US is the military service that is mandatory, and every year thousands of young people are exposed to very unique Technologies, a lot of projects, and they’re driving the economy forward.” –  Yuval Ben-Itzhak

“In Israel whenever you meet someone, they tell you not only how many successful startups they built but also how many of them they felt they closed because they were trying hard.” Linda Štucbartová

“Diversity it’s not only gender. In Israel, they are successful because they are diverse in terms of newcomers, in terms of immigration, also in terms of age diversity.” – Linda Štucbartová

“Czech need to get rid of the fairy tales and they need to see the real world, the practicality and courage to take risks, and to be the good business is what’s usually missing in the Czech Republic, so there is opportunity to complement the Israeli partners with our engineering and technical and analytical skills and usually the Israelis are much better in predicting the business opportunities.” – Tomáš Jelínek

“A similarity between the two nations that is very important is that you can hardly find countries in the world that would have similar concentration of talents as we have in Czech Republic and Israel; it’s measurable and it’s known, the saturation and concentration of talents is unbelievable.”Pavel Kysilka


The second panel called “Inspiration for Join Projects” was thereafter also moderated by Ondřej Malý and discussed possible partnerships between Czech and Israeli. The panel discussed successful partnerships and technology transfer opportunities. The panelists for this segment were Miroslav Žižka, LTG ret.; Managing Director, LPP s.r.o, Omer Frank, Marketing and Business Development Director, Elbit Systems Ltd., Sagi Mizrahi, Co-Founder; Vice President Business Development, Bagira, and David Marek, Executive Director, Springtide Ventures s.r.o.

“Our inspiration for the joint project this is the main message of my presentation, we are aware that the Czech Republic is really dependent on the production of UAV systems from abroad. Therefore, we with Elbit systems we came to conclusion that it will be the best choice for us to start and join cooperation to create conditions for the Czech Republic to be more independent on the foreign delivery of the systems.” – Miroslav Žižka

“We were thinking – okay, why don’t we actually create an opportunity for Israeli startups to establish R&D centers in the Czech Republic and whereby initially help some of the it guys and it teams to work for the Israeli startups and with this in mind to transfer the entrepreneurial DNA on them.” – David Marek


The third panel called and focused on “Innovation and resilient societies” was moderated by Filip Lukeš, an analyst at the Institute for politics and society, which focused on resilience of emergency services and healthcare. Notably, Mr. Alon discussed how technological innovations, including digital services and telemedicine, can assist in providing necessary healthcare services during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. We had the pleasure to have as panelist: Nissim Alon, Former President and CEO of Leumit Healthcare Services; Head of Health Management Department, Hadassah Academic College, Pavel Častulík, Center of Excellence Manager, Dekonta CBRN Ltd, Nir Koren, Chief Executive Officer; Founder, Buildinn and Petr Kolouch, Director, Prague Emergency Medical Service.

“Do you fly to a Prague conference while your son is in Gaza? In a resilient society, the answer is yes. We have to go on, we have to continue, we have to continue to give service to our clients, we have to continue our life. Nevermind how many rockets, nevermind how much suffering, nevermind If I cried in the conference, we will continue. This is the resilience of a society.” – Nissim Alon

“In order to be productive as humans and to join the well-being we need very good health, without health we wouldn’t be here.” – Pavel Častulík 

“When the new technology are giving the good benefits but always we have to look at this back or very wrong application –whenever we are investing something new, we have to look at what these two coins are, the good and the bad. So in many case, we are the older generation, should be tutors and saying we have to be very cautious of what might be the misuse of this technology.” – Pavel Častulík

“Today chat GPT has over 180 million users, less than 60% are under the age of 34, it means that 60% of their users might be our age. Meaning other people are starting to use chat GPT and it replaces jobs and positions. People are trying to use these technologies, but it might not be all of us. What do we do when only 7% of the population are willing to trust a conversation when on the other side you find technology and not a human.” – Petr Kolouch

Fail, but fail fast and share with others, rather than hiding it as a secret.“Petr Kolouch 


The last panel named “Strategic Alliance: Geopolitical synergy between Israel and the Czech Republic was moderated by Jan Macháček, the chairman of the board at the Institute for Politics and Society and discussed the bilateral and geopolitical links of the Czech Republic with Israel. The session gave a view on the grounds of the strategic partnership and avenues for further cooperation. For this last panel, we heard from Anna Azari, Ambassador, Embassy of Israel in the Czech Republic, Tomáš Pojar, National Security Adviser; Deputy Minister for European Affairs, Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, Daniel Shek, Former Ambassador in France, Embassy of Israel in France and Jiří Schneider, Former Ambassador in Israel, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Israel.

“I have the luck of working in the most friendly country to Israel in the world.” – Anna Azari

“I think that we don’t use all the opportunities. I think that it’s quite hard for us sometimes to mobilize our politicians because the Czechs are very nice anyway, we should be using this incredible base we have.” – Anna Azari

“I think there is one thing we have in common and this is the intense historical experience that geopolitics can kill your freedom.” – Jiří Schneider

“This alliance is an alliance against the big guys to divide the world according to their wish and against our interests.” – Petr Kolouch

Conclusion of conference

Although the existing cooperation is a solid foundation, the potential for greater collaboration across sectors is yet to be harnessed. Strategic partnerships in technology and innovation are a source of mutual benefit and economic development. In addition, resolving geopolitical issues requires talk, diplomacy, and the effort to find acceptable solutions. Both countries can benefit from nurturing strong links between parliamentary, business, academic, and cultural sectors, which will lead to realizing the strategic value of their relationship and creating a sustainable partnership. Please take a look at the complete recording to experience the full breadth of insights and discussions showcased at the conference.