Ladies and gentlemen,
The Future Forces Forum, which we are participating today, is a traditional platform for defence and security professionals, bringing together stakeholders from military, civilian and security operations, and their partners from industry, governmental institutions, and science and technology organisations.
The Future Forces Forum project has long been held under the auspices and with the support of the President of the Czech Republic, the Parliament of the Czech Republic, governmental institutions and international organisations, including NATO and the European Defence Agency. It is a great honour for me that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has also taken over the auspices of this project this year, and I am very pleased to address you a few words at the beginning of this year’s event.
The project is primarily focused on the presentation of current and future needs in the fields of defence and security at both national and international level, and on the presentation of our capabilities in the respective areas.
I believe that the exhibition and parallel professional events create a unique environment for doing business, information exchange and networking. I also appreciate that during congresses, conferences, workshops, panel discussions and live demonstrations throughout the Future Forces Forum, civilian and military experts, representatives of public authorities, industries, universities and research centres will meet at the international level.
Education is a significant part of our society; everyone is aware of its importance, of the added value and the competitive advantage of the knowledge society. It is encouraging that universities that offer study programmes in the field of security are so interested in cooperating with representatives of the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence, which are responsible for preparing the Czech security policies.
Research and development are the key areas of cooperation between the academia, and private and public sector. That is why I consider it important to support the establishment of discussion fora, which help to meet and reflect together on current issues, and thus lead to the formulation of ideas that form the basis for the policy-making.
This year’s Future Forces Forum will not only aim at traditional issues such as soldiers’ equipment and protection, protection against the weapons of mass destruction, military medicine or cyber security, but also areas such as Artificial Intelligence or Space Technologies.
I appreciate that it will also focus on critical infrastructure protection, the fight against terrorism, non-military crisis management, civil-military cooperation, the importance and need for the involvement of science, research and education in defence and security, and support to recruit specialists in armed forces of the Czech Republic.
The pandemic crisis will most likely not allow international events to be held in Prague as a part of the Future Forces Forum in April this year, but I strongly believe that the virtual form of these events will provide the participants with the opportunity to present their results in a dignified manner.
I would like the fourteenth continuation of this project to bring once again all its participants a unique opportunity to meet and discuss with the leading national and foreign experts on defence and security issues, and I believe that this year will build on the successes of previous years and will become a great opportunity to meet together in a friendly atmosphere.
Thank you very much for your attention.
Dr. Pavel DOLEČEK, Ph.D.
Deputy Minister of Research and Higher Education Section
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports