CTU will help the Army to introduce new technologies into the armament
The Army of the Czech Republic and CTU (Czech Technical University, ČVUT) will cooperate on the development of groundbreaking technologies for the needs of the Army. The Memorandum of Cooperation was formally signed this week on Tuesday in the university's conference hall, where the document further develops the already ongoing cooperation in the field of projects and technologies for the 21st century army. The Memorandum of Cooperation between CTU and the Czech Army was signed by the Deputy Chief of the General Staff – Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Miroslav Hlaváč and CTU Rector doc. RNDr. Vojtěch Petráček, CSc. It is the culmination of the existing cooperation between the Army and the University. Since 2018, CTU in Prague has been co-organizing discussion forums, round tables and workshops, during which it introduces representatives of the Czech Army to the possibilities of using, for example, quantum technologies for military purposes. CTU is also the Czech representative in the NATO Academic Alliance, a network of academic institutions across the Alliance that helps shape the future of NATO.
Picture: The Memorandum of Cooperation between the Czech Army and CTU was signed by Deputy Chief of the General Staff - Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Miroslav Hlaváč (left) and CTU Rector doc. RNDr. Vojtěch Petráček, CSc. | Jan Zilvar / CZ DEFENCE
The document defines CTU's involvement in breakthrough technology projects and the design of their introduction into the military, where academic experts will identify areas of new and breakthrough technologies and their military applications. The military is committed to providing suggestions for the university's scientific activities. Both parties will then participate in educational, lecture and publication activities and will participate in seminars and workshops. An important part of the cooperation will also be professional internships and placements of CTU staff or students at military units and facilities within the project.
"The application of disruptive technologies, artificial intelligence and robotics to future projects in the modernisation of our army is a necessity. Close cooperation with academic experts is one of the ways to implement new technologies into military capabilities," explained General Hlaváč. "In this respect, CTU has a great added value, because our researchers are working on technologies that are not yet commercially available, and to some extent they can see into the future," said CTU Rector Vojtech Petracek. The Memorandum follows the "National Strategy for the Development and Protection of Emerging and Disruptive Technologies in the Czech Republic". The Czech Army pays great attention to artificial intelligence and cannot do without it in the future. It has been using it in some form for a long time, such as unmanned or unmanned vehicles, robotic systems or software components. The Department of Military Robotics at the University of Defence Brno is an expert and simulation base in the field of autonomous and robotic systems that work for the benefit of the military.
On the occasion of the signing of the memorandum, General Hlaváč also reminded that the cooperation will be directed towards modern weapon systems, be it artillery systems or MADR radars. According to General Hlaváč, the Army's major projects include the purchase of 5th generation aircraft, which will help the Czech Army to return to the ranks of advanced European armies. "Without scientists and the Czech Technical University, we will have a problem to manage it in order to prepare for this technological leap," the general said. In this area, it is mainly about processing the volume of data, its analysis and evaluation and, of course, the proposed solutions. Since these will be autonomous systems, the proposed solutions will need to be introduced to different types of troops. Another basis for cooperation between the Czech Armed Forces and the CTU is the use of artificial intelligence.
Lieutenant General Miroslav Hlaváč also confirmed the importance of cooperation between the Czech Armed Forces and the Czech Technical University to CZ DEFENCE: "Cooperation is essential for us in order to be able to implement all our modernisation projects and to have them in one coherent system that will function as a single unit in all operational domains. To do this, we need a link between the Czech Technical University and the Army," said Gen. According to him, the cooperation will also help with the introduction of new technologies into the armaments of the Czech Armed Forces and will help, for example, the smooth running of military tests. "Without the help of CTU and without their support, we would have a big problem to integrate and use all the capabilities that the new weapon systems have," Hlaváč concluded.
We also asked the rector of CTU, doc. RNDr. Vojtěch Petráček, CSc.
In your opinion, how important is the cooperation between the academic sphere and the military at the present time?
The current times show that it is one of the key things to connect the developmental, intellectual, technological capabilities within universities and those who are able to develop defence systems. Simply to be world-class, to have our defence capability backed up as much as possible.
Is there any international cooperation within CTU in this area?
Yes, there is, and it has been going on for quite a long time. For example, we cooperate with the Americans, with DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), with EDF (European Defence Fund) and with others. We are working with NATO, directly with the New Breakthrough Technologies Development Command. We do a number of these things for them and for our leadership here. One of our priorities in the last 5 years is how to develop this cooperation further.
The Army is dealing very intensively with its personnel side. As part of the collaboration, do you foresee redirecting your students towards serving in the military at professional levels?
I think that the cooperation, if it develops like this on its own, will lead to the experts seeing that there is a field of possibilities. We'll see, we're not forcing anyone. But I think that with good opportunities and interesting projects, people will sign up for it themselves.
The Czech Technical University in Prague is one of the largest and oldest technical universities in Europe. According to the 2017+ Methodology, it is the best Czech technical college in the group of ranked technical colleges. Currently, CTU has eight faculties (civil, mechanical, electrical, nuclear and physical engineering, architecture, transport, biomedical engineering, information technology). Approximately 18 000 students study at CTU. For the academic year 2022/2023, it offers its students over 350 accredited study programmes, including over 130 in foreign languages. CTU educates technical experts, scientists and managers with foreign language skills who are dynamic, flexible and able to adapt quickly to market demands. According to the results of the 2017+ Methodology, CTU was ranked in a group of five technical universities and received the highest grade A. CTU in Prague is currently ranked in the following positions by the QS World University Rankings, which evaluated 2,642 universities worldwide. CTU is ranked 378th in the global QS World University Rankings and 12th in the regional ranking "Emerging Europe and Central Asia". In the rankings for "Engineering and Technology", CTU is ranked 175th, in "Engineering - Civil and Structural" CTU is between 201st and 220th, in "Engineering - Mechanical" between 201st and 250th, and in "Engineering - Electrical" between 201st and 250th. In the area of "Physics and Astronomy" at 201st-250th position, in "Natural Sciences" they are at 238th position. In the field of "Computer Science and Information Systems" is at 151st-200th position, in the field of "Material Sciences" is at 251st-300th position, in the field of "Mathematics" is at 251st-300th position.