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Posted: March 28, 2008
U.S. to support Czech research in exchange for radar base
(Nanowerk News) The U.S. government wants to sponsor Czech researchers who would help the United States in the fight against terrorism in exchange for the deployment of a U.S. radar base on Czech soil, the Hospodarske Noviny daily reported Friday.
The U.S. Missile Defence Agency (MDA) has made a list of 15 Czech researchers, mainly from high-tech spheres such as nanotechnology, information technology and cybernetics, the paper said.
U.S. financial support to Czech research is based on a special treaty on the stationing of the U.S. base in the Brdy military district, 90 km southwest of Prague.
The Czech Technical University in Prague will assess what Czech researchers can offer to the U.S., the paper said.
"Such a strong partner is a big opportunity for us. The U.S. has given us a chance to submit proposals of fields in which we are good," said Miroslava Kopicova from the Government Council for Research and Development.
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek recently said the treaty might be signed around the forthcoming NATO summit in Bucharest.
"I have no doubt that the cooperation can be successful," the paper quoted Czech First Deputy Foreign Minister Tomas Pojar as saying.
MDA Director Henry Obering and representatives of Czech and U.S. firms attended a seminar on Czech-U.S. cooperation in missile defense in January.
The U.S. firms plan to found a consortium with Czech scientificcenters that will focus on the research of technologies related to the U.S. missile defense system.
The U.S. is currently cooperating with Japan, Italy, Australia, Britain and Denmark on the missile defense shield. Negotiations are underway with seven other countries.
The U.S. plans to deploy interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic as part of its efforts to extend its missile defense system to Europe.
Polls show about 70 percent of Czechs oppose the planned U.S. radar base in their country.