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Posted: June 30, 2008
U.S. to fund Czech armament industry due to radar base
(Nanowerk News) The United States is to offer dozens of millions of crowns (1 U.S. dollar equals 15.241 crowns) to fund scientific research in the Czech Republic, mainly in the armament industry, as part of the radar base talks between the two countries, a Czech newspaper reported Monday.
The United States is mostly interested in cooperation with the Czech Republic in fields such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics and defense against biological weapons, the daily Hospodarske Noviny quoted Vladimir Marik, head of the Department of Cybernetics at Prague's Technical University, as saying.
Washington is also interested in the Czech know-how on laser technologies, including passive radio locators, and the simulation of certain situations such as terrorist attacks, Marik added.
Most of the projects are focused on the armament industry, the newspaper said. But Marik said the results of the defense-oriented research can also be easily applied to civilian industries.
The United States will also fund research projects in medicine and other technologies, he said.
Assigned by the Government Council for Science and Research, Marik has selected 77 top Czech research centers that could cooperate with the United States, the report said.
The United States had originally planned to release some one-off subsidies for scientific research as a compensation for the radar installation, but after discovering the high level of research in the Czech Republic, they would like to establish long-term cooperation with Czech researchers, Marik said.
"So even if the radar treaty were not signed, the United States would allot money to individual projects in the Czech Republic," he added.
The United States plans to build a radar base at the Brdy military base, 90 km southwest of Prague, and a base with 10 interceptor missiles in Poland, as part of its missile defense shield.
Russia strongly opposes the deployment of the missile defense system, saying the plan poses a threat to its national security. Czech opposition parties and some 70 percent of Czech citizens also oppose the project.