Michal Veselý, Chief Marketing Officer at JIC business hub tells Euronews how a former textile city became the Czech Republic's beating heart of innovation.
Twenty years ago, the JIC business hub was created in the Czech Republic's second-largest city of Brno, becoming one of the first technological incubators in the eastern part of the European Union.
Today, its success has made it a magnet for entrepreneurs and companies with an international perspective.
Michal Veselý, Chief Marketing Officer at JIC told Euronews about the origins and expectations of this technological hub when it was set up two decades ago.
"JIC was established in 2003 when there was a high unemployment rate in the region," he explained. "And we are part of the Smart specialisation strategy of the region."
The Smart Specialisation strategy, launched by the European Union, requires regions to concentrate their resources on the fields of innovation for which it has the best assets compared to other European regions, to design better public policies for boosting innovation-driven growth.
"That's why the regional government, the city of Brno and four universities agreed on the establishment of the JIC Innovation Agency," Michal added.
"JIC operates in south Moravia, [where] the textile industry...developed in the 18th and 19th centuries and engineering in the 20th century. However, after the fall of the Communist regime, the situation was quite complicated because we were dependent on the eastern markets. So the whole industry was restructured. Now the region is quite stable. We have high-tech companies. We have international corporations, tech corporations with their own R&D."
"JIC has a strategy for three years. And our goal is to have one globally successful company, one Unicorn in South Moravia, which has a valuation of more than $1 billion (€918,150,000) and three companies which are close to [that]," he concluded.