Cluster

CLUSTER AAVIT

Czech Cluster of Leaders in IT & Digital Services

ABOUT US

We Are a Guarantor in Applied Research in IT

Who we are
The AAVIT cluster is a group of leaders from the IT and digital services industry that strengthens the applied technology sector in IT, helps companies develop digital solutions and digitalize their daily activities, and supports profitable exports of digital services, software and hardware.
What we do
As part of its activities, it aims to level the playing field for the IT sector and strengthen the IT sector's position as an equal partner alongside manufacturing and other sectors of the economy. It is a platform supporting the increase of the IT sector's share of GDP in the Czech Republic and the EU and thus acts as a catalyst for networking between IT and government. The cluster is made up of a community of strong technology players and companies from different industries that want to become digital leaders and brings together companies and organizations of all sizes - from global companies with offices around the world to start-ups.
Our goals
The cluster's strategic goal is to promote the widest possible digitalization, robotics and artificial intelligence in all sectors and areas of the economy - including industry and transport, healthcare, culture, sports, tourism and other fields.
AAVIT členství

Jaromír Hanzal

Executive Director
Jaromír Hanzal graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in 2013. He is currently the Executive Director of the AAVIT Cluster, where he is responsible for representing the cluster in the Czech Republic and abroad, establishing new business contacts including recruiting new members and creating long-term strategic concepts with regard to the future direction of the cluster. He is also the Executive Director of the research organization FT PARK z.ú., where he is responsible for the management of the research organization, especially the organization of research and development teams and the administrative management of the organization. He has been involved in R&D projects as the principal investigator of a joint applied research project.

Michal Čermák

Cluster Technical Coordinator
Currently working as a content creator, project consultant and analyst for the AAVIT Cluster. He has many years of experience in R&D and SME support. During his more than five years at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, he focused on the topic of increasing the success rate of Czech SMEs in the EU Framework Programmes for R&D support. He was a member of the team preparing OP TAK and co-developed the SME Support Strategy for the period 2021-2027, where he was responsible for the analytical part and the areas of Research, Development and Innovation and Low Carbon Economy and Efficient Resource Management, including the preparation of implementation plans.

OUR SERVICES

What We Offer Our Members

Internationalisation
Through its activities, the cluster helps members to penetrate foreign markets. Thanks to the membership in DIGITALEUROPE, members have information about upcoming European legislation and access to expert workshops not only on legislative topics. They can also comment on legislative proposals and join forces with other European businesses. DIGITALEUROPE is an ideal environment for networking at European level and offers cluster members the opportunity to form and join EU Framework Programme consortia. The AAVIT cluster participates in trade missions and digital meetings to network with foreign partners. Further details are mentioned in the cluster's internationalization strategy.
Legal Services & Consultancy
The AAVIT Cluster regularly provides its members with ad hoc legal services and consultations that enable them to solve everyday problems mainly in the domestic market. These include the treatment of intellectual property rights, obtaining licenses, administering tenders or adapting national legislation. It also deals with employment law issues, which have their own specificities in relation to the IT business.
Fundraising
The AAVIT cluster offers its members advice and consultation in the field of fundraising. This may include preparation or assistance with the preparation of projects for national, cohesion and other EU programmes, as well as the creation of consortia. This also applies to project implementation. In addition, it advises on banking products and helps companies develop their fundraising strategies.
Testing Infrastructure, Incubation & Acceleration
The AAVIT cluster provides its members with a scientific and testing facility for the development of new SW and HW products. This infrastructure includes a UX testing lab and a computer/training center. Advice and mentoring is provided for start-ups in setting up new companies, as well as renting office space.
Networking
Cluster members are recruited from a wide range of entities. From SMEs, to large companies and research organizations, to incubators and universities. This allows members to collaborate in networking - whether on a supplier-recipient level or to carry out R&D together and form consortia in research or other projects. However, the AAVIT cluster also provides a platform for its members to meet with domestic and foreign partners outside of the cluster and with representatives of the public sector. In this way, cluster members can establish business cooperation and share experiences.
Training & Education
Employees of cluster members have access to training and courses organized by the AAVIT cluster. Their topics range from specific IT skills and cyber security to fundraising and legislative measures.
PR & Marketing
The cluster offers its members assistance in developing marketing and PR strategies, both from the perspective of the whole company and for their specific products - services and products. It brings visibility to cluster members at events and social media, as well as participation on trade missions and foreign trips. Provides members with the ability to manage social networks and create/edit websites
Product Launches & Problem Solving
The combination of all these services often enables companies to launch new products or services. In addition, it helps its members to find new employees, mainly through informal networking.

CLUSTER SECTIONS

Thematic Sections of the Cluster

Healthcare Section

The creation of this section is not surprising given the growing number of cluster members with a direct or partial focus on healthcare. The provision of healthcare, the use of artificial intelligence for diagnostics or virtual and augmented reality for rehabilitation or medical training - these are just some of the areas that link the AAVIT cluster with the healthcare sector. For cluster members, we offer news on domestic and European healthcare legislation (EHDS). We organize workshops to help them with the certification of medical instruments and services. We provide advice on fundraising, project management and involvement in international consortium programmes. We are able to provide consultation and solutions in the field of cybersecurity, especially when it comes to data protection. Within networking, we are able to provide digital infrastructure providers and software development.

Cybersecurity Section

Cybersecurity, data protection and prevention, penetration testing, security audits and consulting are topics that bring our members together in another dedicated section. We offer know-how from the European cybersecurity projects of which we are members. We organize training on legislation, especially regarding European legislation (Data Act, AI Act, Cyber Resilience Act, NIS2). We advise on fundraising, project management and involvement in international consortium programmes. In the context of networking, we are able to provide digital infrastructure providers and software development. We have the infrastructure to test new cybersecurity solutions, including trained experts.

NEWS & ACTIVITES

Cluster Activities

We participated in the DIGITALEUROPE Presidency Summit in Budapest (April 24)

The DIGITALEUROPE Presidency Summit in Budapest welcomed leaders of digital associations from 21 countries associated with DIGITALEUROPE. With the contribution of our cluster project, we couldn’t miss it!

What did we focus on besides the priorities of the upcoming Hungarian Presidency of the EU Council?

The challenges for the new European Commission in the digital economy.

The EU’s Digital Single Market, which is still not complete.

The implementation of the RRF with examples of good practice from Estonia and Greece. In Estonia, the digital economy is a clear government priority.

Digitisation of the public sector. It was good to be able to show colleagues the new Citizen Portal on mobile.

But most of all, as always, it was a great opportunity to exchange experiences and opinions. Thanks again for the great organization IVSZ – IT Association of Hungary and the whole DIGITALEUROPE team. We returned with a lot of interesting insights and information for our cluster members and in turn had the opportunity to pass on their ideas.

BudapeÁú duben 24

3Seas Business Forum as a platform for meeting colleagues from the 3Seas region (April 24)

The 3Seas business forum was a real treat! In Vilnius, as part of our cluster project, we participated in a large business forum accompanied by a meeting of presidents and senior officials from 13 CEE countries.

In addition to meeting potential partners and participating in panel discussions, it was great to meet again the leaders of other digital associations – Simonas Cerniauskas from INFOBALT, Doris Põld from ITL Estonian ICT Cluster and Michal Kanownik from Związek Cyfrowa Polska / Digital Poland Association.

Panels with distinguished speakers were dedicated to the topics of energy transformation, transport transformation and the reconstruction of Ukraine. We hope that we will be able to involve our cluster members in these processes.

The 3Seas region as a whole has a very positive dynamic. In 2018, its aggregate GDP accounted for 13.5% of the EU’s GDP, and in 2023 it was already 16.4%. Thanks also to the potential of digital technologies and talent in the region, we believe that this share will continue to grow.

Thank you once again to the Confederation of Industry and Transport of the Czech Republic for organizing the whole mission.

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The mission to Chile and Uruguay (March 24)

Our trade mission and cluster trip to South America with the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic and accompanied by Minister Jozef Sikely will be one of the highlights of 2024.

The first destination of our trip was Chile. Like the Czech Republic, Chile is an open economy, focused on exports. Although its export mix is dominated by the export of raw materials, especially copper.

Chile is, however, an interesting country for the nowadays so often emphasized topics of green transition and digital transition. It has extremely suitable natural conditions for building RES and intends to obtain all its energy from renewable sources as early as 2040. In addition, Chile has huge reserves of lithium, which is a key raw material for the production of digital hardware.

Our next destination was Uruguay. At an entrepreneurship forum in Montevideo, we discussed partnerships with Universidad ORT Uruguay (and founder of the local startup ecosystem Enrique Topolansky) and UTEC – Universidad Tecnológica. We made contact with a number of other IT entrepreneurs and presented solutions and activities of our members. Uruguay has a strong profile in digital technology and has by far the most unicorns per population in Latin America. This was really promising!

Representatives of two companies from our cluster also participated in the trip and used this opportunity to establish business contacts with the aim of penetrating new markets. At the same time, we agreed to sign a memorandum of cooperation with our partners in Uruguay.

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Workshop on launching new products and services in the healthcare sector (February 24)

A workshop was held yesterday for our members in the healthcare sector. The AAVIT cluster brings together members who use modern digital technologies – artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality – for healthcare purposes. As well as members who provide healthcare services.

In the past, our members often struggled with the fact that the legislation they had to deal with when introducing new products and services was not very clear to them. Therefore, with the help of our legislative expert for the healthcare sector, we organized a workshop to present to our members the main legislative pitfalls in certifying new healthcare procedures and products, as well as the issues of reimbursement decrees and communication with health insurance companies.

The workshop participants were also shown several examples of good practice as well as bad practice from the past. At the end of the workshop, the participants had individual consultations on their cases.

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Digitalisation Challenges – The Path to Digital Excellence in the Digital Revolution conference (January 24)

Today we held the conference Digitalisation Challenges – The Path to Digital Excellence in the Digital Revolution, which we organized together with the Economic Daily for our members as part of our cluster activities.

Together with Ivan Bartos, Deputy Prime Minister for Digitalisation and Minister for Regional Development, and Ondrej Tomek, investor and entrepreneur, we discussed the main challenges facing the Czech Republic in strengthening its competitiveness.

Digitalization is a necessary condition for success in this respect. The resilience of Europe and the Czech Republic depends on systematic support for investments in the implementation of innovation and digital solutions.

For our members, the conference was an opportunity to discuss with our guests what the support for the digital economy and applied research in AI in the Czech Republic will look like in the coming years, as well as to share their insights and experiences with Deputy Prime Minister Bartos.

One of the main findings was that the European, and even more so the Czech market, is undercapitalised and not open enough. The problem is also the low level of employment in innovative and from an investment point of view interesting entities, especially in start-ups. At the same time, the conference provided an opportunity for our members to network.

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DIGITALEUROPE Presidency Summit in Brussels ahead of the Belgian Presidency (November 23)

One of the most important international events our cluster participated in this year – the DIGITALEUROPE Presidency Summit in Brussels – is successfully over. Besides inspiring discussions and strategy planning, we visited chip researchers from imec, welcomed 6 “Brussels” ambassadors and representatives of the future Belgian Presidency.

We shared with them the priorities we had consulted with the cluster members beforehand. The main ones include sufficient support for innovative start-ups and ensuring sufficient public support instruments for IT, as well as reducing red tape in the area of drawing European funds to consolidate the European single market.

During the trip we managed to establish a number of interesting contacts with foreign partners and create conditions for cooperation of some of our members with foreign stakeholders in the field of chip manufacturing. DIGITALEUROPE at its best.

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We organized the Modernization and Structural Funds Symposium (October 23)

Today we had the honour to organize a cluster symposium together with the Economic Daily entitled Modernisation and Structural Funds, Subsidies and Grants as an Opportunity for the Economy. It was part of our cluster project, which aims, among other things, to provide AAVIT members with advice and insight in the field of fundraising.

AAVIT Director Jaromír Hanzal and representatives of our members Juraj Striezenec, COO from Kiwi.com and Ondrej Homola from N1 took part in a packed panel which included speakers such as Minister of the Environment Petr Hladík, Chief Director of the Funds Section of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic Marian Piecha, Director of the State Environmental Fund Petr Valdman and Chairman of the Office for the Protection of Competition Petr Mlsna.

To our delight, the thoughts of the other panelists very often overlapped with our long-held views.

We believe that the outcomes of the symposium will lead to the cultivation of the social debate on the grant environment in the Czech Republic and to the gradual removal of obstacles that today prevent the full use of the potential that subsidy instruments create in the field of R&D, IT and digitalization.

Modernizaün° a struktut†ln° fondy ż°jen 23

3rd cluster meeting (September 23)

The AAVIT cluster has already held its 3rd annual membership meeting!

Yesterday we met our members in the stunning premises of Villa Richter under Prague Castle. We are extremely grateful for the support of our members in building the AAVIT cluster and for the positive atmosphere they bring to Czech society with their companies.

A big thank you to the keynote speaker Oliver Dlouhy from Kiwi.com, who in his speech emphasized the need to change the current Czech narrative of the manufacturing country to a focused support of digital innovation. We agreed that we see the future of a prosperous Czech Republic in fully exploiting the potential of the digital revolution.

Our cluster will play an important role in this process. It is our common goal. Thank you to all members who attended the cluster meeting. We appreciate your active contribution and support of our common vision. We believe we are on the right track.

Currently, the negative economic outlook of the Czech Republic and its inability to catch the world economic leaders fast enough is often a subject of debate. It is therefore essential that public and private sector leaders join forces to turn this situation around. For this reason we were also very pleased that the meeting in Villa Richter offered our members a range of interesting information in the field of fundraising as part of our cluster project.

We would therefore like to thank the representatives of the public administration for their involvement, especially our colleagues at the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic.

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CEE Digital Coalition Summit with the participation of AAVIT cluster representatives (September 23)

Representatives of the AAVIT cluster have just returned from the Warsaw Summit of the CEE Digital Coalition, which once again connected the countries of the 3 Seas region. It was great to meet a number of new partners with whom we exchanged our experiences and enriched our cluster activities.

We all agreed that digitalisation is the alpha and omega of future economic development and that regulation is not the answer. The digital sector in the 3 Seas countries is plagued by common problems and we were happy to learn a lot of interesting experiences and best practices in terms of fundraising, building start-up infrastructure or cybersecurity to pass on to our members.

The Czech IT sector is growing and investing. A quarter of all funds spent by companies in the Czech Republic on research and development come from the IT sector. The limit to development is the large shortage of skilled labour in all countries.

We would like to thank Związek Cyfrowa Polska/Digital Poland Association for the invitation and space for our CEO Jaromír Hanzal in the panel discussion.

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