The Academy´s Position and Activities in the Future – Visions, Opportunities and Challenges
The CAAS is supposed to have a similar position in the near future as it has today and to continue in its activities that were initiated or renewed during the 1990s and in which the Academy achieved significant results. Activities related to the formation of the research focus, the search for new research priorities with the Academy´s participation in updating the Research and Development Concept of the Ministry of Agriculture and in providing professional guarantees in the organization of public tenders for research programmes will continue.
The CAAS has proposed basic theses for the research and development concept of the Ministry of Agriculture that are current both nowadays and in the future:
The focus of research and its results must contribute to achieving the target state of sustainable and competitive agriculture, forestry, food and follow-up processing industries, and the protection of soil and hydrosphere, while ensuring production and non-production functions of agriculture, and meeting the society´s health food needs with careful use of natural non-renewable and human resources.
Research must be oriented in such a way so that its outcomes contribute to achieving the above-mentioned objective and primarily help to increase the efficiency of the entire sector and to eliminate the negative trends in the agricultural sector.
The objectives of the research and development concept for the next period proposed by the CAAS are as follows:
- To link the research concept with the agrarian policy. To closely link consultancy and coordination with other areas of the public interest so that research and development significantly contribute to sustainable development of the society and economic prosperity of the Czech Republic.
- To ensure efficiency and higher performance of this field´s scientific and research base by the effective research and development organizational structure, the effective system of research management and financing, by setting out and fulfilling priorities, and strengthening the merit principle.
- To improve the interconnection of basic and applied research in order to develop new competitive products and services and to create conditions for more effective transfer of research results for practical use in the business sector.
- To promote the development of effective international cooperation, especially with EU countries.
- To adequately support the research in the province of the Ministry of Agriculture in line with the trends in support of science and research in the CR as a whole.
Defining research priorities is an important step in meeting the research concept objectives. The CAAS has proposed or directly participated in the prioritization of the current research programmes of the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Research Programme and is ready to continue this activity.
In the future, the Academy will be even more than a platform for communication among researchers from various institutions within as well as outside the sector, within the frame of a single scientific discipline and among disciplines. The opportunity for the Academy and all its members, which we are still little aware of, consists in its independence of the managements of research institutions and political interests, which can manifest itself by new, unconventional proposals, ideas, solutions and changes in the research orientation of the Academy that will be a source of progress and they do not have to always be in line with majority views.
The role of the Academy in developing the scientific disciplines of the entire agrarian sector is and will continue to be indispensable. Recently, the Academy´s significant contribution has been improvement in the standard of published scientific journals. This trend is expected to continue, and the publishing activities of the Academy will further be developed.
The Academy would like to follow the traditions of its activities in preceding periods and, together with the Ministry of Agriculture, to renew publishing of methodologies for practice and consultancy, specialized books and monographs under the Academy´s professional guarantee.
Although the communication between the Academy and representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture has improved considerably over the past 10 years and the Academy´s bodies or members are used for the Ministry´s activities and tasks ever more, there is still space for improvement in fulfilling the function of the Academy as an advisory body to the Minister of Agriculture.
To strengthen the Academy´s position in the development of international cooperation in science and research as well as to find forms for greater use of world research results and know-how in our practice present challenges for the Academy´s future activities. The Academy can significantly influence the expected changes in the Agricultural Policy of the Czech Republic and the EU and also in the implementation of this Policy, thus contributing to the sustainability of agricultural and forestry activities in our country, and to the stability and development of rural areas as well as to the prosperity of all related sectors of the agrarian complex.