Creating New Services, Products,
and Values for Real People
Innovation centers are still quite a novelty in the Czech Republic, yet they have already delivered
a significant output. They can be found in each region: one of the oldest, JIC, operates in the South
-Moravian Region, while the Moravian-Silesian Innovation Center (MSIC) was established only
in 2017. We asked Mr Pavel Csank, the Chairman of the Board and the Head of the Team of Commercial
Innovations at MSIC, about the functions and operation of MSIC and their plans for the future.
Mr Csank, what are the benefits to society and the
purpose of the Innovation Centers?
The aim of the Innovation Centers is to help businesses
create new products, services, and values for humans,
especially those which people have not yet realized
that they might need. It is vital for the development of
a society that somebody thinks up an innovation and tries
to bring it to life. Let me quote Joseph Schumpeter, the
founder of the economics of innovation, who used to say
that “an innovator stands alone with an idea while facing
the suspicion of others.” Innovation Centers are here so
that innovators do not stand alone anymore.
Why do businesses come to your center? What are their
demands and what solutions do they need?
Our services are sought after by two kinds of entrepreneurs:
one group wants to start a new company and needs to
overcome an obstacle, such as technological limitations,
insufficient capital, or lacking capacities. The other group,
and the largest, is entrepreneurs already running their
own business, intending to expand or optimize internal
processes in their companies. One feature common to
both these groups is that there are people with a clear
vision and drive to innovate and implement something
What is the situation in enterprise in the MoravianSilesian Region?
We do our best to enhance the business environment in our
region and to motivate people to start their enterprise at
the very beginning. In this region, there are approximately
60,000 people who have established about 120,000
business entities. These are likeable numbers, however,
they are still not big enough: the Moravian-Silesian Region,
like the Region of Ústí nad Labem, is way behind Prague
or the South-Moravian Region. No region will prosper with
such a low intensity of enterprise. This is why the operation
MORAVIAN-SILESIAN INNOVATION CENTER
MSIC offers its background and expertise to entrepreneurs
starting or upgrading their businesses. One-on-one expert service
begins with the identiﬁcation of the need or obstacle in the
particular enterprise. Then the entrepreneur is assigned an expert
to search for the best solution. The expert may be another
entrepreneur or an interim manager. MSIC also provides room
in the technological park, e.g. shared labs, consultations with
experts in technologies, specialists fromVŠB–Technical University
of Ostrava, and cooperation with other companies.
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of the MSIC is focused on the development of the business
environment, services for start-ups and development of
medium and small businesses.
What are the services you provide to these businesses?
These activities are closely connected to the programme
Expand for experienced entrepreneurs. Since 2017, we
have finalized 122 projects in this programme (another
thirty-four are still running). We keep good relations with
participants in Expand, and keep developing mutual trust.
Those entrepreneurs who received our help want to
help others, other starting entrepreneurs above all. Our
innovative community has grown so that we are planning
the Investors Club.
My success is each
“ succeeds and comesand everycontract
The Investors Club seems an attractive idea. How does
such a club work?
Experienced entrepreneurs support beginning ones with
advice and capital. They invest. Young enterprise thus wins
experience and opportunities to enter international markets.
The Investors Club is another part of the wider sheltering
project Enterprising Region, consisting of activities inviting
new members to the innovative community who are getting
ready to start their own business.
Do you succeed in persuading the shy and hesitating
entrepreneurs to actually start their companies?
We are not alone. Our partners work with the community
of people from the planning stage of their own enterprise.
Together, we created a regional competition/challenge for
start-ups (entrepreneurs and businesses) Startup Voucher,
with almost 100 applicants from all over the region in our
pilot programme. The response makes us very happy. We
intend to announce more programmes and to support more
people capable of transforming their ideas into a business
and give them a go.
What other innovation opportunities have you introduced
in the Moravian-Silesian Region?
There are many. We try to operate in various fields and
we have various strategic partners in each. We actively
deal with trends forming the economy, such as the future
of mobility, the digitization of company processes or