We are celebrating our first anniversary!

Exactly on April 1, 2014, ten years ago today, the story of the Czech Health Research Council's (AZV) began. A story which, over the years, has been and continues to be created by many personalities of Czech healthcare and medical research. They cultivate and develop it so that it can continue, and for that they deserve a great deal of gratitude. Special thanks are due to the founder of the agency and its first Chair, prof. Miroslav Ryska, who was associated with AZV ČR for almost nine years but unfortunately did not live to see its 10th birthday.

"It is a great honour and pleasure for me to continue the mission that Professor Ryska has started and I believe that the Council will continue to successfully fulfil its main mission, which is to promote quality and innovative medical research and development," says AZV ČR Chair, Professor Ondřej Slabý, adding: "Ten years of research and innovation in healthcare represents, among other things, ten years of learning and adapting to the new challenges that modern biomedicine brings. I am pleased that we have managed to introduce several – already beneficial – changes in the past year. I would mention the implementation of an innovative evaluation process in the 'VES 2024', or the organisational integrity of the agenda concerning the involvement of Czech scientists in the European Partnerships in Health, which may lead to an increase in the Czech Republic's competitiveness in the international research area. This should also be helped by the use of exclusively foreign referees, which we are going to introduce in evaluation project proposals already in this year's call for proposals."

"I have to say that I'm really extremely proud of the AZV ČR, which is Professor Ryska's brainchild – and a bit of a brainchild of mine. I have personally had the opportunity to chair one of the expert panels and have been a member of the Agency for a long time. That is why I would like to thank all of you, colleagues, who participate in its activities, because I am aware of how much time and effort you put into it. In part thanks to you, Czech healthcare and Czech biomedicine can be rightly proud that AZV ČR has been successfully supporting their development and prosperity for ten years," says the Minister of Health, Professor Vlastimil Válek.

During its ten-year existence, the AZV ČR, which has built on the Ministry of Health's internal grant agency, has supported more than 1,040 projects in the field of applied health research for a total of more than CZK 11.5 billion. The results of many of these projects find their way into everyday clinical practice, helping to improve the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of our fellow citizens. For the fifth year in a row, the Minister of Health has presented awards for excellence in applied health research and development to the researchers of the best projects.

The fact that AZV ČR has become a solid part of the support of research activities in the field of health care and a partner of many different research institutions and their senior and junior scientists is evidenced, among other things, by the wonderful gratulations that you will be able to read or listen to on this subpage, and we are very thankful for them.

We look forward to working together over the next ten years to contribute to further inspiring discoveries and innovations which, in addition to advancing knowledge in the medical sciences, will also help improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare in our country!