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Uniting great minds for innovation and competitiveness in the Visegrad Four
Budapest, 28 August 2013 – What can 800 scholars and businessmen do to boost innovation and competitiveness in four countries? This is what the creators of the „Visegrad Four Knowledge Portal”, a truly 21st century online platform with smartphone applications will soon show the world.
The planned website and social media applications will be the cornerstones of the project „Chevening Alumni for Innovation and Competitiveness in the V4 Countries” launched in Budapest by the Hungarian Association of British Alumni (HABA), co-sponsored by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and International Visegrad Fund.
The „Chevening V4” project aims to identify and reconnect alumni of the Chevening Scholarship Programme, a UK sponsored study opportunity that was available to talented applicants in Central Europe until recently. Many of the former Chevening scholars have become leading personalities in business and science. By participating in the project, these experts may now contribute to enhancing innovation and competitiveness in their home countries, using the knowledge they gained during their UK studies, as well as their skills and leadership experience gained since then.
This is a great opportunity for citizens of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia who have studied in the UK to suggest ways we can collaborate to tackle challenges which all 5 countries face. There is so much potential to unlock throughout this project
Jonathan Knott, British Ambassador to Hungary said.
HABA will contact Chevening alumni in the four countries of the Visegrad region, and mobilise this network of 800 people, facilitating discussions and cooperation among them.
The project will include workshops and produce policy recommendations about country-specific themes. The themes to be discussed in the respective countries include: looking for innovative and competitive solutions in energy industry (Hungary); technology and production (Slovak Republic); research and development (Czech Republic) and health care sector (Poland).
The most innovative element and long term legacy of the project will be a knowledge portal supported by iPhone and Android applications that will facilitate the sharing of ideas, experiences, publications and recommendations about the issues concerned.
The Chevening alumni network is a very active and vibrant community of professionals. We have all studied at the most prestigious universities of the UK, and we consider it important to share and utilise our knowledge in our home countries in the widest possible circle
said Dr. Gábor Pörzse, president of HABA, the Budapest-based NGO that will co-ordinate the regional project.
The regional project of the Chevening network, together with the planned conferences and workshops will be a flagship project of the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Co-operation.
We are supporting the project, and we believe that this unique, entirely civilian initiative might present real, innovative and competitive solutions to some strategic issues not only within the V4 region, but also, on EU level
said Mr. Gergely Pröhle, Deputy State Secretary of the Hungarian MFA.
The project now launched marks the 30th anniversary of the Chevening Scholarship Fund, as well as the Hungarian presidency of the Visegrad Co-operation.
Notes to editors
The Chevening Scholarship Programme was created by the FCO in 1983, under the original name of Foreign and Commonwealth Office Scholarships and Awards Scheme. The programme got its current name in 1994, after the Kent „Chevening Estate”, the name of the official residence of the UK Foreign Secretary. The programme gives a chance to future leaders to study in the UK, or participate in internships.
Applications for the Chevening Scholarship Programme are co-ordinated world-wide by the British Council. In Hungary, the programme was open from 1989 to 2010, during which time, 290 youth had the chance to spend a year in the UK.
Chevening alumni are supported by the FCO even after the end of their studies, through an active international „Chevening Alumni” network.
Central Europe’s largest Chevening organisation is the Hungarian association of British Alumni. The organisation has 150 members in Hungary. Other Chevening organisations in the V4 region have some 400 members altogether.