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Eight exceptional personalities from the world of science received prestigious Neuron Awards on 6 November. The Neuron Fund’s patrons, including Jakub Havrlant, have donated CZK 6 million to scientists this year. Havrlant, owner of the Rockaway investment group, is thus expanding on his support for culture and sports, which he commenced several years ago.
Jakub Havrlant, founder and owner of the Rockaway group, has been supporting Czech sports and culture for several years. This year he expanded these areas with science, which he supported as a patron of the Neuron Fund. “I founded Rockaway with the aim of creating a Czech company that would have international reach. And I see the same potential in Czech science – our scientists are among the best in the world and I want to support them so that they receive adequate recognition and conditions. In addition to that, I see our historical and current scientific successes as something that we can be truly proud of,” says Jakub Havrlant.
During the event, Jakub Havrlant presented the 2019 Neuron Award for Promising Young Scientists to Martin Balko, who was recognised for solving mathematical problems in combinatorics, which had been unknown to scientists for decades, using computers. “I very much appreciate any support for science and I think the Neuron Awards are a great way to raise the prestige of science in the Czech Republic and to increase the motivation of young scientists, both of which I consider to be very important,” said Martin Balko. During the past decade, the Neuron Fund has donated nearly CZK 70 million and presented awards to 85 outstanding scientists. “The tenth anniversary awards ceremony was held at the National Museum, a place that reminds us that we are a nation with big names, including in the field of science,” says Monika Vondráková, cofounder and chairwoman of the Neuron Fund’s board of directors. You can learn more about the winners of this year’s Neuron Awards here.
Photo: Lukáš Bíba, NF Neuron
Czech science is also supported by MALL Group, a member of Jakub Havrlant’s Rockaway group, which, in connection with its MALL.tv internet television channel, created the Scientists Under the Microscope programme featuring inspiring stories of Czech science and holders of Neuron Awards. In addition to science, MALL supports culture through its partnership with the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. MALL Group’s third area of social responsibility is sports, which it supports as a partner of the Czech Olympic Committee. MALL Group’s support for sports and culture began four years ago, when Jakub Havrlant took over its management. “I spend my leisure time doing sports and I think that, for example, it’s the best way for children to spend their time. In combination with culture and art, these are areas for which support arose naturally, as I focus on them myself because they play an invaluable role in Czech society.”