On Thursday, 5 May, after a covid break, the winners of the eleventh year of the Visionaries competition received their awards. Tomáš Mocek, head of the HiLASE Centre of the Institute of Physics of the CAS, became the personality of the Visionaries 2021 project. The ceremony took place at the Caffesion Gallery on Střelecký ostrov in Prague.
“I appreciate the award immensely and accept it with humility as a member of the HiLASE team. I am very fortunate to have been part of this collective work from the very beginning. I take it as a satisfaction that together we manage to transfer advanced laser technologies to the real environment of companies and thus help the development of Czech industry. This is what makes me believe in the meaningfulness of our journey,” says Tomáš Mocek.
The Visionaries competition is a project of CzechInno, a non-governmental association supporting Czech innovative entrepreneurship. It focuses on finding, rewarding and raising the profile of exceptional innovative achievements in Czech business and cooperation between applied research and practice that have significant technological, social or societal benefits. The expert jury, made up of representatives of renowned organisations and companies, awarded in particular environmentally focused innovations and those that respond to social and economic developments after the onset of a pandemic.
The title of Visionary 2021 was awarded to six entities, including the HiLASE laser centre, and the expert jury awarded honorable mentions to ten other innovative ventures. You can find a full list of them here.
“The main purpose of the Visionaries competition and similar activities is that it can serve as an inspiration for other courageous people who are not afraid to step out of their comfort zone and have the ambition to change the world for the better through innovation and disruptive technologies. I was very pleased to see all the projects of the award-winning visionaries who gathered at the ceremony. I believe in the snowball effect, because without enough of these pioneers, our society will stagnate. For me, personalities such as the Wright brothers, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Martin Wichterle are an inspiration”, adds Tomáš.
When asked how he sees himself in the role of a visionary, Tomas replied, “I can’t evaluate myself in the role of a visionary. But so far, the following approach has always worked for me:
1) identifying the (big) opportunity,
2) taking the first steps immediately,
3) being ready for quick and unexpected changes.
Maybe that’s why I follow the motto ‘Implement today, perfect tomorrow’. In fact, I consider agility, openness and flexibility to be the basic principles for the successful implementation of any vision. Professor Milan Zelený, one of the most respected Czech economists, called this approach the ‘First Step Strategy’ and I try to follow it.”
We have also informed you about the results of the competition here.