The highly selective competition is intended for excellent scientists at the beginning of their careers who come to the Czech Republic from abroad or have significant international experience. Thanks to the above-standard support of CZK 25 million for 5 years, they will be able to build a new scientific team and focus on new areas of research.
Six winners of this prestigious award will be working at the CTU Faculty of Science. In 2020, they were awarded doc. Miloslav Čapek from the Department of Electromagnetic Fields and Dr. Giorgios Tolias, and a year later Dr. Zuzana Kúkelová (both from the Visual Recognition Group of the Department of Cybernetics). Last year's winners were Dr. Robert Pěnicka, an expert in rescue drones, and Dr. Jakub Cikhardt from the Department of Physics, a specialist and researcher in plasma.
Finding optimal deep network structures for computer vision
Lukáš Neumann's research focuses on deep neural networks for computer vision and finding the most suitable structures to make them work as accurately, as quickly and as energy-efficiently as possible.
"Thanks to this grant, I hope to put together a new research team of Czech and foreign experts at the FEE CTU, which will take the research on deep neural networks for computer vision a bit further," said Dr. Neumann, who considers the award an honour, especially considering that the jury composed exclusively of foreign experts selects from a large number of submitted projects.
"But I also take it as an appreciation of the work of my colleagues and collaborators from both the CTU Faculty of Electrical Engineering and from abroad, without whom I would never have achieved such results," adds the scientist, who works at the Department of Cybernetics in the Computer Vision group. The scientific group led by Prof. Jiří Matas has long been among the European extraterrestrials, ranking among the top five European departments in the international evaluation of scientific results for the period 2018 to 2023.
Dr. Neumann's project is the only one supported by CTU in Prague this year
In the fourth year of the JUNIOR STAR competition, a total of 17 projects have been recommended for funding from January 2024, of which most will be carried out at institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences (6 projects), Charles University (4 projects), Masaryk University (3 projects). Dr. Lukáš Neumann's project at the Czech Technical University in Prague is the only one supported this year.
"The JUNIOR STAR competition is a unique opportunity for budding scientists to become scientifically independent and enrich the Czech environment with new research topics. There is a huge interest in support. However, we can only afford to fund the best of the best," said the President of the GA of the Czech Republic, Prof. Petr Baldrian. "This is the fourth year of this competition. We are very pleased that thanks to it we are also attracting scientists from prestigious foreign universities to Czech science. These are, for example, scientists working in the USA, the United Kingdom, Norway or Germany. We believe that the researchers have the potential to answer important questions in their field of research and build new teams that will enrich Czech science."
Projects in all areas of basic research are supported. In new projects, scientists will focus, for example, on accelerating drug development, optimising 3D printing of alloys or the impact of bilingualism in the first year of life.
For more information about the JUNIOR STAR grants from GA ČR, please visit https://gacr.cz/diky-grantum-junior-star-vznikne-17-novych-vedeckych-tymu/
Photos source Petr Neugebauer, FEE CTU