The University of Pardubice has been extending an almost sixty year long tradition of higher education in the City of Pardubice. The Chemical College, later known for 40 years as the Institute of Chemical Technology, was founded in Pardubice in 1950 to answer the needs of the East Bohemia Region that had a highly developed chemical industry, yet lacked professionally trained specialists in this field. After 1990, the character of the Institute changed and new faculties were founded offering a wide range of study programmes, not only chemistry-related. Since 1994, the new name - the University of Pardubice - has been used.
The University nowadays consists of seven faculties:
- Faculty of Chemical Technology (established in 1950)
- Faculty of Economics and Administration (established in 1991)
- Faculty of Transport Engineering (established in 1993)
- Faculty of Arts and Philosophy (established in 2001)
- Faculty of Restoration (established in 2005)
- Faculty of Health Studies (established as the Institute in 2002)
- Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics (established as the Institute in 2002)
The University of Pardubice is now one of 26 public higher education institutions in the Czech Republic, and the only university in the Pardubice Region. The University's study and applied research programmes have developed extensively since then. The number of students has quadrupled, and research and development results from the University's accademic staff have been recognized by Czech and international scientific communities.
Research and development (R&D) have been carried out on a broad scale, ranging from fundamental to specific applied research activities that reflect the particular needs of industry and other institutions and companies. Long-term scientific activities of the University have been carried out via institutional research projects, R&D centres, national and international grant competitions, and short-term applied research. R&D projects have been pursued within the individual University departments and institutes as well as in cooperation with research teams at different faculties.
Current research partners include the businesses and companies which apply the research results, departments of other R&D institutions and jointly operated laboratories. The most extensive cooperation is carried out with the institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Through this cooperation, the Joint Laboratory of Solid State Chemistry (JLSC) of the University of Pardubice and the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (in progress since 1986), and the Research Centre of Perspective Inorganic Materials of the University of Pardubice and the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic have been established among others.
To finance R&D, the University draws on both internal resources, and external financial investments. The latter annually represents approximately 20 % of the overall University budget (building investments excluded). The most significant percentage of this financing (62 %) is drawn from “institutional support” consisting of financial resources obtained from public competitions to support main long-term institutional research projects, and specific University research directly linked to educational objectives where students are extensively involved.
Long-term institutional research projects are considered the main integrating R&D activities of the faculties. In compliance with the orientation of the faculties, there are two main areas of progressive institutional research: chemistry and transport engineering. Specific financial support obtained for research from grant schemes and programmes contribute 38 % of the University’s total R&D funds.
The University participates in the Technological Park and several clusters in order to support technology transfers and the creation of science-oriented companies and incubators.
PhD students traditionally participate in research and development. Their colleagues at the undergraduate level are also involved in research; for example, through a competition opened by the University under the University's internal grant system.
Significant publications by the University’s academic staff in national and international impacted journals represent a tangible indication of its R&D results. According to the Essential Science Indicators-ISI Thomson, the University of Pardubice ranks among the six most frequently quoted higher education institutions in the Czech Republic.
The increasing integration of research potential is a characteristic feature of research activities on both the domestic and international scene. To assess this cooperation, it is possible to use the proportion of the institution's joint papers published in impacted professional journals.
The most significant domestic partner of the University of Pardubice is the aforementioned Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (22 %), followed by Charles University (12 %), and various industrial companies such as the Research Institute of Organic Synthesis, Inc., Explosia, Inc., and Synpo, Inc. The most significant foreign partners of the University are EU institutions (22 %), Japan (4 %) and those from the USA and Canada (7 %).
Research results are also presented at prestigious international scientific conferences, congresses and symposiums. The University itself, its faculties and departments, organizes as many as eighty such events per year.
Reflecting its scientific orientation, professional potential and material equipment, the University offers a wide range of specialized services to many external subjects. Moreover, a number of specialized laboratories, organizations, institutions and associations function within the University. Teams of experienced professionals are available to provide expert consultation services in numerous branches. The Miroslav Jureček Foundation, the Jan Perner Foundation and the Institute of Development of European Regions play an important role in supporting educational and research activities of the University.
The main long-term objectives of the University of Pardubice in the field of R&D are to:
- Improve the structure of scientific disciplines and educational programmes
- Become an open international community
- Modernize available equipment, information technologies and services
- Extend cooperation with domestic scientific institutions
- Strengthen applied research in cooperation with external subjects
- Create conditions for modern forms of cooperation with regional enterprises
- Develop modern technologies for the fast integration of innovations into practical forms, such as technology parks and business incubators
- Extend international scientific cooperation and foster active participation in programmes and projects at both the national and international level
- Become an integral part of the world higher education, research and development area