Bridging Universities and Business with Open Source

As a result of long-term cooperation with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of Czech Technical University, especially in the area of teaching, Red Hat has opened an open source laboratory directly on the University grounds on October 26th, 2016.

The reason behind the Brno office’s growth in the last decade is predominantly the capability of local universities to produce talented people, with world-class skills. The success of the university program in Brno suggests that this system can be replicated in other cities with similar characteristics (such as Prague). Cooperation with universities in Prague is a natural next step to finding new talent in an area that Red Hat is now equipped to cover with engineer activity.

The purpose of the laboratory is to allow further development of mutually beneficial relations between the faculty and Red Hat. Moreover, since the contract allows for students of other faculties to use that laboratory freely, this endeavor is able to cover most of Prague’s technically-oriented facilities and universities.

The research.redhat.com web site already offers a plethora of open projects in which students can be a part. While a majority of these projects are led from Brno office, this doesn’t prevent students from Prague from working on a project with leadership from Brno. Neither is the distance of 200 km too high to discourage an occasional visit in either direction, if required. The lab plays an important role here, providing students with an environment suitable for working on open source projects and, guidance by one of the engineers. Once projects from Prague-based engineers begin to appear in larger numbers, the cooperation is expected to grow rapidly.

And it’s growing: while today’s research.redhat.com showcases Red Hat’s university programs in the Czech Republic, in coming months, watch for news and the addition of more of Red Hat’s university programs and partnerships.

Looking at the current university program in general, the relationship with each university has its specifics and thus the programs cannot be copied exactly. But adjustment to the needs and wants of local students shouldn’t be an obstacle, mainly thanks to the enthusiasm of many employees of the university. Red Hat’s vision and long-term dedication to first provide value in education of students and only then seek to hire talent for our own needs helps nuture very positive relationships across the technical university spectrum and get students interested in our projects, since those projects, at their core, already provide benefit to the students.

Adding strength to the mission, a few days after the opening FEE CTU has received a grant from Technology Agency of the Czech Republic for a joint research project with Red Hat in the field of IoT named “Quality Assurance System for Internet of Things Technology”.

Moreover, Red Hat has also announced another collaboration project with the faculty of the school, a Red Hat Chair of Engineering supporting a salary of a professor, that was hired as a result of an international selection process. This further supports the notion that Red Hat intends to work towards increasing the quality of students graduating from the university.

All in all, Red Hat has created a unique working model of cooperating with universities in Brno and the emergence of the Prague laboratory is an attempt to expand this successful endeavour to another location with great potential. We plan to concentrate on replicating its successful activities like leading bachelor and master theses, leading students in open-source projects, accepting students for internships and teaching relevant topics at universities while adjusting to the unique environment of Prague to make sure the activities bring the most value to students.

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