ŠKODA AUTO University Hosts ICAI 2022 Conference


ICAI 2022 Conference: The International Conference on Automotive Industry 2022, which was held at ŠKODA AUTO University on 9–10 June, offered a forum for discussion of the economic, legal and technical issues faced by the world today in relation to the automotive industry.

The varied programme, which was organised entirely by the Science and Research Department at ŠKODA AUTO University, kicked off on 8 June with excursions to the ŠKODA Museum and the university campus itself, offering an exceptional combination of historical and modern architecture.

The main conference day started with a plenary session, which was also open to the general public thanks to the support of the Representation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic. This meant that participants included university staff and students.

Several speakers took turns during the morning programme of this session. In his presentation, Robert Stehrer from the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies discussed the potential of CEE economies in relation to the transition to electromobility: How the electric vehicle revolution is affecting Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. The Gigafactory and its benefits for the Czech economy – that was the topic on which Petr Knap from EY gave his lecture. Josef Schwarz from the Representation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic presented a view of transformation of the automotive industry from the perspective of European regulations. The last speaker at the plenary session, Petr Dolejší, representative of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), addressed the topic of sustainable mobility. For more information and complete speaker presentations, please visit the Science and Research section of the university website.

In the afternoon, presentation of individual contributions followed based on the sections and according to the pre-prepared programme. One of these sections was also available online and one as a hybrid section, all with the full technical support of the conference organisers. This programme also featured guest speakers. One of these was Lasse Berntzen from the USN School of Business, who is an expert on Smart Energy and Smart Cities.

The final day was concentrated in the morning hours, when the closing of the conference took place, which offered space for sponsors and participants of individual tracks to summarise the previous, main day of the ICAI 2022 Conference. The closing speech was delivered by prof. Ing. Stanislav Šaroch, Ph.D., member of the Department of Economics and Law at ŠKODA AUTO University, who is also the conference guarantor, and doc. Ing. Pavel Mertlík, CSc., Rector of the University.

Participants were then given a tour of technical development operations at ŠKODA AUTO a.s., with the option of visiting either the engine centre or the virtual reality department, where they could enjoy practical demonstrations of the use of this modern technology in the automotive industry.

I believe that the conference had not only a professionally valuable programme, but that it also constituted a pleasant social gathering for most of the participants. I would like to express my great appreciation to Kristýna Heršálková, the organisational guarantor of the conference, for her smooth handling of all the difficulties associated with organisation and for her enormous commitment. I admire the fact that she managed to handle everything with a smile,” says Stanislav Šaroch, talking about the conference which has just taken place and adds: “Part of the conference was also the publication of the ICAI 2022 Proceedings, containing contributions from authors not only from the Czech Republic, but also from Brazil, Poland, Germany, Slovakia and Hungary. The proceedings are also available online on the ŠKODA AUTO University website in the section dedicated to the conference and will now be offered for inclusion in the Web of Science and SCOPUS databases.”

The international conference organised by ŠKODA AUTO University was the second year of the event, but it was the first one to be held with participants physically in attendance. Organising a conference on the scale of ICAI 2022 was also a great challenge for the implementation team. Mgr. Kristýna Heršálková, Research and Creative Activities Specialist at the ŠKODA AUTO University, adds: “I would venture to say that the challenge of organising an onsite international scientific conference with a combination of online and hybrid formats and with a varied accompanying programme was ambitious, but according to the feedback we received from participants, we did manage to accomplish it to the satisfaction of all concerned. I would like to thank all of the other departments at ŠKODA AUTO University which participated in organisation of the event. Everything clicked into place as planned.”

At the moment, the organisers are already preparing a vision for the next year of this international scientific conference, which, assuming a favourable situation in the world and in the Czech Republic, should take place in the spring/summer of 2024. Detailed information about this 3rd international conference will be published on the ŠKODA AUTO University website in due course.