Dr. Martin Potančok (left) with SCET Chief Scientist and Faculty Director Ikhlaq Sidhu (right)

Dr. Martin Potančok is interested in discovering how academic innovation programs can be best exposed to industry and help students work on pressing problems and challenges. Potančok visited SCET earlier this semester from of the University of Economics, Prague (VSE) to gain insights from SCET programs and share his knowledge and experience with the SCET staff and faculty. 

With a PhD in informatics and professional experience in business analytics applied to healthcare, Dr. Potančok brought a diverse set of knowledge to SCET. His most recent project used Google search data in combination with publicly available information about consumption of antidepressants to see how people are searching for antidepressants in particular regions in Europe. The project collects that data then compares it to the actual consumption trends in the defined regions.

The University of Economics, Prague and SCET at UC Berkeley recently established a partnership to facilitate an exchange of pedagogy, faculty, and students between the two universities. 

“It’s very nice to see everyday issues and relevant problems that companies are facing,” said Dr. Potančok. “We are able to cooperate with academics and [translate] between the industry and the academic world, which are sometimes separated. We want our new data programs to be very connected with industry.”

While visiting the Bay Area, Dr. Potančok also met with different UC Berkeley professors and programs, as well as companies in Silicon Valley. SCET’s Innovation Collider represents a model that he would like to replicate at VSE, one where there is an openness between the university and companies, so that students can work on real industry challenges, and companies can learn from students and the latest in academia.

Similar to SCET, The University of Economics, Prague runs a business accelerator that focuses on venture development and acceleration. That’s where the SCET-University of Economics, Prague relationship originally sparked, and now it has expanded to include multiple forms of mutual learning. 

Dr. Potančok was particularly interested in expanding the University of Economics, Prague data analytics and information programs. While he was visiting SCET, he also dove deeper into the details of SCET coursework and learned more about SCET course offerings. Because Dr. Potančok’s background is in informatics applied to business, he hopes to teach students about informatics and data analysis as they apply to many business sectors, exposing them to a wide array of fields and applications. 

Similar to SCET, the University of Economics, Prague course and program structure combines research, academics, and industry exposure. Both programs have a heavy focus on practical and applied skills. With the partnership, Dr. Potančok hopes that business and industry exposure will expand even further. 

Read more about the SCET/University of Economics, Prague partnership here