MSIC, celebrating five years of its existence, together with VSB - Technical University of Ostrava, is behind the plan to develop the innovation environment in the Moravian-Silesian Region. “I am sure that VSB-TUO, as the only technical university in the Region, plays a key role in the development of the Region, especially in relation to the development of innovation capital, which is undoubtedly here. It creates a breeding ground for something great to happen here. Let's not deal with small changes, but let's make a really big change and a step forward,” said Igor Ivan, Vice-Rector for Strategy and Cooperation at VSB-TUO.
Several years ago, the University and MSIC came up with the vision of building an innovation ecosystem that would be able to compete internationally, help stop the outflow of young people from the Region and make it more attractive as a place for education or entrepreneurship.
“We have a clear vision and we are already fulfilling it in many projects. Now that the opportunity has arisen to take advantage of the support from the Operational Programme Equitable Transformation, we have decided to take it, because it will intensify everything. We are very appreciative of the fact that we have been able to establish close contacts with VSB-TUO. Others can join us, we are an open platform for cooperation,” emphasised Pavel Csank, Chairman of the Board of MSIC.
Key areas are energy, the development of new materials, automation and robotics, and the societal impacts that the introduction of new technologies can bring. These are the areas that will be the focus of the REFRESH project's four living laboratories built by VSB-TUO and the University of Ostrava in cooperation with MSIC.
One of these laboratories, Industry 4.0 and Automotive Lab, was presented by its head Petr Šimoník from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at VSB-TUO, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Centre for Industry 4.0.
“Some of our technologies, such as shared cars, industrial or personal vehicles with automated driving, can already be seen on our campus. We are developing digital twins to optimise production processes, and we are developing and testing completely new applications for 5G communication networks. However, many of the technologies under development are not visible, as they are or will be part of complex systems and assemblies. An example is the field of sensors, where artificial intelligence and machine learning are being used. We will also be interlinked with other laboratories and will try to bring the results of materials or energy research closer to practice by digitising processes,” Šimoník explained.
According to the panelists, there is already a link between the existing SMARAGD vision projects, which are REFRESH and T-PARK UPGRADE, and other projects in the region.
Text: Martina Šaradínová, PR specialist for R&D