Page 1


EDITORIAL

(JR)) (JR Prof. Ing. Prof. Ing. Petr Petr Konvalinka, Konva Ko nvalin linka, ka, CS CSc., c., Rector Rec tor of Cz Czech ech Te Techn chnica icall Univ U nivers ersity ity in Pr Pragu ague e Technical University Prague

Nothing Nothing Nothin g vent vventured, enture ured, d, not nothin nothing hing g gain g gained. ained. ed. If yo you u nevnever tak take e a ri risk, sk, yo you u won’ w on’tt lose lose to too o much much – but won’t you also also won won’t ’t get ri rich ch or fam famous ous.. This This is al also so famous. true tru e when when th the e resu rresults esults lts of sc scien ientifi tific research resear res earch ch are scientifi transf tra nsferr erred ed int into o prac p ractic tical al app applic licati ations ons.. Ther T here e transferred practical applications. There are al almos mostt 1800 1800 ac acade ademic micss and and res resear earch ch sci sci-almost academics research entist ent istss at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni hnical cal Un Unive iversi rsity ty in entists Technical University Prague Pra gue.. They They ex explo plore re the na natur ture e of of our our wor world, ld, Prague. explore nature adding add ing to the the accumulation accumul accu mulati ation on of human human knowlknowledge edg e and and pas passin sing g it it on on to to the the nex nextt gene g enerat ration ion.. passing generation. All of th these ese re resea search rchers ers ha have ve the po poten tentia tiall to to researchers potential develo dev elop p a ne new w tech ttechnology, echnol nology ogy,, and and to take take ownerownerowne rdevelop ship shi p of of an an idea idea that that will will change change chan ge the way way thin tthings hings gs are do done ne in our so socie ciety. ty. In su suppo pport rt of thi this, s, we society. support need nee d to to take take ca care re of the re resul sults ts of the their ir wor workk results and their their ideas. ideas id eas.. When When they they are left left in a drawdraw-draw er, they they onl onlyy take take up sp space ace.. When When th the e resu rresults esults lts space. are pu publi blishe shed, d, the theyy can can mak make e our our sci scient entist istss published, scientists famous fam ous,, but but oth other er peo people ple ar are e like llikely ikely ly to com come e famous, along alo ng and get get rich rich from from them. them. However, Howeve How ever, r, if we can pr proce ocess ss the re resul sults ts cor correc rectly tly an and d impl iimplempleeprocess results correctly mentt them, men them,, things them things thin gs will will start startt to star to happen. happen. happ en. Take Take for exampl exa mple e Tefl Teflon. It was was discovered discove disc overed red by co compl mplete ete example complete chance cha nce,, as as a by-product by-pr by -produ oduct ct of something someth som ething ing else. else. At chance, first, rst, it was was only only us used ed in aer aerosp ospace ace ap appli plicacaaerospace applications, tio ns, but but today todayy we toda we can can find nd it it in in every everyy hous ever h ouseehousehold, hol d, on pots pots and and pans pans designed designe desi gned d for for coo cookin king g cooking our food food in. It is a long long an and d some ssometimes ometim times es tor tortuo tuous us pat path h to to tortuous move mov e scie sscientifi cienti ntifi fic re resul sults ts fro from m the the lab labora orator toryy into into results laboratory everyd eve ryday ay lif life. e. New an and d fres ffresh resh h solu ssolutions olutio tions ns som someeeveryday times tim es cre create ate mi mistr strust ust.. Even Even if you you can can show show mistrust. people peo ple th that at the so solut lution ionss work w ork,, ther tthere here e is is stil sstill tilll solutions work, plenty ple nty to be do done. ne. Th The e resu rresults esults lts of sc scien ientifi tific rescientifi search sea rch can can often often ofte n be be applied applied appl ied in a range range of ways, ways, and it is no nott easy easy to tu turn rn ide ideas as int into o the the rig right ht mix of pr price ice an and d util u tility ity.. utility.

For th this is rea reason reason, son,, prog p programs rogram ramss like like th the e one one offere ered d by the Te Techn chnolo ology gy Age Agency ncy of th the e Czec C zech h Repu R epubbTechnology Czech Republic to provide provi pr ovide de ear early ly sup suppor portt for for tec techno hnolog logyy dedesupport technology velopm vel opment ent ar are e very very we welco lcome. me. However, Howev Ho wever, er, we velopment welcome. cannot can not de depen pend d sole ssolely olely ly on the these se pro progra grams. ms. On One e depend programs. of the their ir big di disad sadvan vantag tages es is tha thatt almo a lmost st a year year disadvantages almost passes pas ses be betwe tween en sub submit mittin ting g an an appl a pplica icatio tion n and and between submitting application starti sta rting ng to receive receiv rec eive e fund ffunding unding ing for for the the pro projec ject. t. Tha Thatt starting project. is just just too too long long in in the the fast-moving fast-m fas t-movi oving ng wor world ld of today.. If day If ther tthere here e is is a te team am com commit mitted ted to pu putti tting ng its committed putting result res ultss into into practice, pract pr actice ice,, we we need need to provide provi pr ovide de sup sup-results portt for por for the them m as as rapi rrapidly apidly dly as we ca can. n. We the theref refore ore es estab tablis lished hed a CTU Fu Fund nd las lastt year year therefore established thatt provides tha provide prov idess mean m eanss for for dev develo elopin ping g the the res result ultss means developing results of sci scient entifi ific research researc rese arch h to to the the stage stage where where they they scientifi can be pu putt on on to to the the mar market ket.. Decisions Decisio Deci sions ns on the market. alloca all ocatio tion n of of fund ffunds undss are are made made by by the the Cou Counci ncill for for allocation Council the Co Comme mmerci rciali alizat zation ion of CT CTU, U, whi which ch is com com-Commercialization posed pos ed of lea leadin ding g acad a cademi emics cs and ma manag nagers ers leading academics managers with wit h extensive extensi exte nsive ve exp experi erienc ence e of of prac p ractic tical al app appliliexperience practical cation cat ions. s. cations. Since the be Since begin ginnin ning g of of 2015 2 015,, we we have have be been en beginning 2015, provid pro viding ing su suppo pport rt for th the e firs rstt five pr promi omisin sing g providing support promising techno tec hnolog logies ies,, and and we are preparing prepa pr eparin ring g for for ano anothe therr technologies, another calll for cal for tec techno hnolog logies ies in 20 2016. 16. We ar are e tryi ttrying rying ng to technologies optimi opt imize ze the wh whole ole pr proce ocess, ss, so th that at a scie sscientifi cienti ntifi fic optimize process, team tea m will will re recei ceive ve fun funds ds wit within hin 33-4 4 mont m onths hs of receive months submit sub mittin ting g an an appl a pplica icatio tion. n. submitting application. At CTU CTU,, I be belie lieve ve tha thatt we we can can com come e up up with with believe techno tec hnolog logies ies wi with th the po poten tentia tiall to to chan cchange hange ge the technologies potential world, wor ld, and and I think think there there is no greater great gr eater er joy for for a scie sscientist cienti ntist st tha than n to to see see his or he herr idea idea he helpi lping ng helping people peo ple in their their everyday every ev eryday day lilives ves.. lives. Stay well Stay well an and d stay stay in inspi spired red!! inspired!

Table of contents 2014 was another successful year for Inovacentrum CTU

3

Czech students of engineering would also benefit from the Co-operative Education System

4

Back to the future – working with our history to create the future

6

For me, the name Technical University implies an obligation

7

CTU has released a new policy for managing the university’s intellectual property

8

Fundraising - Innovation for the long-term

11

The CTU Fund will help technologies reach the market

12

CTU Incubator companies shine again

13

InovaJET - inspiration and motivation for businessmen

14

SAP, a new partner of InovaJET, contributes IT know-how

15

Turning ideas into products

16

From CTU to Etnetera

17

We have to learn to help the elderly in modern ways

18

New ways to protect firefighters and truck drivers

19

Cryptelo, an unbreakable cipher

20

Steel-fiber-reinforced concrete saves the environment and saves money

21

Plasma built up surfaces significantly extend the service life of machinery

22

Artificial muscles can restore the activity of damaged human hearts

23

Become an ambassador and help Prague to host major scientific congresses

24

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue

2015 2015

1


A55, 56, 57

5 " 20 " 26 "

8 "2 "

143

119

'HMYLFNi 'HMY 'H 'HM ' H YLF HMYL HM LFNi Ni

Inovacentrum Inovac Ino vacent entrum rum ha hass move m moved oved d to to a ne new w offi office spa space ce at Bíl Bílá á 2571 2 2571/6, 571/6, /6, Pr Pragu Prague ague e 6 - De Dejvi Dejvice. jvice. ce. (J (JK) K)

Cooper Coo perati ative ve edu educat cation ion co confe nferen rence ce (JK (JK)) Cooperative education conference

InovaJET House InovaJ Ino vaJET ET Ope Open n Hous H ouse e (JR) (JR)

2

2015

New InovaJET Prague Inova In ovaJET JET offices, ces, Opletalova Oplet Op letalo alova va 22, Pr Pragu ague e 2 (J (JR) R)

Introducing companies Int Introd roduci ucing ng new InovaJET Inova In ovaJET JET co compa mpanie niess (JR) (JR)

Connecting Science and Commerce a at the Czech Technical University in Prague InovaJET In Inova ovaJET JET st staff aff (JR) (JR)


ABOUT US

2014 was another successful year for Inovacentrum CTU We won some new grant funding opportunities, became the central university point for intellectual property management, and moved into a newly-reconstructed temporary office space. Thanks to a grant from the Ministry of Education, we have been able to launch projects in support of so-called pre-seed activities. Scientists can now check the technical feasibility and the commercial potential of their research results. Inovacentrum officially became the department responsible for evaluating, protecting and commercializing intellectual property for the whole university, and also set up the CTU Fund. Inovacentrum manages the distribution of funds to individual researchers and scientists.

Inovacentrum Inovac Ino vacent entrum rum dr drago dragon agon n boat boat te team am 201 2014. 4.

The need to include some form of practical education in the study programs of technical universities was the main theme of our international seminar on Cooperative Education, which Inovacentrum organized with representatives of the University of Waterloo, Canada. The seminar was co-organized by the Technical University of Liberec and the Embassy of Canada in the Czech Republic. Thanks to close cooperation with the Prague City Hall, our InovaJET business incubator moved to a “good address” at Opletalova 22, near Wenceslas Square. Inovacentrum moved to temporary offices in the so-called Red Canteen building on the university’s main Dejvice campus. We will stay here until our original building is rebuilt to a new design. We expect to return there in mid 2016.

Our biggest contracts from last year include Temperature measurements in the mill, for Asekol, An innovated technical solution for exposure sensors, for Solar Monitor, and Optimizing the mechanism for turning the fan blades, for ZVVZ Machinery. In July 2014 we organized a discussion between representatives of Konica Minolta and three specialized institutions at the Czech Technical University on opportunities for cooperation in research and development. In the InovaJET business incubator, we supported 14 more newly-admitted companies, held 22 practical workshops, and 7 companies became independent. At the InovaJET Open Day, almost 200 visitors, potential founders of start-ups, representatives of the state government and

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue

others interested in the start-up scene, took the opportunity to meet our people and to be inspired by the achievements of our companies. We participated in the Global Entrepreneurship week, in Sochi Park Letná, in Gaudeamus, in the Scientific Fair, in the International Engineering Fair in Brno, and visited other professional and hobby conferences and events for professionals and for the general public. We officiated as judges in the Diplomky na stojáka competition and in the Czech Innovation competition. Our sponsors and partners include the Czech Savings Bank, IBM, Microsoft, Ernst & Young, Telefónica O2, Automotive Lighting, E.ON, SAP and Schäfer Werke. AH

2015 2015

3


COOPERATION

The Co-operative Education System in Canada is well established. Czech students of engineering would also benefit from it Canadian universities and polytechnic non-university institutions have been successfully using co-operative education systems for undergraduates for over fifty years. In this system, academic terms alternate with terms spent gaining work experience. During their studies, students spend considerable time working in industrial, commercial, professional and government organizations. Experience confirms that co-operative systems have many advantages for students, employers and educational institutions. In June 2014, Inovacentrum CTU, in cooperation with the Technical University of Liberec, organized a seminar at its home university under the auspices of the Canadian Embassy in Prague. The seminar aimed to discuss the possibility of introducing the co-operative education system into the curricula of Czech universities. “We consider the integrated, ‘seamless’, natural connection between theory and practice to be the most important benefit for students. Employers attract fresh, motivated talent to their organizations, and educational institutions systematically verify the extent to which their academic programs are effective and relevant to the needs of the real world. It is obvious that it would be an advantage to introduce a co-operative education system in the Czech Republic,” says Tony Martinek, Dean Emeritus of the School of Engineering and Information Technology at Conestoga Polytechnic in Kitchener, Ontario, who has rich experience in cooperative education. Professor Martinek was one of the speakers at the seminar who passed on his experience of implementing this new product and overcoming the inevitable accompanying obstacles. Peggy Jarvie, Executive Director of the Co-operative Education & Career Department, and George Dixon, Vice-President for University Research and Professor of Biology, both from the University of Waterloo, also shared their know-how. The University of Waterloo has the largest co-op education program in the world. There are 18 000 University of Waterloo students in the cooperative education system. The university co-operates with 5,200 employers from more than 60 countries, and the employed students earn over 193 million Canadian dollars annually. Bill Gates praised the quality of education at the university, saying: “Sometimes, the youngest member of an expert team provides the best solution to a complex problem. I saw this kind of innovative thinking during my visit to the University of Waterloo.”

4

2015 2015

More than 40 representatives of Czech universities and enterprises, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS), met at the seminar in Prague to discuss the coop education system. Representatives of industrial enterprises were particularly open to the introduction of a new educational system. They would appreciate an opportunity to “nurture” employees with practical skills during their studies. Representatives of the Accreditation Commission attached to MEYS also support the program. Surprisingly, representatives of the academic sphere were the most skeptical about the co-operative education model. Their attitude toward implementing this new form of education into the curriculum of our universities varied widely. For example, the rector of the CTU appreciates the program, but he took the view that it would not be possible to implement the program in its current form into the CTU semester system. The Technical University of Liberec welcomed the model, and plans to launch a pilot project in the 2015/2016 academic year. Zdeněk Kůs, Rector of the Technical University of Liberec, says: “It is a great opportunity for bachelor students. In most cases, they have had no practical training when they graduate, and companies do not want to employ them.” The University will use this model for a small group of students at first. Later, they plan for the program to supplement standard engineering education, but accreditation will have to be acquired first. Miroslav Doupovec, Vice-Rector of the Brno University of Technology, also expressed a positive view. “It is an interesting and promising idea,” he said. “But it is not possible to introduce it as a general model yet, because the university is not able to ensure adequate work experience for all students.“

A working group was set up at the seminar, and its members will work on implementing the Canadian model into the Czech education system. We hope that the advantages of the co-operative education system will soon be available for our students and corporate leaders. AH

What is Co-operative (co-op) Education? In the co-op system, classroom-based trimesters alternate with trimesters of practical work, in which students gain experience in industrial, business, professional and government organizations. In the working environment, students are able to use their school-gained knowledge and skills in practical applications. The academic year is divided into three terms (trimesters) of four months, and education, including on-the-job training, runs continuously throughout the year. In most cases, work terms form a mandatory obligatory and integral part of the study program. Students‘ work experience is monitored by the academic institution during their work terms, and is evaluated by the employer at the end of the internship. The suitability of each position in the co-op system is assessed on the basis of the students‘ opportunities to be fully involved in the activities of an appropriate work team, their opportunities to acquire relevant knowledge and skills, and fair financial remuneration for their work.

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue


COOPERATION In 2014 Tony Martinek received an Award of Merit from the president of Conestoga Polytechnic. The Award of Merit is a special honour to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to society, to our community, or to Conestoga, through activities and accomplishments in a particular area of study.

Tony coordinated the Transatlantic Exchange Partnership Project that linked Conestoga, the University of Waterloo and SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary with three technical universities in the European Union, including the Technical University of Liberec, for a student exchange program that would advance projectbased learning in engineering education. Tony was instrumental in invigorating cooperation between Canada and the Czech Republic in the areas of technology innovation, applied research and

hi-tech business through his work with the Czech Embassy in Ottawa and local businesses and academic institutions. Tony has been honoured by the Technical University of Liberec in the Czech Republic for his contributions to the renewal of engineering education and for fostering international cooperation. His achievements have been recognized by the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists, and by the Government of the Czech Republic.

Tony Martinek arrived in Canada from the Czech Republic in 1967 to join the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He joined the faculty at Conestoga in 1970 and served in a series of progressively responsible roles, eventually becoming Principal at Doon Campus as well as Dean of the School of Engineering Technology. Tony has been instrumental in the College’s growth and development, in the success of our students, and in the preparation and training of engineers across Ontario. He played a lead role in the process that led to the CEAB (Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board) accreditation of the Mechanical Systems Engineering Program in 2010, and assisted in establishing the Electronic Systems Engineering Program which was accredited this past summer. Starting up and putting into operation a functional co-op program is a complex and challenging task. The system has to be able to respond to changes in employment markets and to the influence of technological progress on qualification criteria for graduates in engineering. The program can in no way be compared with the summer jobs that students find, or with short-term four- to six-week onthe-job training placements at the end of the academic year. A definition of an academic program via measurable output skills is a prerequisite for successful co-operative education. It is necessary to set activities that the students are able to carry out certainly, reliably and independently when working in the environment for which their education is intended. In the process of ranking & matching, employers try to match work position requirements with the qualifications of an applicant. The job competitions are public; students submit an application for a chosen position, and final success or failure depends on a competition that is open and fair, and reflects the reality of the employment market.

Dr. Jo John hn Tib Tibbit Tibbits bitss hand h hands andss the the Awa Award rd of Mer Merit it to Ton Tonyy Mart M Martinek artine inekk

Co-operative Education at the University of Waterloo The co-operative education model emerged in Canada with the establishment of the progressive University of Waterloo in 1957. The rapid, dynamic developments in the post-war period required not only a large increase in technical university education, but also fundamental changes in the curricula of engineering programs. In 1957, seventy four students started their cooperative study programs at the University of Waterloo. Ten years later, 3,500 students were registered in the co-op programs, not only in engineering but also in applied physics, chemistry and mathematics. At the beginning of 2013, the University had over 30,000 undergraduate students, 18,000 of whom were registered in 120 co-op programs. There are over 5,200 companies worldwide on the active list of industrial, business, professional and government organizations cooperating with the University in the regular co-operative education system.

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue

The University of Waterloo is the largest engineering school in Canada (reference: University of Waterloo public website). In addition to the University of Waterloo, there are two more institutions – Conestoga Polytechnic and Wilfrid Laurier University – in the region where the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge form the so-called Canadian Technology Triangle. Conestoga has 10,600 full-time students, 2,600 of whom are registered in 52 co-op programs. Wilfrid Laurier University is one of the leading Canadian universities that specialize in economics. There are more than 17,000 undergraduate and graduate students at the University, 1,300 of whom are registered in coop programs. Unlike the engineeringand-technology programs at the University of Waterloo and Conestoga Institute, most of the co-op programs at Wilfrid Laurier University are voluntary and optional. Tony Martinek, AH

2015 2015

5


INTERVIEW

Back to the future – working with our history to create the future Back in 1624, the Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus decided to make a major donation to Uppsala University. The donation consisted of 378 farms and also land located in the central part of Sweden, and this gift was instrumental in enabling the university to retain its independence as an academic institution in Sweden. In fact, this endowment was sufficient to support the university’s entire operational costs up until the 19th century. Thus, the development of the university was based on fundraising and on a major gift. However, it seems unlikely that the king made this gift solely for philanthropic non-profit reasons. He was surely keen to establish an academic power as a counterpart to the strong church, and in this way to give the central government (and the king) influence over the training of priests and civil servants (the Church of Sweden and the Archbishop have their base in Uppsala). Together with the major gift from King Gustavus, many gifts followed from noble families in Sweden to establish foundations at Uppsala University in support of the university and its students. Thanks to the economic development in Sweden and the creation of the welfare state during the 20th century, the economic landscape from which the university draws its revenues have changed dramatically. As the Ministry of Education added more resources to the University’s operations, the importance of endowments diminished during the latter part of the 20th century. At Uppsala University today, the revenues for education come mainly from annual grants from the Ministry and from semi-state research foundations. The welfare state takes care of the needs of the individual, and if you were to ask Swedish students today they would probably never have thought much about how the university gets its revenues, it’s just a public thing. Why should we support the University today? This is also one of the biggest challenges in working with fundraising at a Swedish university. “Why should I support the University? You get your funding from the government, and in fact I have already supported you by paying my income tax!” Another big challenge is that there are no tax incentive programmes in Sweden for citizens who want to make a donation to a university.

6

2015 2015

So we clearly need to understand the challenges when working with philanthropic fundraising. Before we can even ask people for support, we need to get to know them, to do friendraising before fundraising. Building up and maintaining the relationships that can make it feel natural to ask for support may be a process that takes a lifetime. I recently visited the University of Tokyo and met with colleagues at their Division for Development. Working with fundraising is a fairly new thing at universities in Japan, and my colleagues told me that they expect it will be necessary to wait for 20-30 years before they can get results from working with alumni today. Fundraising is not an instant source of revenue. Do Europeans have the necessary patience? The main question is whether universities in mainland Europe will have the necessary patience when developing an understanding of why it is so important to provide support for your university. This is a significant issue as more and more universities set up fundraising offices in the hope of making a quick return on their investment. One of the tasks for us fundraisers is to inform the management teams at our own universities that the investment in building relationships will for sure take a considerable time, and that it will cost more money in the initial stages than they had probably expected. Fundraising cannot instantly become an additional revenue stream for the university that can be turned on like a water tap. It is first necessary to construct a pipeline for fundraising, in order to make sure that there will be a steady stream of donations coming in. It is also necessary to ensure that resources are in place for developing the relationship that you have with your supporters. Every initiative that we undertake in our daily work needs to be nurtured.

Back in 2012 I received an envelope with a 100 kronor bill (app EUR 10) and a note saying “A gift to Uppsala University. Please put it in an account / Grateful student”. I notified the Registrar about the case and then transferred the bill to our financial office, and realized that the handling cost for this gift would probably be much higher than the amount of the gift itself. But when we posted this story on our Twitter and Facebook pages, we got so many positive responses from our students that the final outcome was very positive.

Thomas Fredengren Head of Alumni, Donor Relations and Academy Stewards Office Uppsala University, Sweden www.uu.se/en/support

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue


INTERVIEW

For me, the name Technical University implies an obligation Inovacentrum CTU in Prague seeks to establish a wide range of links between academics and industry. One way is through so-called Inovascouts - friendly academic employees of the largest Czech technical university who help Inovacentrum to resolve specific questions. We talked to Prof. Dr. Ing. Libor Beneš, IWE about the role of Inovascouts, and also about the students and the university. Professor Beneš, you have been a socalled scout for Inovacentrum CTU for some years, and you are one of our most active co-workers. How did you come to work with us? Some time ago, it must be about three years ago, my colleague from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering brought me over to you. He had started co-operating with Inovacentrum when he was still a PhD Student. I have to admit that I was somewhat inspired by the opportunities that were presented at that time. What do you think the role of Inovacentrum is? Inovacentrum is an important mediator between university and industry, in particular by looking for areas where both parties can collaborate actively and find solutions to specific tasks linked to practical implementations. Inovacentrum helps industrial enterprises find appropriate experts within CTU, who have access to appropriate instrumentation and technical staff. At the same time, academics are offered a unique opportunity to try out their ideas, methodologies and innovations in reputable companies. It is like a bridge between the two worlds. You are talking about a bridge between the worlds of science and industry. Where do you see the greatest benefit in this? For me, the name Technical University implies an obligation. We academics can by no means lock ourselves away in our offices and laboratories. We would lose a valuable insight into the world of applications, and also the opportunity for some self-reflection and for validating the theoretical assumptions that we familiarize our students with. The students are very perceptive. They often already work in the field themselves, and they quickly recognize what is going on.

This approach certainly has some pitfalls. Could you specify some of them?

Professor Beneš, thank you. Do you have some final words for our readers?

One of the problems is that there can be false expectations of an immediate effect. This is mostly a misunderstanding about innovation and about the way methodologies are developed. Innovation and development are often a long-distance run. Companies are often a bit disappointed on this point, because they need immediate responses and solutions, unlike the traditional academic attitude, which is not as flexible as they may have anticipated.

It is my honor and pleasure to work with Inovacentrum CTU and to search for new ways and new opportunities for cooperation between the worlds of science and industry. I’d like to wish for your readers, and especially for all students, much delight in the wondering and marveling that Albert Einstein wrote about. JŠ

Let us consider students for a moment. In our work we say: “A student today, a client tomorrow.” Do you think this approach is correct? I do agree. Many of our students already address specific tasks set by companies when working on their projects for bachelor, master or doctoral theses. Many of them find a job with the company after graduating. What more could we want as employees of a technical university, than to be in the vanguard and to offer well-prepared graduates to industrial partners? We have been hearing from companies that students are not appropriately trained for their positions. Do you see any opportunity for improvement? Everything depends on people - assistants, associate professors and professors should carefully and regularly monitor current trends, attend trade fairs and learn about manufacturing processes, have active connections with industry, and be able to respond flexibly to the demands and requirements of companies. Of course, this is not always convenient and easy, but it does bring the joy of knowledge. In the words of Albert Einstein: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. A man who cannot wonder and cannot marvel is more or less dead.”

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue

Prof. Dr. Ing. Libor Beneš Libor Beneš, IWE, is a graduate of the Brno University of Technology. He has spent more than twenty years in the university environment. He is a programme director, and teaches a number of courses in the field of materials and engineering. He is a professor at the Institute of Material Engineering at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague. He is the author and co-author of about two hundred technical and scientific publications. From 2006-2011, he served as a Vice Dean of the Jan Perner Transport Faculty at the University of Pardubice.

2015 2015

7


INTERVIEW

CTU has released a new policy for managing the university’s intellectual property Since March 2014, the policy for managing the Czech Technical University in Prague’s intellectual property has been covered by a directive issued by the Vice-Rector for Science and Research. The academic staff is required to submit a report to the university’s Patent Office or to Inovacentrum CTU on intellectual property that has been created. Marek Houda is in charge of IP administration at Inovacentrum. We asked him what he expects from the new system, about the basic duties and rights of the academic staff, and about the procedure for transferring the results of scientific research from the university into practical applications.

Marek Houda is in charge of IP administration at Inovacentrum.

According to the law and the new directive issued by the ViceRector for Science and Research, academics are required to submit a report to the university’s Patent Office or to Inovacentrum CTU on intellectual property that has been created. (JR)

Since March 2014, CTU has had binding rules stating that intellectual property that has been created must be reported to central university departments. What are the reasons for this measure, and what do you expect from it? The reason for introducing the central administration of intellectual property at CTU is the university’s interest in managing and taking proper care of its intellectual property. By management we mean a set of specific activities necessary to maximize the potential of every aspect of intellectual property created at the university, both through commercialization and through further use in technical 8

2015

lectures and presentations. If one central office is informed about every result of research and development, it will be able to manage them effectively. How and why must the academic staff report the creation of an invention, or an innovative solution? Employees of CTU who believe that the results of their research and development have the potential to be applied, or the potential to be commercialized, are obliged by law, and by the internal directive issued by the Vice-Rector for Science and Research, to submit a report without delay to their employer - CTU - using a

simple form to notify either the Patent Office or Inovacentrum CTU. Academic staff are required to report the results so that the university can register its intellectual property properly and provide further support for it, promote it and commercialize the outcomes. What will commercialization of the research and development results bring for the member of the academic staff who originated the work? Every originator whose scientific research results are accepted into the CTU management system by the committee

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


INTERVIEW

receives a payment. In addition, if the results are successfully commercialized, the originator receives part of the earnings from commercialization. A deduction is made from the sum earned by the originator to cover costs for protection, legal representation, or further research connected with commercialization. The originator can also integrate the findings from commercialization and experience from cooperation with an industrial partner into the classes that she or he presents for students. Who is the official owner of inventions developed by members of the academic staff? Ownership depends primarily on the employment status of the originator at the time when the intellectual property was created, and it also depends on whether the university’s infrastructure was used in the process of creating the intellectual property. By law, the university owns every invention created by university employees (including students in an employment relationship), that was created within their work duties, or using the university’s infrastructure. What happens if there are several originators, and some of them are not CTU employees? We recommend that the originators should without further delay point this out to Inovacentrum CTU, or to the Patent Office. The legal solution to this situation usually involves drawing up a contract between CTU and the employer of the external originator. Do employees have to report an idea that they came up with, let us say, while taking a shower at home? By law and according to the rules of CTU, if the technology was created in fulfilment of work duties, the intellectual property belongs to the university. If the employee shouts “Eureka!” at home, or in his or her cottage in the country, it does not mean that the university has no claim on the invention. It will be important to determine whether or not the intellectual property in question is related to fulfilling the duties of the staff member’s employment. If you are not sure, contact Inovacentrum CTU.

How much does the filing of a patent cost, and who will pay the fee?

mature enough to find new industrial partners.

The costs are directly proportional to the number of countries in which we try to get the patent. A very important consideration is the costs for the relevant patent agent, which can be significant. For filing a Czech patent, where the applicant is CTU, the Patent Office fulfills the role of patent attorney (free of charge for CTU employees). The cost of filing the application itself is usually around CZK 5.000,-. Filing a European or international application is significantly more expensive, and nowadays costs around CZK 90.000,. In addition, there are the costs for the patent attorney for each country in which we want the application to be filed. The patent costs are typically paid by the applicant for the patent, in our case CTU.

What is the role of the originator in the process of commercializing intellectual property?

“By law, the university owns every invention created by university employees. Filing a Czech patent, where the applicant is CTU, is free of charge for CTU employees. The originator receives part of the earnings from commercialization.” How long does it take Inovacentrum CTU to transfer one technology into practical application? Technologies and results are typically transferred through licensing contracts, where the university, as the provider of the license, guarantees to the acquirer rights to use a specific technology for a set period of time, often even for a set location. The license is often limited geographically. The process of finding the right license partner and finalizing the contractual relationship may last months, or even years. The amount of time spent on a specific case depends on the state of maturity of the technology, the availability of competitive solutions, and on the level of investment needed to place the new concept on the market. University technologies are often not

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague

The originator plays a significant role in various phases of commercialization. His main role is to cooperate with the patent attorney on preparing the patent, or some other form of protection. He proposes possible commercial partners - foreign studies have shown that more than 70% of all license contracts are concluded with partners who are known to the originators. The inventor also helps by reacting to technical questions from potential buyers. And what is the role of Inovacentrum CTU in the commercialization process? Inovacentrum takes all the necessary steps leading to successful commercialization. In cooperation with the originator, Inovacentrum identifies and evaluates promising technologies generated by CTU scientists or students of CTU. It then recommends a strategy for handling the intellectual property, helps with marketing the technology, recommends a business model, negotiates licenses and other contracts, maintains long-term relationships with companies developing products based on a particular licensed technology and, last but not least, it collects and distributes the license fees from the inventions. What are the qualifications of the Inovacentrum CTU specialists in licensing technologies? The technology transfer team at Inovacentrum CTU consists of people with many years of experience in industry in positions in marketing, business, or product development in the Czech Republic and in foreign countries. Some of them have strong expertise in the area of engineering or natural science. The team also includes lawyers specializing in business law and in intellectual property law. AH

2015

9


ACHIEVEMENTS

10 2015 201 2015 5

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting gS Science Scie cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue

(JR)) (JR


ACHIEVEMENTS

Fundraising - Innovation for the long-term The issue of finding effective ways to raise funds for universities has been neglected for far too long in the Czech Republic. Although many universities believe that they care for their donors and supporters, most of them, unfortunately, in fact offer little to them. Many examples from abroad suggest that we are still far from treating our partners well enough to promote long-term affiliation with the organization. Inovacentrum CTU has therefore begun to build a bridge that will help to span the gap. Fundraising is not just raising funds In the Czech Republic, fundraising is currently understood as merely acquiring money. However, this is not an adequate definition of the term, especially for a university campus. Fundraising is a longterm process of cooperation with scientists, students and external partners, and it is influenced by a number of considerations. Successful cooperation will result not only in money donations, but also in tangible gifts, voluntary efforts, and lobbying of third parties. It may take several years to win people’s support, so it is more appropriate to consider fundraising at universities as the long-term development of internal and external relations. At universities in the Czech Republic there are external relations departments that are charged with working with the public. The aim of their work is to communicate with the general public and with students. Fundraising is focused on individuality and utilizes other tools than just marketing and public relations. It is mainly about networking and developing personal relationships with donors, and also about people investing their own free time. There are specialized teams at universities in Europe who focus only on developing relationships with individuals that lead to considerable benefits and results in the longer term. Starting a fundraising debate and developing a strategy Inovacentrum CTU has managed to open a debate within the public and private sectors. This debate will identify the strengths and weaknesses of the university, and will set up processes to implement the long-term development strategy of CTU. Since the beginning of 2014, Inovacentrum has been collaborating with fundraising experts in the Czech Republic and abroad. The long-term experience of European universities and their ways of working with partners are helping to develop new ways of gaining financial and non-financial support for Czech universities.

The inner potential of universities is particularly neglected. This is frequently due to ignorance of fundraising principles, shortsighted treatment of partners and, in particular, the total absence of experts on long-term development on campus. Experience from abroad demonstrates that there is a need for significant personal and financial investment. The return on successful implementation of the principles introduced here will be reflected not in months, but over a period of a few years. The aim of the Inovacentrum CTU team is therefore to open up a broad, professional discussion that will involve not only representatives of the oldest technical university in the Czech Republic, but also other universities interested in change.

“All public education institutions rely mostly on financial contributions from the state. This is neither flexible nor sustainable for long-term development. Fundraising is focused on individuality, and utilizes other tools than just marketing and public relations. Developing personal relationships with donors leads to considerable benefits and to better results in the longer term.”

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue

Fundraising for the third role of universities All public education institutions in the Czech Republic are faced with the problem of financing their main activities research, science and teaching. And also finding resources to fund the other activities and facilities that make a university outstanding. The current management of these institutions, which relies mostly on financial contributions from the state, is not flexible and is not sustainable for the long term. Progressive developments in education, and the intense emphasis on cooperation between science and business, confirm that we must look for more effective ways to promote our university. Time is another important reason for starting with a different solution to raising funds for universities. No development strategy can spring into existence overnight, and results will take several years to appear. It is necessary to keep initiating changes within the organization, including changes in the personal approach of students, researchers and other employees to the institution itself. Developing new ways to provide funds for universities is linked to innovation more than we think. It gives meaning to the so-called third role of the university, which is a topic of discussion in academic circles. The first and the second roles - education and research - are complemented by a whole range of activities with society. The third role of a university is a national challenge. This is an interesting new challenge for Inovacentrum, which has been trying to promote technology transfer as a way for the university to penetrate into the outside world. JŠ

2015 2015 11


ACHIEVEMENTS

The CTU Fund will help technologies reach the market In 2014, the CTU’s Vice-Rector for Science and Research implemented a binding directive for the treatment of intellectual property arising from the university. The Directive imposes an obligation for the academic staff to report the development of an object of intellectual property to Inovacentrum or to the central patent office at CTU. The aim is to provide maximum support for those results of creative activities that will contribute to the state-of-the-art in various fields of human activity, and to transfer these research ideas into practical applications. The CTU Fund forms a part of this support system. It provides financial support for the development of selected technologies to prepare them to be launched on to the market. The funds are allocated by the CTU Council for commercialization, which is composed of leading academics and managers with extensive business experience. The Inovacentrum CTU Fund accepts applications for financial support and oversees the disbursement of funding. Each technology registered for assistance from the Fund is assessed in terms of its technological and market potential. At the latest meeting of the Council for Commercialization, its members recommended five technologies whose developers will be able to draw on funding to develop their technology into a state where it is ready for commercialization.

Let's light up

Technologies selected to receive support: A support system for Alzheimer patients This is a new comprehensive assistance solution for socially sensitive supervision and support for Alzheimer patients in the early stages of developing the disease. The solution is based on several functional modules that combine to form a complete set. It consists of a software application for the target patient’s mobile phone, and a server with relevant automatic functions (fall detection, localization, an automatic call for help, an automatic check on the battery, the functionality and connection of the phone, whether the phone is being worn correctly, etc.), and a set of tools for managing and transmitting alarms.

Dynamic cell layer culturing This is a mobile system for dynamic cultivation of cell layers, which contains its own distribution system for perfusion of CO2. Dynamic cell culturing provides excellent results in the field of new materials for regenerative medicine. The problem is that systems for dynamic cultivation are currently not easily available, as they are, for example, expensive to purchase, or they focus on a specific type of experiments. The proposed solution enables repeated use of the culture chambers. This will reduce the operating costs by about 30% in comparison with existing methods of culturing.

Predicting fatigue states for drivers

Artificial muscle actuator

You can read more about this technology on page 19 of this issue of the Inovacentrum magazine.

You can read more about this technology on page 23 of this issue of the Inovacentrum magazine.

12 2015 2015

A system for measuring the flow of rotational suspensions This is a system capable of measuring the flow properties of viscous, non-homogeneous suspensions, especially those containing coarse particles. Currently available methods and instruments (rheometers) have limited ability to measure the properties of these liquids reliably. The proposed measurement system, based on a new geometric shape, leads to a different physical behavior of the suspension that is being measured. It will achieve more accurate temperature measurements, and will improve the properties of the measured substance. The measurement system is designed as a supplement to existing compatible rheometers and mixing stations, and the customer will not incur any additional investment. AH

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue


INOVAJET

CTU Incubator companies shine again The Science Fair, CzechAccelerator and the International Engineering Fair in Brno are united by their organizers‘ efforts to support Czech science and research. Companies from InovaJET have again presented dynamic, attention-catching ideas.

Two companies from InovaJET received awards at the CzechAccelerator 201114 conference, which took place at the Wayra Accelerator on Wenceslas Square in Prague on September, 17th, 2014. CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 is one of the most successful projects of the CzechInvest Agency, which promotes Czech technological SMEs in markets outside the Czech Republic. Three companies that performed best in the project were selected from a total of 33 entries. Imagemetry Ltd was one of the award-winning companies. This is not Imagemetry’s first success. The company received an award from the City of New York for the Verifeyed.com program, which is used for forensic analyses of digital photographs. This patented technology detects image manipulation, and is routinely used nowadays by banks, by insurance companies and even by the CIA. DO- IT Ltd. won an award at CzechAccelerator for their be3D printer project. The company spent several months in Silicon Valley in the USA with CzechAccelerator, and found new contacts for future business development there. DO-IT Ltd develops and manufactures 3D printers, which, thanks to their intuitive control, have put an end to the idea that 3D printing is for experts only. Be3D printers are designed for home use and for children. The DeeGreen printer is an environmentfriendly ecological printer, which prints from PLA material. This plastic is made from corn starch and is easily biodegradable. Printing with the use of plastic mixed with bronze is a hot innovation. During its internship in the USA, the company entered its be3D project in the international Silicon Valley StartUp Cup competition. In presenting its business plan, the company finished among the top 12 projects. At the International Engineering Fair in Brno, the public had an opportunity find out about the Advamat company, which does research and development work on thin films and materials. Its founder, Martin Danek, showed visitors to the Fair how he develops new layers for coating

David Maršálek, David Maršál Mar šálek, ek, Sales Sales Director Direc Di rector tor at be3D, be3D, presenting prese pr esenti nting ng at a CzechAccelerator CzechAc Czec hAccel celera erator tor conference confe co nferen rence ce 201 2011-2 2011-2014 1-2014 014 (Ondřej (Ondře (On dřejj Vosi Vosický) V osický cký))

materials. “We use a technique called PVD, in which the layers are deposited by magnetron sputtering. We have developed some interesting layers. We have a unique layer with unmeasurably low friction, a diamond-based super-black layer, and a superhard layer deposited at 100°C. Our layers protect the product much longer than the original layer. They are resistant to corrosion and wear. We have collaborated with the Advanced Materials group at CTU in producing selflubricating layers for Formula 1 cars, and layers for the Portuguese army space probe,” Martin Danek adds. By participating in the exhibition he gained new and interesting contacts for future cooperation. At the same time, he ascertained that coating 3D printer products with metal or ceramic layers was the right way for the company to go. During the Science Fair, people of all ages fascinated by physical and other phenomena had a chance to peek into the mysterious world of science. The second year of the fair was organized by the Věda nás baví (Science Is Fun) charitable association, in collaboration with the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague, the Czech Technical University in Prague, the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue

other schools and institutions. Visitors were able to carry out experiments and test their knowledge in competitions. The event was attended by our company Galavito Ltd, which is developing an innovative heating system. This electric heater replaces inefficient gas burners, which give off toxic fumes. Their product – a table with a heated leg, which significantly extends the outdoor dining season – was presented to visitors to the fair. Companies in the Incubator are among others that have grown and shown the world their professionalism and their quality of service. Inovacentrum CTU finished among the ten best European business incubators and innovation centers (known as BICs) in the Most Beneficial Services competition, in the category of smart supporters of young entrepreneurs. Forty candidates were rated in this category for an innovative and unique approach in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation. InovaJET ranked alonsgide European incubators such as the St John Innovation Centre at the University of Cambridge, Coventry University Enterprises Ltd, JIC Brno, ITRI - the Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan, and the incubators of the European Space Agency (ESA). AZ

2015 2015 13


INOVAJET

InovaJET - inspiration and motivation for businessmen The business incubator of Inovacentrum CTU opened its doors on November 20th to everyone with a positive interest in business. Many students, businessmen and investors discovered that InovaJET is a place to meet people with ideas and with the will to bring about change. The team at InovaJet was happy to reveal some of the secrets behind a successful business, and introduced itself as a true partner on the journey from a small idea to a great success. The all-day program was crowded with interesting events. The door to the business incubator was thrown open at 9 a.m. Dozens of people arrived at InovaJET’s fine new premises at Opletalova Street 22, not far from Wenceslas Square. Unlike on a normal open day, an unusual tour awaited the visitors. They had the chance to meet a number of supporters and enthusiasts, share their experience, or find out about their business ideas and plans.

November 20th 2014

Candidates had the chance to see for themselves how the incubator develops knowledge and skills. Early in the afternoon, the Presentational Skills in (Rubik’s) Cube workshop was held. Under the leadership of an experienced presenter, Ondřej Staněk, each of the participants improved her or his ability not only to sell themselves, but mainly to offer a product correctly. It was interesting to note that among the novice businessmen there were also experienced professionals from companies and institutions, who were listening intently. InovaJET once again proved that its activities are truly on a professional level. In the evening, the event moved on to the CTU university campus. A program consisting of a series of short motivational lectures under the title Let Yourself be Inspired was held in the building of the National Technical Library. Those who had not managed to visit the incubator, the workshop or the lecture were not too late to join in the day’s activities. Until late in the evening, networking took place in the gallery of the National Technical Library. More than a hundred guests met with representatives of start-up companies, got acquainted with potential investors and, mainly, gained inspiration for their further work. In this way, Inovacentrum CTU and its InovaJET business incubator helped emerging businessmen to move towards success in the sphere of real business. AH

14 2015 2015

Jana InovaJET manager Jan a Hodboďová, Hodboďo Hodb oďová, vá, In Inova ovaJET JET ma manag nager er (JR (JR))

visitors visito vis itors rs wer were e inte iinterested nteres rested ted in 3D pr print printers inters ers (J (JR) R) Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue


INOVAJET

SAP, a new partner of InovaJET, contributes IT know-how The software giant SAP has become a new partner of InovaJET, the CTU business incubator. SAP employees will help young talents to start up their own business and gain experience that they will be able to use in their future careers. It may seem paradoxical that a company would want to help a potential rival to grow. However, if we think about it, the reason is quite simple. In IT, progress can only happen through new ideas and fresh thinking. And that is an asset that young people undeniably have. SAP is aware of this. The company is looking for inspiration and for partnership, and in due course even for future employees not only among students, but also among owners of new dynamic companies about to enter the market. SAP is looking for good ideas that the company can work with in the future. An impulse for new developments Not only SAP but the whole IT market needs new start-ups. It was therefore a logical choice to set up a partnership with a leading technical university in the Czech Republic, and with its InovaJET business incubator. IT is what SAP does best, and the company wants to share its experience. InovaJET has tangible results proving that the eighteen-month program really can help young talents to start their own business. A new cycle of the InovaJET start-up program commenced at the beginning of the 2014/2015 academic year. A series of workshops and consultations led by SAP specialists began in November 2014. The experts tried to share with young businessmen all they could of their experience with human resources, how to communicate with customers, and also how to better present their work and ideas. This may help the young entrepreneurs not only to find new customers, but also, importantly, to attract potential investors and obtain the resources needed for developing their businesses. It is said that a successful start-up is a start-up that becomes strong enough to attract elite market players, and that gets bought up by one of them. This is one of many reasons why SAP decided to cooperate with InovaJET. It not only offers the best of its experience to the entrepreneurs, but it may also be developing

SAP Bi Big g Data Data To Tour ur 201 2014 4 on on the the CTU ca campu campus mpuss

future members for its own team, who will inject successful new ideas into SAP.

of giving a donation. This is not the way that SAP wants to take.

Young scientists show promise

Help should be focused on things that can bring benefit. And this benefit should primarily be for the long term, and not just for the short term. Sending a large sum of money to the account of a foundation is a noble deed, and it is an aspect of corporate social responsibility. However, SAP wants to go a bit further, and bring in a multiplier effect. SAP’s helping hand can help in starting up a company, or in bringing on a successful businessman, who will provide employment for others. It may give a good opportunity to a highquality IT expert.

It is necessary to motivate young talents at a tender age. SAP therefore decided to cooperate with the Česká Hlava foundation to announce an extraordinary award in this year’s Česká Hlavička competition. A committee of SAP employees judged a competition of young scientists from nine registered high schools. The winner was Lukáš Herudek, from the Secondary Technical School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Ostrava. His winning invention was an autonomous control unit for a 3D printer that does not need to be connected with a computer. He received the award from the hands of SAP CR CEO Roman Knap at a ceremonial gala in Brno on October 22th 2014. Help must be meaningful “We recognize that every successful company should give something back to society. This is because the company’s success is due to society,” Roman Knap said, when opening a course on computer graphics and animation for children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome. However, it should not just be the kind of help that satisfies the donor’s conscience. In the Czech Republic, it is sometimes unfortunately only a matter

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue

Children with autism or Asperger’s syndrome can benefit from taking part in the SAP program and find a promising career in IT. Many IT companies employ significant numbers of people with various forms of autism. SAP itself has a global level program Autism@Work, which helps people with autism find a good quality job in our society. We believe that great business projects will continue to be born in the InovaJET start-up incubator. We are looking forward to many more years of successful cooperation between CTU and SAP. Lucie Kalinová & Eva Dudová, SAP

2015 2015 15


INTERVIEW

Turning ideas into products InovaJET, the CTU business incubator, has been set up in its current form and has been supporting new start-up companies for more than three years. It has given help to over 70 businesses, most of which are still alive and kicking. We asked Marek Polčák, a founder of a successful business supported by InovaJET, some questions that are more about himself than about his company. We believe that in business, probably even more than in any other field of human activity, great success depends primarily on people. My brain feels as if it had been preparing everything for hours before I actually woke up. On average, my workload will be about 10 to 12 hours a day, and occasionally weekends too. On weekends I go to Brno, which is where my home is. That is where my wife and family are. I don’t have hobbies. I like my work, I have great people around me and I think it is best to spend my time with them. They are great and I love them.

Marek Polčák studied at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at CTU. While still at the university, in 2010, he set up a company and asked InovaJET for support. Today Marek’s Quanti s.r.o. provides jobs for students, graduates and doctoral students, and its turnover is approximately 12 million crowns a year and rising. How did you come to think about starting up a company? Why didn’t you just find a job for yourself with a big multinational and climb the corporate ladder? I’ve always enjoyed working. It was simply my hobby, and because my father was a businessman, I basically did not know any other way to work than for myself. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to work for a corporation, but I don’t think I’m missing anything. How did you come up with the name Quanti? I was looking for a nice Latin phrase that I could use. I found one which translated as “what is the value”, and I decided to use a part of it. Today the word quant is used internationally by mathematicians and analysts creating complex formulas. That is not far removed from designing and developing information systems, which is what we do. What hours do you work every day? Do you have some time left over for hobbies and friends, and for your family? I work from dawn to dusk. I usually wake up stressed, and I’m already thinking about all the things I’ll have to do that day. 16 2015 2015

What do you do to relax? Whenever possible, I play table football at work. Or when we have time somebody from work invites everybody else to their house and we cook, talk and play board games or computer games. During the weekends, I catch up on sleep and rest and enjoy the company of my family. What were you like when you were a student? Have your attitudes and beliefs changed in some way since then? When I look back now, I see myself the way I’ll probably see my present day self when I look back five years from now. I was such a naïve youngster. I just don’t understand how I managed to do any business back then. I think that, with the passage of time, your priorities change rather than your attitudes and opinions. A number of things make you think stuff over seriously, and reevaluate everything. It could be the threat of being sent to jail, an illness, or an unsuccessful period in business. Then you realize how pleasant it is just to watch a leaf fall off a tree in November. I’ve seen your new project, FlyPrague. What gave you the idea to set up virtual city tours, and what are your plans with this project? I never really have ideas. I’ve just always known how to make things happen. I am lucky to meet people who have the ideas, and then I have the means to build hardware, software, a service or a product from nothing.

FlyPrague is a beautiful combination of hi-tech and retail. Hopefully I will be able to develop this technology further and franchise it all over the world. Who knows, perhaps I’ll be successful, and in time there will be FlySanFrancisco or FlyTokyo, and there will be another internationally successful company born in the Czech Republic. What would you suggest to someone who wants to start up in your line of business? I’m an old-fashioned kind of person. First I learn, and I obtain the means and the technologies to make something, and then I want to learn something else and make something bigger and more interesting. The foundations that we build over a long period of time last longer and are more stable. Everybody should be aware of that. Today we hear a lot about people building a very successful business based on a very simple idea, from scratch and essentially overnight. I am not a believer in stories like that. The media often simplify them. Angry Birds, a successful mobile application with hundreds of millions of users, is portrayed by the media as a simple application that anyone could have developed. Anyone? Show me a development team that can survive 51 unsuccessful applications and still keep going! There’s no way that Angry Birds is Rovio’s first game, as most of the world thinks it is. Is there anything you would do differently in your life if you had known then what you know now? Definitely. I’ve many times got angry over nothing and demotivated people around me. No good has ever come of it, and I’ve always regretted it afterwards. But I would not have done everything completely differently. All the failures that you have to live through form your character and the decisions that you make in the future, and I am glad that I’ve managed to live through so many failures before my 30th birthday. AH

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue


INTERVIEW

From CTU to Etnetera Ivan Kutil studied for his BSc at CTU and for his master’s degree at the University of Economics in Prague (VŠE). He was fascinated by Google Apps, and in 2010 he founded a company called AppSatori with his friends, Přemysl Brýl and Vladimír Oraný. It started up in the CTU InovaJET incubator, and became a member of the Etnetera group in 2014. We interviewed Ivan to find out about the route taken by these three friends to achieve their success. How did you spend your student years at the University of Economics and at CTU? I perhaps spent more time at VŠE over the two years of my master degree studies than I spent at CTU in my three years of undergraduate studies. I used to go home immediately after my lectures at CTU - probably because of the environment and the absence of other activities. During my master’s program I used to attend other lectures after school. I just stayed to do extra things. Then I had the idea of setting up a student organization focused on Google. I like the way that Google works and innovates, and the sort of products that it offers. I appreciate that most of its applications are available to anyone, free of charge. Přemysl Kutil, AppSatori Pře Přemys mysll Brýl Brýl an and d Ivan Ivan Ku Kutil til,, AppS A ppSato atori ri (JR (JR))

Can you tell us something about the student organization that you founded? I founded it in autumn 2009 and I called it the VŠE Google User Group. However, it was never officially confirmed as a school organization. We existed in “punk style” under the IT Business Club of Ondra Cahlík. Within a short time, a lot of other enthusiasts like myself joined the Google User Group. We still keep on meeting till today, not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad. We organized lectures, and it was a lot of fun. I met Přemek and Vláďa there, and we thought that we could start a business. In our professional courses at the University, we noted a shift of the IT industry towards the cloud, and we reckoned that the market would need companies focused on that area. Google was the clear choice for us :)

core business, the sale of Google Apps, we were never successful in active trading. Now, a few years later, we can see that as an advantage, because the Czech market is growing more slowly than we had thought, and it has to be treated a bit differently than markets abroad. You joined the Etnetera family this year. How did you get together with Etnetera? Vláďa had worked for Etnetera before AppSatori was established, and he knew a lot of people there personally. Přemek and I also knew Etnetera, of course. We appreciated their values, their way of thinking and the principle of freedom at work. Full integration of AppSatori into Etnetera was therefore a very smooth process.

What was fundamental for your business, and when did you experience your first success?

What is it like to be part of the Etnetera network? Have there been any big changes?

Marketing, personal contacts and technical knowledge formed the basis. We’ve been, seen and heard a lot. We soon got some interesting contracts; for example, a map application for Prague Zoo, and an online game for Tata Bojs. As for our

Etnetera as a brand stands for certain values that we also advocate. With the experienced people who have become part of our team, we have gained valuable knowhow in the field of commerce and development. At the same time, we

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue

can access more interesting clients. We keep on discovering other benefits. We’re going to move into new offices together, and we have taken part in a teambuilding exercise where we created furniture from pallets. We’ve also extended our range of services. When we were asked about internet marketing in AdWords or developing Android applications in the past, we either had to decline the task, or we had to pass on part of the contract elsewhere. Within the Etnetera Group, we now have companies that specialize in the field, and so we can make an offer together. What way do you intend to take in the future? What can we expect? Our vision is still the same - we want to help companies work and live more efficiently, and Google is still the best choice for this. We are currently completing a new SignatureSatori service that will be used for central e-mail signatures in Google Apps, a service that has not been available for companies in the past. AZ (JD)) (JD 2015 2015 17


NEW TECHNOLOGIES

We have to learn to help the elderly in modern ways In old age, most people sooner or later experience something that makes them begin to drop out of some of the activities that they used to enjoy. What begins to restrict the elderly person may be an accident, the loss of a life partner, or, for example, the onset of a long-term illness. It probably starts out quietly, with minor limitations such as a feeling expressed by a carer that the elderly person had better not go too far away. Ultimately, within a few years, or within a few months, the elderly person ceases to go out on long walks, go to the movies, or go to the shops. The life of the elderly person then tends to proceed towards a more or less rapid end. It is necessary to move to a different strategy with elderly people, and to avoid limiting their horizons as far as possible and as long as possible. Today, this approach is easier than you might have thought. Mobile applications offer the way. Today we can use helpdesk services such as Zůstaň fit (Stay Fit), which offer much help to keep the elderly actively involved. The service provides peace of mind for seniors and for their families and carers. The carer does not need to check every day whether her or his grandmother or grandfather is fine, and that nothing has happened to them. They do not have to discourage their grandpa or grandma from leading an active life, and the carer can be confident that if she or he is not available, a healthcare professional will intervene if needed. “We wanted to enable seniors to move around at home, in the street or in the countryside without restriction. With the Stay Fit assistance service, they can go into the forest to pick mushrooms, and if something happens to them the system will automatically call for help. Even in the event that the elderly person is unable to ask for help actively by pressing a button,” says Radek Fiala for the developers of the service, a joint team from the Czech Technical University in Prague and the 1st Medical Faculty of Charles University. It is all based on a box, or more recently on a smartphone with a simple application with a big red button. Nothing else is needed. The button contains a geolocation device to determine the location of the elderly person. There is an accelerometer for motion control, and for detecting a fall or immobility. The device enables voice communication to call for help anywhere within the range of the mobile operators. There are automatic checks on the functionality of the connection, the proper fit and use of the device, and the battery charge status. The box or the application is connected to a smart server. This is the brain of the system. It carries out automatic checks 18 2015 2015

on everything, and if there is a problem it immediately informs the assistance centre. The following will give you an idea of how the service works: You live in Prague and your mother (68), who is showing signs of slowing down, lives in the Highlands. While you do not want to restrict your mom’s activities, or move her to Prague to stay with you, you start to worry about her a little bit, and you would like to keep an eye on her. You can buy her a phone and install the Senior application for her. You install the Family application on your own phone. Your application will allow you to check at any time that everything is OK. Your mom can press a button at any time when she needs to, and you will see an alarm on your phone. The system will automatically recognize a crisis situation. Thanks to this security system, your will be able to support your mother in an independent lifestyle, and you will not feel a need to discourage her from going for walks alone or doing some gardening. Radek Fiala’s team has been engaged in developing mobile supervisory assistance in support of seniors for many years. “Over time, we have begun to understand the mechanisms and the development of aging in our society. Support

for seniors in prehistoric times meant that their family hit them over their head when they reached the age of 35, and dropped their bodies into a ravine. In the last century, society was very involved, and seniors were allowed to live with dignity within their families. At that time, people retired at the age of 50. Gradually there was less involvement of the family, and at the same time people’s life expectancy increased. In the 1950s, pensions were introduced for everybody, and nursing homes and intensive care developed. Currently, the situation is gradually returning to what makes more sense, to a long life within the family. Today we are trying to invent and develop support systems that allow elderly people to live an active life within their families. We try to help at critical turning points. Our goal is a senior who dresses up and goes to town once a week, takes a trip once a month, and goes away on holiday once a year. Any family that understands this can receive great support through our assistance service. Life can then be dynamic until the very end,” says Radek Fiala. AH

For further information about the complete services of Stay Fit (Zůstaň fit), see www.zustanfit.cz.

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue


NEW TECHNOLOGIES

New ways to protect firefighters and truck drivers A team from a joint workplace of the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering of CTU and the 1st Medical Faculty of Charles University develops algorithms to protect people working in high-risk jobs from dangers they can encounter in their work. When firefighters are being trained, a device that the research team has developed can give an early warning, for example that the temperature inside their protective clothing is too high. This information can be used to protect firefighters from the risk of burns. It can reveal stress levels and certain behavioral deviations that can spell danger in critical conditions. The technology developed by this team can also help truck drivers on long-haul routes and other professional drivers by giving an early warning, several minutes before it actually happens, that they are in danger of falling asleep while driving.

The team is engaged in detecting psychophysiological states as the basis for technology that can be utilized to monitor the current internal and external environment that human beings are facing, and to make a timely response to critical fluctuations. The technology is currently being tested on firefighters. It examines the influence of mental and physical stress and the way in which firefighters react to various situations. Members of the team at CTU, for example, join the firefighters in their training center at Zbiroh, where real firefighting conditions can be simulated. The firefighters have a small box attached to their bodies. It saves data into its memory, and straightaway forwards it to another device for further analysis. Accelerometers (physical activity sensors) are placed in the firefighters’ equipment. These instruments make measurements of temperature, humidity, heart rate and respiratory rate. Using these variables, the energy expenditure, for example, can be evaluated in real time, and hazardous conditions such as overheating, excessive physical and psychological stress, etc., can be automatically detected. The incident supervisor has a display unit placed in the emergency vehicle – a tablet, a laptop, or even an ordinary smartphone, which receives data from the fire brigade, evaluates the data in real time and draws attention to the individual risk levels. The supervisor sees a color map of the risks, like red, orange and green traffic lights. He can click through each risk and see how a firefighter is reacting to various stressful situations. The training session can also be analyzed retrospectively, to see whether there has been any improvement in the parameters. The software works automatically, and the supervisor can monitor data on all members of the intervention team at the same time. This

system of biological signals telemetry and algorithms is called FlexiGuard. The team is developing it as a part of a safety research project for the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, in cooperation with the Central Bohemia and Jihlava firefighting services and other components of the Integrated Rescue System. “During one of the training events at Zbiroh, our temperature sensor detected an unusual increase in temperature above 42 degrees Celsius on the right shoulder of one of the firemen, lasting tens of seconds. Our colleagues pointed this fact out at the time of the event. Subsequently, a burn was found on the fireman’s right shoulder after he had taken off his protective suit. Our system was able to detect this situation while it was happening. This incident illustrates what we are striving for: we want to protect people from danger in real time. Currently, we monitor temperature, humidity, physical activity and heart rate for firefighters. They have also asked us to develop a portable detector of hazardous substances, explosives and poisons for every fireman to carry,” says Dr. Smrčka, head of the R&D team. Another field of R&D is the use of algorithms for predicting fatigue, to be used by drivers on long-haul routes. The driver has to wear a sensor device similar to a watch or a chest strap that monitors his heart rate. The vehicle has to be equipped with additional sensors. It is no more complex to install the system than it would be to retrofit a standard car alarm. The sensors communicate with a computer unit. Algorithms based on a medium-term analysis of the movements of the steering wheel, the lateral and longitudinal acceleration of the vehicle, the respiratory rate and the

Connecting Connec Con nectin ting g Scie S Science cience nce an and d Comm C Commerce ommerc erce e at at the the Cze Czech ch Tec Techni Technical hnical cal Un Unive University iversi rsity ty in Pra Prague gue

variability of the driver’s heart rate can predict with high probability that a hazardous situation is approaching, and can warn the driver in good time. The system can give a prediction as early as ten or fifteen minutes before the onset of a potential danger to the driver, for example of falling asleep. This contrasts with currently available solutions that indicate only outcomes, for example that the driver’s eyes have already closed or that he has already stopped moving the wheel in a conventional manner. This kind of warning can be too late! The R&D team is now working on a contactless method for obtaining data from the driver, and on producing a functional sample of the entire system. Their work will then be presented to forwarding and shipping companies, and also to vehicle producers, which could decide to implement the system in their products. A functional sample of the system for drivers will be developed by about the end of 2015. The CTU Fund for the Development of Promising Technologies is providing support to prepare the system for the market. The Fund will pay for materials and for producing a functional sample, while the joint workplace will cover the costs for staff and will pay other indirect costs. AH 2015 2015 19


NEW TECHNOLOGIES

Cryptelo an unbreakable cipher Martin Baroš aims to make money out of the weak point in your Dropbox – its low level of security. His Cryptelo can share data in a way that it is protected by a code that even its author is unable to break. “We have participated in fairs in Great Britain, Germany and Israel, and everywhere people have been very interested,” Baroš reports. The attraction is that there is no other program on the market with the same level of security and user friendliness. “We’ve found a classic niche,“ he says.

While the probability of finding the key to your online banking is 1 : 2128, and the US National Security Agency would probably have no problem finding it, they would not stand a chance with Cryptelo. The probability is 1 : 2256, which according to the NSA corresponds to the highest level top secret. “Google Drive or Dropbox are sufficiently safe for sharing a large number of files. However, some data is so valuable that it deserves greater security,” says Martin Baroš, with a bitter smile. “I got the idea after having a rather unpleasant personal experience.” He started a business four years ago that supplied modern technologies to schools. Although it was his first business, everything ran smoothly until the end of 2012. Then he lost a contract for almost 2 million crowns because one of his competitors discovered the details. An illustrative picture of data encryption. In the background, Martin Baroš and Vlastimil Klima.

“We had been sending details about the contract to one another using normal e-mails,” Baroš admits. “It was an unpleasant experience, but it made me look for tools to protect my data. I wasn’t able to find any system that would fulfill my requirements, so I decided to develop one myself.” He was able to get Vlastimil Klima, one of the world’s leading experts on encryption, excited about his idea. He put together a team of four developers, has obtained 10 million crowns of funding from an investor, and after two years of work he is ready to market his product. Baroš believes that Cryptelo can be another Czech application which will be globally successful. “We wanted to develop user-friendly software for normal people without compromising on security. This is a combination that is unique world-wide,” says Baroš. 20 2015

Cryptelo functions almost like your Google Drive. You save a file, decide who you want to share it with, and then you can work with it together in the cloud. You can be sure that no unauthorized person will read your document. Not even the service provider, which otherwise has access to data that you put on it. Your data leaves your computer already encrypted, and for you to be able to access Cryptelo, you have to authorize yourself using your mobile phone, so there is no need to provide physical protection for the servers in which the data is stored, unlike with Google or Dropbox. Not even the key is stored, so if somebody unauthorized were to gain access to your data, he still would not be able to do anything with it.

Klíma says it is the most complex encryption that he has developed so far. “Theoretically, you could break the code, but you would have to try out each of the combinations. A human life is not long enough for that. So it is in effect unbreakable,” Klíma explains. Adjusted using the article: The unbreakable code - Pavel Kalouš, FORBES, February 2015, p. 112-113.

The Czech start-up Cryptelo was officially founded in July 2014, but the team had already been working to develop systems for secure data sharing for several years. Martin Baroš started his business in 2011 in the CTU InovaJET business incubator. Read more about Cryptelo at www.cryptelo.com.

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


NEW TECHNOLOGIES

Steel-fiber-reinforced concrete protects the environment and saves money In this day and age we can hardly imagine the construction business without the use of concrete. Concrete is characterized by high compressive strength. So-called ultra-high-strength concretes have become more and more popular in recent years, because they enable complicated lightweight structures of various shapes to be constructed. The ultra-high-strength concrete that has been patented by CTU is better still. We use recycled materials to produce the concrete, and in this way we save not only production costs but also the environment. Concretes are divided into light, heavy, self-compacting, sprayed, high-strength, ultra-high-strength and various other categories, according to their characteristics. The desired properties of a type of concrete are achieved by using suitably selected mixtures. In recent years, scientists have focused their attention on ultra-strong concrete. The use of this type of concrete reduces the amount of material needed to build even very demanding and complex structures. At a time when environmental protection has become a matter of increasing importance, there is great interest in using materials that maximize the durability of buildings. Concrete production is 12 times greater now than it was 50 years ago, and it is still growing. This is leading to depletion of the primary sources of raw materials needed for concrete production. Describing future developments in the use of high-quality concretes, Josef Fládr, a member of the research team at CTU, says, “The use of environmentfriendly materials for sustainable development is very important nowadays. There are platforms that evaluate the sustainability of the structure of a building. This is a worldwide trend, and the long-term sustainability of a structure can now be evaluated within the LEED, BREEAM or SBToolCZ certification processes. Before too long, construction standards will require buildings to be certified with these tools. Ultra-highstrength concrete is a promising material, and achieves good ratings.” High-quality concretes are mainly used in road construction, particularly for building bridges. They are also used in the construction of high-rise buildings and structures subjected to extreme stresses, for example in the construction of power plants and dams, or in the baseboards for production halls where heavy machinery is operated. These concretes are also useful for structures

Bridges are an important element of the infrastructure. In the EU countries, their service life is planned to be 100 years. However, a bridge built of high-strength concrete has a lifetime of about 200 years, and it will have a slimmer structure. (JR)

that need to be slender or subtle, but that are at the same time subjected to great stresses. The concrete that has been developed at CTU falls into the category of ultra-high-strength steel fiber reinforced concretes. It has been designed for use in demanding applications and in products for special lightweight structures. The strength in compression of this concrete achieves levels of 140 MPa to 180 MPa. Ultra-high-strength concrete is achieved by applying suitably selected basalt aggregates in proportions that prevent the steel fiber sagging. The fibers are evenly distributed throughout the structure. The composition of this concrete also leads to other advantages, such as high resistance to weather conditions and to chemicals, and resistance to sudden overloading. During the hardening process, the volume changes due to shrinkage and creep are not so great as in

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague

other concretes. “The use of recycled materials is another advantage that our concrete offers. Instead of newly-manufactured wires, we use cord wires from used tires and old metal bands. Although the composition ratio is different from the composition ratio for widely-used concretes, companies can produce our concrete with standard machinery and locally available raw materials, which makes production cheaper,” Josef Fládr says. JM

For further information about the commercial use of this patented high-strength concrete developed at CTU, please contact Marek Houda, houda@inovacentrum.cvut.cz.

2015 21


NEW TECHNOLOGIES

Plasma built up surfaces significantly extend the service life of machinery The most stressed parts of a machine have a shorter lifetime than the machine itself. These parts need to be replaced, and this is a major expense for manufacturing companies. Plasma surfacing with a wearresistant layer on the base material is a solution for highly stressed parts. A surface with improved properties will significantly extend the lifetime of the part. The overlay adheres better and is stronger than a layer applied by other available methods. Three ways of surfacing the base material are widely used nowadays: the MAG method (arc surfacing in a shielding atmosphere), plasma surfacing and laser surfacing. MAG is the cheapest method, but it does not provide ideal surface homogeneity. Laser surfacing ensures an almost entirely homogeneous layer, but it is very expensive. Plasma surfacing ensures excellent homogeneity and is much cheaper than laser surfacing. This makes it a very attractive technology. Due to abrasion or corrosion, pressing worms and excavator shovels are usually damaged much earlier than the rest of the equipment of which they are components. If the service life of each of the components of a device is approximately the same, they do not have to be replaced individually, and this is highly economical. Otherwise, it is necessary not only to purchase a new component but also to take the production line out of operation and stop work to replace the component, which is very expensive. The solution is to increase the lifetime of stressed components by surfacing them with a more durable material that will last longer than the base material. This is done by melting down the filler material in the form of a powder and letting it solidify on the original material. Then the coating is machined to the desired shape. The built-up coating is metallurgically interconnected with the base material, so separation or cracking is almost impossible. A coating 1-10 mm in thickness can be built up, which is significantly thicker than other surfacing methods allow for. The plasma surfacing technique can be improved by finding the ratio of the surfacing mixtures that meets the exact needs of a specific user. Almost any mixture of materials and combinations of materials can be built up using powder additive materials. An overlay optimally suited to the client’s needs can be developed. The need to choose the additional material from suppliers’ data sheets is a limiting factor 22 2015

Plug control valve (Stellite 6 weld)

Circumferential weld

Punch glass molds (Stellite 21 weld)

that can be eliminated by mixing the powders right before they enter the plasma.

at CTU. We believe that we are able to develop a mixture for building up new layers that will double the lifetime of the press,” says Pavel Rohan, from the Institute of Engineering Technology at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.

There is a modern plasma surfacing workplace in the laboratory of welding technology at CTU in Prague, with equipment lent by KSK Ltd, the company that manufactures it. The laboratory has highly experienced and respected professionals in the field of surfacing on its staff, and is therefore in an excellent position to investigate various additives to the basic powder mixtures, and to test the properties of the resulting overlays. “We are currently working on a request from one of our partner companies to supply technology units for separating oils from plants. The main parts, the presses, are subjected to abrasion and to chemical impacts at temperatures up to 200°C, and this currently limits the service life of the whole technological equipment. It is necessary to shut down the entire manufacturing process to replace the press, and our partner is therefore interested in prolonging its lifetime and preventing loss of production due to shutdowns. As the partner company cannot solve the problem internally, it welcomes cooperation with our institute

However, the potential of the Institute of Engineering Technology reaches far beyond satisfying the needs of a single client. New surfacing composites can be tested for other producers of technological equipment, for example for surfacing blow molds in the glass industry. Companies engaged in producing the mixtures could start producing modified recipes for new compounds with greater market potential. Not only manufacturers benefit from the new special CTU workplace. It is also very beneficial for students and doctoral students involved in developing additional materials and in evaluating claddings. They have an opportunity to work on research and development for real products that will soon come into use in practical applications. AH

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


NEW TECHNOLOGIES

Artificial muscles can restore the activity of damaged human hearts Biological muscle, the most perfect movement mechanism, has evolved naturally over hundreds of millions of years. The dream of many scientists working on developing artificial muscle is to get closer to the perfection of biological muscle. In future, their work could save the lives of many patients with a damaged heart, e.g. after a heart attack, who would otherwise have to wait for an organ from a donor. An actuator - an artificial muscle - will be inserted into the damaged ventricle or atrium of the heart and will ensure that the injured part continues to pump blood as if it were healthy. Actuators also have great potential for use in electromechanics, in robotics and wherever it is necessary to ensure the movement of a certain part or component of a mechanical device. Actuators are electromechanical transducers that convert information to movement - for example, a command to change direction is converted by the actuator into the mechanical energy needed to deflect the current direction of motion of a machine. Nowadays there are pneumatic actuators, which require the presence of equipment for producing air pressure, while other actuators use electric motors. Some are based on the properties of modern materials, such as Shape Memory Alloys (SMA), or they use electrostriction or magnetostriction methods. However, they can be slow and clumsy, and they require high voltage electric power. Actuators based on electroactive elastomeric polymers (EAP) are the most promising current development. The team headed by Prof. Vaclav Bouda, from the Department of Electrotechnology at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of CTU and from the First Faculty of Medicine at Charles University, goes even further. They are attempting to design and produce a form of artificial muscle based on an electroactive elastomer formed by nanofibers according to newly discovered physical principles of the functions of striated mammalian muscle cells. The new type of actuator almost emulates the biological parameters of skeletal muscle, and it is much more feasible than conventional actuators or currentlyavailable EAP-based actuators. Its main advantage is its modular structure, which enables the creation of actuators varying in form from nanometric cells to the linear motors of large machines. It may use a very much lower operating voltage, and be much cheaper to produce than current actuators.

The new type of actuator can be used not only in cardiac surgery, where it can potentially replace the function of a damaged part of a human heart without the need for a transplant, or in surgical and orthopedic medicine as an active implant. It has the potential to be applied in a wide range of fields of human activity - in robotics, in electronics, in the automotive, aerospace and defense industries, and in space technology and other related fields. Professor Bouda’s team will be working on different ways of constructing the new actuator in years to come - they plan to try 3D printing, or to use the nanofibers produced by a Liberec-based company, and they will also investigate the spontaneous growth of nanofibers on a special pad. “The most perfect actuator of all has been under development for a very long time. Following evolution over many millions of years, the first actuator appeared in the mouth of prehistoric cartilaginous fish 450 million years ago. It helped the fish to press its jaws together quickly and thus to become a predator. Human muscle is the most perfect biological linear actuator. If we are able to use nanofibers thin enough to imitate the natural size of muscle fibers, and if the problem of supplying artificial muscle with enough electricity can be solved, we will get close to this ideal and we can even go better,” Professor Bouda says. Currently, Artificial Muscle Inc. (AMI), owned by Bayer MaterialScience LLC, is thought to be the only major manufacturer and supplier of artificial muscles based on EAP. If artificial muscle cells cannot be manufactured by a new principle within the Czech Technical University, the license for producing a new

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague

The first functional sample of the actuator was built in 2008 at CTU. The new samples in which nanotechnologies will be used are currently under construction.

actuator may be offered to AMI first. The end market is potentially very large, and will depend on the degree of use of standard actuators, and on the absorption capacity. The invention is protected by US, Japanese and Eurasian patents, by a Czech utility model, and by Czech and European patent applications. AH

2015 23


INVITATION

Become an ambassador and help Prague to host major scientific congresses Are you aware that Prague has great potential for organizing prestigious international congresses and conferences? These events do not necessarily have to be organized by a famous international organization. Czech scientists can and do set up and organize large congresses themselves. The Ambassador Program of the Prague Convention Bureau supports Czech scientists in their efforts to attract large international congress organizers to choose Prague as the venue for their next big scientific event.

Inovacentrum magazine of technology transfer at CTU 4th edition Published: June 2015 ISSN 2336-3371 Publisher: Inovacentrum CTU in Prague Bílá 6, 160 00 Prague 6 - Dejvice Czech Republic IČ: 68407700 www.inovacentrum.cvut.cz Editor-in-chief: Alexandra Helmichová helmichova@inovacentrum.cvut.cz

(JK)

Contributors: Alexandra Helmichová (AH) Aneta Zemanová (AZ) Jan Štěpánek (JŠ) Jan Malý (JM)

Are you a member of the international scientific community who wants the next congress or conference of your organization to be held here in Prague? You should join the Prague Convention Bureau’s Ambassador Program. Belonging to the community of congress ambassadors brings prestige and considerable advantages. It will raise your profile among colleagues at local and international level, and it will help you to raise revenues for your university, project, section or company. Organizing an international congress in Prague provides a great opportunity to transfer knowledge from the Czech Republic to colleagues all round the world. You will also attract the attention of the media and the public, and enhance the reputation of your field of specialization.

cessful event. The Prague Convention Bureau can help you to obtain special congress services, such as congress cards that entitle participants to use public transport without charge as a part of their conference package, or to apply for congress tourism funding of up to one million Czech crowns. Start actively lobbying for Prague and join the scientific, program or organizing committee. We will be happy to welcome you at one of our educational and networking breakfasts presenting Why and How to Run an International Congress in Prague. The Ambassador program of the Prague Convention Bureau organizes these events on a regular basis. JŠ

Design and layout: Julie Krovová

The Ambassador Program supports congress ambassadors in every step of the process of organizing a congress or conference: in planning, in submitting an application, and in promoting and organizing your congress event. The program also helps organizers to obtain the funding that is necessary for a suc-

Contact us at:

Distribution: free of charge

24 2015

Prague Convention Bureau Rytířská 398/26, 110 00 PRAHA 1 Tel.: +420 224 235 159, email: info@pragueconvention.cz Web: www.pragueconvention.cz/ cz/ambassador-program/

Translation: Alexandra Helmichová Markéta Zeithamová Tomáš Mikyška English editor: Robin Healey

Photography: Jiří Ryszawy (JR) Julie Krovová (JK) Printer: Grafotechna Print, s.r.o. Circulation: 1000 copies

Connecting Science and Commerce

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


Inovacentrum CTU - your partner for investing in the development of R&D and Innovation Centers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Connect with world-class scientists and leading experts We can use our personal contacts to put you in close touch with experts from all fields of modern R&D at the Czech Technical University in Prague, and with many professionals at other Czech and Slovak universities.

Get access to unique knowhow We can provide access to intellectual property at the Czech Technical University and contacts with people who handle unique know-how at other universities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Gain knowledge of the specifics of the local environment We can familiarize you with the government structure, public agencies, associations and other important organizations involved in supporting innovation and R&D in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Benefit from public funding and local tax incentives We can help you to take advantage of local public funding and tax incentives, and to grasp every opportunity. Our in-house team of experienced professionals has a long track record of applying successfully for funding from public sources, and of administering clients’ projects.

Inovacentrum Bílá 2571/6 160 00 Praha 6 - Dejvice Czech republic www.inovacentrum.cvut.cz

Contact us: Alžběta Plachá placha@inovacentrum.cvut.cz +420 777 456 939

Inovacentrum CTU is a university center for cooperation with companies in the Czech Republic and abroad. Inovacentrum provides comprehensive services to everybody wanting to use the expert knowledge and services available at any university in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but primarily from the oldest and most prestigious Czech technical university, which has top R&D professionals in electrical, mechanical, bioPHGLcal and civil engineering, transportation sciences, nuclear sciences and physical engineering, architecture and information technology.


INOVACENTRUM 2015  

Magazine of technoloy transfer at CTU in 2015

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you