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EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

Ing. Jaroslav Burčík, Ph.D. Director of Inovacentrum

In this issue of the Inovacentrum magazine you will find plenty of inspiring reading. There is an interview with Prof. Pedro Saraiva from the University in Coimbra in Portugal, an experienced expert on technology transfer. His University is similar in size and in conditions to the Czech Technical University, and Portugal is a country similar in size and conditions to the Czech Republic. Prof. Saraiva has been a scientist for the last twenty years, and as a member of the Portuguese Parliament he tries to encourage both his alma mater and his country to make more use of the technologies invented at the University. Sustainable development is the only possible way for the future.

There is also an interesting article by Tomáš Vyhlídal about his team’s efforts within the framework of a European programme to establish conditions for preserving historical sites in the best possible state. This task is made still more demanding by climate change. The main topic of this issue is InovaJET, our business incubator. In InovaJET, we provide support for students and young graduates who are not afraid to start up a new company. I appreciate their courage in starting up a new business. In InovaJET, we are ready to help them to start up their company with the help of our new three-phase development programme. We have already tested the first phase, and after one year it is bearing fruit. Advantageous prices for rent and services are not the only assets that we invest in: we put a great deal into the personal development of the businessmen who pass through InovaJET. We co-operate with experienced experts and mentors who fulfill their requirements on an individual basis. The mentors are in most cases successful businessmen who can advise on technical aspects of starting up a new company, and who add the kind of good advice that cannot be found on any training course. We have confirmed that investing in people is more effective than investing in material things. New businessmen consult their business plans and their own self-development with experts. They learn how to cross their “death valley” and build up a prospering company. We feel good about helping people who may well form the backbone of the future economy of a healthy country. We firmly believe in this. I wish you inspiring reading,

magazine of technology transfer at CTU Publisher: Inovacentrum CTU in Prague Jugoslávských partyzánů 3 160 00 Prague 6 - Dejvice Czech Republic IČ: 68407700 www.inovacentrum.cvut.cz info@inovacentrum.cvut.cz Published: February 2013 Editor in chief: Alexandra Hradečná hradecna@inovacentrum.cvut.cz Contributors: Alexandra Hradečná (AHR) Tereza Zemánková (TZEM) Michal Zuza Tomáš Vyhlídal Jan Rybníček, Tomáš Stöhr Translation: Jana Odehnalová Alexandra Hradečná

Jaroslav Burčík Inovacentrum

Language corrections: Robin Healey

Table of contents 2012, a good year for Inovacentrum CTU

2

Inovacentrum Sales Department – room for new challenges

3

The key to success is a motivated researcher

4

Turning good science into very good companies and very good patents

6

Round table discussions and coffee breaks leading to contracts

9

Telefónica Czech Republic – a new partner of InovaJET

9

New name, new way: InovaJET

10

InovaJET: An excellent start for student businessmen

11

Education at your Fingertips

13

InovaJET: Closeness to the University has its advantages

14

Is your life an OpenBook? Start writing your own story

15

References

16

SMART will help start-ups expand to foreign markets

16

Algorithms from the CTU help to protect European cultural heritage

17

Some tips for setting up a company

18

Lean management methods lead to higher productivity in research and technology centres

19

PRINCE2® for our academics

20

Series of law seminars for start-ups with CMS

20

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague

Inovacentrum

Design and layout: Julie Dürrová durrova@inovacentrum.cvut.cz Cover page in cooperation with Drawetc. www.drawetc.cz Photography: Jiří Ryszawy (JR) Julie Dürrová (JD) iStockphoto Printer: Grafotechna Print, s.r.o.

Connecting Science and Commerce

February 2013 1


ABOUT US

2012, a good year for Inovacentrum CTU Inovacentrum CTU underwent some important changes in 2012. We tripled our number of sales representatives in order to win more commissions. We started a technology transfer department specializing in the whole process of transferring a technology to its practical real-life implementation. We doubled our office space to accommodate our new staff as well as more start-up companies. Our business incubator received a brand new name – InovaJET, along with its new management strategy. We did well in 2012, and we hope to perform even better in 2013, and bring our university another step closer to companies in the Czech Republic and in Europe. Photo: InovaJET - new facade of Inovacentrum’s incubator (JD)

Facts and Figures for 2012: Commissions: 300 open commissions, 25 completed; CZK 8,5 mil. in commissions; 52 cooperating industrial partners Public funds: CZK 144,85 mil. in submitted projects; CZK 94,4 mil. in projects won; ten companies used our public fund advisory and management services Technology transfer: 10 commercialization projects were started; we cooperated with 8 universities in the Czech Republic and abroad; 21 expert opinions and reports were mediated , 29 technology profiles were filled in and submitted; 1 license was sold

Photo: New reception and resting area at the reconstructed offices. (JD)

Start-up support: 28 companies were supported; 24 workshops were organized; 5 consultation days were held Promotion of CTU expert work: 4 press conferences were organized; 12 articles were published in the printed press; 2 magazines were published Round table discussions: 4 round table discussions were organized; 60 representatives from 21 companies participated; 80 representatives of CTU participated Seminars, courses and field trips: 12 seminars, 5 courses and 4 one-day training sessions were organized; 55 CTU representatives made field trips to companies 2 February 2013

Photo: Two small meeting rooms at the reconstructed offices. (JD)

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


INTERVIEW

Inovacentrum Sales Department – room for new challenges Inovacentrum has had a separate sales department since 2010. For more than two years, our sales representatives have been seeking to develop mutually beneficial collaboration between scientists and industrial partners. Industrial and university partners both acknowledge that the situation has been on an upward trend. We asked some questions to Libor Hrstka, head of the sales department: Libor, what has been the most significant change in the last two years? Can you give a specific example? I must emphasize that during its existence our sales department has already achieved some of the targets that it had set itself. Our major clients include a large company engaged in radio engineering - a total of 18 people worked on their project and the job was done perfectly. I get great pleasure from knowing that the project is running without complications and that there is good communication. From the beginning, we introduced a “business approach”, which I loosely interpret as taking into account the specific academic and university environment. We are looking for links between researchers, industry and project management so that we can deliver the desired results within the agreed period of time. Here, we have to bear in mind the feedback from our industrial environment. We listen actively to our partners and select opportunities for cooperation. It is important to set the points of contact and compliance. Academic life and industrial life are two different worlds, but they both need each other. What do companies look for in a university? What is attractive for them? CTU educates outstanding and talented students, who are a resource for companies. I would even refer to them as potential capital for companies. These future employees of companies introduce new scientific knowledge, methods and know-how. The varied breadth of the university’s faculties, combined with professional project management and specific expertise, is another appealing factor. These two factors make company managers reflect on the possibility of assigning a task to CTU, and in some cases the possibility of providing longterm support for certain laboratories. The university and its departments gain valuable experience from working on topics directly related to the real work

of companies. Certainly there is a need to define the theme and the time scale, and to oversee the subsequent agenda. In this way, the project moves away from being basic research into the area of targeted applied research, and then into a practical application. How will this potential develop in our market? Do you think that companies will gradually shift their research to the universities? Companies on the Czech and European market will definitely not stop doing research of their own. However, they will want to enrich their targeted research with expert professional opinions and advice. In the end, it doesn´t matter to them which university takes on research for them. Companies are looking for sites which will give them what they need in the quality that they want. In my opinion, the universities are in competition with each other, especially in terms of orders from reputable and established companies in the market - for example Siemens and ABB, who greatly influence and shape the market. The Inovacentrum sales department also targets big players with demanding requirements that set us challenging tasks. These companies not only offer interesting topics for us to work on, but also great opportunities for cooperation. Generally speaking, getting well established has not been easy. Can you give some examples of companies that Inovacentrum has established a successful partnership with? For example, Microtherm CZ (Police nad Metují), and PRE. We work with a number of successful small companies and with some multinationals. Companies sometimes offer us specific gifts. For example, a company called Facea funded some equipment for our mechanical testing laboratory. It is a form of promotion and sponsorship, and I see it as a courtesy to the university.

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague

(JR)

Libor Hrstka Libor Hrstka has many years of experience in the introduction of new technology products to domestic and foreign markets. His work experience includes the position of sales and project manager at Metal Produkt Servis Praha, industrialization manager of Cadence Innovation and a director of ALFORM. He holds project management certificates from Robot Technology GmbH and from Sheffield Hallam Business School. He was appointed the Head of Inovacentrum´s sales department in 2010. Which one of your results are you most proud of? What has your team been doing best? And what are your future plans? I detect a significant shift in the perception of Inovacentrum at the Czech Technical University. We are now seen as partners who add value to the expert work of academics at CTU, and who perform our duties well with corporate clients. Over this period of two years, the volume of orders, assigned projects and clients has been increasing, and clients are returning, which makes us happy. Future plans are to maintain and strengthen these trends. I would like to extend our sales department with business consultants who will be able to deal with specific topics. AHR February 2013 3


INTERVIEW

The key to success is a motivated researcher Jana Peroutková has been involved in promoting co-operation between scientists and companies for more than seven years. She started in the Tripod project, which became the Centre for Cooperation with Industry, and after that became the present-day Inovacentrum at the Czech Technical University in Prague. This year she was appointed manager of the newly-opened technology transfer department at Inovacentrum. We asked her several questions: Jana, could you explain the term technology transfer to our readers? I do not think it is completely obvious what it refers to. I understand this is a somewhat obscure term. There are many definitions of technological transfer. In simple terms, technological transfer in the broadest sense is the transfer of know-how, experience, technologies and new solutions from science to practical applications, and there are various ways in which it can be done. Most typically, there is a co-operation contract between a company and a university, or the formation of a company whose business is based on scientific or research results. We can then add in services such as scientific publications, and organizing scientific training sessions, active participation in conferences, consultancies, expert analyses, and direct sales of new solutions in the form of licences. Technology transfer involves commercializing intellectual property in the form of selling licences and copyrights for making use of intellectual property. This is the narrowest sense of technological transfer, and it is the special agenda of our technology transfer department. We sell solutions created at the University for use in practical applications. Why did Inovacentrum decide to form a separate technology transfer department? I think that the time had come. We have been supporting the practical implementation of scientific erudition, expert opinions and knowledge, and attempting to interconnect the university and the commercial world. This year the demand for putting specific results of research and development into practice has grown, so we need to systematize the whole process. This is the main reason for setting up a separate department inside Inovacentrum. We would like to anchor the rules of technology transfer, strengthen the management of individual cases, form a wider community of external experts among investors and

4 February 2013

Photo: Knowledge transfer (iStockphoto, Akindo)

big corporations, and create a special fund for supporting these activities. The department opened at the beginning of 2013. There was also a financial reason for planning a new, separate department. The return time for funds invested in our department’s activities is on an average more than five years. We therefore needed secure funds first, and now we can invest them in our technology transfer department. I think the whole process is very valuable when we inform the public and the world of industry and commerce about the results of research carried out at the university. Through the mediation of big financial houses we communicate with big multinational companies and we start new kinds of co-operation. We also strengthen our relationships with our researchers and our position as a guidepost and a matchmaker between universities and the outside world. Our three principles are responsibility, credibility and high quality. It may sound like empty words, but these values still need to be affirmed.

What are the plans for your department in the next few years? They are quite imposing. In brief, I can say we want to build and administer a portfolio of our university’s intellectual property. Unlike some databases now existing at the university, we do not plan to create files of intellectual property or some kind of passive register within the shortest time possible. On the contrary, we would like to start at the bottom and add intellectual property on which we will have plenty of information, and which we will be able to evaluate from the commercial point of view. Administering files means supporting individual technologies, providing protection, assessing commercial potential, marketing, finding an investor or a customer, etc. This will involve ongoing assessment of fee levels and efficiency, control of payments for licences that are sold, and dividing funds among research teams. Inovacentrum at the Czech Technical University offers all these services, and can provide portfolio administration.

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


INTERVIEW What is the attitude of scientists to technology transfer? We consider personal contact with researchers and scientists very important. The key to success is a motivated researcher who really wants to see the results of his or her work used in practical applications. We want to offer researchers and scientists clear conditions and good-quality services. It is their own decision, or the university’s decision, whether they want to commercialize the results of their work. It takes a certain type of personality to commercialize research work, and not all scientists can accept that kind of role. That is all right. For example, the results of basic research are not ready for trading, but their importance for the university and for society is indisputable. By the way, it is statistically proven that universities with higher incomes from trading their intellectual property also have better results in the sphere of basic research. I want to say that basic and applied research are interconnected. It is not a matter of deciding which type of research is to be promoted - both types support each other. We often emphasize this fact against the objection that science should serve general welfare and higher goals, and that it should not be for sale. The situation is quite the opposite, in our point of view. The results of applied science should be used in practical applications, and trading profits should be given back to scientific teams so that they can further develop their work. The interaction between university and trade leads to important new directions for basic research. This interaction is very desirable and beneficial for everybody concerned.

You have been working in the sphere of cooperation between university and companies for several years. How do you compare the situation in the past and the situation at the present time? I think that this cooperation has been developing very quickly in some spheres. Several years ago, this kind of cooperation took the form mainly of lectures, seminars, public discussions and meetings between representatives of companies and academics. There was sometimes a joint project or some random cooperation, mainly financed from public funds. Nowadays there are specialized services and offices at

“Our three principles are responsibility, credibility and high quality.” individual universities. In addition to contract research regulated by demand, there are more technological start-ups and services to support them. This takes the form of services, mentoring and drawing on experience, rather than material back-up. There are more stakeholders. The initial industrial company-university-state triangle is being supplemented by finance houses and private investors. There is a specific capital market for seed and venture investments. This is on an international scale, because the national market is too small for most solutions. There has been somewhat slower development in seeking and developing mutually agreeable cooperation between university and industry. In simple terms, a university is not and does not want to be a commercial or business company. At the same

(JR)

Jana Peroutková Jana Peroutková is a graduate of the University of Economics in Prague. She has been with Inovacentrum (then Tripod) for more than 7 years. Her expertise includes over five years experience with management of publicly funded projects aimed at supporting research teams, collaboration between universities and companies and technology transfer. In 2012 she was appointed the head of a newly established department for technology transfer. time, in some respects universities have to change their old routines and make it possible for commercial and industrial companies to cooperate with them. This mutual balancing, co-operative tuning and looking for win-win solutions is a rather fragile process. In my opinion, it is a never-ending task, which we at Inovacentrum are happy to take on. AHR

(JD) Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague

February 2013 5


INTERVIEW

If you have very good science, you can turn it into very good companies and very good patents. Pedro Manuel Saraiva is a non-executive board member of SPI, an innovation and technology consultancy in Portugal. He is a full professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Coimbra specializing in Technology Transfer, Quality Management and Systems Engineering Processes and Products. He is also a member of the Portuguese parliament. During his visit to the Czech Republic he gave presentations on the importance of technology transfer for the future of Europe. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to ask him several questions.

Photo: The tower of the University of Coimbra (Andreas Trepte, 2007)

Professor Saraiva, in your presentation you compared your home university with the Czech Technical University and mentioned that we have similar conditions when it comes to promoting technology transfer. Is that really the case? Yes, I come from the University of Coimbra, which is about the size of CTU, but it covers the full spectrum of knowledge. We have a school of humanities, a law school, a medical school, and science and technology schools. So our university is less technical than yours, but we have around 21 thousand students, which makes our university similar to yours. Our university is one of the oldest in Europe (1290) and it is located in the center of Portugal. Coimbra is a university town with 140 000 inhabitants, 21 000 of whom are students and around 1700 are faculty members. Lately we have been trying to promote an environment in which the university is a creator of wealth and employment for the city and for the country.

6 February 2013

How long have you been personally engaged in technology transfer? Whenever and wherever there is emerging knowledge, there is some kind of transfer. For the last twenty years we have been trying to adapt to the third mission of universities. Twenty years ago we set-up our science-based incubator, because we felt we needed to start an independent entity to support our ongoing entrepreneurial activities. Later, we opened an IP office within the incubator. The incubator is a legal entity on its own, but it is very much controlled by the university. Ten years ago we moved to the next logical step and opened a technology transfer office, a central point for knowledge transfer from all faculties of the university. In our efforts we believe we have a lot to learn from the outside world, and from companies. We transfer knowledge from the university to the outside world and we transfer knowledge from the outside world to the university. Our TTO started with a lean structure. We just had one full-time person committed to the project. Now it has 5 full-time people cooperating very closely with the IP office and the

incubator. Right now we are building a business accelerator under the same terms of operation as the incubator. We have around 140 companies in the incubation process and we are lucky to have had a very high survival rate. Eighty percent of those companies are on the market and are feeling that they need to grow even faster. That is why the business accelerator seems like the next logical step. It seems that just around every 5 years we need to put another piece into the technology transfer puzzle, and we have been building our puzzle step-by-step in a cautious but consistent way. In close cooperation with the municipality of Coimbra we are trying to build a technology park, because we believe that some of these companies, after they have incubated and gone through the accelerator, will need to rent a large scale facility and we need to be able to offer land and infrastructure on a sufficient scale. We want to accommodate our companies throughout the whole process of their growth, from identifying the right PhD students to having a large production company in the technology park. These are the forthcoming challenges.

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


INTERVIEW Have the incubator and the technology center always been profitable? We have not been losing money. Our goal is for the technology transfer office not to cost more than the revenues it can generate. Our revenues have grown since the beginning. Some years are better than others, but in general there is a balance between what we cost and what we can generate. In the incubator we try to cover the operating costs with the revenues. For investments in buildings and infrastructure, we have mostly been supported by the European structural funds. You said you were trying to learn from industry. Is it difficult to make the two worlds – university and industry – connect and understand each other? That is a classic obstacle you have to deal with. As I mentioned, we started 20 years ago and we still have a long way to go. These truly are different worlds that in some sense seem to be converging. It is not an easy interfacing process, because the timing is totally different. Some companies want solutions for the next day, and it is very unlikely that the university is going to be able to meet that requirement. That is why I keep referring to two-way transfer. You have to try to understand both worlds and in some cases make companies understand the role of the university, make them understand that if they are looking for a very precise solution in the next minute, maybe we are not the right partner for them to do business with. But everybody learns in the process, and companies soon get to know what they can expect from universities and we understand the different needs of businesses of different sizes. We try to bring the two cultures closer to each other. And that takes a lot of time. The critical issue is finding highly-skilled professionals, people who understand both sides. They are not very common, maybe one in a million. They are very hard to find, but if you look hard enough, you will find some people who have worked in a high scale science lab, but have also gained some managerial experience, and have worked for a company. You have to find such people and bring them in, they are critical; otherwise it is very difficult for relationships to happen. You have to find people who can talk with people on both sides, match the two languages and provide interpretations all the time. And then you need a lot of patience and persistence. You need to lead by example.

What is the most interesting thing that you have transferred, something you are really proud of? We have various channels for transferring knowledge. I remember a municipality close to Coimbra, where they have a really small highland near their town. The mayor of the town wanted to know what they could do with the highland and with their river, which was not far away from it. My first thoughts as the vicerector back then were “I don’t know what we’re going to do with this problem”. However, we found that we had some people in our civil engineering department who had studied the hydrodynamics of that river, and we found someone in our humanities department who had studied what went on in that town a hundred years ago. We then brought all this knowledge together, and I was very pleased because one week later I realized that we had all the knowledge that was needed in house. Back then I realized that if you put different types of knowledge together, you can probably solve any problem in the world. A typical feature of knowledge is that we don’t know where it is, and we have to go looking for it.

Pedro Manuel Saraiva Prof. Pedro Saraiva is Non-Executive Director of SPI innovation and technology consultancy. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Coimbra, specializing in Technology Transfer, Quality Management and Systems Engineering Processes and Products. He is also a Member of Parliament in Portugal.

“You have to try to understand both worlds, university and industry. The critical issue is finding highlyskilled professionals, people who understand both sides, who can match the two languages and provide interpretations all the time. If you are able to put different types of knowledge together, you can probably solve any problem in the world.” And then when I think of our spin-offs, I must say one of our flagships is Critical Software. It started with 3 PhD students from our computer science department 11 years ago. They started a company. They won a business idea competition. The company passed through the incubator, and now it is a large software house with its headquarters in Coimbra and offices in Lisbon, Romania, the UK, Brazil and the United States. Now they have more than 300 qualified people working for them. They went through the whole integrated pipeline of knowledge transfer and did the right things at the right time, and they are still very close to the university. They employ other PhD students. They’ve even created their own venture capital fund for the ICT sector, because they realized how important it

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague

had been for them to get initial funding, and now they help other students to establish new start-ups. This is one of our flagships that has helped to change the culture and attitudes towards spinoffs at the university. The academics have good feelings about the existence of this particular company and other similar companies. This is another example of why we are very proud to have all this going on. A third thing that we are proud of is our IP protection policy. About 10 years ago we started building up a portfolio of patents that belonged to the university. Three years ago we sold the first patent out of the university. I sometimes joke that it only took 718 years after the foundation of the university for this to happen. It is another

February 2013 7


INTERVIEW milestone in fulfilling the 3rd role of the university. Now there are 30 companies every year just started, 15 of which are spin-offs with very close involvement of our faculty members. Every year we license one patent, and I really can’t imagine the university going back to what it used to be 20 years ago. Today you won’t see a single faculty member who isn’t proud of our incubator. Our incubator is considered to be one of the best science business incubators in the world, it is very professional. And that is very rewarding. In one of your presentations, you mentioned that you organize coffee discussions with company representatives. What exactly are these discussions, and how do you choose the partners for them? We have two different mechanisms for partnering. One is within the teams of highly-skilled professionals who interact both with researchers and with companies. They spend half of their time outside of the university trying to find challenges and problems that companies may have. Once they visit a company that seems to have an interesting problem, they invite a representative of the company to have a very informal gathering, either in the company or at the university. We invite all potentially interested faculty members and researchers to that gathering. This can be quite a fruitful type of event. People discuss the problems they are facing, and they may end up signing a collaboration agreement. These events are often a good starting point for a solution to a particular problem that can be handled through the technology transfer office. We’ve been trying to conduct this kind of event on a regular basis. Another mechanism that we have employed is a permanent partnership, which is a bit more demanding on both sides. It is for companies that understand how critical it is for them always to be in touch with the production of knowledge in certain areas and eventually to move ahead of their competitors. There can be three types of relationships, at the gold, silver and bronze levels of permanent relationships. Based on the type of relationship, we then conduct regular customer visits. These visits are aimed at identifying mutual projects that could be carried out, etc. It is a special type of relationship in terms of intensity. Company representatives can reach our researchers easily; they are invited to our laboratories and to major events every year. At present we only have a few companies at this level, since we would 8 February 2013

not have the resources to do this for a large number of companies. However, this type of cooperation is very fruitful and promising for the future. We have heard from you that China, Singapore and Saudi Arabia are much better and more successful in knowledge transfer. Is that really the case? It’s not really true. What I tried to say was that they are investing a lot more money than Europe in these areas. And that we should be cautious about it. We try to be as efficient as possible, but with EUR 100 invested in technology transfer you cannot achieve what others are aiming to achieve with investments of EUR 1 million. This is something we should be thinking about very seriously. If you look for example at the amount of venture capital applied in China, South Africa or Israel, you realize how weak Europe is in these fields, although our activities have been growing. In comparative terms, we sometimes invest less in technology transfer than some of the countries you mentioned. And that should be a matter of concern, though in Europe we have set goals for 2020 that are quite aggressive. However, in countries like Portugal and the Czech Republic you have to make an enormous effort to achieve 3 percent of GDP in R&D by 2020. I believe we should put more state and private investment money into technology transfer, not just into science production. So even if the countries that you mentioned are less efficient than we are, with the amount of money they invest in technology transfer, it is likely that they will come up with more results. We need to take technology transfer not only as a national priority, but also as a European priority. For the last couple of years you have been a member of the Portuguese parliament. Does this benefit your technology transfer efforts? Do you see that you can influence your academic colleagues or your colleagues in government, and better convince them about what is needed for technology transfer? The last two years have been a very rewarding experience for me, not just because I’m a member of parliament, but because I’m a member of parliament sitting on the committee for science and education, and on the committee for economics, innovation and entrepreneurship. In this way I have a very nice overview of what is going on in these two different fields that interact with each other on both the national level and the European

level. We can therefore come up with a set of recommendations that we believe are critical, even when Portugal is undergoing a major crisis. But there is no other choice. We are no longer the kind of country that will have jobs and GDP growth based on low labor costs. But if we are able to create more and more intensive knowledge, and transfer it, then we are likely to have a very nice future in the end. I keep that in mind and try to share that notion with my colleagues from the different parties in the parliament, as I think this is one of our national priorities. Technology transfer is the way to go. The Portuguese government is about to launch a program that addresses innovation and entrepreneurship as a critical issue for the country. We are also starting to have our own initiatives within parliament. We are trying to see what other parliaments have been doing in this area, what kinds of laws they have been establishing

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are critical issues and have to be addressed as national priorities. “ in countries like France, Brazil and the UK. We’ll try to establish innovation as a national priority, regardless of who is in parliament or in government at any particular time. Innovation and entrepreneurship are critical issues and have to be addressed as national priorities. The last two years really have been very rewarding for me as I’ve also been able to influence politicians. However, I see myself as an academic, with close relationships to my university, although for now mostly devoted to the role as a member of parliament. I enjoy teaching and I have my own research group in Coimbra, but right now I spend most of my time in Lisbon trying to look at everything from a more global, national, European and worldwide point of view. Prof. Saraiva, thank you very much for your answers! AHR

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


COOPERATION

Round table discussions and coffee breaks leading to contracts Inovacentrum organizes round-table discussions and coffee breaks between representatives of companies and the University. Company representatives at round-table discussions find out about the academic environment, get into contact with researchers, and set up partnerships or co-operation agreements. Inovacentrum has organized several round-table discussions in the last year. For example, ERA, the producer of Věra passive radars, prepared a discussion among experts from several faculties of the Czech Technical University. The company representatives presented projects for future possible co-operation, and the University representatives responded with detailed potential joint projects. After the discussions, thirteen scientists from the university visited ERA in Pardubice.

“I came away from the visit with very good impressions. I can definitely see possibilities for co-operation.” The visit was mutually advantageous, and has led to the co-operation between the company and the university. Prof. Pavel Zahradník said: “I formed a very good impression of ERA, and both sides are interested in collaborating with each other. I only understand the digital signals, but they are working well. They use FPGA Virtex-6 circuits, which are top technology. In the future they will probably need co-operation on signal processing algorithms. Until now they have worked with impulse signals, which develop continuous wave signals. There is good potential for us to co-operate, and I am very interested.” Another expert, Prof. František Vejražka, agrees with Prof. Zahradník. “I came away from the visit with very good impressions. Everything was well prepared, and the problems that were presented are very interesting. I can definitely see possibilities for co-operation. Now it is the company’s turn to address us and invite us to co-operate with them.” In 2013 Inovacentrum plans to organize one coffee break every month, a couple of round table discussions and two dinners for scientists and industry TZEM representatives.

Photo: František Schneider and Jaroslav Burčík signing the contract.

Telefónica Czech Republic – a new partner of InovaJET Inovacentrum, as the operator of InovaJET, the incubator at the Czech Technical University in Prague, entered into cooperation with Telefónica Czech Republic in the middle of May 2012 to offer starting companies cloud technologies on favourable conditions. Companies will now be able to cut their initial investment in IT structures. Telefónica offers start-up companies the opportunity to use Virtual Data Centre and Virtual Desktop within the framework of a 2-year partnership with Inovacentrum of the Czech Technical University. The provider handles the hardware and software, and users do not need to deal with cooling, feeding, backing-up and other aspects of keeping the information structure running smoothly. “Thanks to these products, start-up companies can speed up their business without high costs for hardware, data centres and networks. At the same time they optimize their total costs in the sphere of IT,” says František Schneider, manager of the Telefónica Czech Republic customers division.

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague

Inovacentrum manager Jaroslav Burčík is also happy to be able to extend the range of services provided in the incubator. “Since our InovaJET isn’t large, we try to offer services with high added value. They enable us to support companies that do not necessarily need an office. The O2 cloud service exactly meets the requirements of our students and our start-up companies,” he says. Quanti, a company that develops customized IT, was quick to take up the cloud services. “The cloud solution helps us to deal with two problems: the reliability of our dedicated server, which used to have hardware problems, and dealing with jumping demands, because the cloud solution can adapt to the size of our current contracts,” manager Marek Polčák says. TZEM February 2013 9


INOVAJET

New name - new way: InovaJET InovaJET, the incubator on the Dejvice campus of the Czech Technical University in Prague has been operating for six years. Its doors are open to any students or researchers who have a technical innovation idea and want to start up a business. The aim of InovaJET is to help groups through the start-up procedures and to make them into successful businessmen and women. In the last year, the incubator has undergone noticeable changes, thanks to its new manager, Jana Hodboďová.

We will send your ideas in the right direction

Three phases of a new concept “The new concept has introduced three changes: in the educational system, in consulting, and in mentoring. InovaJET offers not only an advantageous rent but also a range of services in the educational sphere,” Jana Hodboďová says. New companies are taken in three times a year, and they can make use of a comprehensive set of services: legal consultations on starting up a company, courses in economics and finance, and co-operation with an experienced mentor who shares his or her valuable experience with young people. The period in which a company can make use of the advantages of the Incubator is divided into three phases. The first phase usually consists of providing legal advice on setting up a company. The new companies take part in business workshops and in seminars, and they can consult experts in finance, marketing, management and commerce. In the second phase, the company usually takes part in meetings with InovaJET businessmen, they build up a network of contacts, and they can make use of counselling in human resources, accountancy and law. Most companies choose their mentor in this phase.

10 February 2013

Mentoring – experience and energy Mentoring is a programme in which a competent and experienced person provides consultations, professional training and personal training to a specific company. “Our consultants are experts in their field, and they hand on their experience in starting up a company. Mentoring usually takes the form of consultancies on pre-arranged dates, but both sides can agree on individual meetings. The frequency of the meetings depends on the company’s requirements, and on the phase in starting up the business,” Hodboďová explains.

David Miklas, from DO-IT, mainly appreciates how his mentor has taught him to deal with everyday stress. “My mentor mostly advises me on how to increase my personal efficiency. Thanks to him, I am able to plan my time better and I end my working day with a clear head,” he says. An advantageous rent is not the most important consideration In the final phase, companies can draw not only on many seminars and on mentoring. They can also take advice on contracts and legal documents, meet

“InovaJET offers not only an advantageous rent but also a range of services in the educational sphere.” Mentoring services are welcomed by InovaJET participants. They appreciate the opportunity to get new advice, or to discuss their ideas with people with years of experience. Mentoring is also advantageous for the mentors themselves. “Mentors often tell me that exchanging experience with young businessmen energizes them. Contact with young people often gives the mentor a new and fresh view on his own work. Potential future co-operation with a new company is another advantage,” the InovaJET manager adds.

other companies and investors, and they can have their finances checked by an expert. Throughout their period at Inovacentrum, companies rent their offices at an advantageous rate, but this is not the main reason why they decide to make use of the services of the incubator. “Some companies register with InovaJET on the basis of a recommendation from other companies already working in InovaJET, and this is the best indicator for me,” Jana Hodboďová says, with a smile. TZEM

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


INOVAJET

InovaJET: An excellent start for student businessmen DO-IT is an outsourcing company that integrates solutions tailored to clients’ requirements. It has been a member of InovaJET since September 2011. Company founder and manager David Miklas gave an interview to us:

What is the underlying concept of DO-IT?

Generally speaking, what can the Incubator offer to student businessmen?

Our company provides specific IT solutions for our clients, who are mainly companies of various kinds. In fact, we can take the place of an IT department. We are able to provide a complete IT service, beginning with decisions on servers and ending with computers and a helpdesk service. We have technicians who deal with customers’ requirements and solve their problems. We can save half the cost of IT technologies for companies that use our services. We also sell cloud technologies, for which we are an authorized partner of Microsoft. In addition, we rent dedicated and virtual servers, which are located in a data center.

Mainly know-how on how to run a company and how to develop it. Various training sessions in marketing. And the InovaJET infrastructure – very few student businessmen can afford an office, a conference room, a kitchen or a reception area. It is a great opportunity for students who do not yet know what business is about.

Why did you decide to start up in business? In the second year of my university studies I started to do a full work-load in the IT department of a company. I stopped liking it when there was nothing new going on. So I went to an IT outsourcing company, where there was much more to do. I learned a lot of new things, but after a time I found that the quality of the team’s work and its communication with customers was not up to the level I wanted to have. Then I started thinking about setting up my own company. After graduating from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering I started up a new company.

In your opinion, what have been the main advantages of InovaJET? Photo: David Miklas (JH))

InovaJET reduced the cost of starting up a company, and offered us a representative office space in a good location. Many interesting firms are concentrated in InovaJET, so you can develop business relations very well. Thanks to this environment, we are working on some joint projects. At the present time we are collaborating on a big project with SECTION Technologies. Do you make use of the educational services provided by InovaJET? Yes. We have our own mentor, who works most of all on personal growth. His recommendations have helped me to plan my time and organize my work much better. I consider the seminars on business, communication with customers and marketing very useful. These courses are free-of-charge in InovaJET. If I wanted to take part in similar courses outside, they would cost a lot of money.

“We have our own mentor, who works most of all on personal growth. His recommendations have helped me to plan my time and organize my work much better.”

Why did you choose InovaJET? What is the future of your company? I was looking for some office space. I soon found out that reasonably-priced offices are available only in the outskirts of the city. Then I found InovaJET, the Czech Technical University incubator. They not only offered office space at an advantageous price, but also provided support services for new, young companies. At first I didn’t think I would be accepted for InovaJET, but I managed it.

It is difficult to predict the future but I would like to be able to maintain the present rate of growth and become a medium-size company with a stable position on Czech and foreign markets. We want to maintain the present service quality and an individual approach to customers. The Incubator has helped us to start our firm effectively, and we plan to make full use of our good start.

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague

What do you consider to be the biggest success of DO-IT? The increasing numbers of customers and the growth of our company. We have already exceeded my original business plan four times over. Where can readers get more information about your services? On our website www.doit.cz.

TZEM

February 2013 11


INOVAJET

Education at your Fingertips A team of young researchers from InovaJET has been introducing iPads into education at elementary and secondary schools. Section Technologies works on applying mobile platforms, and the company’s flagship project is in support of modern education at schools. Section Technologies offers comprehensive long-term services that go far beyond just delivering the hardware.

Photo: You can send students a paper with just one touch. (JR)

We talked about the Education at your Fingertips project with company manager Martin Baroš:

Your services are comprehensive and long-term. Can you describe your longterm cooperation with schools?

What are the main advantages of using mobile technology in education?

The first part of the project involves setting a strategy. First of all, we try to find out whether the school can make use of our project. At the first meeting we introduce the project at the school, and show how the school can introduce multimedia elements into education. We begin by introducing everything to the teachers, the parents and the students. If teachers and parents agree that the project is interesting and helpful, we can make a plan and start implementing the project. We offer the school the necessary hardware on advantageous terms. For most of our competitors, this would be the end of the project, but for us it is just the beginning. We go on to prepare the infrastructure at the

The main benefits are the extensive use of multimedia, the possibility to use visualisation, interactivity, and many types of exercises that are much more fun than traditional reading and writing exercises. The applications support interaction with 3D models for spatial visualisation, for example, of human anatomy, chemistry, and physics. Human organs, spatial curves and atoms are hard to conceive, but when you use an iPad you can see them and “touch” them. iPads at school also provide new ways to do group work and to communicate at school.

12 February 2013

school, for example a special classroom where the school can make full use of tablets. We also train the teachers. We recommend useful applications to the teachers, and show them how to support group work. We provide ongoing support for the school, we evaluate on a regular basis how well the technologies are running, we propose improvements, and every day we provide information about applications that are available for free download. We want the school to make full and effective use of interactive study. We build up a long-term relationship with the school, and offer long-term support.

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


INOVAJET There are several companies on the market that provide iPad implementation at schools. Apart from long-term support, what other advantages do you have over the competition? We believe that the use of suitable technologies can save time for teachers, and can free them up for more important tasks than correcting tests and coming up with new revision exercises. We have therefore developed a special application that enables teachers to prepare exercises and simply send them to students’ devices at any given time. Students are then given a certain amount of time, they do the exercise, then their teacher collects their work with a single touch of a key. The exercises are corrected automatically, and the results can be entered into the student’s electronic record book. Information about the results is immediately made available in information systems for teachers, students and parents. Students receive immediate feedback in the form of a corrected exercise, which they can simply go through and see where their answers were not correct. Through our co-operation with hardware experts from DO-IT, we have prepared a very good technological infrastructure for schools, and this is one of our strong competitive advantages. Not everybody is enthusiastic about the use of iPads in education. What kinds of objections do you tend to hear? The commonest objection from parents is that children will only be sitting at the computer, or at some similar device, and will not be taking notes in their exercise books. It seems to them that their children will only be playing games, and their education will suffer. These worries are understandable, but they are based on a wrong understanding of the process. Some parents do not know iPads, or they do not know that they can be very effective in education. Until you see them being used in a lesson, it is hard to imagine how useful tablets can be. We are not introducing tablets into education to replace exercise books. We are bringing them in because they enrich the range of materials that can be used in education. iPads can be an ideal supplement to textbooks. They are not a device for children to write and take notes into. Another objection seems to be that the cost of implementing the devices is greater than the contribution that they can make to education. However, studies

have shown that students achieve better results through multimedia education. Tablet technology easily brings multimedia education into the classroom. Many teachers are now convinced that it is more effective to show students a model, which can be touched and interreacted with, than just to stand in front of a blackboard and try to provide explanations. What about the implementation costs? Let us talk about the software first. Approved applications are available in the Apple AppStore central data warehouse. Approximately one third of the applications are available free-of-charge. Paid applications mostly cost between 10 and 90 crowns.

Photo: Martin Baroš (JR)

“Until you see them being used in a lesson, it is hard to imagine how useful tablets can be. We are not introducing tablets into education to replace exercise books. We are bringing them in because they enrich the range of materials that can be used in education.“ As far as hardware is concerned, Apple gives schools a 3% discount, which is not a lot. The main costs are for purchasing hardware and for equipping the classrooms. It depends on the ideas and on the budget of each school. The entire project usually costs between 200 000 crowns and 800 000 crowns. It depends whether the school decides to buy a set of devices and use them in all classes, or whether it decides to set up a special dedicated iPad classroom. iPpads can be connected to Apple TV, which can stream a screen image and sound. When there is Apple TV in the classroom, students can immediately present their results to the rest of the class. Another option is “1 to 1”: this means that each student has his/her own device and uses it in all lessons. We are able to advise schools on the set-up that best suits their system of education and their syllabus, and that is at the same time financially affordable. During our first meetings, we try to find out the financial situation of the school, and we draw up an implementation plan according to this information. We aim to provide individual shipments and individual training that are compatible with the school’s finances and visions, and with the teachers´ capacities.

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague

How is your project being accepted? What are the preliminary results, and how are students and teachers responding? There are more than 10 schools in the Czech Republic where iPads are used. They are mostly primary schools, and there is one secondary school. One of them is a special school in Poděbrady. Here we can see that work with an iPad is very intuitive and easy, and it is very helpful for the pupils. Our project is still very young, and has been running only for a few months. Now we are implementing a comprehensive programme in our first school, the Anděl state primary school in Prague-Modřany. In September, a new iPad classroom was set up that is unique not only in the Czech Republic, but I would guess also in Europe. Its design aims to promote openness and creativity. It tries to mediate experience to students, and to attract their attention to issues introduced by teacher. Here we can see that this kind of project is available for public schools, and not only for private education. Our aim is to make the use of these technologies available in all schools that want to mediate interactive education. AHR

February 2013 13


INOVAJET

InovaJET: Closeness to the University has its advantages Quanti is a company dealing with applications development and database information systems, and has been located in InovaJET, the incubator of the Czech Technical University, since September 2010. Its founder and owner, Marek Polčák, speaks about the company and about InovaJET. We are a software company dealing with turnkey contracts. We deliver ready-made solutions: software projects, analysis, development, implementation and SW control. We deal with local applications, intranets, web portals and also mobile applications for Android and IOS. For example, in the last quarter we prepared two web portals, spechato.cz and meteocentrum.cz. Why did you start up the business? I started doing some commercial programming for Františkovy Lázně Spa, together with my friend, when I started studying at the university, and I needed a trade licence. The following year we won a competitive tender announced by the Silicon Hill student club, and we had to set up a limited liability company. We had already thought about changing the legal status of our company, and this competitive tender only speeded up the process. Why did you choose InovaJET? We needed a space where we could do our programming without being stressed. The first advantage of InovaJET is the price it charges for office space, and then there is its location. If you start up a business and are studying at the same time, you appreciate the opportunity to get on with some work in the space between two lectures. In your opinion, what are the biggest advantages of the incubator? As I have already said, its location is very advantageous. All the other support systems are another advantage. You can make use of training sessions, experienced colleagues, legal services and accountancy services. Then there is the connection to CESNET and the opportunity to use the ICT Cloud services provided by Telefónica O2. These are key factors for a software company.

14 February 2013

Have you made use of the educational services mediated by InovaJET?

Do you co-operate with the Czech Technical University?

Yes, for example the Incubator’s lawyer helped us to start up our business. We also co-operate with the advisors. We meet them regularly and discuss our aims and strategies with them. We mainly participate in the regular commercial, legal and accountancy training programmes.

Yes, we try to give something back to the University. For example, we have started to sponsor a 3D printer at the new faculty of information technologies. This was an initiative by some students, who obtained some financial support from the Dean. We try to finance what they cannot afford to pay for. For example, when the students need materials and technology, we buy them. We made a jet printer that they designed. We have repaired and manufactured printed circuit boards. These are our gifts as sponsors.

“It offers us the opportunity to look for our future employees among students.”

What do you consider to be your biggest success so far?

Who is InovaJET suitable for? I find that it is particularly suitable for students. They have the biggest needs. Incubators offer a lot of added value in the form of information and advice from university staff, from other companies and from seminars. A low rent is not the only consideration when you sit in your office and invent something. The company needs to grow and the management has to develop, otherwise the whole project will suffer. How do you see the future of your company? We definitely want to stay near the university. It offers us the opportunity to look for our future employees among students who are educated for our business. When they graduate, they are able to join our company without needing a six-month induction period. Students who work for us can stay in our office, study there and print out what they need. This is mutually advantageous. In the next two years we plan to convert from a limited liability company into a jointstock company. We also plan to have twenty full-time job positions. Now we have from ten to fifteen employees, who are mainly students, Czech Technical University graduates and doctoral students.

A portfolio of ready contracts, satisfied customers and a team of computer programmers who are fans of our work. We are proud of our co-operation with companies such as 2N Telekomunikace, Procter and Gamble, M.C.Triton, Prague Bistro, and many others. 2N Telekomunikace is our favourite company, because they also started out in InovaJET and now they have a distribution network in most major international markets. What other features are there in the work of your company? We have a company robot, which we take to European exhibitions. It is a nonprofit project sponsored by our firm. Our computer programmers and Technical University experts designed it without taking a fee. Thanks to our experience from developing the robot, we are now able to design and produce contract software and contract hardware. To put it simply, we are able to develop any device you can think of, from sensors of all types, to production lines and to robots with artificial intelligence. TZEM

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


INOVAJET

Is your life an OpenBook? Start writing your own story. OpenBook is a modular wooden building that resembles an open book and offers flexible use of interior space. OpenBook is an empty book waiting for your thoughts, your life visions and ideas. You can live in it or use it as a weekend house. Or you can use it to set up a showroom, a cafe or a ski school, imagination has no limits. This wooden building can even be mobile, and can easily be taken from place to place. All this at an interesting price, and in harmony with nature. FLOORPLAN - weekend house

modules in line:

22 + 22 m²

22 + 14 + 22 m²

22 +

n * 14

+ 22 m²

modules in a fan shape: 3 x 58 m²

Photo: Vizualization of the model house in Čísovice (Cambium projects)

“It is important to have people and a place to share our life stories with, to close old chapters and open new ones. Life is like an unfinished book, like OpenBook.” The basic module for year-round use has a floor area of 45 m2 and costs just a little more than one million Czech crowns (40 000 EUR). You can lower the cost by up to a third if you assemble the OpenBook yourself. A million crowns can buy you a studio apartment with accessories that you can build anywhere, without major adjustments to the terrain. Mounting the spatial modules only takes a few hours. You can plan to add more modules to your studio when the need for more living space arises. OpenBook is a variable kit that allows you to create virtually any space according to your needs. Individual modules can be arranged in line or in a fan shape. What is more, the structure is energyefficient and environment-friendly.

The side walls of the building resemble single pages of a book. In fact they are horizontal larch planks that give the building a unique look from the outside and provide a very comfortable internal environment. The rear wall, with the transition between the roof and the floor of the building, resembles the spine of a book, and also provides protection against bad weather conditions. The terrace strip, almost half a meter in width along the other three walls of the building, can serve as a bench to sit on. The front wall of the building looks like the inside of an open book, and it is all made of glass. The aluminum blinds in front of the facade efficiently control the light and heat gain from solar radiation. This design ensures maximum energy self-sufficiency of the building.

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague

The practical connection of the pent roof and the rear wall allows drainage and rainwater harvesting without the use of gutters and downspouts. The building stands on ground screws, so the plot beneath the OpenBook remains unscathed. If the building is later relocated, the ground beneath it will emerge almost in its original condition. OpenBook is simply ideal for lovers of nature and natural materials, who want to personalize their living space according to the rhythm of their life. OpenBook is produced by CambiumProjects s.r.o. from InovaJET, the incubator of Inovacentrum CTU. Cambium’s founder, Lubomír Krov, author of the OpenBook project, is a graduate of the CTU Faculty of Civil Engineering. He started working on wooden houses while he was still a student because, in his view, wood has a great future. OpenBook was one of the top ten winners of the Vodafone Idea of the Year 2011 competition. More information about the project at AHR www.cambium-projects.cz. February 2013 15


INOVAJET

References What do our consultants and companies say about InovaJET? CONSULTANTS: Iztok Toplak “Co-operating with InovaJET has been my own incubator. I like to work with people who want to learn new things and be successful. Thanks to my 20 years of experience of team management, I can offer a lot to start-up companies. At the same time, I have in fact been developing my own consulting business at InovaJET.” Kateřina Brychtová “I am fascinated by the enthusiasm, zeal and energy of young people who start up their own business, devote maximum efforts to their projects, and look for new ways to break through. I like to help them to find ways to present their products, to address new customers and increase their turnover.” Leonard Beitler “Drinking in the creative atmosphere among young, enthusiastic and highlymotivated people who are not worn out by life! It is an excellent experience!”

InovaJET COMPANIES: Ivan Kutil (AppSatori) “InovaJET provides not only the office infrastructure, but also an opportunity to gain new skills at regular seminars and workshops (on personal development, finance, and company management). We greatly appreciate the opportunities to exchange experience and opinions with companies outside the IT sphere, because this is the only this way for us to broaden our horizons. Their proactive approach provides a strong impetus for our efforts.”

SMART will help start-ups expand to foreign markets 12 partners from 6 countries have joined together to help starting entrepreneurs from their home countries expand to partnering European markets. Apart from the Czech Inovacentrum, CTU and the District of Prague 14 operators from Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovakia and Hungary are involved in the project. In the first phase of the project there will be special training for the so called SMART Trainers, who will then be able to give qualified advice to people interested in starting a business, or recommend somebody who knows the answers to their respective questions. This type of consultation will be provided at a certain place, the so called SMARTpoint. In the second phase of the project, the community of SMART Trainers will be interconnected and their cooperation enhanced to enable the entry of national companies on the markets of individual project members. For example, if a startup in InovaJET, the business incubator at the Czech Technical University in Prague shows an interest in entering

the German market, the representative of a similar business will visit the Czech SMART Trainer, who will then contact the German SMART Trainer and ask him/ her for help. According to the focus of the Czech company, the German SMART Trainer will chose suitable organizations for cooperation in Germany and provide their contacts to the Czechs. If this concept becomes successful, the Czech business will have a unique opportunity to enter interesting European markets. The Project started in July 2012 and will run for the duration of 30 months. It is financed by the Central Europe programme (European regional development fund). AHR

Climate for culture “Computer simulations of climate change will be used to predict trends in climate and form the basis for finding ways to minimize negative impacts.“

David Miklas, DO-IT “Co-operation with InovaJET helped us to start up our company more simply and more quickly, and has made it easier for us to enter the market.”

16 February 2013

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


CHALLENGES

Algorithms from the Czech Technical University help to protect European cultural heritage Climate for Culture is aimed at analyzing the harmful effects that can jeopardize the status of unique European cultural heritage. A CTU research team from the Department of Instrumentation and Control Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering contributes significantly to this project, and at the May workshop, held at the Technical University, it won outstanding awards. European cultural heritage - historical sites, works of art and architecture - needs to be preserved for future generations. However, it is a complicated matter to preserve historical sites in a good state. Most art collections and works of historical interest are stored in historical buildings, and it is not reasonable or realistic to install the types of air-conditioning systems that can be found in modern buildings. There is a vast amount of cultural heritage, and studies of harmful effects are still developing. Preserving European cultural heritage from the ravages of time has become a demanding inter-disciplinary scientific field. In recent decades, protection of works of art and historical objects has been complicated by the influence of climate change. The European Union aims to protect historical sites from hazards, including climate change. The Climate for Culture project, funded by the European Union from 2009 to 2014, aims to make an analysis of all harmful effects that have an impact on cultural and historical sites, e.g. humidity, air pollution, solar radiation and other factors, including current climatic conditions and potential changes in climate. Research is carried out inside historical buildings, castles, museums and archives. Studies are made of collections of historical and cultural heritage. In spite of efforts to preserve historical monuments, most of the European cultural heritage is located in places with high potential risk factors, mainly with unsuitable air humidity levels. In connection with predicted global climate change, we can expect growing variability of external conditions and more intense temperature extremes. These negative phenomena will also impact the interiors of historical buildings, and displays of high historical value will be at risk.

Computer simulations will help In the Climate for Culture project, the results of high resolution computer simulations of climate change will be used for predicting trends in climate change in various European regions and in the Mediterranean. The results of these models will be used as inputs for temperature and dampness models of existing historical buildings to establish the microclimatic trends inside buildings and the risk factors in various regions. This information forms the basis for finding ways to minimize negative impacts. For example, suggestions have been made for energetic and technological methods for preserving the interiors of various types of historical buildings using active and passive interior protection devices. A major contribution of the project is the software that has been developed for analysing the data measured in historical buildings. This analysis will form the basis for stating the microclimatic risks to various exhibits, and for choosing suitable methods for protecting interiors.

“Most of the European cultural heritage is located in places with high potential risk factors, mainly with unsuitable air humidity levels.” The algorithms for controlling interiors come from the Technical University. The multidisciplinary Climate for Culture project team is coordinated by experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics. The project team comprises thirty partners from universities, research institutes and industry from the European Union and other states. The Technical University’s Department of Instrumentation and Control Engineering, under the management of Prof. Ing. Tomáš Vyhlídal, Ph.D.,

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague

in cooperation with Prof. Ing. Pavel Zítko, DrSc., plays a very important role. The research team from the Czech Technical University is involved in six out of eleven study programmes, and manages the study programme working on designing strategies for interior adjustments to historical buildings. They are carrying out long-term studies of models of sorption and strength characteristics and algorithms for optimized control of interior temperature and relative humidity. To test the theoretical control algorithms, they use software for modeling the temperature and the humidity of buildings. For example, they designed a simulation model of the Great Tower of Karlštejn Castle with the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which is air-conditioned with a special air adjustment unit. The mathematical model simulates various types of control, both for data measured outside the castle and for simulated data of various climatic models. The team is also implementing a universal control system based on PLC. This was designed by Kybertec, another participant in the project. The team from the Technical University is also analysing the possibilities of passive protection, e.g. various materials for humidity absorption, ventilation, various types of wall isolation and roof construction. Special attention is paid to renewable energy sources in preserving monuments and to revitalizing “historical air-conditioning systems”. The project has received a very high evaluation In May 2012, a workshop in the framework of the Climate for Culture project was held at the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Czech Technical University. Experts were present, and also European Commission representatives. The mid-project results were evaluated, and the project received high marks for the quality of the results that have been achieved, and for the coordination of the teams of researchers. Tomáš Vyhlídal February 2013 17


BUSINESS TIPS

Some tips for setting up a company You have successfully started a business as a self-employed person and now you need to convert it into a form reflecting your expansion? Then you are probably thinking about starting a company. At the beginning, every entrepreneur finds himself/herself in the position of needing to choose the right legal form for his business. For reasons of both finance and time, most entrepreneurs start out as self-employed persons. Later they find that this legal form is no longer beneficial for them, and they decide to set up a business. The most common type of company is a limited liability company, which imposes few administrative demands for starting up, and is also easy to run. The partners have limited liability, and the required initial registered capital of the company is low. Detailed information about limited liability companies and about other types of company can be found for example on the businessinfo.cz portal. Here we will offer and discuss some tips for starting up a company. You can start a company yourself just with the assistance of a notary, or you can buy a ready-made company. Buying a ready-made company can save you a lot of time, money and problems. However you have to take into account that the Deed of Incorporation or the Memorandum of Association, which is a basic document dictating internal affairs in the company, is a specimen document, and is not tailored to your needs. The same happens when your Association Memorandum is prepared by a notary. Some important points in connection with this document will now be discussed. Management in the name of a company When there is more than one managing partner, it is necessary to decide whether the partners will manage the firm individually or jointly. There are no limits in the contract, so you can settle for individual management up to a certain sum of money (for example 50,000 crowns) and joint management above this sum (at which point all managing partners have to sign a contract). Company Address Every change in a partnership agreement has to be made by a notary and written into the commercial register, which involves additional costs. For the 18 February 2013

Photo: illustrative picture (iStockphoto)

company’s address, it is useful to write only the name of a city, not a city district (e.g. Prague, and not Prague 6). When you move from Prague 6 to Prague 10, you will then not need to go to a notary to register an official change of company address. Decisions at a General Meeting A General Meeting is a meeting for all partners. It is the most important company event, and decides the most important issues (liquidation of the company, transfers of shares, etc.) A General Meeting usually has a quorum when at least half of the partners meet, and it takes decisions by an absolute majority. Under certain conditions, a partner with a 34% share may decide crucial issues. Think about this when you distribute shares in your company, and adapt the decision-making conditions according to your requirements. Transfers of shares in a business You need to decide the measure of flexibility that you want in selling shares in the business of your company, and set the conditions for transferring shares accordingly. You can choose pre-emptive rights of the present partners, transferability of pre-emptive rights to third parties, or a requirement that a general meeting must agree to any transfer to present partners and others. It is also possible to prohibit inheritance

of business shares, and in this way to prevent heirs joining the company. There are many ways to personalize your company with the help of measures in the Association Memorandum. You can also establish strict conditions to prevent partners entering into competition with the company. It is useful to ask your notary or ready-made company contractor for a specimen of the Association Memorandum, and to prepare it so that it will meet your requirements. Next, be careful how many identical copies a notary offers you. One copy is in the price. Unlike copies, identical copies are quite expensive, and many notaries use them to raise their income. Also avoid notaries who copy long passages from the Commercial Code into your Association Memorandum – it increases their fee, and in the event of an amendment to the law you can have trouble and be involved in extra costs. It is not necessary to state in the Association Memorandum points which are already covered by the law. You need to pay special attention to the Association Memorandum, because internal problems are always likely to arise in a company when there are several partners, and any lawyer or judge will first look at your Association Memorandum and only then take into consideration Laws and Codes. Remember that your contract takes precedence over laws. Michal Zuza

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


BUSINESS TIPS

Lean management methods lead to higher productivity in research and technology centres In the period from March 2011 to January 2012, a pilot project aimed at introducing selected lean principles and methods in research and science was implemented at the Innovation Centre of Diagnostics and Application of Materials of the Czech Technical University (ICDAM). ICDAM (see Tecnicall, summer 2011) works mainly on research projects in the framework of national and international grants for science and research, and on research projects for industry. The aim of the pilot project was to apply lean methods to achieve higher productivity of management and operation processes in the centre. The measures implemented within the pilot project provided quick returns and were highly effective, thanks to the discipline and persistence of the team members, and their willingness to make improvements. The measures that have been taken prevent wastage of research capacities, and are crucial for the smooth operation of the Centre. Value stream map – Project manager, contracts, project manager, project guarantor. Photo: Tomáš Stöhr, ESCARE s.r.o., Dr. Jan Rybníček (JD)

Two priorities were to raise the research capacity of the team of scientists, and to shorten the preparation period and the time taken to complete work on industrial contracts. In the course of the pilot project, the Centre worked on seven scientific and research tasks and fiftyone industrial contracts. The pilot project team consisted of seven members from the ICDAM staff and one member from the Academy of Productivity and Innovations. The realization team consisted of 7 people. The project team mapped out the present process for carrying out a contract that the team members had evaluated as critical and very suitable for analysis. Mapping the current future state (see chart), the operations in the process were divided into two categories: A – laboratories (flow of physical materials and lab processing), and B – offices (information flow for a contract, including research reports, proceedings, IF publications, literature searches, research preparation, and discussions). It was necessary to define and implement the following standards: individual source capacities, contract management processes, lab standards and lab operation, maintenance and supply, working standards, information flow, meeting

and consultation management. Visual information boards were installed. They displayed value flow maps, the status of contracts, defects, responsibilities and duties of researchers, substitutability and availability matrices, utilization planning and flow of materials, data and information. The process for managing contracts, the results of operational meetings, approving lab work standards and document standards were visualized. Communication with suppliers and evaluations of completed contracts were standardized. Implementing the project to introduce lean management methods in technology centres had a direct impact on processes in the centre. The work of individual researchers was made more efficient, and capacities were utilized much more efficiently. Occupational safety was improved. The labs are now cleaner and better organized. The communication process has been standardized, and information flow has been speeded up. The need for repairs and corrections has been minimized. The causes of breakdowns have been identified, and the system has been improved. Industrial contracts can now be completed within a shorter period of time.

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague

The following principles were used for optimizing the process: Value Stream Mapping, Visual Management, Process Standardization, Workshops, Shopfloor Management, Project Management, Seven Types of Waste, Work Analysis and Methodology Studies, and Kaizen. Tomáš Stöhr, Jan Rybníček

PROJECT CONSISTED OF THREE STAGES: 1. Training and preparation of researchers in the Lean Method project team 2. An analysis of processes at the centre 3. Proposals for measures to be taken. February 2013 19


OPPORTUNITIES

PRINCE2® will help researchers to manage their projects An intensive course in project management with PRINCE2® international certification was organized for Czech Technical University academic staff in April 2012. Researchers had an opportunity to broaden their education in the sphere of project management, and to obtain this internationally recognized certificate. The course was organized and funded by Inovacentrum of the Czech Technical University within the EXIT project, which has as its aim to link students, university staff and companies. PRINCE2® (PRojects IN a Controlled Environment) is a methodology for effective project management based on a standard project cycle process model. It is used all over the world, both in the private sector and in public administration. It is accepted as an official approach to project management in Great Britain, France and Poland. The PRINCE2® methodology is based on a large-scale international study aimed at gathering time-tested approaches in project management, and it is regularly updated in accordance with new findings. Nine members of the academic staff were awarded a PRINCE2® certificate after successfully completing the threeday course. These seminar participants

are now ready to implement and manage projects at the Czech Technical University, and they will also be able to manage student projects based on the requirements of companies. “This course offered me, an academic researcher, the means for managing a research project effectively. I found it very useful to understand the principles by which work is organized in commercial companies, and to compare them with the style of work at the University,” said Michal Čáp, from the Faculty of Information Technologies, in an evaluation of the course. The seminar was led by Tomáš Peterka, who has twelve years of personal

experience of project management, in both national teams and international teams. Participants in the seminar valued his experience very highly. “Best of all, our instructor had long-term experience, and he was prepared very well. I appreciate this, because I was able to make full use of the time in the seminar,” says Martin Vaňko, from the Department of Computer Graphics and Interaction of the Faculty of Information Technologies. “I can recommend this course to anybody who is interested in effective project management and execution; the size of the project or the firm is not decisive,” Martin Vaňko added. TZEM

Inovacentrum CTU and CMS prepare a series of law seminars for start-ups A series of five seminars on the basics of law that every businessperson should know starts in February 2013 and ends in June 2013. The seminars take place on the last Thursday of each month, at 6 p.m. in the CMS offices. Participation is free of charge. “As one of the leading European law offices, we feel a responsibility to support the Czech business environment and contribute to the development of small and medium-size businesses”, says Patrik Przyhoda, from the Czech branch of CMS. “We therefore welcomed Inovacentrum’s proposal to organize a series of sessions on basic law for start-ups from their own InovaJET and from other Czech incubators”.

20 February 2013

The seminars are free of charge for businesspeople, and experienced CMS lawyers will lead the seminars in the company offices at Palladium, Na Poříčí 1079/3a, Prague 1. The seminars begin on February 28, 2013 at 6 p.m. and will take place on the last Thursday in each month until June. They will focus on the basics of law and basic legal terms, contracts, businesses and securities, disputes, labor law, consumer protection and personal data protection. Starting entrepreneurs will acquire basic knowledge that every businessperson should have in order to make her/his company run smoothly. All this is being offered by professionals from a leading law firm, free-of-charge.

Jana Hodboďová, manager of InovaJET, the CTU incubator, warmly welcomes this series of sessions: “I am very happy that our entrepreneurs will get this kind of support from CMS. Many times, the survival of a young company depends on the correct set-up of contractual relationships and on knowing the legal consequences of various laws. In these seminars, start-ups can learn things they would otherwise hardly be able to pay for.” AHR_

Connecting Science and Commerce at the Czech Technical University in Prague


Inovacentrum - magazine of technology transfer at CTU 2013  

Inovacentrum - magazine of technology transfer at CTU 2013

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