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VISION OF THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY: TRENDS, DEVELOPMENT, FUTURE PLASTICS DOMINATE INDUSTRY SILON STRATEGIC FOCUS: CABLE COMPOUNDS

CHEMISTRY 1 2018


www.explosia.cz Explosia a.s. offers many types of powders.

Flexible, RDX and PETN based charges for special blasting works.

Explosia a.s. offers many counter-terrorism products.

The company‘s offer includes industrial explosives.

Explosia a.s. offers many types of powders.

Bi-modular charge system for 155 mm gun-howitzers.

Explosia a.s. is the traditional and most important Czech manufacturer of explosives with history dating to 1920. Explosia a.s. offers industrial explosives, explosives for special and military use, black powder, drilling and blasting services, special products for counter-terorism, smokeless powders, etc. Explosia a.s. is 100 % in the ownership of the Czech Republic, it is an independent commercial company with a significant position on the market of industrial.

e-mail: explosia@explosia.cz

phone: + 420 466 825 200


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

Czech Business and Trade – With a Tradition of 90 Years Economic Magazine is Designed for Foreign Partners, Interested in Cooperation with the Czech Republic Issued by PP AGENCY s.r.o. in cooperation with  Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic  Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic  Ministry for Regional Development of the Czech Republic  Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic  Confederation of Employers‘ and Entrepreneurs‘ Associations of the Czech Republic  Czech Chamber of Commerce  CzechTrade PARTNER OF THE MAGAZINE: ICC Czech Republic EDITORIAL BOARD: Vladimír Bärtl, Jiří Hansl, Marcela Havlová, Jaromír Kohlíček, Dagmar Kuchtová, Martin Lukáš, Karel Machotka, Marie Pavlů, Tomáš Seidl, Miroslav Somol, Jarmila Škvrnová, Jan Špunda, Martin Tlapa, Jan Wiesner

MANAGING EDITOR: Pavla Podskalská EDITOR: Jana Pike TRANSLATION: Vlasta Benešová PROOFREADING: Ivana Kadlecová, Matthew Booth, Pearl Harris GRAPHIC DESIGN: Stanislava Podaná COVER PHOTO: www.bigstockphoto.com DEADLINE: 30/1/2018

 INTRODUCTION Questions of the Month for Dagmar Kuchtová, Director General, Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic

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 ECONOMIC POLICY Czech Economy Is Growing, so Is Labour Productivity

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 CHEMICAL INDUSTRY Vision of the Chemical Industry Chemical Industry – Massive Support for Innovation, Science and Research Backed by Long-Standing Tradition Presentation of SCHP ČR Chemistry Wins with the Best Project

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 PROFILES BOCHEMIE a.s. Czech Plastics Cluster / Plastics Processing Association Explosia a.s. FARMAK, a.s. Fatra, a.s., Napajedla GUMOTEX, akciová společnost MATEICIUC a.s.

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 PHARMACEUTIAL INDUSTRY Czech Pharmaceutical Industry Focuses on Generics Pharmaceutical Industry: Trends, Development, Future 2017: Czech Achievements in Pharmaceutics New Top Pharmaceutical Laboratory in Prague

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 PR SILON Strategic Focus: Cable Compounds Cayman Pharma GUMOTEX: Over Half of Century Tradition and Innovation in Processing Rubber Compounds and Plastics

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© PP Agency

 PLASTICS INDUSTRY ADDRESS: Myslíkova 25, 110 00 Praha 1 Czech Republic e-mail: journal@ppagency.cz www.ppagency.cz, www.doingbusiness.cz

Plastics Dominate Industry Polymers Are Their Heartbeat Road to Success: Linking Research, School, and Practice

Press run: 10 000 copies. It is not allowed to reproduce any part of the contents of this journal without prior consent from the Editor. Attitudes expressed by the authors of articles carried by CBT need not necessarily be consistent with the standpoint of the Publisher. MK ČR E 6379, ISSN 1211-2208 „Podávání novinových zásilek povoleno Českou poštou, s. p., odštěpný závod Přeprava, č. j. 3468/95, ze dne 24/10/1995“

MATEICIUC a.s. – Quality Products Going Boldly out into the World!

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 WE SUCCEED 35

 PRESENTATION OF FIRMS BOCHEMIE a.s.; Cayman Pharma s.r.o.; Continental Barum; Czech Aerosol, a.s.; ENVITES, spol. s r.o.; Explosia a.s.; FARMAK, a.s.; Fatra, a.s.; GUMOTEX, akciová společnost; MATEICIUC a. s.; Plastikářský klastr z.s.; SILON s.r.o.; SPEDICA, s.r.o.; Svaz chemického průmyslu České republiky, z.s.; WALMARK, a.s.

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INTRODUCTION

Questions of the Month for Dagmar Kuchtová, Director General, Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic

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In September 2017 the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic became one of the founding members of the Industry 4.0 National Centre. Can you mention the aim and ambitions of this project and possibly its accomplishments so far? My expectations of the Industry 4.0 National Centre are that this is where firms wishing or planning to follow the way of digital transformation will be able to consult their decisions with experts and simulate potential impacts on their firms and the environment. A great help in this respect can be the Testbed platform, which has been set up by the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC). It is a unique concept of a test production line. Thanks to the variability of the machines, robots and software instruments, which Testbed makes available, firms can test 4.0 Industry processes before putting them into actual industrial production. The Testbed makes it possible for enter-

prises to work with enlarged virtual reality by integrating their planned production line “into the real world” to see how it works. I am persuaded that in this way firms will be able to introduce new technologies into production much more easily and much sooner. One of the tasks of the Industry 4.0 National Centre is to help introduce the principles of this new phenomenon into practice, in particular as regards small and medium-sized enterprises. The Confederation is one of its co-founders. We pay much attention to this project and give special attention to it. Nevertheless, even after more than two years we have found that firms have not as yet realised its great potential value. Large enterprises are of the opinion that the core of success is mutual collaboration. That is why I regard the Industry 4.0 National Centre as a platform where firms can share information with academia about possible technological solutions and the impact of technological progress on society with the economic sphere. In 2018 this country celebrates the centenary of the birth of Czechoslovakia and also the centenary of the founding of the Central Union of Czechoslovak Industrialists, predecessor of today´s Confederation of Industry. Can you mention some of the milestones in its history? There are several milestones in the century-long history of the Union and the Confederation. Czechs have always been visionaries, the founders of the first union of industrialists not excluding. They founded it on 18 June 1918, even before the establishment of the independent Czechoslovak Republic. Over the years, more industrialists´ associations came into being. In the 1950s, under the communist regime, the Union was completely liquidated. The last in the row which followed is the Confederation of Industry, of the Czech Republic. For the whole of 2018, this anniversary will be commemorated in a campaign, where the milestones and icons of Czech industry will be celebrated. Jaroslav Hanák, President of the Confederation of Industry, is participating in a road show throughout the country, where he will meet with company leaders to appreciate their work and discuss the challenges facing enterprises in the regions. The highlight will be the celebration at Prague Castle to be held on 18 June, the day on which the first union of industrialists came into being.

Photo: Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, www.freeimages.com

The Czech economy is doing well, with 2017 GDP growth predictions ranging to around 4.5 %. What is your explanation for this situation and what are the expectations of Czech industrialists for 2018? The Czech economy was indeed doing well last year. This is the result and a success of the everyday good work of firms and their employees. They have my utmost full appreciation. All the more so as for the whole of 2017 employers were afflicted by a labour shortage and enterprises had to work with their capacity stretched to to the extreme. Last year, firms also had to cope with the termination of the regulated weakening of the Czech currency by the Czech National Bank, for which, however, they were well prepared. In spite of all this, the results were extremely positive, and my expectations are that the economy will also continue to grow in 2018, albeit not at such a high rate as last year. In my opinion, the greatest barrier to the further growth of the economy is lack of manpower. The Confederation of Industry points out that what is most needed is to create conditions for a favourable and stable business environment. In our programme statement, which we presented to the government and political party chairmen at the end of last year, we proposed and outlined the key areas for further economic development and greater competitiveness of the Czech Republic. We are persuaded that the Czech Republic has the potential to significantly raise its rating and appear among the world´s TOP 20 most advanced countries within the next five to six years, because this is where it belongs, and this, in my opinion, is what the government should be striving for.

What, in your opinion, is the position of Czech industry in the world? We are the most industrialised country in the European Union, with an overwhelming tradition. We have superb firms that are doing well and take great credit for the excellent growth of our economy in recent years. This country is strongly export oriented. For example last year we exported goods and services worth a record four billion crowns, according to the latest figures. Nevertheless there are things which could be improved. For the time being we rank 31st on the list of competitiveness among 137 monitored countries according to the World Economic Forum. I am persuaded that we have the potential to rank much higher on this list. For example, we must improve the country´s infrastructure and its education system. In these characteristics, for example, we rank even lower than Rwanda. Regrettably, in certain categories, such as the quality of infrastructure, especially as regards roads, or the availability of scientists and engineers and the evaluation of innovation, the Czech Republic occupies even worse positions than the 31st place in overall competitiveness rating. And this is a bad signal. In the overall EU classification by indicator the Czech Republic ranks among moderate innovators, below the EU average. Improvement of these things is, in my opinion, also a task for the new government.


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

Czech Economy Is Growing, so Is Labour Productivity Last year, the gross domestic product of the Czech Republic rose by 4.4 %, according to the estimate by the Czech Statistical Office In 2016, the year-round growth of GDP was “only” 2.5 %.

In the last quarter of 2017 the Czech economy accelerated its growth to 5.1% and its year-round performance grew by 4.5 %. This is an exceptionally good performance, even though in 2015 we grew even faster, according to Helena Horská, Chief Economist of Raiffeisenbank. In that year many positive factors combined together to enable such a performance, from lower crude oil prices to the weak crown and to the swift drawing of EU funds at the end of the year, before the expiry of the deadline. Last year, however, after a one-year intermission, we overtook Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary in economic growth. And it is gratifying that last year´s growth was not inflated by any artificial steroids, but stood on solid foundations – from export and industry to consumption and investment. In addition, labour productivity, too, increased meaningfully. “In my estimate, it grew at a double rate compared to 2016, and maybe even three times as fast than in the preceding ten years. This indeed is a marvellous and praiseworthy performance considering the labour shortage and many other hindrances. As the economy begins to deplete its free and cheap resources, the private sector resorts to measures aimed at increasing productivity by eliminating unnecessary activities. Step by step, we are progressing from extensive growth requiring ever more resources (preferably cheap ones) to intensive growth based on resources that are available but with economical use,” Horská adds. It is therefore no surprise that, on 1 February 2018, the Bank Council raised the CNB

repo rate by a quarter percentage point to 0.75 %. According to Radomír Jáč, Chief Economist of Generali Investments CEE, this step is in keeping with both the prognosis the Czech National Bank published at the beginning of last November and the recent statements of the members of the Bank Council. Primarily, however, it is a step which responds to the current economic situation: the Czech economy is showing price pressures and in such a situation the aim of the central bank is to cool the economy so as to ease the inflationary pressures.”

 CZECH INDUSTRY CONTINUED

TO GROW PARTLY DUE TO THE CHEMICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL SECTORS At the beginning of 2017, Czech industry was showing dynamic growth noticeably exceeding the rates of the previous year and a reminder of the very successful year 2015, according to the Czech Statistical Office. In the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2017, however, the massive growth began to slow down. In the 1st to 3rd quarter of 2017, value added in industry at current prices increased by 5.5 % year-on-year to CZK 975.8 billion. Most responsible for the generally favourable development in terms of volume was the manufacturing industry, where value added over the first three quarters of 2017 rose by 5.7 %. A great deal of credit for it goes to the chemicals and chemical preparations sector, where petrochemical plants re-

newed their production to full capacity after the breakdown of one of the most important plants. A significant increase in value added was also shown in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products and preparations, paper and products thereof, computers, electronic and optical devices, and machinery and equipment. In terms of volume, value added grew significantly in vehicle manufacture even at the beginning of 2017. In the 3rd quarter, however, its growth stopped, after hitting the already high comparable basis. As for Czech businessmen and their assessment of the country´s economic results, they are viewing both domestic and foreign demand positively, according to a survey of the Czech Confederation of Industry conducted at the end of 2017. At the same time, however, economic growth pushes the prices of raw materials and materials up and the labour shortage is putting pressure on wages, while the shortage of skilled labour is increasing. Therefore the prices of production inputs and outputs are expected to grow. Macroeconomic Situation in the Czech Republic GDP (y/y, %) 4th Q 2017 5.1 Industrial production /y/y, %) 12/2017 2.7 Inflation rate (y/y, %) 1/2018 2.4 Building production (y/y, %) 12/2017 -3.2 Unemployment rate (%) 12/2017 2.4

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CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

Competitiveness of the Czech Republic Expected to Continue Owing to the continuing economic growth the relative economic standard of the Czech Republic is expect to rise to 86 % of the average of the 19 eurozone countries by 2019, according to the current prognosis of the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry pointed out that in 2016 this indicator increased in most of the countries under review. The price level in the CR rose to 66 % of the eurozone average from 64 % in 2016, according to the Ministry. In the years to come the comparative price level of GDP is expected to increase, to up to 69 % in 2019. This increase, however, should not endanger the competitiveness of the Czech economy, the Ministry of Finance adds. In addition, Fitch Agency affirmed its

excellent rating of the Czech Republic. In its latest rating review Fitch said that for its long-term Czech and foreign currency liabilities the Czech Republic is standing at level A+ with a positive outlook. Other international rating agencies also affirmed the high credit reliability of the Czech Republic this year. In its review Fitch Ratings highlights especially this country´s sound public finances, its low debt level, overall growth of the economy and strong institutions backed by CR´s membership of the European Union. It appreciates especially the financial surplus of the entire government institutions sector, expected to show a favourable balance sheet for the second year running, with a 1.1 % GDP surplus expected for 2017. The important thing in this connection is that

it is especially the government sector surplus which creates scope for decreasing the Czech Republic´s total indebtedness. On the revenue side, the economic management of the government institutions sector is supported by higher tax collection made possible by the growing economy. Economic growth is pulled up by growing household consumption, which profits from higher wages and social benefits, lower taxes and a solid growth of employment. “Fitch Ratings, the same as the Ministry of Finance, expects the lowering of the Czech Republic´s indebtedness to continue. This is an appreciation of our work and our efforts, which we have been exerting since the end of 2013 to meet this aim,” says Petr Pavelek, Deputy Minister of Finance for public budgets.

The Czech chemical industry is in very good shape and is the third most important Czech manufacturing industry sector. In terms of revenue, value added and the number of employees, it accounts for from 11 to 15 % of the total values of the manufacturing industry as a whole. Its attractiveness is also attested to by the relatively high proportion of foreign capital controlling a number of key enterprises, such as Unipetrol RPA Litvínov, BorsodChem MCHZ Ostrava, and Hexion/Synthomer Sokolov. In 2016, the chemical industry, including oil processing and pharmaceuticals, turned out goods worth more than CZK 600 billion. | 6

After several years of stagnation, caused by the 2009-2012 crisis, industry is beginning to invest again. For example, Spolchemie a.s. has built a membrane electrolysis plant in Ústí nad Labem, Unipetrol RPA has enlarged its polyethylene plant, and BorsodChem MCHZ invested in a number of smaller plants in different parts of the Czech Republic.

 KEY SECTOR OF INDUSTRY Historically, the Czech chemical industry has been broadly linked with other sectors. Basic production for further petrochemical processing is concentrated in

Unipetrol RPA in Litvínov. Ethylene, propylene, C4 fractions, aromates, and other products are further processed in various plants across the country. Follow-up processing is carried out in Synthos Kralupy, Spolana Neratovice, BorsodChem MCHZ Ostrava, and Deza Valašské Meziříčí. Worth mentioning is cyanide processing in the Lučebné závody Draslovka Kolín and chlorine and lye production and processing in Spolchemie a.s. in Ústí nad Labem. The Sokolov chemical works specialising in acrylate chemistry is an important plant. It is a part of the supranational Synthomer corporation. Other important

Photo: pixabay.com, www.freeimages.com

Vision of the Chemical Industry


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

players are Synthesia and Explosia in Pardubice and Precheza Přerov.

chemical production, but its competitiveness depends on analogical measures realised on the global scale.

 TRENDS IN THE CHEMICAL

INDUSTRY The chemical industry will continue to rely on fossil raw materials, i.e. crude oil and natural gas, although alternative raw materials will be increasingly coming to the fore, especially those of vegetable origin and products of waste processing. Today, no one can imagine life without chemical products, nor is the development of the automotive, electronic, textile, and other industries imaginable without chemistry. However, recycling will be of special importance, especially in the plastics industry. For the Czech chemical industry, the most important partner will probably be the automotive sector, both as regards polymer materials for the manufacture of car interiors and exteriors, and tyres.

 POSSIBLE PITFALLS The main potential threat to the further development of the chemical industry in Europe, including the Czech Republic, is the extent of regulatory measures, which make it increasingly difficult to do business in this sector. The European chemical industry is prepared to minimise its impact on the environment and reduce the risks involved in

 MODERNISATION

OF THE SECTOR The entire chemical production in the Czech Republic uses equipment meeting the strictest requirements, especially those stipulated by the 1996 IPPC Directive concerning integrated pollution prevention and control. This document was a challenge for the Association of Chemical Industry and its members. The Association acknowledges the principles laid down by the Responsible Care worldwide voluntary movement of the chemical industry.. The positive approach of the chemical industry to people´s health, Nature and care for the environment has grown into a movement of social responsibility towards the sustainable development of the regions. As many as 53 member companies are entitled to use the Responsible Care logo. Four of them are secondary vocational schools and 11 are companies which won the “Sustainable Development Prize” awarded by the Association.

 TOPICAL SUBJECTS One of the most topical subjects is the lack of skilled labour. The chemical in-

dustry employs very experienced people, but, like all the other sectors, it is becoming affected by generation change. Of greater importance for the future is the need for essential innovation and research, an area strongly supported from public resources, both Czech institutional ones and those of the EU. The aim is the applicability of the results of research and development in practice. In this respect, the Czech Republic is lagging behind the more developed economies, although 2 % of the country´s GDP is currently being invested in research and development (in comparison with 2.2 % in the USA, 1.8 % in the EU, 0.8 % in China, and 4 % in Japan).

 VISION OF THE INDUSTRY 4.0 CONCEPT The Industry 4.0 Concept is an opportunity for raising the competitiveness of the European and Czech chemical industry and making it more efficient. This will require improving the working skills in practically all working positions, while making better use of information and communication technologies. In view of the fact that the chemical industry is already now considerably automated and is using advanced control systems, no major decrease in the labour force is expected. 7 |


CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

The Czech chemical industry, one of the country´s principal economic sectors, is also doing well in international markets “We are seeing our opportunities mainly in business cooperation and the export of commodities which are competitive from both the domestic and European point of view, such as the export of specialty chemicals, nanoform substances, commodity plastics and synthetic rubbers, and explosives. Despite the complicated legislative environment a logical opportunity offering itself is the development of the chemical industry branches that take advantage of the Czech Republic´s geographical position in the centre of Europe, its relatively favourable conditions for foreign investors and a well developed transport and logistic infrastructure,” Ivan Souček, Director of the Association of Chemical Industry of the Czech Republic (SCHP ČR), explains.

Which new trends have appeared in the chemical industry recently? What is your assessment of the development of the Czech market in this area? Over the past few years the chemical industry has undergone a tremendous development worldwide. In Europe (and the Czech Republic), too, chemical production is growing, but its share of the world chemical production over the past 15 years has declined from 35 % to the current 17 %. The most important sector of the European chemical industry is qualified chemistry and the manufacture of specialty chemicals, in addition to polymer production and crude oil processing. Although globally the rate of capacity utilisation in the chemical industry is relatively | 8

low (around 80 %), in 2017 advantageous conditions existed in the chemical sector due to the good availability and cost of the input raw materials (mainly natural gas and crude oil), which also applied to the Czech Republic. In 2017, industrial production in the NACE 20 section (Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products) in the Czech Republic increased by 19.6 % year on year. In 2016 and 2015 the manufacture in this section declined by 5.9 % and 4.5 % respectively. In 2017, the import of refinery products declined significantly, while their export increased (this, however, was due to the lower capacity of the existing facilities in the preceding period). In 2017, production in the chemical industry increased by approximately 20 %. The chemical balance of trade in the Czech Republic, however, is unfavourable. In 2016, for example, it showed a deficit of CZK 148.2 billion. In 2017, the situation slightly improved. Where do you see potential opportunities or dangers? The key problem of the chemical industry in the European area is not inadequate competitiveness, but excessive regulation and various legislative initiatives, which often go beyond the required health, safety and environmental restrictions for the use of chemical substances. Firms are obliged to meet extensive legislative requirements under the relevant EU regulations in particular the REACH regulation, the CLP regulation and the biocidal product regulation. We also see a danger in the enlargement of the list of substances contained in Annex XIV of REACH, which are sub-

ject to authorisation connected with the high costs for firms (unbearable for many small and medium-sized firms). Due to the high registration costs, the third deadline for chemicals registration in 2018 may mean the closing down of their businesses or the suspension of some imports and the breaking off of the contractor supply chains. Another problem is the envisaged regulation of individual substances and compounds and the proposed harmonised classification and labelling of substances, which are part of the daily life of the population and the functioning of industrial sectors, such as siloxane and titanium white production. For example, the approval of the harmonised classification and labelling of titanium dioxide would have (based on current process already has impact prior the classification to some sectors) a significantly negative impact on the chemical industry and the follow-up manufacturing sectors. Other points, in addition to the above mentioned aspects of EU chemical legislation, are the specifics of the business environment of the Czech Republic, which curtail competitiveness not only of the Czech chemical industry in relation to neighbouring countries. This concerns energy supplies and prices, unclear impacts of waste regulation and wastes from expired shelf-life products, water problems and air protection regulation. A separate chapter is the support of investment development linked with the construction act amendment. We see opportunities especially in business cooperation, mainly in respect of export opportunities for commodities that

Photo: www.freeimages.com

Chemical Industry – Massive Support for Innovation, Science and Research Backed by Long-Standing Tradition


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

Chemical Exports and Imports The chemical industry is a sector where import prevails to export in money terms. This is due to the great diversification of the Czech chemical industry on one side, but mainly due to its specialisation. A small country like the Czech Republic cannot fully satisfy its needs in the full range of products and at the same time ensure production at an economically feasible industrial scale. This means that while the industry exports an important part of its output, certain commodities must be imported. Percentages of the different segments of the chemical industry in total chemical exports in 2016: Chemicals and chemical products (NACE 20) - 38.3 % Pharmaceutical products and preparations (NACE 21) – 15.3 % Rubber and plastic products (NACE 22) – 46.4 % Refined petroleum products (NACE 19.2) – 24.1% Percentages of chemical imports in total consumption in 2016: Chemicals and chemical products (NACE 20) – 49.2 % Pharmaceutical products and preparations (NACE 21) – 19.2 % Rubber and plastic products (NACE 22) – 31.6 % Refined petroleum products (NACE 19.2) – 37.7 % The greatest export potential is shown by synthetic rubbers and plastics and related products (especially tyre exports), and qualified chemistry products. Territorially, the largest share in the total international trade in chemicals is accounted for by EU states with 80 % (the most important country being Germany with a share of approximately 30 %). Other important trade partners outside the EU are the USA, China, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, and Japan.

are competitive from the European and the Czech Republic´s points of view, specifically the export of specialty chemicals, nanoform substances, commodity plastics and caoutchoucs, and explosives. Despite the complicated legislative, an indisputably logical opportunity for the development of the chemical industry is taking advantage of the geographical situation of the Czech Republic in the centre of Europe, its relatively favourable conditions for foreign investors and the well-developed transport and logistic infrastructure. What is the greatest driving force for the development of this sector in the Czech market? The important factor is the tradition of the chemical industry in the Czech Lands itself, which dates back more than 150 years, resulted, among other aspects, into robust chemical-oriented education programmes and qualified personnel. As mentioned before, the greatest driving force for development is the relatively favourable environment for foreign investment and the liberalisation of the Czech economy. A quite significant factor is the vast support given to innovation, science and research. The Czech chemical industry is based on the domestic processing of crude oil (although its capacity is only sufficient to cover some 80 % of the country´s needs, while the remaining part of motor fuels and raw materials needed by the follow-up chemical industry must be imported), the manufacture of commodity petrochemicals, organic commodities, plastics, synthetic rubbers, modern qualified chemistry facilities and, not lastly, rubber and plastics processing facilities, supplying their products especially to the automotive industry. How do you support the participation of Czech scientists and firms in research programmes? The Association of Chemical Industry of the Czech Republic definitely supports research, development and innovation, the propagation of the results, collaboration between academic and research organisations, and the business sphere both directly and indirectly in conjunction with various technological platforms, such as the Czech Technological Platform for Sustainable Chemistry, the Czech Technological Platform PLASTICS and the Czech Technological Platform for

the Use of Bio-components in the Chemical Industry and Transport. It promotes international cooperation, initiates and participates in the development of projects supported by domestic and international resources and prepares visionary and strategic documents within the sector. Can you mention any examples of successful collaboration between scientists and chemical firms in the Czech Republic? In research the Czech chemical industry and the chemical and bio-chemical engineering sector are fully integrated in current trends developing in the industrially most advanced countries, specifically in areas such as: • microreactors and microbioreactors with lab-on-a-chip devices, • advanced materials, including new materials for energy conservation and new types of high capacity batteries, • 3D chemical syntheses (“3D Print”) of products which are otherwise hard to obtain due to their complicated syntheses and process control, • photocatalytic disintegration of water for the generation of hydrogen as an alternative energy source and new types of photovoltaic panels, • waste biomass valorisation for the generation of alternative energy sources (including catalytic pyrolysis for the generation of biomolecules and synthesis gases, and hydro deoxidation for the direct generation of hydrocarbons for use as fuels), • biodegradable plastics and aerogels and supersorbents with the use of environmental chemistry for caputuring toxic pollutants and capturing certain components, such as precious metals and substances used in regenerative medicine for the regeneration of damaged organs (muscles, bones, skin, tissues), • decontamination of micro pollutants, especially hormones, pharmaceuticals and personal care chemicals in waters for drinking water quality protection, which is currently one of the principal health problems for society. Considering the smaller capacity of the main existing production lines in comparison with the world and the development of the automotive and the electrotechnical industry in the Czech Republic, a great potential of the Czech chemical industry awaiting to be used rests in the possibility of developing 9 |


CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

and manufacturing new advanced materials with high value added (e.g. nanomaterials, materials for AM processes and 3D printing, energy storage materials, materials for medical use, composite construction materials and other specialty chemicals).

 CURRENT TOPICS FOR

THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY Owing to its nature, the chemical sector affects all the knowledge domains in the current National RIS3 Strategy, with special emphasis on KET, which include: • Advanced manufacturing technologies • Advanced materials • Nanotechnology • Industrial biotechnology. Chemistry is also an important factor in knowledge domains such as: • Micro and nano electronics • Photonics • Knowledge for digital economy and the cultural and creative industry

Topics for research and development with a future: Advanced Manufacturing Technologies • Recycling technologies for the circular economy, e.g. new technologies for plastics, photovoltaic cell and battery recycling • Raw material and energy saving in production technologies • Water saving, cleaning, and recycling • Reduction of gaseous pollutant emission in the air, including CO2 emissions, e.g. research of high temperature absorption of CO2 from flue gases with the use of the carbonate loop • Industry 4.0 • Innovative methods of hydrogen production with the use of renewable and sustainable energy sources (photovoltaics, nuclear power generation) • introduction of new reactor technologies such as microstructural reactors offering higher efficiency, continuous mode, safe operation and lower costs

• Development of microreactor technologies for high risk inflammable, explosive or toxic reactants • research of coating technologies with specialisation especially for use in the automotive industry and the manufacture of transport vehicles • Modern reactors for refinery technologies • Development of technologies for large-capacity preparation of graphene • Solution of membrane gas separation, especially biogas. Advanced Materials Modern plastics • Research and development of new biopolymers and the modification thereof • Research and development of suitable biopolymers for the pharmaceutical industry • Research and development of bioanalog polymers (transport of medicines, skin and bone marrow substitution) • Research and development of new polymer membranes for dialysis

Water treatment plants and sludge dewatering Industrial applications in power and heating plants, chemical, mining, metallurgy, glass and ceramics Filtration Sedimentation Sludge dewatering Thickening

Equipment for solid - liquid separation Filter presses Lamella separators Sand filters ENVITES, spol. s r.o., Vídeˇská n 120b, 619 00 Brno, Czech Republic tel.: +420 547 429 211, mail: info@envites.cz

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www.envites.cz


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

• Research and development of technologies for bioplastics processing after the expiry of their lifetime • Studying possibilities of substituting conventional (metallic) materials by composites with specially modified properties • Research and development of cascade polymerisation technologies for the preparation of multimodal polymers (PE, PP) for the manufacture of modern packing materials • Research and development of biodegradable polymers • Research and development of plastics with reduced flammability • Research and development of selforganising composite materials and “smart surfaces”. Advanced Metallic Materials • Light alloys of titan, aluminium and magnesium with ultra fine structure, high firmness and thermal stability for use in aviation and the automotive industry • Light alloys made to measure by 3D printing technologies • High-strength steels for safety elements in the structure of vehicles • Advanced anti-corrosion surface finishing of vehicle structures • Intermetallics for application in extreme conditions (high temperatures, aggressive environment) • Possibilities of deficient metal substitution in demanding applications (e.g. tool, high temperature materials) • Economic and ecological processes in the • separation of lithium and other metals from raw materials and wastes • Metallic biomaterials for medicine with high strength properties, fatigue life, corrosion resistance and biocompatibility • Metallic biodegradable materials for use in implants with a temporary function • Porous, gradiently structured biomaterials made to measure by 3D printing • Advanced surface modifications of biomaterials for higher osseointegration, antibacterial effects and biocompatibility • Advanced extra firm, corrosion resistant, refractory materials for power generating equipment • Metallic materials for hydride phase hydrogen storage Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage a) Batteries (including flow batteries)

b) Hydrogen processes (fuel cells, water electrolysis) c) Supercapacitors • Supercapacitor electrodes • Active substances and battery system electrodes • Electrodes for low-temperature fuel cells with a low or no platinum metal content • Electrodes for low-temperature electrolytic decomposition of water with a low or no platinum metal content • Innovative polymer electrolytes and separators without fluorine chemistry • Low-temperature cathodes or homogenous catalysts for efficient CO2 conversion • High-temperature ceramic membranes and electrodes • High-temperature electrodes enabling efficient CO2 conversion. Modern Catalysts • Catalytic technologies for renewable electricity or renewable hydrogen storage in liquid fuels • Research and development of new organic and inorganic hybrid catalysts • Research and development of thermal and non-thermal catalysts (electro- and photo-catalysts) for the selective conversion of low-quality materials (e.g. biomass, glycerin, glycerol) into chemicals with high value added • Research and development of refinery processes using catalysts, especially hydrogenation catalysts, based on the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis • Optimisation of catalytic processes, such as hydrogenation, gasification resistant to catalytic poisons (sulphur) and the selective conversion of aromatics from coal tar • Research and development of catalysts for petrol and crude oil, which are very robust and resistant to catalytic poisons and coking • Research and development of new catalytic systems for selective partial methane oxidation • Research and development of deoxygenation catalysts for the production of motor fuels and raw materials for petrochemistry and the renewable raw materials based industry • Increasing the efficiency of existing automobile catalytic convertors of exhaust fumes in eliminating very small particles • Research and development of the method of decentralised catalytic treatment of waste water in households

Nanotechnology • Nano-biological, nano-magnetic, nano-membrane and other combined treatment technologies • Research and development of nanomaterials based on cheap photocatalytic active metal oxides • Research and development of transparent and multifunction nanohybrid systems with extra high resistance to UV radiation and extreme temperatures • Research and development of suitable nanomaterials for different 3D printing applications Industrial Biotechnologies • Research of enzyme catalytic mechanisms • Research and development of biocatalysts for oxidation and CC links creation • Raising thermal stability and the activity of biocatalysts and their compatibility with solvents • Research and development of advanced biotechnologies for the elimination of endocrin active and persistent pollutants from water and earth (polyaromatics, heavy metals) • Industrial applications of the hydrolysis of unconventional biomaterials from crop and animal wastes • Study of the potential use of the unconventional high-pressure conversion of biological materials (by subcritical environmentally friendly solvents) • Research and development of new products (for cosmetics and food supplements) on the basis of waste materials from crop and animal agricultural production • Developing new methods and approaches for separating chemical substances from materials of biological origin, especially by selective extraction using new types of solvents (supercritical ion liquids), possibly with the use of advanced techniques (microwaves, ultrasound, pulse electric fields, etc.), • Research and development of technologies for higher generation biofuels production • New constructions of bioreactors and separation equipment for use in biotechnology • Industrial use of new concepts of bioreactors and fermentors. 11 |


CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

Presentation of SCHP ČR

It has 98 individual members and three collective members: Association of Chemical Traders and Distributors, Association of Cleaning Stations, and Association of Paint Manufacturers. In all, it associates 135 organisations. Its principal activities are: • Providing active support to the business interests of the member companies in the Czech Republic, supporting the participation of the Czech chemical industry in the European and global economic systems, representing companies in their dealings with the administration authorities and transferring all available economic, legislative, and technical (including business) information to its member organisations • Representation of member companies in employer-employee, social and wage bargaining and in labour safety discussions, in collective bargaining with the trade unions and negotiations with state administration authorities. Since June 2001 SCHP ČR has been a regular member of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). SCHP ČR has contacts and it collaborates with similar foreign associations. It fully supports the Responsible Care programme and fosters the idea of sustainable development, while fully observing environmental protection principles. The participation of its member companies in this programme has a favourable international response. | 12

 THE MISSION OF SCHP ČR:

• Ensuring collaboration with elementary,

1. Pursuing activities to support its members especially in the areas of legislation economic decisions, support of competitiveness and innovation: • Supporting the interests of the chemical industry in dialogue with both chambers of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, government and other state institutions of the Czech Republic, the trade unions and other entities. • Advancing the common interests of the chemical industry in the framework of industry as a whole • Providing expert consulting for the area of the chemical industry; intervention during decision making processes and the drafting of legislative regulations affecting the interests of the chemical industry at the national and international levels • Collaborating with partner and international chemical industry associations • Supporting innovation processes, research and development in the area of the chemical industry and participation in framework programmes of development and research in the Czech Republic and the EU 2. Supporting education to enhance the skills of workers in the chemical industry and conduct social dialogue to ensure social peace within the sector: • Defending the interests of SCHP members in negotiations with higher-level trade union bodies. In the framework of collective bargaining to represent its members by whom they have been authorised to such representation

secondary, and tertiary-level education authorities in chemistry popularisation programmes aimed at preparing the future generation of chemical workers. • Ensuring services for its members, especially in the area of IT services, expert consulting, coordination of expert committee activities, organisation of specialised seminars including activities linked with the participation of the Czech Republic in EU programmes, in particular as regards collaboration with Central European countries • Ensuring information services for domestic and foreign entities in the area of the chemical industry 3. Guiding its members towards social responsibility and sustainable development of the Czech Republic, promote chemistry, highlight the role of the chemical sector within the national economy and improve the image of chemistry by promoting the “Good Practice” and “Responsible Care” principles: • Creating a favourable image of the chemical industry in the eyes of the public based on objective and well funded information and support good understanding of it. • Defending the interests of the chemical industry in negotiations with regional, national, and public administration bodies. • Coordination of voluntary activities in the area of health care, security and the environment, and logistics, all in accordance with international standards and activities • Preparing analyses of the economic development of the chemical industry in the Czech Republic and follow foreign trends.

Photo: pixabay.com

The Association of Chemical Industry of the Czech Republic (SCHP ČR) was established in 1992 as an independent branch union – voluntary association of manufacturing, business, design, research, and consulting organisations having a relationship with the chemical, pharmaceutical, and petrochemical industries and the plastics and rubber processing industry.


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

1.

Year of establishment of company

Essential economic data Composition of company bodies

Contact Address Phone E-mail Website

BOCHEMIE a.s.

2012 1904 origin of Bochemie predecessor, Österreichisches Chemikalienwerk Rudolf Goldschmidt & Komp. Registered capital: CZK 2 000 000 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman of the Board of Directors Member of the Board of Directors Member of the Board of Directors SUPERVISORY BOARD Member of the Supervisory Board

Ing. Miloslav Vodička Ing. Jiří Puš Mgr. Petr Martinásek Mgr. Taťana Skříšovská

BOCHEMIE a.s. Lidická 326, 735 81 Bohumín, Czech Republic +420 596 091 111 bochemie@bochemie.cz www.bochemie.cz

Profile of company

Bochemie has been building its know-how for over 110 years. Thanks to our long-term intensive research and development, we have become a leading producer of advanced chemical products that flexibly adapt to the current needs of our customers. Bochemie is generally regarded as a high-quality producer of its products and is the holder of the following key certificates: ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 13485, BRS Certificate according to Global Standards for Consumer Products, BPD – Biocidal Products Directive compliance, Responsible Care logo issued by the Chemical Industry Association of The Czech Republic.

The company´s production programme

Manufacturing programme is comprised of four basic groups which are specific with their specialisation, target groups and export territories:  Metal Surface Treatment: FEROPUR™ is used in the unique technological process of pickling stainless steel, Zinc Chloride is most commonly used as a flux in the process of hot-dip galvanising.  Material for Accumulators for industrial use.  Wood preservation: Treatment of construction timber and construction materials against biotic pests.  Manufacturing contractor for a wide range of disinfectants and detergents.

13 |


PROFILE

2.

Year of establishment of company Essential economic data

Composition of company bodies Contact Address Phone Fax E-mail Website

Czech Plastics Cluster / Plastics Processing Association

2006 Sales in 2017: EUR 0.6 mio. Employees: 6 Associated members: 54 Director

David Hausner

Czech Plastics Cluster / Plastics Processing Association ul. Šedesátá 7046, 760 01 Zlín, Czech Republic +420 775 505 343 +420 585 231 735, 585 231 424 hausner@plastr.cz www.plastr.cz

Profile of company

The plastics cluster was established in February 2006 as an Interest Association of Legal Entities with the aim to create a communication platform for its members – plastic products manufacturers. The main reason for cluster establishment was especially strong position of the plastics industry in the Zlín Region (together with rubber industry it represents the most productive sector of the region). Another reason is a shortage of qualified working labour force, missing research and development background for plastic product manufacturers, need of an appropriate negotiation position for services and products, and effective enforcement of the sector interests.

The company´s production programme

MISSION :  Create a representative forum of plastics manufacturers in the Zlín Region  Set up an effective network of plastics manufacturers for usage of selected services and products, as a prerequisite for increasing the performance and competitiveness  Provide background for the preparation of common development projects Supporting activities  Promoting the interests of members in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation, and education  Promotion of the plastics sector  Building technical support for applied research on plastics  The provision of selected services for members

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CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

3.

Year of establishment of company Essential economic data Composition of company bodies

Contact Address Phone E-mail Website

Explosia a.s.

1920 Number of employees (2017): 670 Chairman of the Board of Directors Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors Member of the Board of Directors

Ing. Josef Tichý, CSc. Ing. Radomír Krejča Ing. Ladislav Velehradský, Ph.D.

Explosia a.s. Semtín 107, 530 02 Pardubice, Czech Republic + 420 466 824 166, 466 825 200 explosia@explosia.cz www.explosia.cz

Profile of company

Explosia a.s. is a traditional and very important Czech manufacturer of explosives, whose history dates back to the year 1920. Explosia is a company 100 % owned by the Czech state; it is an independent trading company with an important position in the industrial explosives market. Explosia´s manufacturing and storage facilities are operated and managed by expert personnel, which allows the company to offer a practically full range of industrial explosives and igniters for all areas of use both on the surface and underground.

The company´s production programme

Part of Explosia is the Industrial Chemistry Research Institute (VÚPCH), which concerns itself with research and development in the area of explosives and ammunition. It offers services in the fields of analytical chemistry, testing and safety engineering for explosives and propellants and the manufacture of new low tonnage energy materials and special explosives and pyrotechnical components for aviation rescue systems. Through its FOSPOL division Explosia provides its clients in the mining industry with a full range of services.

15 |


PROFILE

4.

Year of establishment of company Essential economic data

Composition of company bodies

Contact Address Phone Fax E-mail Website

FARMAK, a.s.

9 th September 1992 Revenue arising from the sale of products and goods in 2017: CZK 594 million Number of employees as of 31 December 2017: 255 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman of the Board Vice Chairman of the Board Member of the Board Member of the Board Member of the Board SUPERVISORY BOARD Chairman of the Supervisory Board Member Member

Ing. Jiří Žák Ing. Jiří Křepelka, CSc. Ing. Bořivoj Frýbert Mgr. Tomáš Nezmeškal Ing. Josef Stuchlík Ing. Vojtěch Dřímalka Ing. Marta Paučková JUDr. Ing. Josef Škoda

FARMAK, a.s. Na vlčinci 16/3, Klášterní Hradisko, 779 00 Olomouc, Czech Republic +420 587 430 111, 585 547 111 +420 585 231 735, 585 231 424 ceo@farmak.cz www.farmak.cz

Profile of company

FARMAK, a.s. is a Czech chemical-pharmaceutical company focused on the development, production and marketing of active pharmaceutical ingredients and chemical products and specialties. In terms of sales, the company is strongly oriented on international markets, especially markets in Europe, America and Asia. Part of the company´s strategy is an integrated policy of quality, environment and prevention of serious accidents. Its quality management system meets cGMP requirements. Its production is subject to the regular inspection of the State Institute for Drug Control (SÚKL), the inspection of the American Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA) and customer audits.

The company´s production programme

The company concerns itself primarily with the chemistry of heterocyclic compounds using various types of reactions (including Grignard reactions) in production spaces meeting the criteria of Good Manufacturing Practice. A key role for the company´s work from the long-term point of view is shown by the manufacture and sale of active pharmaceutical ingredients belonging to the generics group, i.e. pharmaceutical substances whose original patent protection has expired. FARMAK, a.s. can also offer its extensive experience with contract manufacturing activities.

The Essential is Inside

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CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

5.

Year of establishment of company Essential economic data

Composition of company bodies

Contact Address Phone E-mail Website

Fatra, a.s., Napajedla

1935 Sales in 2017: CZK 3.8 billion Export: 68 % Authorised Share Capital (2016): CZK 1billion Employees: 1300 Total production capacity = 60 kt of plastic products BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Zbyněk Průša (Chairman) Pavel Čechmánek (Vice Chairman) Luděk Kramoliš (Board Member) Agrofert, a.s., representative of juristic person: Ivo Hanáček (Board Member) SUPERVISORY BOARD: Karel Vabroušek (Chairman) Jaroslav Kraus (Vice Chairman) Karel Jiříček (Board Member) COMPANY DIRECTOR: Ing. Pavel Čechmánek (Managing Director) Fatra, a.s. třída Tomáše Bati 1541, 763 61 Napajedla, Czech Republic +420 577 501 111 info@fatra.cz www.fatra.cz

Profile of company

Fatra, a.s. ranks among the world most significant plastic processing companies (PVC, PE, and PET). Fatra is an integral part of the plastic processing industry in the Czech Republic and Central Europe. Fatra operates modern plastic processing technologies in its production plants in Napajedla and Chropyně, with more than 1300 employees. The company offers top products and specialised customer-tailored solutions that include not only the production, but also development activities and consulting services. More than 65 % of its production are headed for international markets – sells its products to 50 countries in the world. Fatra, a.s. has several times vindicated its certificates “Responsible Care” and “Safe Company”.

The company´s production programme

Production assortment is divided into 7 product segments:  Floor coverings under the brand LINO FATRA, THERMOFIX, FATRACLICK  Waterproofing membranes FATRAFOL, insulations for roofs, ground, garden ponds and special projects  Consumer segment – technical PVC-P foils, PVC granulate, extruded profiles, welded inflatable products  Special products – PE/PET/EVAC foil and sheets, injected products  Breathable films and laminates under brand SONTEK – for hygiene  BOPET – biaxial-oriented polyester films  Regranulate from internal/external waste

17 |


PROFILE

6.

Year of establishment of company Essential economic data Composition of company bodies

Contact Phone E-mail Website Profile of company

The company´s production programme

GUMOTEX, akciová společnost

1950 Turnover in 2016: CZK 2.7 billion Shareholder: Expandia Holding N.V. Board of directors: 6 members Supervisory board: 3 members GUMOTEX, akciová společnost +420 519 314 111 info@gumotex.cz www.gumotex.cz GUMOTEX, akciová společnost (joint stock company) is a symbol of quality and reliability in the international rubber products and technical foams market. Its stable position as a renowned manufacturer is attested by the modern production technologies it uses and its continuous quest for perfection in the area of development. Its products are found in the automotive industry and the water sports and active recreation segment. It also manufactures products for rescue systems used in crisis situation. A large part of its products are multifunction inflatable systems of wide use, especially in the furniture industry. The company is a renowned firm engaged in plastics processing, specialising in products based on polyurethane and EPP foams and rubber textile materials marked for their high utility properties. 

GUMOTEX Automation

Manufacture and development of interior parts for cars, trucks, and buses. Special emphasis is on quality, functionality, reliability, and design. 

GUMOTEX Rubber & Coatings

Manufacture of more than 150 different kinds of rubber mixtures and a wide range of surface-finished materials. 

GUMOTEX Boats & Outdoor

Development and manufacture of inflatable boats (kayaks, canoes, and rafts), used for recreational activities and in professional sport. 

GUMOTEX Rescue Systems

Manufacture of products for rescue systems and crisis situations, for life, health and property protection and security. 

GUMOTEX Automation Technology

Automation devices, single-purpose manipulators, lines and preparations with guaranteed comprehensive service.

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CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

7.

Year of establishment of company Essential economic data

Composition of company bodies Contact Address Phone E-mail Website Profile of company The company´s production programme

MATEICIUC a.s.

1990 2017: number of employees 120 Turnover EUR 12.8 mil. Director

Ing. Ludvík Šanda

MATEICIUC a. s. Ke Koupališti 370/15, 742 35 Odry, Czech Republic +420 556 312 430 hana.vondrakova@mateiciuc.cz www.mat-plasty.com The company manufactures plastic products by extrusion and injection moulding. Materials we process : PVC, PE-HD, PE-LD, PP, PA, PS ABS, EVA, PMMA, PV Technologies we use: Plastics extrusion and injection moulding Own development centre, technological centre with toolroom Product range: building profiles; plaster beads; drywall beads; protective pipes; flexible ventilation ducts for heat recovery ventilation; industrial hoses; small mouldings Top products: profile system for external thermal insulation connectional system (EIFS); KLIMAFLEX SB and accessories for HRV; VARIOFLAT system of microtubes for FTTx network construction. Three of these products are protected by patent. Quality: MATEICIUC ´s quality control system meets the requirements of the ČSN EN ISO 9001:2009 standard. The company´s vision: “To rank among Europe´s leading building profile manufacturers.” Future: Development, innovation, new markets

19 |


CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

Chemistry Wins with the Best Project

The collaboration of teams at the Centre of Materials and Nanotechnology of the Chemical Technology University in Pardubice and the PARDAM company, which lasted for several years, resulted in the development of a unique sorption material based on silicon dioxide whose sorption properties significantly exceed those of standard nanofibre materials and the currently used sorbents. The new technological process used in the industrial production of advanced nanostructural silicon fibres became the basis of the joint patent of Pardubice University and PARDAM awarded by the Industrial Property Office.

 PROPERTIES OF THE PRODUCT “A sorbent has been developed which has exceptional utility properties. The fibres made by the new technology have great chemical and thermal resistance, and an extremely large specific surface area. This and their mesoporous structure make them excellent sorbents,” Jan | 20

Macák explains. The new patent will help PARDAM in its real manufacturing practice to make a sufficient amount of materials to meet the customers´ growing needs. The manufacturing process has been optimised to a degree that the fibres will have reproducible parameters and properties that will make no difference if you manufacture one kilogram or one tonne of it,” says Macák who, together with his team and the team of PARDAM s.r.o, stands behind the new technological method of the new silicon fibre manufacture. “The aim in developing this fibrous material is to meet the demand for sorption materials with a high specific surface area which, in comparison with standard sorbents available in the market, have not only higher sorption properties, i.e. the ability to absorb more water, but also good and less energy intensive regeneration properties. All these parameters make it a material with high value added. In practice it means that, for example, in an environment requiring lesser air humidity, such as archives, museums, special manufacturing environment for electronics and other places, it will not be needed to change the sorbents so often. In addition, these sorbents can be re-used after relatively

The new sorption material has a good chance of use in different catalytic applications, as a precious metal particle carrier, highly resistant battery separator, or special chemically and thermally resistant filtration material usable in many sectors, including electronics, the food industry, and the chemical industry. Currently it is manufactured on an industrial scale in PARDAM´s modern manufacturing premises in Roudnice nad Labem, using the centrifugal spinning technology. This technology has already been patented. Collaboration on the development of the new material lasted three years. It had the form of regular production testing carried out in PARDAM´s premises, which gradually turned from laboratory conditions to pilot plant and to full operation conditions. The necessary characterisation was realised in the CEMNAT Centre in Pardubice.

More about Collaboration The Centre for Materials and Nanotechnology (CEMNAT) of the Chemical Technology Faculty, University of Pardubice, carries out scientific and research work in the area of material sciences focused on photonics, electronics, photovoltaics, and catalyses. Using the know-how of its workers and its own modern equipment, it offers synergic opportunities for external users, research organisations and the industrial sphere, as well as a number of research workers and students of the Faculty of Chemical Technology and other material-oriented workplaces. PARDAM s.r.o. is a Czech company concerned with the development of nanofibre materials and their follow-up manufacture and functionalisation for the needs of particular products and applications. In 2009 it began to develop and manufacture nanofibre materials. It has perfectly mastered the centrifugal spinning technology used in the continuous production of nanofibre

materials. The company uses this technology based on polymer solutions and melts on an industrial scale. It uses three different types of spinning technologies, which it has adapted for use in functional equipment capable of processing different kinds of polymers in a wide range of products. The company holds several patents and patent applications. It successfully commercialises a number of nanofibre-based products, either in conjunction with partners or directly. Its main value added is the transfer of laboratory research results into industrial practice and final products. PARDAM is a part of the NANOPROGRESS cluster and a member of the Czech Nanotechnological Industry Association. It has won a number of awards, the last time at the TechConnect World 2017 exhibition in Washington, where it won the TechConnect Innovation Award. The University of Pardubice recently became a member of the NANOPROGRESS cluster, through its Centre for Materials and Nanotechnology.

easy regeneration. This means considerable saving in cost and energy. “

 PRACTICAL APPLICATION

Photo: pixabay.com

The competition for the Best 2017 Realised Collaboration Project was won by the Centre of Materials and Nanotechnology attached to the Chemical Technology University in Pardubice and the PARDAM company. The participants in the 6th instalment of the contest competed for the best realised project in the area of research, development and innovation based on successful collaboration between a universitylevel research institution and the application sphere.


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

Czech Pharmaceutical Industry Focuses on Generics The pharmaceutical industry greatly contributes towards the development of the world economy. It is a strong sector and one of the pillars of industrially developed economies. The industry ranks alongside hi-tech manufacturing sectors placing special emphasis on science and research, where large amounts of money are invested each year in the development of new medicines (usually 15-20 % of the amount of annual revenues). Its production portfolio is very wide, consisting of original medicines protected by patent and generic medicines the patent protection of which has expired.

Division of section CZ-NACE 21 by group: 21.1 Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products 21.2 Manufacture of pharmaceutical preparations

For reasons of high costs, major manufacturers in the Czech Republic focus on generics, where this country ranks among the world´s best. The decisive group is large companies accounting for 77 % of revenue, 74 % of value added and 68 % of employed persons. The second largest group is medium-sized enterprises with from 20 % to 25 % of the indicators under review.

 THE SECTOR IS FARING WELL Economic profit in 2016 increased significantly in comparison with 2015, when it was already showing good positive values. Group 21.1 recorded a slight decline in economic profit creation, but in both years the group showed good positive values. It can be said that the section is doing well economically and is improving. The main factor influencing economic growth is better productivity – a better margin, improvement of the production power, and greater profitability of own capital.

 LEADING POSITIONS OF FIRMS The leading position in the Czech pharmaceutical market is held by Zentiva, owned by the Sanofi pharmaceutical group. Sanofi came into being by fusing with other pharmaceutical firms at an international level. Its presence in the Czech Republic dates back to the early 1990s. Its subsidiary, Zentiva, which Sanofi bought in 2009, operates in more than 50 countries in Europe, the Near East, and Africa. The Zentiva factory in Prague´s Dolní Měcholupy has been manufacturing drugs since 1930. The firm´s headquarters and its research and development centre are also located in Prague. Zentiva Group a.s., which also has its headquarters in Prague, has the task of promoting the Zentiva trademark in the Czech Republic. Another large company operating in the Czech Republic is Teva Czech Industries s.r.o., formerly known as Galena, which now belongs to the Israeli supranational corporation, Teva, an important pharmaceutical manufacturer with

a very long history. Its headquarters are situated in Opava, Komárov, in the north-east of the Czech Republic. Its broad product portfolio includes generic medical preparations (such as anti-asthmatics, cytostatics, immunosuppressives, hypolipidemics, antihypertensives, etc.) in the form of tablets, capsules, and liquid dosage forms, OTC drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), and plant extracts. The products meet international quality standards and are exported to a number of countries all over the world, including the USA and Western Europe. The company´s prosperity is owed to its more than 1 500 employees, who take great credit for its achievements. In 2006 the company became part of the supranational Teva group. In the Czech Republic, the company has realised several development projects supported through subsidy funds. These include, for example, the construction of a new plant for the manufacture of solid drug forms, with an investment incentive grant obtained 21 |


PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY

 ECONOMIC INDICATORS With regard to revenue, the pharmaceutical sector is showing a trend differing from most other sectors. The threefold revenue slumps, in the years 2009, 2012 and 2016, were responsible for the very moderate growth between 2008 and 2016 (by 2.1 % annually on an average). The highest revenues were achieved in 2015. A similar development was shown by value added, where the slump occurred coincidentally with revenues in 2009. Its highest value was achieved in 2014. Productivity of labour developed in a similar way, as did value added in combination with changes in employment. Within the manufacturing industry, this is a sector with the lowest number of units. Between 2008 and 2010, their number showed a very slight growth, followed by a moderate decline and smaller growth again and ultimately by a decline that lasted until the end of the period under review. A relatively more even development was shown by the number of employed persons, which declined gradually and only began to grow in 2016. Between 2008 and 2016 the indicator – average wage – was showing a continuing upward trend.

In 2016 the export of CZ-CPA 21 products amounted to CZK 60.6 billion. Traditionally the largest outlet for Czech pharmaceuticals was Germany (especially drugs and pharmaceutical products, such as cotton wool, gauze and bandages) accounting for 26 %, followed by Denmark (drugs, antiserums), with a share of 14 %, and Slovakia (drugs, pharmaceutical products) accounting for 12 %. Another important outlet was the USA (pharmaceutical products, such as cotton wool, gauze and bandages) accounting for 5 %, followed by Russia (drugs), the UK and Poland (4 % each). In 2016, imports rose to CZK 104.7 billion. The largest importer is again Germany (19 %, mainly drugs and vitamins), followed by France (drugs) with a share of 9 %, Switzerland (6 %), the USA, Italy, the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands (5 % each).

Revenues of the pharmaceutical market in the Czech Republic in the past six years (in CZK billion): 2011

63.2

2012

64.1

2013

60.0

2014

61.0

2015

65.5

2016

68.4

Source Sprinx Systems

 RESEARCH AND

DEVELOPMENT

In pharmaceutical commodities, the import value exceeds the value of exports. In 2016 both values increased noticeably, as did the unfavourable balance, in consequence of the faster growth of the import values.

In 2015, R & D expenses amounted to CZK 1 124 million, 4 % more than in 2011. With the exception of 2013, expenses in the period under review exceeded the CZK 1 000 million level per year. The firms which drew an important volume of support from the state budget in the framework of the MIT programmes (IMPULSE, TIP, TRIO) and TA CR (Alfa, Competence Centres, and Epsilon) between 2004 and 2016 include VAKOS XT a.s., SEVAPHARMA a.s., RadioMedic s.r.o., DYNTEC spol. s r.o., and BioVendor- Laboratorní medicína a.s., which participates in the DIAGORAS project (Horizon2020). In the framework of OP PIK calls in the 2014-2020 programming period, grants amounting to CZK 160 million were awarded to research, development and innovation projects coming under CZ-NACE 21, which were distributed among enterprises in two regions. The largest recipient among the big enterprises is SOTIO a.s. (founding

a modern cell therapy development centre) in the Central Bohemia Region, and among smaller enterprises is EXBIO Praha, a.s., also in Central Bohemia, which succeeded with two projects. In 2015, the MSD pharmaceutical firm, one of the largest companies in the pharmacy sector, opened an innovative IT Centre in Prague. The Centre, which employs more than 500 people, specialises in software engineering, IT operations, and digital marketing; it creates mathematical models, carries out business analyses and studies the possible uses of mobile technologies in healthcare. One of the objectives of the Centre is the development of smartphone applications that could assist in healthcare, and the study of drugs for their suitability of development and further investment. The firm has been present in the Czech Republic since 1992. Its focus is on biological treatment, vaccines and the treatment of diabetes and other diseases.

Growth of Revenue In 2016, revenue in the Czech pharmaceutical market grew by 4.4 % to CZK 68.4 billion, according to the Sprinx Index, prepared for the Healthcare Daily by the Sprinx Systems technological company. The largest volume of medicines, worth nearly CZK 62 billion, was sold through pharmacies. On the other hand, the num-

ber of medicine packings sold declined in comparison with 2015. The largest volumes of sales were realised by the Sanofi-Aventis companies (CZK 5.9 billion), Roche (CZK 3.8 billion), and Novartis (CZK 3.6 billion), according to Sprinx. The market leader, the Sanofi Group, is the owner of the medicine manufacturing firm of Zentiva. In 2016, Sanofi announced that

it would start selling out its business in the area of generic medicines in Europe. One of the largest manufacturers of such medicines is Zentiva, which has its manufacturing plant in Prague. The number of drug packings sold in the Czech Republic last year declined by 2.4 % yearon-year to 261.7 million, according to the Sprinx Index.

 FOREIGN TRADE

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Photo: www.freeimages.com, Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry archives

through the intermediary of CzechInvest, and the construction of a new training centre with the aid of the EU Regional Development Fund. It also obtained a grant for its employee instruction and training programmes from the Adaptability and Competitiveness global grant, under the Human Resources and Employment Operating Programme.


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

Pharmaceutical Industry: Trends, Development, Future The pharmaceutical industry is undeniably a sector of the future. The providers of medical services and, consequently, the pharmaceutical industry itself, are facing challenges ensuing from the ever growing demands placed on it by the public, the aging population, and technological progress and from efforts to make public services more efficient. In this respect, an important role is played by research. “While primary research in the Czech Republic is still considered rather less important, relatively more significant is the clinical evaluation of new medicines, especially in the higher phases – the second and the third. This involves costly and massive investments, which benefit all – the state, expert circles, and patients. Each year, the pharmaceutical industry invests some two billion crowns in this way,” says Jakub Dvořáček, Executive Director of the Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry (AIFP).

Which are the latest trends appearing in the pharmaceutical industry? Can you make a brief evaluation of the Czech market in this area? Thanks to pharmaceutical development, a revolution in the true sense of the word is taking place in different branches of medicine. The limits have been pushed dramatically further, for example, in the treatment of oncology patients, patients suffering

from multiple sclerosis, and those affected by chronic viral infections. Biological medicines are very important – immunotherapy adjusted to the needs of specific groups of patients. Great hope is placed on new treatment methods, especially with regard to gene therapy. A rich source of new information is the We-Won't-Rest Campaign, for example, launched by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). In the Czech Republic, medicine costs and the average per capita healthcare costs have remained practically unchanged for the past few years. More money has been allocated to healthcare, but most of it went on wages. It is therefore necessary to think about giving direct support to the quality of healthcare, to make even the most advanced medical technologies and medications available for treatment. However well paid the doctor may be, he will not be able to offer the patient more advanced treatment if the regulators do not admit it into the system. It should be pointed out that the number of patients treated in specialised centres is growing and so are the related costs. This is only possible at the expense of savings made in other areas. After the patent protection of innovated medicines has expired, generic and biosimilar medicines appear in the market, which reduce costs in the system. This, however, does not assist

in the development of innovative medications which advance medicine and are the greatest value added. It sometimes occurs that patients must seek the money needed for modern treatment, which although approved is not covered by the health insurance companies, in public money-raising campaigns, medialise their cases in an effort to get the rules changed, in ways which are not always too dignified. Alternatively, their doctor must apply for exceptional coverage, which is a very demanding and costly administrative procedure. Politicians should consider the situation and ask whether the system should not be changed. The cost efficiency valuation system could be much more flexible and transparent, based on data in the registers we already have. It is urgently needed to solve the situation regarding drugs for rare diseases, which are now entering the system as highly innovative preparations for a limited time, thus getting a chance to prove their cost efficiency in practice. This possibility will soon become severely limited and another way will have to be found for the drugs to reach the patient. The benefits of new medical technologies could soon be evaluated on the basis of money that could be saved in the social area. This would greatly improve the availability of modern treatment. This year, the Health Insurance Office completed a study which proved that linking healthcare and social care data was possible. Where do you see potential opportunities or dangers in this area? In addition to the difficult availability of innovative medicines, I would mention clinical studies. While primary research is still considered rather less important in the Czech Republic, clinical evaluations of new pharmaceuticals are relatively strongly represented. Especially in the higher phases – the second and third. These are costly and extensive investments which are of benefit to the state, specialists, and patients. In this way, the pharmaceutical industry invests some two billion crowns each year. Thousands of new patients will participate in the studies and will thus get access to innovative treatment, which has not been generally available so far, and will not be for some time. The medicines and 23 |


PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY

What is the key driving force of development in this sector on the Czech market? The driving force of research is the pharmaceutical industry, and the situation is expected to remain so for quite a long time. | 24

Nevertheless, new ways are being sought, for example in conjunction with small and medium-sized enterprises and the academic sphere. A number of Centres of Excellence have come into being, with top scientists working in them, such as ÚOCHB, CEITEC, and BIOCEV. In future, the pharmaceutical industry can outsource more of its research. Linking researchers with industry, which means putting innovations into practice, is a good method of technology transfer, the importance of which is certain to grow. How do you support the involvement of Czech scientists and firms in the area of research? Many AIFP member companies support the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 (IMI 2) project, which is the largest public partnership project, in Europe. The European Union supports it with tens of millions of euros in each of its calls, usually made twice a year. It is a tremendous chance, also for Czech research workers and small and medium-sized enterprises.

We are trying to assist in various publicity campaigns. Currently a new video is being prepared as part of the Science is our Passion cycle. It is dedicated to Professor Martin Fusek, who is concerned in technology transfer at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry associated with the Czech Academy of Sciences. Can you mention any examples of successful collaboration between scientists and pharmaceutical firms in the Czech Republic? A number of Czech research workplaces participate in the IMI public partnership project mentioned before. They include, for example, the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Bacterial Pathogens attached to the Microbiological Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (project concerning vaccination against whooping cough), the Laboratory of Metallomics and Nanotechnology at Mendel University in Brno (development of Ebola diagnostic test) and the Rheumatology Institute in Prague (a project studying rheumatoid arthritis and the risks this disease involves). A new participant to have joined the project this year is the Medical Genomics Laboratory at Masaryk University in Brno. There are many more such workplaces, which cannot be mentioned here for lack of space. Worth mentioning is the fact that pharmaceutical companies themselves support many scientists and their projects individually by awarding grants and various prizes to them.

Photo: BIOCEV archives; pixabay.com

all costs related to the study are covered by the contracting authority, i.e. the sponsor of the clinical study. This means that the treatment does not burden the budget of the health insurance company financially, nor that of the actual patient. Some 400 clinical evaluation applications have been filed annually in recent years and there are justified fears that the Czech Republic might lose its good position in this area because of the competition from neighbouring countries, such as Poland, Austria, and Germany, and some Asian states. In choosing countries where clinical studies should be undertaken, pharmaceutical companies researching new medicines consider a number of factors, including the potential administrative burden involved, and the length of time needed for the study. In this respect, many countries offer better conditions. Our association runs a consulting service on its website www.aifp.cz which helps patients find “their” clinical study. In this way, we are trying to ensure that the investments remain in the Czech Republic. In addition, people using a large number of medicines can refer to our other consulting service on the website called “I know my medicines” and verify whether they are not threatened by undesirable multi-drug interaction.


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

2017: Czech Achievements in Pharmaceutics Expenditure on research and development incurred by innovative pharmaceutical companies in Europe is steadily increasing. The expert estimate is that in 2016 this expenditure amounted to EUR 35 billion, in comparison with less than 28 billion in 2010, and with only about half of last year´s sum in the year 2000. In the Czech Republic, primary research is not strongly represented, but there are a large number of clinical studies which constitute an indivisible part of advances in medicine.

In the Czech Republic, pharmaceutical firms invest nearly two billion crowns each year. Experts agree that in this respect the Czech Republic is benefiting from its geographical position in the heart of Europe, the positive approach of doctors to clinical studies, well managed healthcare documentation and the still relatively low costs. In today´s globalised world, however, competition is keen, with a considerable part of research being moved to East Asia. Countries like Brazil, India, and Russia are very active in this respect. Competition from neighbouring countries, too, is high. Many countries create a very favourable climate for the realisation of clinical studies. Experts believe that the Czech Republic should reduce the regulative and administrative burden in this respect, at least to prevent a decline in the number of current clinical studies and to try to attract new ones. In the laboratories, scientists and researchers verify the effectiveness of a tremendous number of molecules, with only a small proportion of them proving sufficiently efficient to be advanced to the higher phase of development, where the potential medicine is tested on volunteers and later on patients. Experts estimate that several hundred new

medicines could be developed and used in the next five to ten years. Most of the medicinal substances being studied (some 1 800) are targeted at oncological diseases, followed by neurological diseases (more than 1 300) and infectious diseases (more than 1 200). The reason why such a large number of anti-tumour drugs are being developed is that modern oncology is trying to target treatment at narrow groups of patients, relying on the accurate diagnostics which make it possible to distinguish different tumour subtypes based on the knowledge of genetics.

 INTERESTING START-UP PROJECT One of the firms working on the development of a drug against tumour and auto-immune diseases is the Czech-American startup firm, Machavert. The firm is developing a drug using the method of attaching fats to tumour cells friendly to the patient. The firm´s expenses on research are growing massively. The estimate is that, in a year´s time, the costs will be twice as high as this year and, in 2019, will grow fivefold. “The most expensive are tests on people, specifically in the third phase of clinical testing, which, in the case of favourable results, is followed by registration and permission to sell,” says Jakub Staszak-Jirkovský, co-founder of Machavert. The final figures and the phasing of expenses may influence the type of drug and its targeting. In low-incidence diseases, such as pancreatic cancer, the costs can be radically reduced and the approval period in the most expensive phase shortened. The pre-clinical development of the medicine costs from 1 to 3 % of the total

costs, the first clinical phase between 5 and 15 %, the second phase about one-quarter of the costs and the third phase 65 % of the costs, according to Staszak-Jirkovský. Startups usually have problems finding ways of financing their projects. Machavert has chosen the conventional method of equity selling, i.e. selling a share of the business. In three to five years, the firm is planning to go on the stock exchange and is also examining the possibilities of crowdfunding. Start-up financing in the pharmaceutical industry is financially very demanding, so that even in the early phase of a project, financial investors only buy relatively small business shares.

 CZECH ACHIEVEMENTS

IN BIOTECHNOLOGIES AND PHARMACEUTICS Machavert is not the only example of an interesting project in the area of pharmaceutics in the Czech Republic. Other interesting and valuable ventures are projects leading to new discoveries, such as combating diabetes by laser and sending fats to fight cancer, discoveries made by Czech scientists in 2017, which, when brought to fruition, may help millions of people in the future.

 DIABETES CURED

IN 15 MINUTES? More than 400 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes. Specialists at the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) could assist them. In May 2017, they started preparations for testing a breakthrough treatment of type 2 diabetes, which afflicts up to 92 % of diabetics. The new method is 25 |


PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY

based on the “blinding” of nerve cells in the small intestine, specifically in the duodenum, by endoscopic laser via the oesophagus and stomach. This treatment could lead to the complete extermination of this type of disease, without the need of surgery, general anaesthesia, and a long recovery time in hospital. A similar problem is being tackled at the Czech Academy of Sciences, where researchers discovered a substance with a positive effect on the treatment of the same type of diabetes, as well as on obesity. The point is that this substance activates other receptors than those activated by similar preparations currently used, and has a direct effect on food intake. Simply put, it “alerts” the person consuming food that he or she is satiated and should not eat any more. The medicine containing this substance could appear in the market in about eight years.

carcinogenic cells or in preventing their occurrence. For example, in the Biocev Centre at Vestec near Prague, scientists have found a method of forcing carcinogenic cells to commit suicide. Importantly, these concerned cells are linked with one of the most aggressive types of breast cancer, HER2, which accounts for about one-fifth of all breast tumours occurring in patients in the Czech Republic. The new medicine is targeted directly so as to attack the mitochondria of cancerous cells, i.e. their life-givers and vital energy supply source. Clinical testing of the medicine on the first patients was planned to start later this year. Another Czech company, Sotio, entered the last stage of the clinical testing of a new preparation for prostate cancer treatment.

 CANCER: MITOCHONDRIA OR

A new method of antibiotic production is being introduced in the Czech Republic. The expected result is several times higher efficiency of the medication. Its makers at Biocev have had the new manufacturing

 COMBATING MALARIA WITH

MORE EFFICIENT ANTIBIOTICS FOCUS ON FRIENDLY FATS The year 2017 has so far been relatively rewarding with regard to the development of new medicines in combating certain

process patented, based on the as yet untried combination of two natural substances, lincomycin and celesticetin. Large-scale testing of its effects has already begun. The result is expected to be most positive, as the process of its production is in fact a simulation of the evolution of natural antibiotics.

 EASIER HEALING OF DAMAGED

TISSUE Great progress has also been made in the treatment of damaged tissues, based on the use of nanotechnology. Czech scientists are developing a material intended to significantly facilitate the healing process. Their special bandage, made of fibres up to a thousand times thinner than the human hair, has the capacity to spontaneously disintegrate. In addition, it can be “impregnated” with healing substances. This could solve and compensate for problems in the use of conventional gauze, especially in the treatment of burns, where the danger of damaging the healing tissue when removing the conventional gauze dressing is thus eliminated.

FARMAK, a.s. www.farmak.cz

Do you perceive any strong trend influencing your line of business? The rocketing demands on medicines’ quality and their testing strongly influence the volume of investment in their development, production, and distribution. On the other hand, this is accompanied by growing pressure to reduce medicine | 26

How are you faring in foreign markets? What in your opinion is the repute of Czech products abroad? Our firm is exclusively export-oriented. More than 90 % of our production goes for export. Our experience is that the “Made in the Czech Republic” logo still has a good reputation abroad, owing to the high quality of Czech products in general and their friendly prices. We pride

ourselves on the fact that even our most advanced products are finding their way to discerning foreign markets. What are the most significant export deals concluded by your firm recently which you can be proud of? What are your plans for the development of your company? Our great achievement was the recent increase in our sales to Latin America, especially Brazil, and also to Russia, where our sales are growing steadily. We would like to increase our sales to the USA, once our historically best market. We are also planning to enter the ASEAN markets, specifically the Indonesian and Malaysian ones, although we are aware of the tremendous competition from Chinese firms and the resulting pressure on the prices.

Photo: Farmak, a.s. archives

prices, which are two absolutely contradictory processes. Hardly anyone realises how much the actual development of medicinal substances costs and what risks their manufacturers take upon themselves. In consequence, we are obliged to reduce selling prices and at the same time assume greater responsibility.


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

New Top Pharmaceutical Laboratory in Prague An advanced analytical laboratory for the pharmaceutical industry has been opened in Prague by ALS Czech Republic.

advanced technologies, top-standard analytical equipment and a team of professionals, we can offer our clients the most comprehensive services,” says Marek Jiříček, Managing Director of ALS, Food & Pharmaceutical Services for Central and Eastern Europe. The tested matrixes portfolio comprises pharmaceutical raw materials, API, waters of pharmacopoeial quality and final pharmaceutical forms.

 PHARMACEUTICAL In 2017, ALS Czech Republic opened a top-standard pharmaceutical laboratory in its vast premises covering a surface area of 380 sq. metres in Prague´s Harfa Industrial Park. The laboratory is designed to undertake chemical and physical testing of medicines and other pharmaceuticals. This project is the company´s reaction to the growing demand for chemical and physical testing of medicines and other pharmaceuticals and the increasingly stricter quality requirements. “Thanks to the most

LABORATORY TESTING All manufacturers of medical preparations or substances are required not only to check their own products and input raw materials, but also to carry out checks at the different stages of the production process. The laboratories are therefore an integral part of production and quality control. The basic parameters which must regularly be controlled are the basic microbiological indicators. This is where checks are done for the presence of microorganisms, yeast

SIGNIFICANT CONSUMER HEALTHCARE COMPANY IN CEE

Millions of satisfied consumers More than 25 years’ experience in the field of dietary supplements has brought Walmark products to millions of satisfied consumers worldwide. The Walmark company has successfully developed its business activities in more than 45 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

fungi and moulds. Checks of the environment are undertaken if the production process so requires – air samples are taken regularly from the production space, from the surface of the manufacturing equipment, etc. Chemical and physical-chemical parameters are also checked, in addition to microbiological testing. Their purpose is to determine the quantity of the main component or the active substance and to check the presence of other additives and undesirable contaminants, such as certain metal elements and solvents.

 ALS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC Within the framework of ALS Life Sciences, ALS Czech Republic, s.r.o. figures as an important centre for undertaking analyses of food, medicines, and environmental samples. Although it serves as a central laboratory in the Central and East European area, it also provides its services to clients in the whole of Europe, especially the UK and the Scandinavian states.

YOU CAN BE A PARTNER AND BENEFIT FROM THIS SUCCESS! For further information and details please visit the company webpage:

www.walmark.eu Walmark, a.s. Oldrichovice 44, 739 61 Trinec, Czech Republic Tel.: +420 558 301 348 Fax: +420 558 301 311, E-mail: export@walmark.cz

BETTER CHOICES, BETTER HEALTH, BETTER LIVES

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PR

SILON Strategic Focus: Cable Compounds SILON is well established and known as an innovative company, a leader in the field of high-grade PEX-b materials for safety pipes in Europe, which has been the major focus of production in recent years. SILON produces more than 100 kT of products every year, which are shipped all over the world. Our current aim is to strengthen the cable business by selling unique products supported by high-end technology and know-how that cover solutions for key low voltage cable applications: Transport, Renewable, Industrial and Construction. SILON offers a product portfolio covering these segments and is open for tailor made solutions and R&D partnerships especially in the following areas: insulation, jacketing, thermal-conductive, TPO HFFR and PEX-b HFFR compounds. Our Insulation compounds are designed based on a process involving cross-linkable polyethylene by Sioplass using peroxide and silane as a cross-linking agent. The advantages of silane-based PEX-b insulation compounds are their excellent insulation properties (volume resistivity > 1.3.1016 Ω.cm at 90 °C) and ease of processing on cable extrusion lines, which makes them more suited in W&C than peroxide-based compounds. These compounds comply with the following standards: IEC 60502-1 XLPE; IEC 60092-351 HF XLPE; CEI 18-16/351; VDE 0276 2XI1; HD 604 2XI1, TÜV PV 1-F, EN 50618, IEC 60811. Our insulation compounds portfolio also includes thermoplastic HFFR compounds, as well as silane-based PEX-b HFFR compounds, which

fulfil VDE 0207/23 HJ2; IEC 60502-1 type ST 8, IEC 60092-359 SHF2 and also flexible PEX-b HFFR compounds used for underthe-hood applications according ISO 6722. Silon can offer thermoplastic jacket compounds with a thermal endurance of up to 70 °C, 90 °C according to VDE 0207/24 HM2 and HM4 - B2ca - Dca EN 50575 and PEX-b HFFR jacket compounds for photovoltaic applications in accordance with EN 50618. SILON’s activities are strongly supported through investment in R&D, production technologies and effective services. Our technical experts can assist in choosing the best product for your specification needs and our research laboratory can provide technical assistance in characterising your process needs. To boost its competencies, SILON made significant investments into the high-end Buss technology ready for customer by the end of June 2018. With the new technology, SILON believes to be the preferable partner for tailor-made solutions. For more detailed information about our product portfolio and our current cable development programme visit our microsite: www.silon-cablecompounds.eu or you can contact our Strategic Sales Manager for TABOREX C directly: Detlef Lange: lange@silon.eu MICHAL ČERMÁK, DETLEF LANGE, DIRK HAASE 1

AMI Consulting report, “Polymeric Materials in The European Cable Industry 2017,” Strateg. Consult. to Glob. Plast. Ind., vol. 4, p. 224, 2017.

Photo: SILON archives

Wire & Cable are an essential part of today’s digitally-enriched life and the healthy growth of this segment is a profound indicator of an economy’s overall condition. The current turnover in the W&C sector in Europe is nearly EUR 2.3 B with a total of 1.369 MT of compound consumption. W&C demand will increase to 1.606 MT in 2021, which results in 3.3 % p.a. growth in the most probable scenario. The long-term trends in fire retardancy and the new safety regulations (CPR; No 305/2011) further support the current demand for LSF0H/HFFR cables, which has seen the strongest growth in recent years. Therefore, growth expectancy in this segment could be almost 10.1 % p.a. and could remain that strong until 2021. The XLPE business segment also profits from high investment in power cables for electricity networks and constructions, and will show further growth of about 6.3 % p.a. up to 2021 1.

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Safer Cables,

Safer Living

TRANSPORT RENEWABLE INDUSTRIAL CONSTRUCTION

www.silon-cablecompounds.eu www.silon.eu 29 |


PR

Cayman Pharma

Currently Cayman Pharma manufactures the following glaucoma APIs according to the latest ICH and CGMP requirements for commercial distribution: TRAVOPROST, LATANOPROST, BIMATOPROST, and TAFLUPROST that have been developed for lowering intraocular pressure (IOP) while having fewer side effects during management of glaucoma. Glaucoma is actually a group of eye conditions that leads to damage of the optic nerve. These conditions represent the second most common cause of blindness. The most prevalent form of glaucoma is called open-angle, or chronic, glaucoma. In this form of the disease, there are no obvious symptoms before the initial loss of peripheral vision, leading to ‘tunnel vision’. In many cases of glaucoma, damage to the optic nerve is due to increased pressure in

the eye, technically referred to as increased intraocular pressure (IOP). Immediate treatment for early stage, open-angle glaucoma can delay progression of the disease. Whereas acute and congenital glaucoma require surgical intervention, open-angle glaucoma can be treated successfully with eye drops or pills that lower IOP. The natural compound prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) activates signalling pathways in the eye that reduce IOP.

Additional products in Cayman Pharma portfolio include EPOPROSTENOL (sodium salt) for management of pulmonary hypertension. Historically the oldest part of the portfolio includes (+)-CLOPROSTENOL (sodium salt) and (±)-CLOPROSTENOL (sodium salt), both used for veterinary applications. | 30

Photo: Cayman Pharma s.r.o. archives

Cayman Pharma is the world's most reliable and versatile source for Prostaglandin Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). We own and practice a patented route to the prostaglandin core structure that was developed over many years of research in our headquarters in Neratovice near Prague. The facility at Cayman Pharma has over 30 years of commercial prostaglandin and eicosanoid registration and manufacturing experience, is ISO certified, and has an excellent track record with customers and regulatory authorities worldwide including the FDA.


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE ISO 9001-certified, FDA-approved facility

CGMP (+)-Cloprostenol (sodium salt)

CGMP Epoprostenol (sodium salt)

CGMP (±)-Cloprostenol (sodium salt)

CGMP Travoprost CGMP Latanoprost CGMP Bimatoprost CGMP TaYuprost

www.caymanpharma.com 31 |


PLASTICS INDUSTRY

Plastics Dominate Industry

Classification of sector CZ-NACE 22 by group 22.1 Manufacture of rubber products 22.2 Manufacture of plastic products

In addition, plastics are widely used even after being recycled. Recycled plastics are an important material, for example, in the manufacture of car parts, furniture design and home accessories, textiles, footwear and bags, packing materials and a number of other products. Rubber is a unique and irreplaceable material. Rubber products are indispensable for making products in other sectors of the manufacturing industry. Rubber is a flexible, durable, and safe material even if used at low temperatures. Thanks to its properties, specifically its resistance to very low and very high temperatures, it is used for example in aerospace and aviation industry. Up to 60 % of rubber products is used | 32

for making parts of different types for transport vehicles. In the Czech Republic these products are made especially by large and medium enterprises. In large enterprises these products account for nearly twothirds of their revenue and in medium-sized enterprises for more than one-quarter on a long-term basis. As regards value added, the situation is similar. In terms of the number of employed persons, large enterprises account for one-half and medium-sized enterprises for one-third of the sector. The dominant group within the plastic products manufacturing sector is CZ-NACE 22.2. Its dominance rests in the number of units and the number of employees, while in the remaining characteristics its dominance over rubber products is lower.

 DEVELOPMENT OF THE SECTOR It is one of the most productive sectors from its efficiency point of view. In 2015 and 2016 it showed high positive values of economic profit, even though its year-onyear growth was rather small. In 2016, Saar Gummi Czech in Červený Kostelec (SGC), for example, raised its revenue by 19 % to CZK 3.4 billion. SGC, which is one of the European leaders in car seal production,

invests CZK 350 million in the construction of a new hall to enlarge its production capacity. It is planning to use new facilities to increase its production of seals for the new Škoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf models, whose manufacture will be launched in 2019. The company is one of the key factories of the Saar Gummi world group, which in 2011 became part of the Chinese concern CQLT. In 2016, the Červený Kostelec manufacturer was one of three firms to win the “2016 Company of the Year Award operating in the Czech automotive industry”. SGC supplies seals for one in every four automobiles made in Europe. It specialises in the manufacture of car door and hood seals, made of technical rubber using the extrusion method. Another manufacturer, Continental Barum, making tyres, whose revenue in 2015 amounted to CZK 57.7 billion, in 2016 showed a slight drop, to CZK 56.4 billion. Continental Barum´s revenues were showing an upward trend since 2009, when the company turnover was CZK 35 billion. The company completed a large investment project in October, when it opened its newly reconstructed hall, where it manufactures truck tyres. The construction plus the new technology

Photo: pixabay.com, www.freeimages.com

Plastics are one of the pillars of civilisation. This was true in the past, and it holds even more true now. Plastics and rubbers have a wide range of uses and applications: as packing materials, in construction, or the automotive and electronic industries. The manufacture of rubber and plastic products is one of the important sectors of the Czech economy.


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

cost approximately CZK 4 billion. It was the largest investment made by the Continental concern in the Otrokovice works. Continental Barum has been part of the concern since 1993. The Gumotex works in Břeclav, in turn, in 2016 increased its revenue by nearly one-tenth to more than CZK 2.7 billion. The years 2016 and 2017 were successful in terms of profit thanks to low raw material prices. Increasingly responsible for the growing share in the company´s revenue are products for the automotive industry, such as sun visors and other plastic interior parts, which account for about two-thirds of it. The new BMW 5-series models, for example, will be fitted with an armrest made by Gumotex. The remaining one-third comprises traditional products, such as inflatable boats, rescue systems, and inflatable mattresses. Mitas rubber company is planning to enlarge its factory in Serbia to increase its production capacity. Mitas, Rubena, and Savatec are parts of the ČGS holding, purchased by the Svedish Trelleborg Group. The Trelleborg parent company is expanding its production capacity so as to meet growing demand for its products. Mitas company, which accounts for approxi-

mately two-thirds of the ČGS holding´s turnover, is the manufacturer of renowned tyre makes for the medium-size machinery segment and has a superb name in the area of agricultural machinery tyres. Its offer of special tyres is supplemented by polymer solutions of the companies Rubena and Savatech, which develop and make a wide range of industrial polymer products, including polymer seals, polymer sealing profiles, special conveyer belts and artificial fabric products. Viscofan, an important firm in the CZ-NACE 22.2 product group, last year had revenues amounting to CZK 6.11 billion. Its gross profit of CZK 1.2 billion dropped by 2 % last year, a moderate decline following a long period of growth. Stronger competition, and consequently greater pressure on the margin, stands behind the lower revenue and lower profit of Viscofan, České Budějovice, and Devro, Jilemnice, making food casings. In 2016, Viscofan Group bought the Dutch-American firm Vector, whose production facilities it is expected to use in its production. In 2016, the company Fatra based in Napajedla showed a revenue of CZK 3.7 billion and its profit before tax rose to CZK 366 million, the best result in the history of the firm. Its most successful segments were floorings, special BOPET products, and foils.

 FOREIGN TRADE The export of products in the CZ-CPA 22 commodity group in 2016 amounted to

CZK 184.7 billion, a 1.3 % increase year on year. The export of products in the CZ-CPA 22 group has been growing on a long-term basis, both as regards plastics and rubber products. In 2016, a slightly higher share was shown by plastics in the CZ-CPA 22.2 group, which accounted for 56 % of export. Import in 2016 grew by 4 % to CZK 17.4 billion, especially due to the high import of plastic products, which accounted for more than twothirds of total exports of CZ-CPA 22 production. In 2016, the favourable balance declined, the same as two years before. This concerned especially CZ-CPA 22.2 products, which showed an unfavourable balance for the whole period under review and where plastic imports showed a significant growth. On the other hand, the balance in group CZ-CPA 22.1 was favourable. The most important outlet for Czech rubber and plastic products was Germany, accounting for 33 % (mainly wastes, fragments, plastic cuttings, tubes, hoses, boards, sheets, foils, sacks, bottles, products for the transport and packing of goods, building products and other plastics, caoutchouc belts, car, bus, truck and agricultural machine tyres and other caoutchouc products), followed by Slovakia with a 9 % share (boards, bottles, flacons, demijohns, packing and other plastic products, car tyres) and Poland accounting for 7 % (plastic tubes and hoses, caoutchouc, car tyres). Other export

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PLASTICS INDUSTRY

 INNOVATION

destinations for these commodities were France (car tyres), the United Kingdom (car tyres), the USA (car tyres, caoutchouc), Austria (bottles, flacons, construction plastics, tyres) and Hungary (bottles, flacons, boxes, plastic crates, tyres). As in previous years, the largest foreign supplier of plastics was Germany, accounting for 37 % of total Czech plastics imports (wastes, fragments, plastic cuttings, monofils, rods, boards, sheets, foils, boxes,

sacks, stoppers, caps, plugs, car tyres) followed by Poland, accounting for a 9 percent share (boards, boxes, crates, stoppers, caps and other plastic products, car tyres), China (plastic hygienic and toilet accessories) and Italy (wastes, fragments, cuttings, boards, sheets, foils, films, bottles, flacons) accounting for a 5 per-cent share. Car tyre exports last year exceeded the CZK 4.6 million mark, which is 175 % more than ten years ago.

The plastics industry provides a wide scope for research and innovation. As a matter of interest, in the framework of the EU the manufacture of plastics and plastic products is the fifth most innovative sectors. Between 2003 and 2012, one in every 25 patent applications concerned plastics. In the Czech Republic, plastics research is strongly supported with EU funds, for example in the Polymer Systems Centre (PSC) in Zlín, which is a part of Tomáš Baťa University. This is not accidental. The study of polymer materials, plastics, and rubbers has a long tradition in Zlín. For example, Otto Wichterle, inventor of the soft contact lens, developed the famous spinable polyamid silon there during the Second World War. At the same time, polythene began to be processed in the Fatra Napajedla works. Plastics and rubber processing is a pervading industry in the Zlín Region, accounting for approximately 50 % of the Region´s total industrial production. One of the noteworthy innovative projects is PSC´s collaboration with the Fatra Napajedla company.

GUMOTEX, akciová společnost www.gumotex.cz

| 34

cial emphasis on quality and on the use of our products in real conditions. Firms that stand firmly behind their products and do not produce just to sell, not only raise their own value, but also add to the repute of Czech products in general.

How are you faring in foreign markets? What in your opinion is the repute of Czech products abroad? It still goes that the term “Czech product” is synonymous with good quality. At least in most cases. This also fully applies to GUMOTEX products, whether this concerns boats or other items. We place spe-

What are the most significant export deals concluded by your firm recently which you can be proud of? What are your plans for the development of your company? Although we are not a manufacturing giant, we regularly rank among the top 20 in at least one of the categories of the Exporter of the Year competition. We supply our products to leading European automobile works and the volume of our other export items remains on a steady level. In 2016, GUMOTEX, a.s. exported goods worth CZK 1.858 billion.

Photo: pixabay.com, GUMOTEX archives, MATEICIUC archives

Do you perceive any strong trend influencing your line of business? In the area of the automotive industry, higher demands are being made on precision processing and the delivery system, which in many respects places higher demands on technological equipment. Another trend that cannot be neglected is the generally greater emphasis being placed on the need to take better care of employees. This is becoming increasingly acute in connection with the current situation on the Czech labour market. Employees are beginning to migrate between firms in search of better conditions. For us, this means that we must focus our interests not only on the clients, but increasingly also on our own employees.


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

MATEICIUC a.s. – Quality Products Going Boldly out into the World! The history of MATEICIUC a.s., a company concerned with the development, manufacture, distribution and export of plastic products, goes back to 1990. In that year, two brothers founded the firm which today boasts more than half a million satisfied customers worldwide.

 BACK IN TIME For their business project, the two brothers, Emil and Zdeněk Mateiciuc, privatised the historical building of a former textile factory on the outskirts of the town of Odry, which they reconstructed and gradually enlarged with the addition of new production halls and warehouses. In its beginnings, the firm only made components for underfloor heating. Gradually it added water distribution piping, garden hoses and small pressings. In the latter half of the 1990s, at that time already a joint-stock company, it enlarged its production programme, to which it added protective pipes and invested in new technology for the manufacture of corrugated pipes. Protective piping thus became the firm´s core programme. One of the strengths of MATEICIUC a.s. is its ability to respond flexibly to market demand and the latest trends in construction. For example, when after 2000 the interest in protective piping declined, the firm switched over to making plastic building profiles, which became its key production items and remained so for the next 15 years.

 CURRENT STRUCTURE After 27 years of existence, the company has its production programme divided into four main lines. The most important line is the manufacture of PVC profiles for construction. These include laths for ETICS thermal insulation and connection systems, profiles for work with plasterboard and laths for internal and external plastering. Most of these products are exported. Another production line is pipes, both single- and double-wall ones. Single-wall, smooth protective HDPE pipes are intended

for the protection of underground cables. They also include small-diameter pipes, such as micro pipes, for the protection of optical micro cables. MATEICIUC a.s. has developed a set of micro pipes connected by a thin-walled foil for direct underground laying. Its VARIOFLAT DB set, protected by patent, is intended for modern FTTx networks and net technologies. Double-wall corrugated pipes are used for the protection of cables in excavation works. An important item in this production programme is KLIMAFLEX SB flexible piping for air ducts. The inside smooth wall of the double-wall pipe contains antibacterial additives, which is an ideal solution for air intake and outtake systems in rooms with forced ventilation. The hoses division manufactures conventional garden watering hoses made of softened PVC, and industrial and special hoses. The multipurpose industrial hoses are marked for their high resistance and shape stability. Special medical pipes are made to order. The fourth production line is custom production of injection-moulded and pressed plastic items. The custom production tools are designed and made by the firm´s own Technological Centre. The firm has its own modern tool shop fitted with CNC machine tools.

 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

2013 of its innovated KLIMAFLEX SB pipes for air ducts, with antibacterial and antifungal properties. One year later, it completed the development of a whole series of micro pipes for FTTx technologies, adding a patent-protected bunch of micropipes, VARIOFLAT DB, to its production range. In response to customer needs and requirements, the firm is continuously developing and improving its products, especially as regards plastic building profiles. Another step forward is the opening of its own Technological Centre with a modern tool workshop.

 THE FIRM´S VISION The long-term vision of the firm is to become one of the leading European manufacturers of plastic building profiles. In the market, MATEICIUC products are known under the MAT trademark, distinguished for their high quality. The trademark is linked with the notion of a reliable supplier, partner and innovator. For several years now, the firm´s annual turnover has oscillated above the EUR 10 million mark. Most of its products go for export, mainly to EU states. The future of MATEICIUC rests primarily on development, innovation and new markets. The company wishes to promote relations with all its collaborators in a spirit of confidence, ingenuity and solidarity.

The firm prides itself on the fact that most of its building profiles can be used in the thermal insulation of buildings, which helps reduce energy consumption. Although the world is faced with plastic waste overproduction, the plastics in production are distinguished by their long service life. As regards environmental protection, MATEICIUC a.s. has a clean sheet: it produces no harmful or dangerous wastes and all its factories are heated with waste heat from production. In addition, the water from its cooling system is so clean that crayfish live in its piping. As a matter of course, the firm has its own wastewater treatment plant and the high-lift trucks used in its warehouses are powered by natural gas, not by diesel fuel.

 INNOVATION STRATEGY In 2011, the firm opened its own Development Centre with a clear goal. Its programme for the future is development and innovation. The materialisation of this programme was, for example, the launch in 35 |


PLASTICS INDUSTRY

Polymers Are Their Heartbeat The Centre of Polymer Systems (CPS) is a top-ranking research unit of Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín (TBU), which guarantees worldclass parameters in polymer systems research and utilisation of the state-of-the-art technologies. Since 2015 it has been located in an entirely new building designed to measure the needs and objectives of the research centre.

CPS employs 120 research specialists, out of which some 20 % come from abroad, such as Italy, the USA, Russia, China, Ukraine, Turkey, India etc. Many of the staff members have also received various prestigious international awards. During its relatively short period of existence, the CPS can be proud of more than one hundred utility models and patents, large number of publications and volume of contract research and several tens of successful graduates of doctoral programmes. It is certainly also worth mentioning that in the recently published survey of activities of 48 Czech research centres, CPS ranked 8th. Current research in the CPS is channelled into 8 directions covering perspective areas of the world of polymer systems. These areas include Rubber processing and materials, Systems with sensor properties, Multifunctional nanomaterials, Bioactive polymer systems, Composites with electric and magnetic properties, Surface treatment of materials, Biocomposite systems, and Processing of plastics. Other successful results of the Centre include the magnetic nanocomposite for hyperthermia treatment of tumours, elastic supercapacitators, deformation sensors and sensors of volatile organic compounds from carbon nanotubes. Additionally, a successful development can also be observed in the area of processing plastics and materials for injection of highly filled systems, where products of complex shapes with outstanding physical properties can be achieved from metal or ceramic powder (for example | 36

for medical usage). Apart from other networks, CPS is involved in the international Polymer Processing Society Network, which unites more than 400 partners from all over the world focusing on research of polymer materials and processing.

 LABORATORIES The Centre facilities include clean rooms with sterilizing unit for preparation of samples and series of testing specimen. Laboratories of microbiology are used for characterisation of interactions between materials and microorganisms; cell biology and tissue culture laboratories are intended for studies of interactions between materials and human cells, cytotoxicity, biocompatibility and other tests, moreover, there is a possibility to prepare and test tissue culture scaffolds in bioreactors. Chemical laboratories are fully equipped for advanced analyses of polymer materials and additives with the aid of gas and liquid chromatography, elemental analysis by several independent techniques, many other analytical methods for compound analyses and characterisation of their properties; spectroscopic facility equipment covers the range of absorption spectrometry from UV up to far IR, fluorimetry, X-ray diffractometry, Raman spectrometry and ellipsometry.

 EXAMPLES OF RESEARCH GROUPS:

• Processing of Plastics

The object of study of the research group is relation between composition of polymer compounds, processing of the products and achieved structural and functional parameters. Utility properties of the final product (mechanical properties, adhesion, barrier properties, etc.) are evaluated in context of the rheological properties of melts and influence of process parameters in a technologically relevant capacity (temperature, pressure, convection speed etc.). • Rubber processes and materials The aim of this group is complex study of processing, production, and characterisation of rubber in order to understand the influence of individual factors, such as blend composition and processing conditions or influence of external degradation agent to final product properties. Samples of compounds can be prepared by two roll mill, calendar and internal mixer. Testing samples of various shapes which are compressed, moulded, and vulcanised can be prepared.

There is also a coextrusion line for the preparation of profiles made from silicone and other rubbers with a vulcanisation chamber, a towing and cutting device, and a device for on-line measurement of the geometry of extruded profile. • Composites with electric and magnetic properties The research in this field is focused on design of materials applicable in various conductive, dielectric, and magnetic applications in areas ranging from electromagnetic shields, selective reflection or selective permeant surfaces to materials applicable in hyperthermia cancer treatment, which have been already patented. Material design is mainly oriented on preparation of magnetic nanoparticles, alternatively on application or modification of commercial magnetic or other fillers (particles and short fibres) for polymer composites. In the field of polymer synthesis, the research group successfully works with polyaniline and related conductive polymers. • Bioactive polymer systems The aim of the basic and applied research and experimental development of the research group Bioactive polymer systems is to study polymer materials, which are able to interact specifically with living cells or tissues. Explored materials involve not only bulk materials, modified polymer surfaces, but also the whole palette of nanoparticles and composites with various properties (magnetic, drug transport etc.) and various surface modifications. In the area of polymer synthesis at CPS, attention is paid primarily to biodegradable polyesters, polyanhydrides and polyurethanes and particularly to copolymers of lactic acid, which have wide range of potential use(s), from medical to agricultural and recycling applications. • Surface treatment of materials The subject of research and development of the group is studying surfaces of polymer materials, their preparation and properties control by physical and chemical activation, especially modification by plasma treatment. The group focuses on the study and utilisation of relationship between substrate, deposited layer and process parameters of deposition or activation, problems of adhesion, preparation and research of thin films from polymer materials and self-supporting foils for various applications. More at http://www.cps.utb.cz/cs/


CZECH BUSINESS AND TRADE

GUMOTEX: Over Half of Century Tradition and Innovation in Processing Rubber Compounds and Plastics With GUMOTEX products, we come into contact daily, for example, with parts in the interiors of cars – from the sun visors to the gear lever knobs. Solders, rescuers, or water sports fans rely on inflatable tents, flood barriers, and boats from GUMOTEX. In conditions where human life or health is in danger, their main strengths stand out: durability, practicality, and user-friendliness.

 GUMOTEX RUBBER COMPOUNDS To the range of approximately 150 compounds of various properties and colours, the company not only develops and prepares compounds according to individual customer requirements, but also for the needs of its own manufacturing, for example, for coatings of textile materials, for the manufacture of inflatable products – boats, tents, and similar. GUMOTEX has the available capacity and equipment for the manufacture of new rubber compounds and also the laboratories equipped to measure their physical-mechanical properties. Specific testing of blends

is also possible with external accredited laboratories. The top quality of supplied blends is guaranteed by the certification according to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, starting from the design and development process, through to the manufacture and up to sales. GUMOTEX rubber compounds are used not only for the manufacture of car mats, but also for shoemaking. A resistance to heat, chemical substances, or swelling is also a prerequisite for the very demanding chemical and machine industries.

 SURFACE-TREATED MATERIALS To make the surface treatment, GUMOTEX is not only capable of using rubber compounds, but also PVC or polyurethane, which also belongs to the traditional pillars of the GUMOTEX product portfolio. Furthermore, innovation has moved ahead and the company has expanded its product range adding fabrics coated with thermoplastic elastomers and fabrics with silicone spreading, in the last few months. Thanks to

their properties, these materials can be used in various industries – from the manufacturing of working and protective clothing with various types of resistance to applications in the food industry, and in the case of silicone materials, they can also be used in health services or in specific technical applications. By using various finishing technologies, it is possible to achieve final material parameters to meet the customer´s needs in the best possible way. Materials can be provided with a spreading that is weatherproof and wrinkle-resistant, non-flammable, resistant to microbes, acids and oils, or repels insects. Depending on the type of the surface treatment, thin coatings and impregnations can be applied from a few grams to heavy multilayer coatings. With small-scale laboratory equipment, a small material sample can be made for quick testing at the first development phase. Also for the surface-treated materials, the processes of design, development, manufacturing, and sales are certified according to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

TRADITION – the Czech manufacturing company with a tradition since 1950 TECHNOLOGY – materials with surface treatment by impregnation, painting or coating EXPERIENCE – own application of materials (inflatable boats, tents, protective clothing, mattresses, etc.) LABORATORY – small-scale laboratory equipment for sample preparation for quick testing INNOVATION AND TEAM COOPERATION – searching for optimal solutions to customer satisfaction CERTIFICATION – ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004

www.gumotex.com

37 |


PLASTICS INDUSTRY

Road to Success: Linking Research, School, and Practice How to succeed in the plastics industry? Many Czech firms have placed their stake on new technologies and collaboration between private and public sectors. Here are some examples.

COLLABORATING WITH RESEARCHERS Thanks to the Czech Technological Agency and its Centres of Competence, which offer a system of collaboration between the private and public sectors, Fatra has scored success with its recent project involving collaboration with Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín (UTB) and its Polymer Systems Centre and another four enterprises. The project launched in 2017 concerns development in the area of materials, product construction, technological processes, and surface finishing. It was focused on the development of new types of flooring and special hydro-insulation foils, specifically the improvement of the properties of vapour permeable foils for baby diapers, and the development of new types of packing foils. One of the problems that concerns manufacturing firms is increasing the efficiency of working processes, minimising waste generation and waste re-use. Fatra is no exception in this respect. Its worry was to find a solution to the problem of how to process waste polyester lint produced in the manufacture of roof insulation materials. Thanks to its collaboration with the University, the solution has been found. | 38

The firm will use the lint in its own production, where the lint will partly replace the actual roofing raw material. In collaboration with another firm, TRYMAT, the firm is also testing other technologies, which turn the waste into completely new products that will be used in construction. An example of this collaboration is the manufacture of injected composite tiles and insulation padding for flat roofs. One of the latest projects on which Fatra collaborates with other firms thanks to the Czech Technological Agency is the development of alternative, environmentally friendly, and highly efficient antimicrobial substances for industrial applications named ALTERBIO. Its objective is the research, development, and commercialisation of innovative antimicrobial systems for plastics, paints, cosmetics, and textiles. These substances will find their use for example in hospitals, where their presence will prevent microbes from settling on surfaces. In food processing, their presence in food packing foils is appreciated as their use will keep food fresh for a longer time. Both these applications are in the mind of Fatra´s developers, whose attention is focused on the production segment involving the manufacture of flooring, hydro-insulating foils, BOPET foils, and other

special products. Their aim is to find an anti microbial protection system that will ensure surface cleanliness and a longer food storage period. At the same time, however, a suitable way of its use must be found to prevent it from being washed out and from contamination. Thanks to their long-term collaboration with researchers, the firm has registered a patent for its invention and several utility models. Fatra is planning to start supplying their products with anti-microbial finishing to final consumers within the next few years.

 NEW TECHNOLOGICAL CENTRE

IN SOUTH BOHEMIA Another example of a successful Czech firm who made their bet on research, is the KUBOUŠEK Group, one of the leading suppliers of injection moulding machines and peripheral devices for industry concerned with plastics processing and measuring instruments and systems. An impetus to their production activities was given in September 2017, when the group opened a Technological Centre in České Budějovice.

 ESSENTIAL BENEFITS KUBOUŠEK Technological Centre offers various benefits to its customers, for example

Photo: Polymer System Centre archives

 FATRA DOES NOT FEAR


PLASTICS INDUSTRY

the possibility to try out the innovative injection moulding technology, which is quite new in the market, and the support of application engineers. Customers will get assistance with starting up their businesses and testing their new production projects and with the optimisation of their new or existing production processes.

 AUTOMATION IN LINE WITH

INDUSTRY 4.0 CONCEPT The latest trend in industry as a whole is automation, often linked with the Industry 4.0 concept. KUBOUŠEK Technological Centre has three fully automated workplaces. One of them concerns quality control, where an ABB six-axle robot communicates with a Metrios optical measuring device and rejects defective pieces. More instances of automation will follow, especially in connection with Sepro linear robots. Another application to be installed in the Technological

Centre soon will be the connection of Sepro 5X-5 robot to the MTF conveyer.

 HIGH-END INJECTION

TECHNOLOGIES Two high-end injection technology systems have been installed in KUBOUŠEK Technological Centre. One of them is the Roc Tool technology, where a high shine is achieved on mouldings, with an up to 97 % mould impression in comparison with standard 50 % impression. The other, MuCell technology, is based on the physical foaming of the piece, which can be used in approximately 60 % of projects in the automotive industry.

 BAŤA FIRM WILL BE

DEVELOPING FOOTWEAR IN ZLÍN AGAIN Return to the roots. This is how the current representatives of the footwear giant, the

Baťa Company, have come to dub their intent to develop and explore footwear and its parts in the Polymer Systems Centre in Zlín, the town where the fame of today´s Bata Concern began. The project concerns the development of new footwear materials and their testing, which will involve modern scanning technologies with the follow-up 3D printing of footwear “made to measure”. The firm´s factory at Dolní Němčí near Uherské Hradiště will directly participate in the project.

Automotive know-how and tyre technology united in one company.

> The automotive associate – connecting the car and road with innovative technology

> Engineering expertise right down to the sole contact that counts

> This all-round expert know-how leads to developing better tyres

Mobility

> Confidence and control for every car in any driving situation

Photo: Polymer System Centre archives

EN HAN C ED BY G ERMAN TEC H N O LO GY

| 40


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O Container transport by rail between Europe and Asia, especially Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, and CIS states

O Attractive rates for rail transport via bonded trains in the Czech Republic

O Comprehensive and secure implementation of your transport solution via close cooperation with rail and road transport partners

O Supply Chain Management and individual logistics solutions

O Seafreight services to/from all ports worldwide O FCL/FCL, LCL/LCL, conventional, pourable and breakbulk cargo O International and domestic FTL and LTL road transport throughout Europe

O Effective management of transport assets O Comprehensive freight forwarding, including planning, optimization, consulting, storage and warehousing, distribution, and cargo tracking O Shipping insurance to cover all modes of transport

SPEDICA’s philosophy is one built upon quality, economic soundness, and flexibility of service, with the clear goal to always meet the needs and requirments of our clients. We regard the satisfaction of our clients with the greatest of importance.

Tel: +420 352 676 900 | Fax: +420 352 676 901 | e-mail: info@spedica.cz www.spedica.cz | www.spedica.eu | www.spedica.com


PLASTICS INDUSTRY

Aerosol Spray Development (from Lab to Shelf) Aerosol Spray is a product which by application creates mostly the form of Aerosol (generally fine particles dispersed into the air ( i.e. Hairspray, Body Spray, Waterproof Spray); Foam (i.e. Shaving Foam, Hair Mousse, Foam Cleaners); Jet (i.e. Brake Cleaner); Gel (i.e. Shaving Gel, Shower Gel)

Today, the vast majority of Aerosol sprays are filled by so called “one-chamber” filling technology, where Concentrate (bulk) is mixed with the Filling Medium (propellant) – i.e. Hairsprays, Body Sprays, Waterproof Sprays, etc. Filling Medium in today’s Aerosol sprays are mostly mixtures of n-butane/i-butane/ propane or dimethylether, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen, Compressed Air. Less often used are HFC hydrocarbons and nitrous oxide. The other, most commonly used Aerosol spray technology is so called “two-chamber” filling technology. This advanced technology is based on separation of Concentrate and The Filling Medium. Such technology is often called BAG-ON-VALVE or BAG-IN-CAN, where the concentrate is filled in one step into the bag, attached either to the valve or to the can.The Filling Medium is filled outside the bag, into the aerosol can. During | 42

Aerosol spray is composed with three basic parts: Primary Packaging (can, valve, actuator), Concentrate and Filling Medium. During development of Aerosol spray, R&D must consider all three parts at once in order to achieve the desired product, application form and product characteristics. The valid legislation, customer’s marketing requirements (application type, claims) and available production technology must be considered as well. Based on the knowledge of physical-chemical property of concentrate and together with customer’s requirements, the R&D technician searches and tests the most optimal valve, actuator and can configuration. Final application form and spray characteristics are also influenced with selected Filling Media and at last also

with the ratio between the Concentrate and the Filling Media. Each newly developed Aerosol product has to run stability and compatibility tests, where selected formulation, aerosol can, valve and actuator are tested during selected time. Very often, different options of the above are tested, in different temperatures and in different positions in order to simulate the end consumer’s use of the product. Focus of these tests is on the reaction/compatibility of the Concentrate with the Filling Media and selected packaging material. Also spray characteristics are very important to evaluate from the consumer’s point of view. Often formulation incompatibility, fragrance malodor, corrosion, valve plugging or product leaking is detected during these stability and compatibility tests. R&D then has to start all over again until satisfactory combination of formulation and primary packaging is found and the Aerosol product's safety and functionality may be guaranteed during its shelf life. Martin Surynek Jiri Safer

Photo: pixabay.com

the application by the end user, the compressed Filling Medium is squeezing the bag inside the can. The advantage of this “two-chamber” filling technology is filling such concentrates which are less compatible with the filling medium or with the aerosol can itself.


PRODUCT PORTFOLIO Hair care Sun care Insecticide + repellent sprays Shoe care Personal care Household Automotive + technical sprays ‡ :LWKPRUHWKDQ<HDUVRI traditional aerosol manufacturing and annual production of around  PLOOLRQ XQLWV ² &]HFK $HURVRO is to be the most experienced and the biggest Aerosol manufacturer in the Czech Republic. ‡ &]HFK $HURVRO RIIHUV WR DOO its customers around the world co-operation on the base of FULL SERVICE. ‡ :LWK LWV RZQ ÅRQ WKH VSRW´ R&D, Czech Aerosol offers its customers maximum flexibility during development of customized and innovative projects. Czech Aerosol product portfolio consists of more than 400 different formulations.

Manufacturer of aerosol products since 1961 www.CzechAerosol.cz info@CzechAerosol.cz +420 417 813 607

Czech Aerosol, osol, a.s. Velvěty 33 yně nad Bílinou 415 01 Rtyně ublic Czech Republic hAeroso info@CzechAerosol.cz


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