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The third annual Technology Agency CR Day was held on Thursday the 20th of October 2016. It began at the National Technical Library with a morning conference entitled Smart Life, which opened up the topic of a smart future. The day culminated in a gala dinner in the new building of the National Museum, where prizes were awarded to the authors of the best applied research projects, with the participation of public officials, researchers and academics, as well as other prominent figures.

Morning part of the TA CR Day

Smart Life International Conference

The content and quality of participants of the Smart Life conference was on a very high level and had a great atmosphere. Among the debaters were, for example, Andrew W. Wyckoff, Director of the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, Ralf B. Wehrspohn, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems in Halle/Salle, Germany, famous Czech economist Tomáš Sedláček and František Štrupl from Google. In addition, Andrew Wyckoff of the OECD presented at the conference for the first time in the Czech Republic the results of the project Next Production Revolution, which defines the key global trends for industrial development.

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Chairman of TA CR Petr Očko welcomes guests to the Smart Life conference

A panel discussion was held during the conference, in which Miroslav Svítek (Smart Cities), Roman Týc (Smart Technology & Society), Tomáš Marada (Smart Technology & Economy), Zdeněk Sýkora (Smart Factory), Petr Rokůsek (Smart Energy) and Martin Hausenblas (Smart Mobility) led a lively debate.

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Participants in the panel discussion with moderator Michala Hergetová

“Current technologies are not inherently revolutionary. What’s revolutionary is their degree of interconnectivity”, said Andrew Wyckoff. And he went on to mention a number of examples, such as 3D printing, nanotechnology, security technology, entirely new types of materials or technology-based bioscience. “Close cooperation between universities, industry and agencies supporting applied research will be very important. We must also remember that two thirds of people are not properly prepared for the new technology. Therefore, it is necessary to place great emphasis on education”, he said. However, this opinion was argued against during the panel discussion by, for example, Tomáš Marada, a Blockchain expert. “New technologies are already being developed in collaboration with leading neurologists to be intuitive, and people can use them without the need to learn”, he said.

According to Ralf Wehrspohn, we are currently experiencing a fundamental transformation in business models. “The basic commodity on the market are data and the ability to work with them. But it raises a whole range of issues that need to be emphasized. I mean, for example, the security and transmission of data, copyright protection and so on”, he said. František Štrupl from Google followed on by saying that just in this year alone the amount of data worldwide will double compared to the whole period from the beginning of civilization until last year. That is why it is so important for the coming generations to be prepared in how to manage them. “Let kids play with technology. It will prepare them for future life, whose form we have no idea about. The digital world draws us in, and nowhere is it given that the current form of biological intelligence is the last one. Let’s face it, we do not know which direction the next evolutionary step will take”, said economist Tomáš Sedláček.

The afternoon part of the TA CR Day

TA CR 2016 Award Ceremony

This year is the fourth time that the authors of the best applied research projects supported by TA CR have been awarded. Of the hundreds of supported projects, twenty-eight projects that will significantly improve the quality of life throughout society were shortlisted. The best four received an original prize from the Moser glassworks at the TA CR Prize gala evening, which took place in the new building of the National Museum.


TA CR Prizes from the MOSER glassworks

The prestigious TA CR prize is awarded in recognition of the best applied research projects with positive impacts on the economy and quality of life throughout society. These awards are an incentive to maintain the set trajectory of collaboration in the field of applied research.

The TA CR Prize is awarded in four categories: solutions for the quality of life, economic benefit, usefulness of the solution and originality of the solution. Last year a fifth category was added, which is the prize of the future. It is awarded to one of the four winning projects based on the votes of the participants at the gala evening. The prize is printed on a “future technology”, a 3D printer.


The prize of the future from the 3Dees workshop

The prize for Solutions for Quality of Life was won by a project optimizing the properties of UHMWPE (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene). This can be applied, for example, to significantly increase the lifespan of artificial human joints. This project was voted the absolute winner by the participants at the gala evening and received the Prize of the Future. The category of Economic Benefit was won by a proposal for the practical use of modern metal foams from cast iron and non-ferrous metals. The third category, Usefulness of the Solution, was won by a project dealing with speech recognition technology for effective communication between man and computer. The fourth and last category, Originality of the Solution, was taken home by a project utilizing modern multilayer optical systems.


TA CR 2016 Award Ceremony

TA CR prize winners

Modern multilayer optical systems

  • Palacky University in Olomouc / Faculty of Natural Science
  • Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences
  • Meopta - optika, s.r.o.

The aim of the project is to develop a comprehensive correlated system of optimal deposition parameters for the creation of modern multilayer optical systems of dielectric layers using vacuum deposition technology, including the characterization of the substrate. The system will consist of the theoretical design, optimized technological processes and a set of entirely new methods for the characterization of layers and related technological processes. Similarly, optical layers for nonstandard use, new hybrid technologies with highly ionized pulsed plasma (HIPP) for the deposition of optical coatings with new materials will also be studied and implemented. The aim is comprehensive applied research in this field, including experimental realization of new types of single and multi-layer systems designed for applications with optical and physical parameters that are comparable with the international level in the field.

Optimization of the properties of UHMWPE

  • BEZNOSKA, s.r.o.
  • Charles University / 1st Facility of Medicine
  • Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

The aim of the project is to create modified UHMWPE with enhanced abrasion resistance and oxidative degradation, which will be used to manufacture artificial joints with an increased lifespan. UHMWPE (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene), is odourless, tasteless and non-toxic and is highly resistant to corrosion and chemicals, with the exception of oxidizing acids. It has extremely low moisture absorption and an extremely low friction coefficient. It is self-lubricating and highly abrasion resistant. In certain forms, it is 15 times more resistant to abrasion than carbon steel.

Speech processing technology for effective human-computer communication

  • Brno University of Technology / Faculty of Information Technology
  • Lingea s.r.o., OptimSys, s.r.o., Phonexia s.r.o.

The aim of the project is to develop advanced technologies for speech recognition and implement them in practical applications: searching in an electronic dictionary on mobile devices, dictation of translations, in security and defence, dialogue systems, customer care systems (CRM, helpdesk, etc.) and in audio-visual access to teaching materials.

Physical and metallurgical aspects of the preparation of cast metal foams of ferrous and non-ferrous metals

  • Technical University of Ostrava / Faculty of Metallurgy and Material Engineering
  • Slévárna a modelárna Nové Ransko, s.r.o.

The aim of the project is to study the properties of metal foam and methods for simply obtaining it and an inexpensive method for gravity casting in sand or metal moulds. The basic physical and mechanical properties of metal foam, made using the project procedures, will be determined. Research of the fundamental mechanisms of metal foam has not yet been performed in the Czech Republic.

Photos from Smart Life International Conference and TA CR 2016 Award Ceremony.