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ЕНЕРНОАТОМ, Національна атомна енергогенеруюча компанія
«Інтернет-портал створений на досить високому технічному рівні і містить багато корисної інформації»

Украинские нефтепродукты
Чехія – 2011 – Нанотехнології (анг.)  
Параметри: Кон’юнктура ринків

Чехия – 2011 – Нанотехнологии

Чехія – 2011 – Нанотехнології (анг.)

 

Nanotechnology Makes Advances in the CR 

Jiřina Shrbená, Inova Pro s.r.o., E-mail: inovapro@inovapro.czwww.inovapro.cz

 

More than 230 entities in the public and private sectors are already engaged in the area of nanotechnology in the CzechRepublic. And the interest in this cutting-edge sector of the future is rising, especially among companies. They see in it the chance to leave their competitors behind, and are beginning to use industrial applications of nanotechnology, especially in the manufacture of nanomaterials. An opportunity to learn about the results of nanotechnology research and development in the Czech Republic and abroad will be offered by the international conference, NANOCON ´12, to be held in Brno from 23rd to 25th October 2012, the largest event of its kind in the Czech Republic.  

Nanotechnology is no longer only a matter of basic research. It finds applications in environmental protection, in communication technologies, medicine and genetics, and helps to upgrade products and make production processes more efficient. Goods with the “nano“ prefix are flooding the markets. Globally, 2100 companies in 48 countries are involved in nanotechnology research and nano product manufacture (according to 2010 statistics of the nanowerk.com portal). Since 1996, more than 3 000 patents concerning nanotechnology have been granted. According to the Lux Research estimates of 2010, nanotechnology earned the global economy USD 251 billion in 2009, and in 2015 this is forecast to be as much as USD 2.4 trillion. In the coming years, nanotechnology is expected to impact on almost all industrial sectors, and very profoundly on some of them. 

The most research tasks have been brought to practical applications in the chemical industry. For example, nanofilms have found their use in solar panels, light emitting diodes, photonics, wireless communication and semi-conductors. Nanotechnological applications have also spread quickly in the manufacture of media for data storage. They allow, e.g. the thought of mobile phones with memory capacity in the order of terabytes. In the coming years, the market dynamics are to be driven up mainly by demand from the defence industry and health care, those are branches not greatly affected by fluctuations in the economic cycle (as are some others). While the nano product market is to be dominated by theUnited States and Western Europe up to 2015, in subsequent years their share is to drop in favour of countries of Asia and the Pacific.   

The nanotechnology boom is driven by huge government spending worldwide on research in this leading edge sector. The most generous of all is still the US Administration, which has allocated USD 2.1 billion to nano research for this year, and a total of USD 16.5 billion since 2001. The USA is followed by European Union countries (USD 1.7 billion in 2008),Japan (USD 950 million, 2008), China (USD 430 million, 2008), South Korea (USD 310 million, 2008) and Taiwan (USD 110 million, 2008). The USA is also the country with the highest private investment going into nanotechnology. The purpose is obvious - to maintain the global primacy in this strategic sector.
 

Nano Research in CR
 Given the fragmented system of support for research and development (R&D) in the Czech Republic, the resources allocated to nanotechnology R&D in the country can be only estimated. In 2008, they amounted to about CZK 1.85 billion (approx. EUR 74 million), 91 % of the amount from public sources (mainly through the Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Education, and partly also the Ministry of Industry and Trade). Presumably, this volume was at least maintained in 2011, when large research projects from the Academy of Sciences programme, Nanotechnology for Society, and the research plans and projects of research centres financed by the Ministry of Education were being completed. In addition, the EU Structural Funds have started to play a role in nanotechnology research in the CR, especially in terms of the building of infrastructure and the acquisition of modern laboratory instruments in regions outside Prague.   

With the relatively generous state support, the interest of scientists and companies in nanotechnology is increasing as well. At present, 28 institutes of the Academy of Sciences (AS CR) are working on these solutions. Most specialists are engaged in these issues at the AS CR Institute of Physics (FZÚ-www.fzu.cz), where they are also completing the largest number of research tasks. Last year, for example, a group of Institute of Physics researchers discovered a new principle of spintronic device based on antiferromagnets, which represents a breakthrough in the further development of sensors and microscopic computer parts.  “This has opened to us an entirely new field of anti-ferromagnetic materials with metallic and semiconductor properties, which is much wider and richer than metallic ferromagnets, to which spintronic devices have been limited so far“, says the Head of the team, Tomáš Jungwirth, who last year received the prestigious European Research Council Advanced Grant, worth CZK 62 million (approx. EUR 2.48 million), which is awarded to established research leaders. Another Institute of Physics team, led by Emil Pollert, is developing nanocomposites, which are intended to significantly improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in particular. These materials will allow the targeting of nanoparticles at distinct cell populations in magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic fluid hyperthermia.         

In the last two years, the Czech nanotechnology chart has been extended by at least 8 regional research centres planning applied nanotechnology research to a lesser or greater degree.  Their establishment is to be supported from the EU Structural Funds and the Czech State budget with the total amount of CZK 4.2 billion (approx. EUR 168 million). One of them is the Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials in Olomouc (www.rcptm.com). Its laboratories have produced, e.g. a universal method for the modification of solid materials by silver nanoparticles, which will find application, for example, in the surface treatment of medical instruments. Similar centres are being established inLiberec, Brno and Ostrava. Nanotechnology research will also be conducted (on a smaller or larger scale) in six giant research centres of excellence which are being built at a cost of CZK 21 billion from EU and Czech funds at Dolní Břežany, Brno, Řež near Prague, Ostrava, and Vestec near Prague (more some projectsin this supplement and in the main issue of Czech Business and Trade magazine). 

 

When Ideas Do Not Remain Only on Paper

Besides nanotechnology research capacities, the number of companies which consider nanotechnology an important opportunity is also rising in the Czech Republic. The number of entities engaged in nanotechnology research and development and the manufacture of nano applications has trebled. This result has been found in a detailed survey conducted by a team of experts, under the heading of the Czech Society for New Materials and Technologies (CSNMT). The highest rate is evident among small and medium-sized firms. Their number has more than doubled as compared with 2008. One of them is ELMARCO in Liberec (www.elmarco.cz), which produces machines for the industrial manufacture of nanofibres by electrospinning on the basis of a patented technology developed at the Technical University of Liberec, and develops applications as well, such as a sound absorption material or filters with anti-microbial effects. At the Contipro Biotech firm at Dolní Dobrouč in the Ústí nad Orlicí district (www.contipro.com), several dozen researchers are specialising in the research and development of nanofibres and microfibres from biopolymers (polysaccharides and proteins), preparations for the healing of wounds, development of media for the targeted distribution of biologically active substances and preparations for biopolymer-based tissue engineering.  

Gratifyingly, concrete products are beginning to appear among the output from nanotechnology research projects. Scanning electron microscopes from the TESCAN company in Brno (www.tescan.cz), which allow a look into the micro- and nano-world, are in use in as many as 50 countries. A photocatalytically active paint, developed by the Czech Academy of Sciences Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, is manufactured by the Moravian paints producer Rokospol (www.rokospol.cz). Dental implants containing nanostructural titanium are offered by the Timplant company in Ostrava(www.timplant.cz).

The NANO IRON firm in Rajhrad near Brno (www.nanoiron.cz) is an example that the work of a university research team can result in the establishment of a manufacturing company in Czech conditions as well.). It manufactures nanoparticles of elementary iron, which are used by clean-up companies for the remediation of groundwater contaminated with chlorinated hydrocarbons. “Nanoparticles produced by this technology have been applied in real remediation at a number of sites in the Czech Republic. In 2010, we installed a pilot reactor in Hungary using nano iron to complete the clean-up of surface and drinking waters polluted with arsenic,“ says Radek Zbořil, one of the founders of NANO IRON and also a Professor at Palacký University of Olomouc.  

 

NANOCON 2012 Conference in Brno

These and other applications have been and are being born on Czech soil. Their authors will present them at the NANOCON conference (www.nanocon.cz) to be held by the Czech Society for New Materials and Technologies (CSNMT) in Brno between 23rd October and 25th October, 2012, and devoted to the research and development of nanomaterials. At the conference, specialised presentations by researchers from the Czech Republic and abroad will deal with nanomaterials, their properties and methods of preparation, the issues of nanostructural metallic materials, nanosilver, polymer nanocomposites, carbonaceous nanomaterials, materials for the electronic and optical industries, and nanoceramic materials. Attention will also be given to biomaterials for medicine, such as magnetic nanobiocomposites and their possible use. In an effort to accentuate the necessity of responsible nanotechnology research and commercialisation, one of the technical sessions at the conference will be devoted to nanotoxicity and the safety of work with nanomaterials and nanoparticles.   

 

What is nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology is research and technological development on an atomic, molecular or macromolecular level, at the scales of approximately 1–100 nanometres (nm, i.e. 10-9 metre), and the application of this knowledge to create useful materials, structures and devices.

 

Entities engaged in nanotechnology R&D in the Czech Republic

Entity

Number

 in 2005

Number

in 2008

Number

in 2011

Research institutes of AS CR

18

26

28

Universities

13

15

18

University faculties

28

 37

45

Private research institutions

 9

15

23

Contributory organisations

 4

 9

16

Large enterprises

 6

12

16

Small and medium-sized enterprises

19

57

126

Source: CSNMT, 2011

Supplement of Czech Business and Trade 1/2012

 

Джерело>: Doingbusiness.cz

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