Manufacturers and investors everywhere are only now discovering how the Czech Republic has become a world centre for nanotechnology production and research.
While the country is often viewed as a minor industrial power, its positioning at the heart of Europe, and as an EU member bordering Austria, Poland, and Germany, has the country well-placed for technological development and expansion into new industries.
As the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade’s organisation CzechInvest explains, “Following decades of tradition in chemistry, electronics, textiles, and material science, the Czech Republic has transformed its economy to become one of the leaders in applied nanotechnology. As a global supplier in nanofiber production devices, electron microscopes, and monocrystalline materials, innovative Czech solutions in nanomedicine and new types of batteries have found their way onto today's market.”
The two main fields of nanotechnology where the Czech Republic holds its greatest strengths are in commercial nanoproduct fabrication and nanotechnology research and product development.
Nanotechnology Research and Product Development
There are many nanotechnology R&D centres in the Czech Republic, this is because of the country’s high ranking education system combined with its history of scientific discoveries. Additionally, the country remains an attractive investment for science, as a research centre can be built and run in Czechia at about 40% of the cost of a similar facility in the USA or Germany.
Consequently, the country has become home to numerous breakthroughs in nanotechnology research, such as a reliable method of spinning 200 nm nanofibers which was first developed in the Czech Republic.
Selected centres of nanotechnology excellence include:
CEITEC is a research centre with a broad range of studies in life sciences and advanced materials development. Nanotechnology remains at the core of the institution, evident in the construction of the new nanotech laboratories, which offer state-of-the-art facilities for of CEITEC’s commercial and academic partners.
Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies & Materials
The Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials (RCPTM) in Olomouc develops state-of-the-art products and advanced technologies for the medical and manufacturing industries as well as improved environmental practices. Based at Palacký University the research centre focuses on connecting nanotechnology to commercial products and maintains international research co-operations with the Pierre Auger Observatory and CERN-ATLAS.
The Prague science and technology cluster (known as STAR) is an ‘eco-system’ for start-ups and innovative businesses. Alongside the facilities of BIOCEV (a centre of excellence in biomedicine and biotechnology), the cluster is built around its work on lasers including production of the latest laser equipment at ELI Beamlines, and HiLASE, a key European facility for laser development.
Institute for Nanomaterials, Advanced Technologies, & Innovation
The Institute for Nanomaterials, Advanced Technologies, and Innovation at the Technical University of Liberec is renowned for its patent for the industrial production of nanofibers. Among other fields, today’s research focuses on electrospinning and the development of the latest nanomaterials.
Beyond academic studies, the Czech Republic has also expanded its nanotechnology base by adapting its industry towards nanotechnology production.
One example of this, is the company FEI (a subsidiary of Thermo Fisher Scientific) which, in 2014, built the largest microscope factory in the world in the Czech Republic. Today it produces one third of the world’s electron microscopes, as well as a variety of scientific tools for analysing two-dimensional materials, microCT, SEM, TEM, Raman spectroscopy, XPS, digital 3D visualization, nanoparticle counting, EDS chemical analysis, and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy to obtain nanometre or even sub-nanometre, resolution data.
To find out more about how Czech manufacturers are turning nanotechnology research into an industrial advantage and business profit read: Czech Nanotechnology Proven as World Class Part 2 Industry.
To learn more about investing in nanotechnology and nanoproduct fabrication in the Czech Republic visit: AG CHEMI GROUP