It comes as a surprise to many to learn that the Czech Republic, a small nation in central Europe with only 10 million people, has become a powerhouse for nanoproduct fabrication.
This is the second of two articles examining the central role that the Czech Republic is playing in the development of nanotechnology. To learn more about why Czechia is a centre for nanotech research read: Czech Nanotechnology Proven as World Class Part 1: Research
The reasons are laid clear by these business leaders when they outlined why they chose the Czech Republic for their expanding nanotech companies.
“Apart from identifying the right acquisition target, the company Vigona, to expand our portfolio of activities into new segments, we chose the Czech Republic for several reasons,” explains Bjarne Knudsen, the CEO at Fibertex Nonwovens. “The most important were the country’s highly skilled workforce, good location in terms of logistics and stable political system.”
“We have been operating in the Czech Republic since 1997,” notes Akihiro Nikkaku, President of Toray Industries. “For the expansion of local production with this new technology, we based our decision on, among other things, the good work ethic and professionalism of the local workers. Favourable conditions, including the helpful approach of Czech authorities, also played a role in the decision.”
Jiří Očadlík, the General Manager at FEI, a leading brand in the production of nanotechnology research machines, says his company chose the Czech Republic, “… primarily due to the country’s stable business environment and competent yet affordable workforce.” Specifically favouring the city of Brno, “… due to the fact that it is a dynamic and modern city of science and research with a strong industrial tradition and a very accessible location, while also being a significant university centre.”
It is for these reasons, among others, that the Czech Republic is turning into a nanotech hub of integrated businesses fabricating, developing, and supplying nanoproducts from the heart of Europe.
“We pride ourselves on being a cluster with a strong technology transfer focus,” says Liliana Berezkinova, Chairperson and CEO for the Czech-based company Nanopharma, a producer and developer of nanomedicines. “We’re business driven.”
A quick glance at some of the nanoindustry businesses based in Czechia shows what a diverse and expanding industry is based on nanotechnology.
Examples of Czech-based companies providing nanoproducts include:
AG CHEMI GROUP (who host this webpage) has struck an agreement with nanotechnology specialists to produce NANO AB PP-25, a range of fabrics which, according to the company’s CEO Igor Sevcenko, have, “… active bactericidal effects, killing 99.99% of all known bacteria and viruses.”
The new nanofabric can be made from both organic and synthetic materials, is washable, and can be made into all manner items. Hospital gowns, bed linen, pillowcases, face masks, textiles for seats in hospital waiting rooms and on public transport, tablecloths in restaurants and cleaning cloths in kitchens, all could be made with a novel nano-textile which kills pathogens on contact.
Contipro has been developing biotechnological active ingredients for more than twenty years and is now a leading producer of hyaluronic acid and nanofibers for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Today, nanofibers from both synthetic and natural polymers are being developed which can be applied for biomedical applications such as tissue engineering, wound healing, and targeted pharmaceutical delivery.
nanoSPACE employs nanotechnology for making pillowcases, duvet covers, and other bed linen products with a nanofibre barrier to prevent allergic reactions from contaminants such as dust mites. Recently, the company also launched a range of scarves and face masks to combat coronavirus.
Nano4people works in the development of multifunctional photocatalytic antibacterial coatings used to clean polluted air.
NAFIGATE Corporation has established a business based on bioplastics production patented from studies conducted at the Brno University of Technology. Today, the company has diversified its applications for nanofibers in cosmetics, water treatment, and air filtration industries.
The company is also the founder of the Global Innovation Centre of Nanofiber Applications – an international network of nanotech experts with a focus on sharing and communicating ideas towards bringing products to market.
ACO Industries(part of the global ACO Group) works in the field of water treatment, where the use of nanomembranes could turn wastewater into a resource not a waste.
AdvaMat is a spin-off enterprise from technological advances made at the Czech Technical University in Prague. The company has expertise in the field of superhard layers, coatings for cutting tools, tribological layers, and magnetron sputtering.
FILTREX manufacturers filters for the food industry, including a nanofiber membrane called RIFTELEN N15 which is a filtration process for beer, wine, and oil which is superior to conventional membranes.
ING MEDICAL is a developer and manufacturer of nanomaterials such as antibacterial fabrics for bandages and shoe insoles with increased hygiene. The company is also a major producer of machines with patented designs for electrospinning and the polymerisation of nanolayers for textiles.
With Czech companies and innovators like these leading the way in the Czech nanotechnology, it’s no wonder that business is taking off. Yet, this list is just the tip of the iceberg.
“Other remarkable fields in which Czech companies are highly competitive on the global scale include production of monocrystalline materials, electron lithography for holography applications, wound healing and tissue regeneration, research of nanostructured and cross-linked polymeric materials, and production of nanoparticles for special purposes,” notes the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade’s organisation Czech Invest
As the New York Times concludes, “Industries based on nanotechnology are a rapidly growing niche in the economy of the Czech Republic, which, although small, is widely respected for its technical prowess.”
If you would like to know more about Czech nanotech companies and how to invest in nanotechnology businesses, then visit: AG CHEMI GROUP.