The University of Ostrava Will Open a New Research Centre for SMART Technologies

The University of Ostrava wants to focus more on the future of SMART technologies. In cooperation with research and non-profit organizations, businesses and public administrations, the University will explore their use in cities and municipalities on a more massive scale.

The whole research, sponsored by the Faculty of Science of the University of Ostrava, is a response to the development of innovative technologies and the increasing requirements for their application.

“It is without a doubt that modern innovative technologies will continue to be more and more important, whether in the area of company management, or in increasing the quality of life in cities and regions. However, a critical approach and evaluation of their actual usefulness are also required for their application. Therefore, the project is designed to examine the advantages of various innovations for their application,” says the main guarantor of the project, doc. RNDr. Petr Rumpel, Ph.D. of the Department of Human Geography and Regional Development.

The University of Ostrava and its partners received a subsidy from the Operational Programme of Research, Development and Education for the project of long-term inter-branch cooperation entitled “SMART Technologies for Improving Life in Cities and Regions” (under reg. no. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/17_049/0008452). The Ministry of education will allocate about 87 million Czech crowns among the involved subjects. Moreover, the project has also received a subsidy from the ITI Programme (Integrated Territorial Investments) of the Moravian-Silesian Region.

Broader Cooperation as a Key to Success

In addition to the human geographers, the representatives of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies or university researchers from the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Social Studies are also participating in the project. Other important partners of the project include BeePartner, a consulting company, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO Stuttgart, the Silesian University in Opava, AutoCont, Agel, Arriva Morava, the Moravian-Silesian Innovation Centre and ČEZ ESCO.

It is the inter-branch cooperation between distinguished organizations, businesses and public administration, as well as non-profit organizations – i.e. the application sphere – that is crucial for the project. In addition to the technological facilities, the partners also promised to share their own know-how. BeePartner, the consulting company that assisted with the start-up of the project, especially values the engagement of the German Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO Stuttgart that can play a key role in the project.

“The Fraunhofer Institute has a lot of experience with “smart cities” and moreover, it has been cooperating with industrial titans such as Siemens or Bosch, with whom they solve the practical application of smart technologies,” explains David Sventek, the Director of BeePartner.

The New Research Centre Will Help Put SMART Technologies in Practice

A science and research centre for the area of SMART technologies will be set up in the region. It will have two parts – one at the University of Ostrava and one at the Silesian University in Opava. These two centres will provide proposals for methods and procedures for the creation and implementation of social-technical innovations on the basis of SMART technologies that will improve the life in cities and municipalities of the Moravian-Silesian Region. They will deal with experimental use of modern technologies in telemedicine, within digital inclusion of seniors and disadvantaged social groups, for determining the needs of citizens and for communication of citizens with public administration authorities. In addition, both centres will also explore the application of such technologies in air quality and traffic monitoring, intelligent building or urban district management, electromobility and mobility. However, there might be many more areas of application in relation to the fast development of technologies.

Besides solving the aforementioned tasks, the members of the individual research groups will also participate in SMART conferences in the Czech Republic and abroad in relation to the expansion of competences. Naturally, cooperation with selected partners in the form of businesses, cities and municipalities will be established.

Updated: 25. 04. 2019