These labs are called ‘Industry 4.0 & Automotive
Lab’ connecting segments of Industry 4.0,
additive manufacturing, autonomous mobility
and e-mobility, ‘Energy Lab’ forming the basis for
effective transformation of energy into carbon-free
technologies linked to the circular economy and
hydrogen economy development, and ‘Materials
& Environment Lab’ focused on the development
of materials and technologies for wastewater
treatment, reduction of waste and emissions and the
use of renewable energy sources.
We also have many partners in this effort, among the
most important of whom is the Moravian-Silesian
Innovation Center which will be putting the resulting
products to practical use, the University of Ostrava
and the Academy of Sciences, foreign partners
include, for example, the Fraunhofer Institute—
number one in applied research in Germany.
The Moravian-Silesian Region is planning to take
a step towards hydrogen in the future. What are
some of its uses that VŠB-TUO plans on exploring?
We have started to realize the CEETe project-Center
of Energetics and Environmental Technologies,
Explorer. The construction of a building, aimed
among other things at the research of hydrogen
technologies and alternative fuel sources, should
begin next year.
We plan to construct a refueling station for alternative
fuels; hydrogen, among others, will be included. We
have therefore definitely taken note of hydrogen as
a path that society is trending towards.
VŠB-TUO can lean on the Industrial council. What
important role does it play and what is its goal?
The university’s mission is to educate students so
that what they learn is applicable in the job market
in order to move society forward. The science and
research we do is also aimed at making the transfer
of technologies from universities to companies
successful and effective.
This is the reason why the Industrial council is occupied
by legal entities, in other words, companies that are
represented by specific people. These companies
were nominated by individual faculties. The goal is to
present what our university has to offer to companies
and receive feedback along with advice from them.
The new Underground Lab project, planning to
take advantage of the unused space at Staříč mine,
is truly a unique, world-scale idea. Can you give us
any details on your plans here?
This project aims to create laboratories underground
on the premises of the former Staříč mine. Excavating
a mine of this scale is a task that would cost billions
of crowns; why fill it back up then when the space
can be perfectly used for our purposes? The mine
would then become the only one that remained in
the region for over 250 years, even though its current
purpose would be science and research rather than
As for energetics, we are currently communicating
with the Scottish company Gravitricity, who hold the
patent for a gravity power station. Essentially, you can
picture it as a large multi-ton weight that is ideal for
use in combination with renewable energy sources
that produce sizable oscillation.
Furthermore, we are also partnering with companies
such as Ferrit and Huisman, which have an enormous
interest in using underground spaces. Like many
research organizations and universities.
The delinquiration of this project is that we will be able
to continue to educate students here in programmes
that are tied to the underground. For example, there
has recently been a lot of discussion about the
mining of lithium or gold, which is gathered deep
underground. The only university that still produces
mining experts is VŠB-TUO, at the Faculty of Mining
and Geology. Mining is not about coal, but the
extraction of resources, which can even be water.
Mr Ivan, thank you for the interview.
Text: Barbora Pěchová
Foto: archiv VŠB-TUO
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