Industry in the Moravian-Silesian Region draws upon a century of tradition In 2018 the Confederation of Industry and Transport of the Czech Republic (Svaz průmyslu a dopravy ČR) is celebrating its100th anniversary. Industry in the Moravian-Silesian Region has played an important role on the chessboard of businesses in Czechoslovakia and, later, the Czech Republic. The industrial foundation in the MoravianSilesian Region dates back to the AustroHungarian Monarchy: Vítkovice Mines, Steel and Iron Works Corporation (Vítkovické horní a důlní těžířstvo) was the maincompany then. After 1918, the corporation’s management moved from Vienna to Vítkovice. The corporation owned the Ironworks in Vítkovice, coal mines of the Ostrava and Karviná districts, the coking plants Tereza and Karolina, the Karolina briquette factory, the Karolina ower plant in Doubrava and the back-up power lant at the Anselm mine. The corporation has also owned the ironworks in Fryštát since 1924. The mines of the Wilczek family employed 2,000 workmen. The Larisch family developed coal mining in the District of Karviná until they were deprived of their property in 1945. In addition to the mining districts of Ostrava and Karviná, other regional companies have developed who have become our present industrial icons. The Mining and Metallurgical Company (Báňská a hutní společnost, originally managed from Vienna, later
headquartered in Brno and Prague, provided for the dynamic development of steel producer Třinecké železárny, which became the greatest business in the Czechoslovakian part of the Těšínsko Region, with nearly six thousand employees, ranking among the best equipped and most cutting-edge steel producers in Central Europe. After 1948 when mines had already been consolidated in OKD and Vítkovice operated as a Metallurgical-Machinery Plan, another great industrial complex, the “New Foundry” (Nová huť), was established in Ostrava – Kunčice. The one-sided development of heavy industries in the region of Ostrava in the socialist era brought the MoravianSilesian Region to a difficult position after 1989: the region which had once sponsored all of the republic suddenly lost most of its attractiveness. Both national and regional governments were not able to actually perform a recultivation plan to fix the damage caused by industry and mining, better connect the region in the motorway network, or solve missing construction of motorway north of Prague and city
bypasses. When addressing investors, there was little emphasis of the fact that the area is also the home of several important universities. Now the former “steel heart of the republic” is a significant hub again: investors including Brose and Varroc are developing local production traditions in automotive industries, bringing state-of-the-art know-how and putting development teams together. Tieto, OKIN, and their technologies support a wide range of companies worldwide. The growing importance of the MoravianSilesian Innovation Centre (MSIC) provides a sound platform for new, progressive companies operating in IT, robotics, prosthesis and drone development, and more.. Another critical factor is the psychology of a region whose people are used to seeking jobs with large companies like generations of their ancestors did. MSIC significantly supports the motivation of the younger generations to start their own businesses. MSIC has contributed to the revival of the MoravianSilesian Region as a leader, where it historically belongs.
Adam Popelka Lovec okamžiků
POSITIV ǀ 3/2018 39