Technical University of Liberec – Institute for Nanomaterials, Advanced Technologies and Innovation
Over the last 10 years, the Technical University of Liberec has become well-known due to its international patent for the industrial manufacture of nanofibers and patented industrial technology for nanofibre production, which has been successfully commercialized by the company Elmarco under the name Nanospider. This was an important impetus for the creation of a regional center for nanomaterials, advanced technologies and innovation known as CxI. Through the provision of high-tech infrastructure and highly qualified staff, CxI aims to provide the potential for innovative research by our industrial partners, thereby increasing their competitiveness. This cooperation is realized through mutual research projects, contractual research and services in two main areas: material research focused on progressive materials such as nanomaterials and competitive engineering with emphasis on advanced engineering constructions and technologies.
The project is financed from European fund for regional development (ERDF) and a state budget of the Czech Republic through Operational program: Research and Development for innovation (VaVpl). CxI currently employs 145 people – 50 senior scientist, 61 junior researchers and 34 technicians and management working on almost 50 VaVpl projects and 3 EU projects under the 7th EU Framework Programme, cooperating with leading European institutes and companies. One of such project is utilization of elementary iron nanoparticles (nZVI) in water cleaning processes.
Research within CxI is presently focused on the physics involved in nanomaterial creation and electrostatic spinning. The knowledge gained on the physical nature of nanomaterials, as well as the identification of important variables and their influence, enables us to improve manufacturing process management and identify important attributes of the materials prepared. Nanofibres are created from various types of organic and inorganic polymers in the form of solutions and “melts.” Following from this, an important area of our research has been the creation of composite materials through the addition of, for example, nanoparticles to a spinning solution during the preparation process, thereby increasing the functionalization of the final nanofibre materials.
CxI is heavily involved in competitive engineering, including initial research and the construction of prototypes and functional laboratory models of machinery, as well as laying down foundations for the construction of operational lines and their components. One example is the modification of technology required for the creation of aerial nanofibre formations, leading to operational lines for the creation of linear and 3D nanofibre formations. The main goal of competitive engineering is the long-term support of industrial research activities focused on the development and manufacture of machinery and vehicles, mechatronics, robotics, managements and utilization of artificial intelligence and the utilization of new technologies and technological methods to increase the level of industrial manufacturing in local regions. A strong emphasis is put on lowering energetic requirements and environmental burdens
Cooperation with industry
CxI has successfully developed long-term cooperation between the Technical University in Liberec and industry. Offering state-of-the-art technology in materials research and research into industrial technologies, all devices, machinery and other technologies at the disposal of CxI meet the strictest criteria for current research requirements and, at the same time, support commercial enterprise.