NANOBIOWAT receives honorary mention in Vizionáři 2021

An honorary mention in the Vizionáři 2021 competition goes to the Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials (RCPTM), now part of CATRIN, for NANOBIOWAT—a system for subsurface groundwater treatment and its contribution to the protection of water resources and the environment. The Vizionáři project, organised for the 11th year by CzechInno, aims to award innovative projects and help commercialise innovative ideas.

Nanobiowat was an eight-year project under the Competence Centre of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA ČR), which ended last December. It involved three academic institutes (Palacký University Olomouc, the Technical University of Liberec, and the Institute of Microbiology of the CAS), along with the largest domestic remediation companies, with the principal investigator being Radek Zbořil, RCPTM. The benefits of the project were highly appreciated by the final opposition procedure of TA ČR.

“I appreciate the award because Nanobiowat has proven that cutting-edge research can result in industrial practice. The collaboration of academic partners with the remediation companies was very efficient. Thanks to this, it was possible to use some selected technologies to decontaminate polluted waters in a number of locations in the Czech Republic and abroad. The quality of the consortium’s results is also evidenced by the involvement of our partners in several large international projects where the developed technologies have been applied,” commented Zbořil.

Between the years 2012 and 2019, the project partners developed new environmentally friendly nanotechnologies and biotechnologies capable of removing organic, inorganic, and microbial pollution from contaminated waters and soils. The results include 4 patents, nearly 30 proven technologies, and dozens of publications in international journals. The book Advanced Nano-Bio Technologies for Water and Soil Treatment, published by Springer, is also a significant achievement.

“Of course, the greatest benefit is the application of the particular technology in situ (in the locality). Of the most significant achievements, I would highlight the use of iron nanoparticles combined with the effect of electric current to remove pollution in groundwaters at the Mars industrial site in Svratka, or the successful fight against the old environmental burden in Písečná u Letohradu. New nanotechnologies in combination with biotechnologies have been successfully used for decontamination of the Zetor site in Brno and Farmak in Olomouc,” added Jan Filip from RCPTM.

It was mostly environmental innovations and innovative solutions to the social and economic consequences of the current pandemic that succeeded in the 11th year of the Vizionáři competition. Six institutes were awarded the title ‘Vizionáři 2021’ and honorary mention went to ten innovative projects. RCPTM was also involved in development of technologies using silver nanoparticles in antimicrobial applications as a partner in another project of the Technology Agency of the CR— Alterbio, for which Synpo, a.s., the principal investigator, won an award. The Olomouc group had a key role in, among other things, the development of a new system for anchoring silver nanoparticles on a polyurethane carrier, which is now protected by a European patent. All laureates will receive the prizes in person early next year in Prague at a ceremony organised by CzechInno. The contest focuses on finding, evaluating, and raising the profile of exceptional innovation feats in the Czech business arena and on the cooperation of applied research and industrial practice.