Nanobiowat receives the highest mark

The highest mark—outstanding—goes for Nanobiowat, a project grant funded by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, Centre of Competence. This eight-year project, of which Radek Zbořil from RCPTM was the principal investigator, involved three academic institutions along with the country’s largest soil and water remediation companies. The project investigation ended last December. The final opposition procedure, taking place this September, reviewed the project results and highly appreciated the benefits of the project.

“This project is an excellent example of successful world-class applied research, based on close and effective collaboration between academia and industry. The project investigators managed to establish a research-application centre with strong international relevance and overlaps. For the aforementioned reasons, the project’s opposition committee stated that the project succeeded with excellent results,” which is mentioned, among others, in the Final Report.

Between years 2012 and 2019, the project partners managed to develop new environmentally friendly technologies capable of removing organic, inorganic and microbial pollution from contaminated waters and soils. The investigation of the project yielded 4 patents, 29 verified technologies, 2 utility models and 1 functional sample, alongside over 90 publications in prestigious journals. Another significant result is the publication of a very complex book entitled Advanced Nano-and Bio-Technologies for Water and Soil Treatment, published by Springer.

“A wide range of the project results is already used in practice. Several licensing agreements have already been concluded and others are in the pipeline. In addition, several contracts were already carried out to remediate various sites, including some abroad. The research organisations involved in the project will then use the obtained results for their other professional and scientific activities, including publication activities as well as teaching and educating new experts,” noted the evaluators.

The investigators themselves consider the project very valuable. “Such a type of competence centre grants is extremely meaningful and useful. Long-term support contributes to the stability of the team, and connecting the academic and industrial spheres increases the possibilities of transferring results to practice,” said the project science coordinator Jan Filip from RCPTM.

The public part of the final opposition procedure took place in September 2019 in Olomouc, on the premises of Farmak, where, for example, representatives of the public administration had a chance to get familiar with the preparation of remediation agents and the use of certain technologies. By then, the project had already been highly appreciated by the TA CR’s consultant, Ladislav Lehký: “I consider this to be one of the best projects I have encountered during my professional career. I hope there will be a way to continue this successful cooperation,” said Lehký.

The project entitled Environementally Friendly Nanotechnologies and Biotechnologies for Water and Soil Treatment connected academic partners, i.e., the Technical University of Liberec and the Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, along with RCPTM, and industrial partners—LAC, MEGA, GEOtest, DEKONTA, AQUATEST and AECOM CZ. The total funding amounted to CZK 219 million (the total cost of the project investigation was CZK 316 million). According to the final evaluation, the money was spent highly efficiently and the benefits from the results are likely to outweigh the costs.