After the initial steps of dealing with organisational changes and the preparation of large projects, the University institute has set itself considerable goals. Its ambition is to provide modern technologies and methods that will enable the Czech Republic to successfully make the green transition and switch from fossil fuels to clean energy.
“Our common denominator is the energy transition, a theme that cuts across all areas of our lives, from transport to industry, to the environment. We need to develop technologies, equipment and methods that will take us from the coal age to the age of low-carbon technologies. Europe has already committed itself to this for 2050, but in the Czech Republic we have been stuck in the same place for a long time. We are now expected to create this alternative. We will follow the fundamental principles of sustainability. It is also necessary to monitor the environmental, social and economic aspects,” said Stanislav Mišák, Director of CEET.
The fact that the CEET brand has managed to bring a top-notch team and unique laboratory facilities under one roof can also contribute to this goal. Thanks to this, energy issues can be addressed in a truly comprehensive manner. “Like the rest of the world, we are looking for emission-free sources. The second important requirement is that our solutions do not lead to the creation of additional waste and landfill requirements, while at the same time the issue of reducing pollutants already generated in waste gases, in the air as well as in water must be addressed. One of the priority raw materials we are counting on in science and research is hydrogen. With its help we want to ensure partial energy self-sufficiency and raw material independence for some of the regions. But hydrogen is only one of many other raw materials we want to extract,” Mišák outlined some of the research directions.
CEET, which was created by the merger of four scientific centres - the Nanotechnology Centre, the Energy Research Centre, the ENET Centre and the Institute of Environmental Technology - is also unique in the composition of its scientific teams. Over 400 scientists are involved in basic, fundamental focussed and applied research. “We have continued to work on projects which started before CEET was established and we have started to intensively prepare the REFRESH project, which we consider to be a great opportunity. The project is aimed at solving technological and social challenges in the areas of renewable energy, environmental applications, transport, and IT and should be a driving force for the transformation and revitalisation of the landscape of the Moravian-Silesian Region. In terms of basic research, we have strengthened in the fields of research on nanomaterials and renewable energy sources,” said Lucie Obalová, CEET Director for Science, Research and Education.
Cooperation with commercial partners is also very important for CEET. “Some of the units, especially the Energy Research Centre, have a wealth of experience in this respect, which we can build on. For the units focused primarily on basic research, we will look for forms of cooperation with industry and adapt the equipment accordingly. Cooperation with industry is a specific area, relationships take a long time to develop and need to be maintained. Close cooperation with industry is one of our priorities, which distinguishes us from some other research centres,” said Tadeáš Ochodek, CEET Director for Cooperation with Industry.
In February, CEET will launch a major investment project, which is the construction of CEETe – the Centre for Energy and Environmental Technologies - explorer. It is a unique technological facility on the premises of VSB-TUO, which will cost approximately CZK 350 million to build, and will be used to research into the use of alternative fuels, and the conversion of waste into useful forms of energy. The system is modular and scalable and therefore easily transferable to other locations where energy or environmental issues need to be addressed. CEETe is expected to be operational in September 2023.