Technologies are essential for our future, said Frans Timmermans in a discussion at CIIRC CTU

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During his visit to the Czech Republic, on Monday, September 26, Frans Timmermans, executive vice-chairman of the European Commission for the Green Deal for Europe, also visited the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics at CTU. He was presented with the solutions for sustainable and smart industry developed in the Research and Innovation Centre on Advanced Industrial Production RICAIP – Testbed for Industry 4.0, in the laboratory for Energetics 4.0 and the Center of the City of the Future. F. Timmermans devoted the second half of the visit to a discussion with students and scientists from the Czech Technical University.

Innovative solutions and digitization are a necessary prerequisite for greater efficiency of industry, and therefore also for reducing its negative impacts on the environment. It was with such solutions that Frans Timmermans had the opportunity to get acquainted at the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC) of CTU: for example, with effective management of energy consumption in production or an alternative model for eliminating fluctuations in electricity supply in the network (combining small gas turbines, a battery storage system energy and an electrolyser), which is able to provide support services necessary for the decarbonisation of the energy sector. He learned about the possibilities of using spent nuclear fuel for district heating (Teplátor) or about recycling (so-called retrofitting) retired car batteries from electric cars. All this based on the principles of flexible production, using machine learning algorithms, artificial intelligence and big data.

“One thing that we absolutely need to do otherwise everything else will fail in coming years, is to save energy. Currently, we are using too much energy and we need to save it through much higher efficiency,“ said Frans Timmermans.And what you at CIIRC are doing helps companies to save energy through modern technologies. The way you have integrated all these processes allows not just saving energy and optimizing manufacturing. It also takes some of the cohesion distance, because you can organize and optimize manufacturing in your country and also over the whole of Europe because of the information technologies used in machines. This will dramatically reduce carbon footprints. Most importantly, the CIIRC approach is what we call a triple helix, you integrate education allowance, and scientific up to teaching skills with government and industry in very open collaboration. And this is the future of successful developments,“ Frans Timmermans evaluated his visit.

„We are in difficult times. The prices of inputs – raw materials and energy – often rise to dizzying heights. This means only one thing for the industry: it is necessary to invest in innovative and smart solutions based on artificial intelligence that optimize energy consumption. And also into alternative sources: a combination of photovoltaics and battery storage. This is Industry 4.0 in energy theory and practice and green solutions in accordance with sustainability and the Green Deal. We also demonstrated this to Frans Timmermans today,“ says the scientific director of the CIIRC CTU, prof. Vladimír Marík.

„From my point of view, I see it as very important that Frans Timmermans mentioned support for small and medium-sized enterprises in the Czech Republic,“ says Tilman Becker, director of the Czech-German research center for advanced industrial production RICAIP, and continues: „Timmermans gives technology, Industry 4.0 and the Green Deal into the common equation. That’s how CIIRC works and that’s how the ecosystem of the RICAIP center works too.“

Frans Timmermans was not only interested in smart solutions emerging at Czech universities and in industry, but feedback and dialogue are just as important to him. At his request, an open discussion with students and researchers was held, moderated by the director of the institute, Dr. Ondrej Velek. „The opportunity to convey the opinions of young people, for whom the topic of ecology and sustainability are often very important, on the grounds of CTU, i.e. on the grounds on which breakthrough innovations are created and on which future research elites are formed, is a prestigious matter for us. I was very pleased with the level of information and enthusiasm of the discussants,“ says Ondřej Velek.

– the full English version will follow soon –

Photos: J. Ryszawy, CIIRC ČVUT

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