Supporting the best Czech research with strong application potential strengthening interdisciplinary cooperation – these are the objectives of the call which distributed CZK 8 billion under the Johannes Amos Comenius Programme (P JAC). The organisers have now published a list of fifteen applications that have successfully passed all stages of evaluation and are recommended for funding. The Brno University of Technology (BUT) has achieved great success. Application from the BUT Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (FME) received the highest overall score. In addition, CEITEC BUT acts as a partner in three applications and the BUT Faculty of Chemistry (FCH) in one. Overall, the university is involved in one third of the supported projects.Martin Hartl from the FSI Institute of Machine and Industrial Design, principal person responsible of the successful project application | Autor: Tereza Cinka
"I would like to thank all those who made immeasurable efforts to prepare all the project applications submitted under the call on behalf of the BUT. The success has confirmed that the future of the BUT lies in projects with high added value, in areas where we are able to compete on a global level. Interdisciplinary cooperation across our faculties and institutes and pragmatic collaboration with the best at the inter-institutional level allows us to strengthen this competitive advantage," said BUT Rector Ladislav Janíček on the evaluation results.
The winning project application from FME achieved an exceptional result, scoring the most points out of all the applicants in a challenging two-round selection process. Moreover, it was approved by an evaluation committee with foreign participation without any content adjustments or financial cuts.
The project received the support of almost CZK 500 million for the period of 1 September 2023 – 30 June 2028. Of this amount, the BUT will receive CZK 215 million. The remaining part of the funds will be received by the project partners, which are the Institute of Physics of Materials at CAS, the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, the Czech Technical University in Prague and the University of Chemical Technology in Prague. The project will result in publications and technically implemented results, including several patents.
In total, 75 projects participated in the call with 66 of them passing the first round of evaluation. This call for European funding for research and development is the last call that will be offered for a long time.
The preparation of the project application, titled Mechanical Engineering of Biological and Bioinspired Systems, was led by Professor Martin Hartl from the FME Institute of Machine and Industrial Design, a world-renowned expert in the field of tribology and the principal person responsible for the project: “I think the success confirms that research in the technical and engineering sciences is quite comparable to research in the natural sciences, although the latter has higher citation rate and reach. I also believe that the interdisciplinary nature of the project, where we are at the interface of mechanical engineering, chemistry, materials science and other disciplines, has helped us a lot. And finally, I must say that it was my birthday on the day of the publication of the results, so the success is a gift to which nothing can compare," says Martin Hartl.
A unique feature of the project is the integration of technical and biological systems: “The main inspiration for us in the development of new mechatronic systems is nature. Thanks to the project and the interconnection of top research groups within the country focused on different levels of detail, we can proceed conceptually in this research direction from the development of materials to the real production of functional structures," adds Hartl.
The project leaders from BUT also recognise the key role of engineering and industrial sectors in Europe's competitive potential. Through progress in the mastery of advanced technologies, they want to contribute to the further development and transformation of the sector while addressing environmental, technological and competitive challenges.