During the three-day event, more than 100 participants will focus on the issues of nanotechnology, nano- and advanced materials, and their applications in various fields, including medicine, the environment, and industry. The conference is being held for the first time in the industrial setting of the Lower Vítkovice Area.
"I am glad that we are meeting at this location which is symbolic for us. Many of our research and projects are aimed at industry, and one of their goals is the development of the Region, including the upcoming REFRESH project. I am pleased that our Nanotechnology Centre CEET VSB_TUO is a pioneer in the research of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies in this Region, as evidenced by this conference," said Daniela Plachá, the Director of CNT and the Chair of the Conference.
The conference was first held in 2008, last year it was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its significance was also acknowledged by Václav Snášel, the Rector of VSB - Technical University of Ostrava (VSB-TUO).
"At the University, we have three research directions - energy, materials research, and IT. The NanoOstrava 2023 Conference addresses two of them, which is why it is very important to us. Nanotechnology is extremely useful both in energy research and in its applications in various industries," said Václav Snášel.
The focus on energy and the environment, according to the organisers, is a response to current global challenges. "I am very proud that the Nanotechnology Centre, which is part of the Centre for Energy and Environmental Technologies (CEET), is the main organiser of the Conference. We are all looking forward to a new energy future and there are many challenges ahead. Therefore, every conference and every professional meeting is important, as it is from such platforms that new ideas form, collaborations emerge, and new solutions can accelerate. I hope that the Conference is a great success," said Stanislav Mišák, the Director of CEET, at the opening of the Conference.
As in previous years, prominent scientists from both the Czech Republic and abroad are participating in the Conference. The plenary lecture was delivered by Paolo Fornasiero, a world expert in electrocatalysis and catalysis from the University of Trieste, on the topic The metal/non-metal trajectory in sustainable chemistry. "We have only one planet and limited resources. At the same time, we know that we need more and more energy. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the amount of certain metals used in catalytic processes and seek new approaches. Single-atom engineering can be very helpful in this regard," said Fornasiero, among others. The possibilities of this groundbreaking scientific approach were subsequently presented by Radek Zbořil from CNT CEET VSB-TUO.
Invited lectures have been given or will be given by speakers such as Jagadeesh Rajenahally from the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis in Rostock, Germany, and Mark H. Rümmeli from Soochow University. At the same time, prominent Czech scientists, including Pavel Hobza, theoretical chemist and laureate of the Czech Head Award and the Neuron Prize, Lucie Bačáková, a tissue engineer from the Institute of Physiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS), and Dáša Nachtigallová, a chemist from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of CAS, will also be presenting.
Among the participants are also representatives of the Faculty of Materials Science and Technology at VSB-TUO. "We have been collaborating with the Nanotechnology Centre for a long time, and a number of scientific works have been created through our cooperation. We consider this collaboration to be very important because science goes beyond the boundaries of an individual, one workplace, and one specialisation. Therefore, we are pleased that we can share knowledge and experience in the field of materials research. We also have a joint study programme, so we fulfil the mission of the University in educational and research activities," said Jozef Vlček, the Vice-Dean for Cooperation with Industry at the Faculty of Materials Science and Technology.
This year, the Conference is not only open to scientific institutions but also to the Region. Three Ostrava secondary schools, the Academician Heyrovský Secondary School of Chemistry, Matiční Grammar School and Wichterle Grammar School have also been invited. Two students from the Wichterle Grammar School will even present their work developed within the framework of the Secondary School Professional Activity Competition (SOČ).
Text: Martina Šaradínová, PR specialist for R&D
Photo: Petr Havlíček