The NCC for MATCA project (National Centre of Competence for Materials, Advanced Technologies, Coatings and their Application) enters its second, six-year period. The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic has selected it as one of 18 projects. It will start in January 2023 and will focus on further deepening of collaboration with industrial companies and on faster application of research results in practice. The main topic will be engineering for the 21st century.
The centre aims to help the Czech engineering to implement applied projects using the latest knowledge in the field of laser, plasma and additive technologies. At the same time, it will continue research and development of advanced materials and nanotechnologies. An important task of the NCC for MATCA is also to build a close relationship between academia and industry, especially in areas that have not yet been sufficiently developed in this respect.
"NCC for MATCA is one of the most successful projects initiated by the Institute of Physics and we are very pleased that thanks to the new grant we can continue the activities of the centre for the following six years. It’s my strong belief that deepening collaboration with industrial partners will have significant benefits for academia, private companies and the Czech economy as a whole," said Michael Prouza, Director of the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences.
The centre is also working in the context of the National RIS3 Strategy aimed at building a resilient economy based on knowledge and innovation. Within the framework of this strategy, it aims to build relationships especially in areas of collaboration between science and industry where comparable results cannot be achieved by existing methods. This will help companies to innovate and thus improve their efficiency and economic performance. As an example, plasma coating can be mentioned, which is significantly more environmentally friendly and toxicity-friendly than conventional electroplating. In conjunction with laser technologies, such treated surfaces are also more durable and resistant.
"Connecting scientific institutions, universities and industry is proving to be the right way to go. We can thus put into practice the excellent results that are produced at Czech scientific institutions. The success of this path is also evidenced by the growing interest of companies in collaboration with our scientists and the increasing number of completed projects," said Alexandr Dejneka, Head of the Division of Optics of the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Principal Investigator of the NCC for MATCA.
The NCC for MATCA was established in 2018 in response to the first call of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic for the establishment of national centres of competence. In its second phase, the NCC for MATCA will have 23 members, including six institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, four universities, one hospital and twelve industrial enterprises. Its most notable achievements to date include the development of a rapid and highly reliable COVID-19 detection test, a device for plasma gasification of hospital biological waste, and excellent results in 3D printing. In the second period, these results will be built upon and further developed, as well as new collaborations and projects will be initiated. A total of 6.1 billion Czech korunas were distributed among the 18 projects selected in the NCC II call, of which NCC for MATCA received CZK 360 million. More information is available at www.matca.cz.