Czech Ideas Have Changed the World for Better
11. 12. 2018 | Source: Technology Agency of the Czech Republic
Clever garments which monitor vital functions and are able to call for help in the case of a collapse, new technologies for the production of optical lenses with better parameters, the automation and digitisation of production using localisation systems, and the recently much discussed topic of satellite bridge monitoring…
These ideas have one common partner: the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR), which supports cooperation between companies and researchers and annually allocates just under four billion crowns from the state budget.
The recent collapse of the bridge in Genoa, Italy presented experts and the wider public with a question that had been up in the air for a while. What is the condition of our transport structures and how can we avoid disasters like the one that happened in Italy? Taking care of aging infrastructure and especially revealing any risks in time is difficult, but not completely impossible. The Czech idea enables the monitoring of any undesirable movements and deformation of transport infrastructure using radar interferometry. The project, which uses radar signals to precisely measure any shifts in transport structures, bridges, slopes or rock formations, has taken just two years to be completed. Its significant advantage lies in the fact that the results can be evaluated automatically and over the long term.
The principle of such monitoring is very simple in essence; a radar signal is repeatedly emitted from a satellite and then reflected from the monitored object and recorded in the satellite. The signals are then evaluated using a defined variable, including phase shifts, and any changes in the position of the structure are derived from the time series. The blanket application option of the long-term monitoring of selected structures with a measuring interval of several days and the evaluation of any deformations with a degree precision in the order of millimetres is an advantage.
One of the other projects the TA CR has supported is a new device for the remote monitoring of a patient who is subject to fits or other abnormal states (for example, epileptics). This enables the replacement of current time-consuming diagnostic procedures with the remote monitoring of the patient and the long-term monitoring of vital signs both in the patient’s regular life and in his or her home environment.
New Lenses Technology
One of the many cases of excellent cooperation between company and research organisation is the new technology for the production of optical lenses with better parameters than have ever been made before. Aspherical lenses are used in the lenses of photographic or observatory equipment and also in complicated optical systems for lasers or lithographic equipment for the production of semiconductors. The new technology enables the production of lenses with a very high degree of precision and the achieved quality is at the very acme of the field.
The automation and digitisation of various types of production is a major trend today.
The realisation of so-called Industry 4.0 (factories without people or with almost no human intervention) requires the machines to be given precise specifications and first-rate information in order for them to be able to function by themselves.
This information is transmitted to the machines by so-called localisation systems which must be able to process large amounts of data precisely and efficiently. A joint Czech-Taiwanese project supported by the TA CR offers significant improvements to the abilities of these systems.
TA CR Support
The Technology Agency has assisted the research, commerce and non-profit spheres in establishing partnerships, thanks to which the best Czech ideas, which have responded to new market opportunities and the needs of society, have come about. To date, the TA CR has supported more than 2 000 projects involving hundreds of Czech companies and research organisations with state financial support at the amount of approximately 22.2 billion crowns. A further 12 billion crowns have been invested in these projects by the private sector. At present, the TA CR is offering support in 10 programs across all areas of research. This includes the ÉTA programme that supports involvement in innovation processes for social sciences and the humanities and the ZÉTA programme, which helps the upcoming research generation develop its talents and research activities.
Originally published in TA.Di magazine of Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR), author: Ivana Drábková