29. 02. 2024

The REFRESH project and Fraunhofer representatives meet to discuss next steps and collaboration

Representatives from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the newly launched REFRESH project met on Wednesday at VSB – Technical University of Ostrava to share research findings, discuss ongoing projects, and identify opportunities for further collaboration. The prestigious German research institution, which focuses mainly on applied research, is one of the partners of the REFRESH project.

A key agenda item involved presenting the project’s various living laboratories, followed by exploring potential connections.

Colleagues at VSB – Technical University of Ostrava (VSB-TUO) have demonstrated an outstanding level of academic research in their projects and findings. Our shared goal is to identify research projects that directly benefit the industry. I view this collaboration as a promising opportunity, given our strong ideas, projects, and team dynamics,” said Martin Dix, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (Fraunhofer IWU), and a member of the Supervisory Board of the Fraunhofer Innovation Platform at VSB-TUO (FIP-AI@VSB-TUO).

Igor Ivan, Director of REFRESH and Vice-Rector for Strategy and Cooperation at VSB-TUO, described the meeting, which took place at the Centre for Energy and Environmental Technologies, as very beneficial. “We are expanding cooperation across living labs, and I am therefore pleased that, thanks to our Fraunhofer Innovation Platform’s Management, we were able to organise this in-person meeting now at the start of the project. The meeting resulted in specific plans for the continuation of the partnership, which I find particularly encouraging,” said Ivan.

Scientific directors Stanislav Mišák, overseeing the Energy Lab, and Petr Šimoník, in charge of the Industry 4.0 & Automotive Lab, showcased their respective living labs. Representation for the Materials & Environment Lab was provided by Štěpán Kment.

“I consider such meetings to be an effective platform for networking and collaboration. It is too early to assess impacts, but my colleagues from the Fraunhofer- Gesellschaft and I have identified at least two research areas after my presentation where we see potential for collaboration. We will continue to be in touch,” Kment said.

The REFRESH project is based on a unique concept of interconnected living laboratories that conduct cutting-edge research in direct collaboration with companies and are tailored to the needs of end-users. Based on this approach, VSB-TUO and the Moravian-Silesian Innovation Centre, with the support of the leadership of the Moravian-Silesian Region, have developed a strategic vision for the transformation of the region called SMARAGD (SMARt And Green District).