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  • Author: Zdeněk Kučera x
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Energy research in the Czech Republic – comparison of R&D expenditure and results with foreign countries

Abstract

Energy research is one of the fields of the National Priorities of Oriented Research, Experimental Development and Innovations. The Czech Republic is facing rather ambitious targets in the utilization of renewable energy resources, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and improvement of the overall energetic efficiency of the national economy. The fulfilling of these goals will require an intensive R&D in a broad spectrum of disciplines and technology fields. The present article evaluates the extent and the structure of the support of the energy research in the Czech Republic and brings comparisons with foreign countries both in expenditure and results in various research fields. The Czech Republic spends relatively more public resources in the nuclear technology research. It is accompanied by higher publication activities. It is in a stark contrast with significantly lower patenting activities in this field, except of the branch of non-fossil fuel production, in comparison with both the World and EU-27 countries.

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The patent activity of the Czech R&D organizations and its international comparison

Abstract

An effective knowledge transfer between research institutions and industry is a significant bottleneck in the national innovation system. CR adopted in recent years a series of systemic measures aimed to stimulate the orientation of the R&D organizations towards the generation of knowledge directly applicable in the innovation process and more generally to improve the collaboration of the R&D establishment with the industry. In the majority of programs supporting the applied research patents and industrial designs and utility models are among the anticipated results. The Methodology of the evaluation of R&D organizations implemented in the second half of the last decade brought financial bonuses for the creation of the results in the category of industrial property. Despite of this stimulus CR lags behind the technologically advanced EU countries in the patent activities. The topic of this article is a comparison of the protection of the industrial property rights in the Czech higher education institutions and governmental R&D institutions with selected EU countries. We make use of a couple of quantitative indicators to assess the quality and the technological and the commercial potential of the produced industrial property. Despite a dynamic growth of the patent applications in the CR the number of patent applications relative to the country size is far below the EU-15 average. The Czech research organizations contribute to a higher extent to the number of patent applications then do the analogous institutions in EU-15 countries where the majority of patent applications come from the industrial sphere. The Czech research organizations mainly limit the patent rights to the Czech Republic whereas in the EU-15 countries the opposite is preponderant and only a small fraction of patent applications remains limited to the national environment. Thus the majority of the Czech patents created by research organizations cannot be commercialized on the international scene nor can contribute to the international competitiveness of the Czech industry. The patent applications submitted by the Czech research organizations are significantly less cited. This indicates that the protected intellectual property is of lesser importance. The Methodology of the evaluation of research organizations which was implemented in the second half of the last decade has visibly stimulated the patent activities of the research organizations but simultaneously an absence of any assessment of a future commercialization promoted a production of intellectual property of a limited commercial usability.

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in ERGO
Key Enabling Technologies – pozice České republiky v rámci EU a porovnání s vybranými zahraničními zeměmi

„Klíčové umožňující technologie“ (Key Enabling Technologies, KETs) představující technologie náročné na znalosti a spojené s intenzivním VaV, rychlými inovačními cykly, vysokými kapitálovými náklady a vysoce kvalifikovanými pracovními místy, jsou zdrojem inovací v celé řadě technologických oblastí. KETs proto stojí v popředí zájmu tvůrců politiky výzkumu, vývoje a inovací a jsou zapracovány do řady strategicko-koncepčních dokumentů zaměřených na oblast VaVaI. V ČR jsou KETs zapracovány do Strategie pro inteligentní specializaci (RIS3) a také některé nově připravené programy na podporu VaVaI svými cíli a zaměřením zohledňují tyto technologické oblasti. Jak však vyplývá z provedené analýzy, ČR ve VaV zatím ve většině KETs zaostává nejen za předními technologicky vyspělými zeměmi, jako jsou USA či Korejská republika, ale i za průměrem zemí EU-28. Uspokojivou pozici má ČR pouze v případě nanotechnologií, kde patentová i publikační aktivita předstihuje většinu členských států EU. Naopak největší „zaostávání“ je patrné v případě mikro- a nanoelektroniky. Také podíl produktů využívajících KETs v celkovém vývozu je v ČR poněkud nižší, než je tomu v případě technologicky vyspělých zemí zařazených do této srovnávací studie. Vzhledem k tomu, že KETs jsou zapracovány do národní RIS3 strategie a do připravovaných operačních programů i některých programů připravených na národní úrovni, lze očekávat, že kvalita VaV se v těchto významných technologických oblastech bude v ČR postupně zvyšovat a nové poznatky budou využívány efektivněji v podnikových inovacích.

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The research and development in the engineering field in the higher education system of the Czech Republic and its international comparison

Abstract

The Czech Republic is at the forefront of the EU in the contribution of the manufacturing to the total gross value added. The Czech industry contributes significantly to the positive balance of trade of the country. The overall international competitiveness of the Czech Republic will depend upon the innovation performance of the manufacturing sector and its competitiveness on the foreign markets. A necessary condition for extending the share on the foreign markets is the effective harnessing of the national R&D capacity and a strong qualified local workforce. This contribution uses a bibliometric and a patent analysis for the assessment of the R&D carried out by the Czech higher education institutions (HEIs) oriented towards the engineering fields, and selected more general universities, and compares them with similar HEIs in a selected group of developed countries. The analysis indicates that the Czech publication activity in the field of engineering grows. The Czech publications in engineering are cited below the world average which indicates that their impact (and to some extent the quality of the underlying R&D) lags behind the world. The patent activity of the Czech HEIs is on the international scale rather weak. The patenting activity of the Czech HEIs strongly grows since the middle of the last decade. This may by a side effect of the new evaluation methodology which takes into account also the patents. The number of patents registered with the Czech Industrial Property Office increases but on the other hand the international patenting activities tend to stagnate. This gives rise to questions about the real value of the produced patents from the point of their importance for the export competitiveness of the Czech industry.

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Key Enabling Technologies – is the Czech Republic catching up the leading countries in innovation and technology?

Abstract

The topic of this contribution is a comparison of the research & development related to the “key enabling technologies” (KETs) in the Czech Republic and the European Union as a whole with selected non-European economies. A further aim of this article is an appraisal of the effect of the European strategies and action programmes which have been implemented since the turn of the decade and which target the lagging of EU in innovations in critical technologies. We use the publication and the patent activities as a proxy to assess the intensity of the KETs oriented R&D. The Asian countries Japan, South Korea and the fast growing China have the highest fraction of KETs oriented publications and patents in their national output. The Chinese State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) recorded in 2015 a half of the world patent applications related to KETs. Measured by their share of publications, the Asian countries exhibit a significantly more intensive R&D in the majority of KETs. Whereas the patent activity of the Asian countries grows the number of patent applications in the EU stagnates in the recent years and EU visibly lags behind the Asian competitors. The EU R&D policies and strategies aimed at the promotion of KET and the financial support does not seem exhibiting visible effects. In the Czech republic KETs became an organic component of the National Research and Innovation Strategy for the intelligent specialisation (National RIS3 strategy) and a number of targeted public financing programmes support KETs related projects. The situation in the Czech Republic has been evolving in a positive way between 2008 and 2016. Both the number of publications and patent applications related to KETs has been increasing and the growth dynamics approaches the Asian countries. The number of publications per research worker in the Czech Republic is on par with the EU. Due to a stronger growth in recent years of the number of patent applications in comparison to EU the Czech republic reached the EU average per researcher and the fraction of the KETs related applications surpasses the EU average and even some developed countries.

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Key Enabling Technologies v ČR – internacionalizace výzkumu a průmyslového vlastnictví / Key Enabling Technologies in the Czech Republic – the internationalization of research and of industrial property rights

This article aims to examine the character of the international relationships of the Czech Republic in R&D in the Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), and in the protection of international industrial property rights. The analysis of the publication activities indicates an increase of the internationalization of the Czech R&D in nanotechnology and to a lesser extent in advanced manufacturing technologies both in an absolute volume and relatively to the overall internalization of the whole Czech R&D system. The R&D related to KETs uses the foreign expertise less than is the overall extent of the R&D international collaboration of the Czech Republic. The traditional Czech R&D partners USA, UK, and Germany dominate in the KETs oriented collaborations. The collaboration in photonics and micro- and nanoelectronic with Japan, in nanotechnology with Malaysia and in advanced materials with Singapore is significantly higher than the overall collaboration with these countries. On the other side it is rather disquieting, that countries with advanced R&D like Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden are underrepresented in the KETs oriented Czech collaborative research.

The patent analysis indicates that almost a half of the inventions in which the Czech researchers participated, is co-owned by foreign subjects. This probably relates to a significant number of global corporations or subsidiaries with R&D operating in the Czech Republic. In micro- and nanolelectronics and to a significant extent in photonics more than half of patent applications are co-owned by foreign entities. Most of the patent applications originating from Czech inventors are owned by US subjects. On the other hand the fraction of patent applications which have foreign inventors and are co-owned by Czech subjects is significantly lower in comparison with developed countries.

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Changes in the rural elementary schools network in Czechia during the second half of the 20th century and its possible impact on rural areas

Changes in the rural elementary schools network in Czechia during the second half of the 20th century and its possible impact on rural areas

Equality in access to education is a basic right of every citizen of the Czech Republic. However, this principle exhibits not only a social aspect but also a spatial, geographical dimension. The absence or closure of elementary school can be a spatial expression of unequal access to elementary education and a part of the process of peripherization of certain area. The consequences of such development are often most intensive in less densely populated rural areas. Thus in the article the changes in spatial distribution of elementary schools in Czechia between 1961 and 2004 are analyzed with special focus on rural areas. These changes are not only characterized but their possible outcomes and impacts on the functioning on local communities in rural space are being discussed as well.

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Research and development for Industry 4.0 – the position of the Czech Republic in cognitive computing and robotics

Abstract

We have examined the recent development of the knowledge base in the fields of cognitive computing and robotics. The proxies for the evaluation of the R&D in these fields are the publication activity and the patents production spanning the years 1998 to 2016. A comparison with selected EU countries, USA, China, Japan and South Korea is presented. The publication activities grow much faster than the overall volume of world publications. In the number of publications per year in the field of cognitive computing China surpassed in 2004 USA and trails the EU-28 since. The robotics seems less in the focus of China’s R&D as the Chinese publications output just reached the USA level in the last two years of the examined interval. A common feature of the Asian countries is a significantly below the world average citation impact of the publications in both fields. The number of patent applications in cognitive computing and robotics has been growing in recent years. The patent activity in the China is growing very fast, the EU and USA are gradually losing their position and China dominated in the patent activity in cognitive computing and robotics in 2015.

The Czech Republic exhibits a significantly above the EU average dynamics of the publication activity in both R&D fields. Though the robotics publications occupy a smaller fraction of the total national publications output, their citation impact at the roughly 150 percent level of the world average is on par with the publication output of EU-15 countries. The number of patent applications in cognitive computing and robotics with Czech invertors has been growing fast and their share in the total number of patent applications with Czech inventors is above the EU average. However, these applications are very often owned by foreign companies, in particular from the USA. Our study indicates that the Czech Republic has, in the world context, a robust and dynamic R&D capable to address the challenges associated with the implementation of Industry 4.0 and advanced information processing.

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International cooperation in research and development of Artificial Intelligence – publication and patent activity

Abstract

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the dynamically evolving research fields on the global scale. The world production of publication associated with the AI field increased by a third over the four-year period 2013–2017. Even less research intensive countries as Iran, Turkey, India and Indonesia appear to increase the share of the AI topics in their publication output. In the Czech Republic the fraction of publications in the AI field increased by approximately 10 % over this period. It makes the lowest increase within the EU/EEA. The field normalized citation index of the Czech publications in the year 2016 was above the world average but it is deeply below the top countries USA, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Singapore, and Norway.

The extent of international cooperation in AI is generally below the world average. The Czech Republic falls into the group of less cooperating countries. The countries exhibiting the highest growth in AI research are underrepresented in the Czech cooperation portfolio. The fraction of Czech publications in AI coauthored by foreign authors is lower than the national average. It indicates a lower international collaboration in comparison with other research fields. CR falls also in the group of countries less engaged in the international cooperation. The Czech international collaboration misses the countries exhibiting the most vigorous R&D in AI. The international collaboration adds to the quality of the research. The Czech publications originating from the international collaboration are cited above the country average for the AI field. It is even more significant in the collaboration with researchers from the top countries in the AI R&D.

The patent activity in the AI field has grown significantly in recent years. There is a marked increase of patent applications having inventors/applicants from more than one country. It indicates that the applied R&D in AI has a more international character in comparison with other technology fields. A high intensity of collaboration in the authorship of patent applications is within language and geographically neighbouring countries and with countries having a highly internationalized R&D system. Multinational corporations involved in international innovation networks contribute also to the international cooperation. ICT corporations like IBM, Google, or Microsoft which often employ foreign researchers have a dominant role in international cooperation.

The R&D of the Czech enterprises is relatively closed to the international cooperation. Domestic enterprises in AI use foreign employees in a small extent. The domestic enterprises even do not tap into the pool of intellectual property authored by the Czech researchers. The majority of patents with participation of Czech inventors is registered by foreign corporations.

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Morphology Analysis of Friction Particles Generated in Tractor Transmission Oils

Abstract

The aim of the study was the examination of the morphological and compositional attributes of wear particles of tested universal tractor transmission oil (UTTO) samples by means of automatic particle counter and classifier LaserNetFinesTM-C, which is an ideal tool to establish the dynamic equilibrium concentration and hence to set the alarm limits for any type of machine. Such limits can be based on wear type and particle size ranges. The samples of two UTTO (mineral oil and biodegradable fully synthetic oil) were taken from the rear gearboxes of the wheel tractor during a long-term experiment. The measurement results showed that there was faster increase in the particle wear of mineral oil in comparison to biodegradable transmission oil. Considering the increase in the percentage of particles over 20 μm, the biodegradable oil seems to be more favourable for usage. Regardless of this, it can be concluded that the biodegradable oil is equivalent to petroleum-based oils.

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