The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic will provide a total of 38.4 million Czech crowns for scientists or students from Czechia and abroad who are engaged in interdisciplinary research on energy and material recovery of waste while minimising negative environmental impacts, as well as for cooperation with companies. The new financial framework for public support of large research infrastructures between 2023 and 2026 was approved by the Czech government on 14 December.
"This is great news for us because we will be able to continue our services, which are in great demand, especially from students or young researchers from the Czech Republic and abroad. Thanks to the high quality of our research infrastructure, we are also an interesting partner for a number of private companies in joint application projects and contractual research," said Lucie Obalová, LRI coordinator and IET director.
The Large Research Infrastructure ENREGAT has been part of the Roadmap of Large Research Infrastructures of the Czech Republic since 2019. In 2021, an international evaluation of its activities took place, in which the research infrastructure received an excellent rating despite its relatively short period of operation. According to Obalová, this is one of the reasons why the LRI received support for the next period.
ENREGAT offers services in five basic areas. These are waste incineration, thermochemical processes, anaerobic digestion, catalytic and photocatalytic gas cleaning and analytical services. It represents a unique base for the implementation of comprehensive research in the field of material and energy recovery of waste by means of incineration, pyrolysis and anaerobic processes, and in the field of catalytic, sorption and photocatalytic purification of the gases produced. In addition, ENREGAT also facilitates research in related areas such as the durability of refractories used in waste incineration, material recovery of slag and fly ash, the potential for the use of pyrolysis products and analytical services.
So far, 321 secondary school students, university students, and researchers have benefited from the collaboration with this infrastructure. The track record includes 51 publications in impacted journals published by the ENREGAT users, 23 articles in proceedings, 44 theses, two functional samples and six products launched in a pilot plant.
Large research infrastructures are unique scientific facilities that provide the research and innovation communities with unique knowledge resources, experimental instruments and other technical equipment or large collections of scientific data that are essential for conducting fundamental and applied research leading to the development of new technologies for innovations. Large research infrastructures operate on an open access policy for all users, regardless of their institutional affiliations.
The earmarked support of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic intended to cover the operating costs of a total of 44 large research infrastructure projects will amount to almost CZK 2 billion in 2023. In addition, the Ministry will also support large research infrastructures in their investment plans through specifically designated projects of the Operational Programme Jan Amos Komenský (OP JAK), in which nearly four billion Czech crowns are allocated for new acquisitions of large research infrastructure in 2023-2026.
Text: Martina Šaradínová, PR specialist for R&D
Illustrative photo. Source: IET