Stráž pod Ralskem – On 18–19 March 2014, the Membrane Innovation Centre in Stráž pod Ralskem became a place of meeting representatives of industry, research centres, universities, state administration and local authorities in one hall. The goal of the conference was a discussion and exchange of opinions on innovations and transfer of technologies into practice. Seventy participants heard twenty-four lectures about marketing of innovations, appraisals, methods of systematic innovation, funding of science and research and many other topics. There was also a block of short presentations, in which the participants could introduce their companies and institutions. These topics led to many discussions, impulses and opinions and clearly showed that similar meetings are meaningful and it will be necessary to interconnect these areas in future as well.

The conference Industrial Innovations and Technology Transfer in Practice was organized by the Czech Membrane Platform, o.s., in cooperation with MemBrain, s.r.o., assisted by the agency to support enterprise and Investments CzechInvest and Liberec Region. In their positive feedback, participants mainly appreciated diverse topics and interesting lecturers. The currency of topics was also documented by the lively discussion after lectures, which included confrontation between representatives of industry and academic sphere. Among lecturers were, for instance, Ing. Miroslav Janeček, CSc. from the Technological Agency of the Czech Republic, Ing. Václav Neumajer from z the Association of Research Organizations or RNDr. Eva Janouškovcová, Ph.D., LL.M. from the Centre for Transfer of Technologies of the Masaryk University in Brno.

“We managed to gather the right people throughout the wide research platform, who have been striving, on a long-term basis, the research results not to end just on paper but in new products and technologies in the market. I most appreciate the fact that we wanted to listen to each other and were able to name, in professional terms, the barriers in the research system as it is set up at present in the Czech Republic. I believe that we have initiated a trend so that we will be listened to also by those who set up and control the system, and by this we will really support the competitiveness of Czech companies,” added the Director of the company MemBrain s.r.o. and expert guarantor of the conference Ing. Aleš Černín, Ph.D.

The block of ten-minute presentations was also used up to the last minute, allowing the participants to introduce their own companies and institutions. Eleven representatives of research centres, companies, technological platforms and universities presented their achievements, problems and prospects. One distinct personality at the conference was PhDr. Lenka Mynářová, the Marketing Director of NAFIGATE Corporation, a.s., who stated when speaking about the organizers: “I was really delighted by today’s seminar because it is very inspirational and shows that we, Czechs, are a creative nation and can overcome conditions and gain what other nations could not. A group of people gathered here who want and do more than they must, and this is very pleasant and inspirational.”

Interesting was also the excursion and presentation of industrial innovation at the compound of MEGA GROUP, where the participants could admire the newly built Membrane Innovation Centre or see how the ion-exchange membrane RALEX are produced by the company MEGA a.s. The modern environment of the lecture hall of the Membrane Innovation Centre, friendly atmosphere and discussion evening at the Malevil ranch were the icing on the cake of the conference. “I expected this event to be interesting but it exceeded my expectations with respect to the choice of speakers and topics. Great atmosphere and superb organization,” assessed the conference Ing. Tereza Suchomelová, the Director of the regional office of CzechInvest in Liberec. The organizers have already started thinking about the topic for the second year of the conference.

The conference was organized within the framework of the project of the Czech Membrane Platform entitled “Acceleration of the Development of Membrane Processes through Cooperation in a Thematically Oriented Network”, supported by the European Social Fund, state budget of the Czech Republic through the Operational Programme Education for Competitiveness and Liberec Region. Another important international conference MELPRO, focused on membrane and electro-membrane processes, took place on 18–21 May 2014 in Prague.

The Czech Membrane Platform (CZEMP) united experts and relevant institutions, focused on research, development, implementation and utilization of membrane technologies in a wide scope of production areas. The main activities of the platform are promotion and popularization of membrane processes, education of general and professional public or publishing expert publications and studies. Important is cooperation with subjects using membrane processes in areas of research, development and applications emphasizing innovations, technology transfer and cooperation between industrial and academic spheres.

Detailed information concerning the agenda of the previous conference including the lectures is available on the website of the Czech Membrane Platform:, where is also a virtual discussion forum for the participants and those interested in the topics of innovation and technology transfer.