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Nanoprogress z.s.

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General Information
The date when the cluster organisation was established: 
Thursday, 1 July, 2010
Number of staff in the management team of the cluster organisation : 
6-10
Regions: 
Severovýchod
Cluster Excellence Label: 
Gold Label
Other Label: 
Entrepreneurial Project of the Year 2014, Czech Golden Cluster 2016
Membership to European Strategic Cluster Partnerships (ESCP-4i or ESCP-S3): 
Membership to other networks/partnerships: 
NameWebsite
National Cluster Association
Nano Association of Czech Republic
Cluster Management Team: 
NameSurnamePositionTelephoneEmail
Luboš
Komárek
Cluster Manager
00420736446314
komarek@nanoprogres.cz
Languages spoken: 
Czech
English
Portuguese
Spanish
Sectoral and Industrial Focus
Sectoral Industries: 
Business Services
Environmental Services
Technology fields: 
Non weaving related to Textiles Technology
Textile fibres
S3 EU priority areas: 
Nanotechnology
Sustainable energy & renewables
Emerging industries: 
Advanced Packaging
Environmental Industries
Areas of specialisation of the cluster not covered above: 
Biomedicine, Coaxial Nanofibers
Composition of the cluster
Total number of members: 
41
Number of SME members: 
32
Number of larger company members: 
3
Number of research organisations/universities/technology centres: 
6
Entrepreneurship and scale-up support facilities in the cluster's ecosystem (see "Organisation type"): 
Name and link of major players: 
NameWebsiteType
Technical University of Liberec
University
National Institute for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Protection
Research Organisation
Centre for the Development of Engineering Research
Technology Center
Centre for Organic Chemistry
Research Organisation
Center of Materials and Nanotechnologies
University
Cluster Strategy
Mission/Objectives: 
  1. To integrate continuous training and education of the cluster management team and achieve the highest level of cluster excellence.
  2. To improve competitiveness of the cluster and its members by upgrading the offered services and through establishment of partnership & cross-border collaboration with other clusters and business networks.
  3. To integrate the cluster into selected international networks regarding to their prestige, functionality and relevance for the cluster participants and its management.
  4. To collaborate with more R & I institutions and universities on international projects with common aim.
  5. To fortify public relations & image building of the cluster on national and international level.
Do you have a formalised strategy?: 
Yes
Do you have a specific strategy focus that addresses internationalisation ?: 
Yes
Services
Support services provided: 
Internationalisation support (= Access to third countries markets)
Access to public support (regional/national programmes, innovation vouchers, etc.)
Promotion of activities (marketing/ visibility)
Details of support services: 

We help our members to obtain national funding for joint research and development, then we present our members on national and international events and help them with commercialization of their products.

Cooperation Activities
International Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
Australia
Brazil
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)
Mexico
Our cluster organisation undertook the following international activities to support our members: 
Support to collaborative activities/etc.
Trans-national Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
Belgium
Germany
Portugal
Spain
Sweden
Our cluster organisation undertook the following trans-national activities to support our members: 
Support to collaborative activities/etc.
Which clusters do you collaborate with?: 
AQUA-VALLEY - French WATER cluster
BalticNet-PlasmaTech
CLEAN
Cluster of Czech Furniture Manufacturers
CREA Hydro&Energy
InovCluster
Lombardy Energy Cleantech Cluster
Mazovia Cluster ICT
MESAP Innovation Cluster - Smart Products and Manufacturing
MetaIndustry4 - Cluster of Advanced Manufacturing of Metal Industry
Moravian Aerospace Cluster
Moravian-Silesian Automotive Cluster
Packaging Cluster
Plastiwin
Pole Solutions Communicantes Sécurisées (SCS)
Sustainable Habitat Cluster
Water Alliance
ZINNAE
Support Programmes
Participation in Funded Support Programmes: 
European ProgrammesProject NameName & Description (Regional/National)Link (Regional/National)
H2020
CIP/COSME
Other

Better Innovation Support to SMEs (INNOSUP)

  • VIDA

Cluster go international (ESCP - 4i)

  • AdPack (2016-2017)
  • AdPack² (2017-2019)

Cluster excellence

  • INNO-DROP (2016-2018) 

European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)

  • Nanoprogres (2010 - 2013)
  • Nanoprogres II (2012-2014)
  • Research and development of applications of functionalized nanofibrous structures including coaxial structures and intelligent nanofibers (2015-2018)
  • Technology development of R&D cluster centre (2015-2018)
  • Development of cross-cluster cross-border collaboration in new emerging industries (2016-2017)
  • Development of the cluster activities and processes (2016-2017)
  • Recovery of multi-spectrally polluted waters (2016-2019)
  • Research and development of specifically functionalized nanofibrous structures for wider range of applications (2017-2020)
  • The development of technological infrastructure of the cluster Nanoprogress (2017-2018)

Better Innovation Support to SMEs (INNOSUP)

VIDA

Value-added Innovation in fooD chAins (VIDA) will nurture and harness the growth and innovation potential of SMEs working across European food chains, bringing together four complementary and mutually dependant sectors; food, energy, water and key enabling technologies (KET). VIDA will strengthen current and develop new cross-sectoral industrial value chains within the food production and processing industries through a combination of direct and indirect innovation actions, as well as support and capacity building measures.  

 

Cluster go international (ESCP - 4i)

AdPack (2016-2017)

The project was based on the ambition to strengthen cross-border cooperation and internationalisation of project partner - SME towards Europe and specific third countries - by supporting the establishment of an European Strategic Cluster Partnership in the emerging industry of advanced packaging and providing high-standard added value services. During the project, the relationships among partnership clusters were strengthened and important knowledge was acquired that was used for the preparation of the joint internationalization strategy plan and supporting services for internationalisation.  As suitable legal structure for the partnership and supportive services was chosen the European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG).

 

AdPack² (2017-2019)

The purpose of this project is to foster cross-sectoral cooperation between the European clusters in the partnership and their SME members, as well as to support their SME members in going international (Canada, China, USA) and positioning them in the advanced smart packaging global value chain. This will be done through the establishment of an AdPack EEIG formed by 6 European clusters which bring together different competencies to apply a cross-sectoral approach for the development of the advanced smart packaging global value chain. Nanoprogress is the project coordinator.

 

Cluster excellence

INNO-DROP (2016-2018) 

The project “Innovation and development in cluster excellence and cooperative partnerships” (INNO-DROP) is based on the ambition to strengthen cluster management excellence leading to sustainable long-term cross-cluster and cross-border cooperation.

 

European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)

Nanoprogres (2010 - 2013)

This project was focused on joint research (SME, R&D institutions) mainly in the field of application of nanofibrous structures into biomedicine. Within the project lifetime, new methodology for production of core/shell nanofibers was developed and tested. Base on this methodology new equipment was build and new structures produced. These structures were tested for bio-medical application in the field of tissue engineering for regeneration of bones and skin tissues. Main output of the project was new methodology for production of core/shell nanofibers, three new equipment for production of core/shell nanofibers, knowledge about the polymeric solution recipes, technological conditions and know-how from application of the core/shell nanofibers for drug-delivery, skin regeneration and bone regeneration. Nanoprogress was the project coordinator.

 

Nanoprogres II (2012-2014)

This project was focused on joint research (SME, R&D institutions) of nanofibrous structures in the field of biomedicine and industry. In biomedicine, the project built on the knowledge from previous R&D project where the main focus was development and in vitro and in vivo testing of improved functionalized skin covers and bone fillings with very positive results. Three equipment for industrial use were designed and build, first for production of core/shell nanofibers and two based on novel AC electro spun technology (internationally patented) for a production of composite nanofibrous yarn. Furthermore, a closed-cycle AVAC unit was developed to be used with this equipment. New methods for introduction of dust particles into the nanostructures were tested as well. Nanoprogress was the project coordinator.

 

Research and development of applications of functionalized nanofibrous structures including coaxial structures and intelligent nanofibers (2015-2018)

This project focuses on joint research (SME, R&D institutions) in three areas. First area focuses on the qualitative parameters of nanofibrous scaffolds for human, veterinary and food applications, second area focuses on development of composite materials with integrated nanofibrous membrane and functionalized nanofibrous structures for industrial application and third area on research and development of functionalized nanofibrous structures including the core/shell structures into biomedical application, biosensors and dietary-supplements. Nanoprogress is the project coordinator.

 

Technology development of R&D cluster centre (2015-2018)

This project focuses on improvement of current technological infrastructure of the cluster situated in the Technological centre. Two electrospinning devices for production of composite nanofibrous yarns base on AC electrospinning are being improved for straightening the adhesion of nanofibers on the surface of supporting yarn and continuity of the process. New device for production of non-woven nanofibrous structures base on AC electrospinning is being developed and other testing equipment will be designed and purchased. Nanoprogress is the project coordinator.

 

Development of cross-cluster cross-border collaboration in new emerging industries (2016-2017)

This project focused primarily at developing of cross-border research and business cooperation with complementary clusters to create a value chain in emerging industries, selecting target markets and key partners, improving PR and marketing to enhance international awareness and rank amongst excellent clusters Europe by winning the gold label within the European Cluster Excellence Initiative.

 

Development of the cluster activities and processes (2016-2017)

The project was focused on the improvement of the cluster management and internal and external processes in order to be able to go through the first assessment of the cluster excellence and get the gold label. Within the project duration, the web pages were significantly improved, new PR materials were prepared, such as cluster members catalogue, catalogue of nanofibrous structures and informational leaflets, many events were organized and visited and management processes were consolidated. At the very end of the project, the gold label of cluster excellence was achieved.

 

Recovery of multi-spectrally polluted waters (2016-2019)

The aim of this project is to develop a variable modular water purification system, including the individual modules from which the resulting system will be composed. The variable modular system will be applicable to a wide range of waters with different concentrations and the nature of the contamination. An important innovative element of this system will be a high degree of flexibility and versatility, including the possibility of rapid deployment to different types and levels of contamination / pollution.

 

Research and development of specifically functionalized nanofibrous structures for wider range of applications (2017-2020)

This project builds on the knowledge gained in the previous joint research and development in the nanotechnology sector and by its activities it is complementary creating synergic effect. It focuses on three main research areas. First area is the research of primary materials and methods for their modification for preparation of advanced functionalized nanofibrous structures. Second area represent the research of lightweight textile composites with integrated nanofibrous structure and the last area is represented by research and development of combined material based on nanoparticles from biological material obtained from stem cells.

 

The development of technological infrastructure of the cluster Nanoprogress (2017-2018)

Main objective of this project is to extend the technology base of cluster Nanoprogress. The project includes design and delivery of the laboratory equipment for preparation of 3D cotton-like nanofibrous structures from polymeric and inorganic materials. This equipment should extend the range of application of these structures for example in the area of ultra-sorption of heavy metals, biomedicine applications, applications in energetic, catalysis and others.

 

 

Relevant Project References: 
Ad-Pack EEIG
Promotion
Success Story / Achievements: 

Within the last year, cluster has made a significant step forward in the area of regional and national policy. Due to its continuous successes in research and development, and both national and international visibility, the cluster organization was asked to join the Regional council for research, development and innovation of Liberec district. This allows the cluster to directly participate on the preparation and update of the Regional RIS3 strategy that is annex to the National RIS3 strategy. Direct benefit of this success it that in this way the cluster organization can better support regional cluster members and drive the innovation in Nanotechnology industry in more practical direction. Other important success was that cluster manager of Nanoprogress organized together with National Cluster Association and Hi-Tech innovation cluster in his home region the first Day of clusters that was under the patronage of governor of the Pardubice Region, mayor of Pardubice city, national agency CzechInvest, Ministry of Industry and Trade and Technology Agency of the Czech Republic. This event has shown the practical results of the joint collaboration within the cluster concept of leading Czech clusters to the broad public and regional and national policy makers and reinforced the need for supporting the Czech cluster organizations for securing sustainable economic development, competiveness of SME and boosting innovation of R&D institutions that is close to the market. The first Day of clusters started a chain of such events where other Day of clusters already successfully took place in Central Bohemian Region and other is planned to be organized in April in South Moravia Region. After the first Day of clusters the manager of Nanoprogress was asked to join the board of directors of the National Cluster Association (NCA) and was elected an official representative of NCA for the platform for preparation and monitoring committee of the OP PIK program which is a key program for supporting Czech entrepreneurs until 2020 funded by European Regional Development Fund with financial support of 4.331 mil. Euros. The presence in the platform and monitoring committee helps the cluster manager to positively influence the preparation of the national calls and to address the weak spots of their implementation. Until today cluster manager participated on two meetings of preparation platform and two meetings of the monitoring committee. Before entering no cluster representative were in the platform and committee. All above mentioned activities contributed to these cluster strategic challenges: support of competitiveness and innovativeness of cluster members; support of nanotechnology industry, mainly in practical applications; support of regional collaboration of enterprises and R&D institutions and positively influence the regional and national cluster policy and smart specialization strategies.

 

Cluster Nanoprogress significantly improved his innovativeness with special focus on process innovation, product innovation and organization innovation. In 2015 two machines based on AC electro spinning which is worldwide unique method of production of nanofibers were developed. For this Nanoprogress got an important award at the end of 2015 and was elected for the best cluster project by Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and agency Czech Invest. This technology is unique because of its higher productivity per area compared to other solutions and because it produces nanofibers with different morphology. The drawback was that this equipment could prepare yarns covered by nanofibers but still the adhesion was low and the productivity needed to be more increased in order to be able to further process these structures in planar (membranes) and 3D (filters) structures. Because of close collaboration of the companies with R&D institutions, the problem of adhesion was solved and the productivity was further increased by adapting geometry of the spinning electrodes. Both principles are being patented now. In order to achieve such process innovation, cluster management prepared a research project tackling this challenge and successfully led the research until the result has come. Nanoprogress will have a part of the patent ownership for adhesion improvement. With this achievement is connected the product innovation because the improved linear nanofibrous structures made possible the innovation of 3D filters which are being sold by cluster members. Nanoprogress also started national project with two of its members and one large company for researching of these structures in application for bioreactors that will be able to pre-threat heavy polluted water. Until now the research is showing very promising results. Due to the improvement of the productivity of AC electrospinning technology it is possible to prepare nanofibrous membranes that will be cheaper and could be used for instance as mechanical protections in anti-allergy beddings or in sport and protective clothing. As for the organization innovation we have focused on the improvement of controlling and management processes, created new job vacancies and distributed more properly the responsibilities. These changes helped us to better address the needs of our members, manage more efficiently national and international collaboration in the area of research and development and business and help us to be more visible in Czech Republic and abroad. Majority of these processes were defined by the cluster manager in collaboration with members of the management team and steering committee and were reflected in the improvements of the cluster strategy and its implementation plan. All above mentioned activities contributed to these cluster strategic challenges: support of competitiveness and innovativeness of cluster members; support of nanotechnology industry, mainly in practical applications; support of regional collaboration of enterprises and R&D institutions and creation of the product offer based on results of joint R&D activities developed within the cluster collaboration.

 

Since 2015 cluster Nanoprogress started to actively focus on European cluster policy and on internationalization and business support. Due to its international activities and long-term collaboration two international companies joined the cluster. First is an innovative company in biomedicine, PeptiGel Design from UK and the second is an international consulting company SPI focusing mainly on supporting internationalization of SME and clusters. These members are already involved in joint cluster activities, PeptiGel Design is actively researching the combination of their special peptic gel with coaxial nanofibers for bone regeneration and SPI is supporting the internationalization and PR of the cluster. Nanoprogress was also very active in international cross-clustering where it has achieved to get financial support from COSME program for two project, one for preparation and founding of European Strategic Cluster Partnership and the other for supporting the cluster excellence. Within these project, cluster is collaborating with six partners from six different EU countries. The project proposals were prepared by all consortia members where for Nanoprogress the key person for the preparation was the cluster manager. Both projects are currently being executed. Nanoprogress also helped the company VUTS to get six students from France for three month internship. Other successful area that was significantly strengthen was the improvement of international visibility of the cluster and its members. Since the end of 2015 more than sixteen events were carried out were Nanoprogress was for example a member of official Czech nanotechnology representation in Brussels,  hosted two delegations of Mexican students, represented cluster and its members in New York, Boston, Austria and Israel and was developing collaboration in Servia and Spain. For the promotion of members the catalogue is used that was composed by cluster management team and include beside other things also profile of each member. Currently it exists Czech version, English version, German version, Spanish and Portuguese version. Nanoprogress started in 2016 to give consultation services for less experienced partners from clusters in the area of sustainable cluster development, project management and funding. All above mentioned activities contributed to these cluster strategic challenges: support of competitiveness and innovativeness of cluster members; engage cluster and its members in international activities; support the nanotechnology industry, mainly in practical applications and creation of the product offer based on results of joint R&D activities developed within the cluster collaboration.

 

Why should partners choose you for cooperation?: 

Our main philosophy is to create common value by collaboration, be transparent and define common aims and objectives at the begging of the collaboration. Also we cover a lot of languages and understand cultural heritages. Feel free to contact the cluster manager :).