The Regional Innovation Centre for Electrical Engineering (RICE) is a new, unique research centre of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. More than 130 RICE researchers participate in implementing projects with a total budget exceeding two billion Czech crowns.
RICE is a complete research chain, from basic theoretical research through applied research to the development and testing of functional models and prototypes.
The newly constructed centre will be equipped with unique research infrastructure, for example, a hall laboratory and testing room for high-voltage power electronics and transportation systems, and special laboratories for materials and sensors predominantly organic-based, including clean-room facilities, special microscopy laboratories and X-ray diagnostics.
RICE primarily focuses on the following research areas:
- new drive concepts and sophisticated technologies for new-generation transportation systems;
- materials research primarily focusing on organic-based electronics, smart sensors and multi-sensor systems;
- new facilities and technologies for increasing the efficiency of power and heat generation, mining and industrial technologies;
- development of advanced nuclear technologies, including, for example, special detectors used in nuclear power engineering and space research;
- new control systems to be used in transportation systems and power generation;
- system diagnostics and identification – research and development of new diagnostic methods. Comprehensive systems for automatic testing of equipment functionality and reliability;
- research and development of innovative solutions of physical fields and their mutual interactions.
How is the project beneficial to the University and the Region?
The project brings the following:
- New infrastructure enabling the implementation of unique multi-disciplinary research projects.
- A comprehensive research programme designed to meet regional needs with outputs applicable in the industry sector, i.e. ensuring a complete research chain, namely the basic research, applied research and industrial application.
- Increasing competitive ability, substantially enhancing the UWB position in the above-mentioned disciplines within Europe.
- Significantly broadening cooperation with businesses and other institutions in the R&D area.
- Increasing the existing, long-standing cooperation with leading engineering companies from adjacent regions and establishing new contacts with international engineering concerns primarily within Europe.
- Accelerating the process of delivering research outcomes to commercial application areas and shortening the innovation cycle.
- Consolidation and stabilisation of highly-qualified human resources in order to implement complex scientific tasks.
- Top-quality doctoral study programmes and further development of talented junior researchers, including motivation schemes to encourage them not to leave the Plzeň Region.
This research centre has been established with the financial support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the operational programme Research and Development for Innovations, priority axis 2.2 - Regional R&D centres, and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The decision on granting the subsidy was issued on 29th September 2010 in order to fund the project titled “Regional Innovation Centre for Electrical Engineering” (RICE). The project registration number is CZ.1.05/2.1.00/03.0094. The implementation of the project was commenced on 1st October 2010 and the completion of the project is planned for 31st December 2015. The total eligible costs of the project are CZK 625,000,000. 85% is funded from the European Regional Development Fund (CZK 531,250,000) and 15% is funded from the Czech state budget (CZK 93,750,000).