Wednesday’s kick-off meeting of all partners launched the European Innovation Council project EIC Transition Challenges. This completely unique grant in the Czech Republic with the total fund of nearly 62.5 million Czech koruna will focus on a prototype of a supercapacitor for storing electrical energy with a nanomaterial developed by scientists from CATRIN. The project, which aims to bring the technology closer to practice, will link scientists from the UP research institute with colleagues from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and the Italian company ITELCOND.
“The aim of the first meeting was to confirm the main project milestones, tasks for each partner institution, and to agree on the form of mutual cooperation and communication,” said the principal investigator Michal Otyepka, a three-time winner of ERC grants, among others. His ERC Proof of Concept project, which was the first in the Czech Republic, was one of the essential prerequisites for success in the EIC call. CATRIN will coordinate this kind of project not only as the sole institution in the Czech Republic, but also in the so-called Widening countries, which mainly include the new EU member states acceding after 2004.
For the prototype of a high-capacity, safe and environmentally friendly supercapacitor, scientists will use a graphene derivative developed in Olomouc laboratories, which is already protected by a European patent. It is nitrogen-enriched graphene, which is proving very promising for use in supercapacitors and, thanks to its properties, can bring a breakthrough improvement in the performance of supercapacitors.