Third Business Research Forum Offered Cooperation with the University

The atmosphere is festive, as is appropriate for the celebration of the MUNI’s 100th anniversary. The bustling crowd among the stands is slowly settling down as the host announces: “It is an honour to once again welcome you in the CEITEC building at the third Business Research Forum of Masaryk University.”

21 May 2019 Iveta Zieglová

It is Thursday, 25 April, and the CEITEC MUNI building is buzzing with this unique university event. Nine faculties together with other departments and offices are presenting to the prospective partners their offers of cooperation. These include a wide range of options from science and research through the utilization of laboratories and expert advice of MUNI employees to HR and editorial work.

The forum presented e.g. the upcoming online grammar checker developed by experts from the Faculty of Arts. The visitors were also interested in the utilization of virtual reality in research and treatment of mental illnesses. “The most obvious use of VR one can imagine is with anxiety disorders. Patients that are afraid of certain places or situations can be exposed to these stimuli in order to learn to control their anxiety better. We focus on patients with functional neurological disorders, more specifically on stress responses. Within the scope of biofeedback, we’re able to represent a physiological reaction as a physical object in virtual reality. In our virtual forest environment, it is a camp-fire; and the size of the flames corresponds with cardiac activity – the calmer the patient the smaller the flame,” explains the research Elis Bartečků from the Faculty of Medicine.

A few steps away at the CEPLANT stand, plasma sources are being presented. “So far we’ve had dozens of interested visitors including a company dealing in industrial production to whom we obviously appealed. We’ve also talked with several other departments and offices from our university where interesting ideas are cropping up,” sums up the experience Mgr. Sihelník on behalf of CEPLANT drawing attention to the secondary benefit of the event – that is allowing scientists to see what their colleagues from other faculties are working on.

The academic environment is slowly changing and collaboration with external partners is more and more desirable. “Two years ago, thanks to the Technology Transfer Office, I had an opportunity to have a closer, insider look at the academia once again; And to my astonishment, I found out, that a new generation of scientists has grown whose goal is not to merely amaze their colleagues but rather to transform their scientific knowledge into something that would be appreciated by the end user without having to fully understand the scientific nuts and bolts of it. Connecting science and business may be one of the ways to bring science to the non-expert public who crave it,” said the co-founder of the biotechnological company GeneProof, Dr Miloš Dendis, in the opening speech.

It is not just the academia that is changing. Even companies and institutions are learning to see universities as partners who can help them advance their projects. A proof can be found e.g. at the stand of the Faculty of Economics and Administration many visitors of which came with a clear purpose. "A lot of people make a stop at our stand and some of them came just to see us: They were representatives of a city council working in the field of analyses. They came to ask our advice and start a prospective collaboration," says Mgr. Lucie Přikrylová.

In the end, the event drew more than two hundred visitors. In two year’s time, the building’s atrium will bustle with the fourth Business Research Forum which is being planned for the spring of 2021.

Have a look at the pictures from this year’s event here.

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