Brno’s Technology Park Becomes Urban Laboratory Through The MUNISS Student Competition

The winning proposal was submitted by a student team called “NEXT LABel” led by Martin Mikulášek from Mendel University. Photo credit: MUNI.

Brno, 1 June (BD) – ‘Brno’s Technology Park as an urban laboratory’ was the theme of this year’s MUNISS Inter-University Student Competition. This competition has been organised by the City of Brno since 2011. Three multidisciplinary teams will see their ideas incorporated directly into the Technology Park area, as well as winning cash prizes.

The municipal company Technologický park Brno offered its facilities for the MUNISS competition, which brings together students from Masaryk University, Mendel University and the Brno University of Technology. The goal of the students was to come up with new, unconventional ideas to revitalise the development and use of the area.

“This year, the Technology Park is celebrating its 30th birthday in the best form. Thanks to the nearby universities, we are keeping up with the times and can develop an urban laboratory,” said Anna Putnová, city council representative for innovation and cooperation with research organisations. 

She added that it was a great benefit to the competition that the teams were made up of students not only from different fields, but also from different universities: “Thanks to this cooperation, not only did they come up with novel solutions, but perhaps even new friendships and future professional cooperation.”

The student teams had the task of identifying existing procedures and proposing new ones in the use of smart technologies and innovative approaches to campus management, working towards fulfilling the Technology Park’s goals. The task was to focus on developing the use of the area, whether in the form of proposals, activities, interventions, projects, events, and so on, in accordance with the principles of the urban laboratory. The teams chose one or more of the following themes:

  • circular economy (waste management, use of rain/grey water, community building…)
  • efficient use of energy in the area (new energy sources, savings)
  • the quality of the environment in the common areas of the buildings (lighting, air quality…)
  • the quality of the outdoor environment (public lighting, greenery, furniture…).

“The quality and innovativeness of the winning proposals, as well as the understanding of the needs of the Brno Technology Park, was high for all three awarded teams,” said Jitka Sládková, Marketing Director of Technology Park. “The companies based in the park are leaders in their field and it is important to us to maintain their working environment at a very high level. Clever exterior solutions combined with the use of the circular economy brought innovative proposals that the companies will deal with in the coming months. All the ideas presented are feasible and reflect the needs of people who move or work in the area.”

The winning proposal was submitted by a student team called “NEXT LABel” led by Martin Mikulášek from Mendel University. The team also consisted of students Ondřej Krejčí from the University of Technology, Petra Kalousková and Matej Sršeň from Masaryk University, and Anna Špaldoňová and Barbora Filáková from Mendel University. 

Their project, entitled ‘Brno Technology Park as a gateway to the world of technology’ was dedicated to the circular economy and environmental quality in exterior areas. In addition to raising awareness of the park’s activities, the main goal was to design innovative, eco-friendly solutions dedicated to the development of public spaces and greenery using circular economy technologies.The winning team received a cheque worth CZK 65,000.

Credit: MUNI.

The competition always starts during the autumn semester and requires the long-term continuous work of the entire team. “Among other things, students participated in thematic meetings with leading Czech and foreign experts. They also went on an excursion to Vienna, which included a meeting with local Smart City experts. The experience that students gain thanks to this unique competition is valuable both for the project itself and for their future practice,” said Sylva Žáková Talpová, vice-dean for external relations and cooperation with partners of the Masaryk University Faculty of Economics and Administration.

A key element of the project is inter-university cooperation. “What I particularly like about the MUNISS competition is that students from several Brno universities are involved in each competition team,” said Miroslav Doupovec, vice-rector for studies at the University of Technology. “Students of technical, natural sciences and humanities fields can come together in one team and have to cooperate with each other. I therefore thank the City of Brno for supporting such competitions.”

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