VSB - Technical University of OstravaThe VSB – Technical University of Ostrava campus is also a SMART city

The VSB – Technical University of Ostrava campus is also a SMART city

If you searched a map to see where VSB – Technical University of Ostrava (VSB-TUO) is, you would find it in the east of the Czech Republic, in the third largest city, Ostrava. The University has been located here since 1945, when its transfer from Bohemia was decided by decree of Edvard Beneš, then the Czechoslovak President.

The relocation of the University, educating experts in mining and metallurgy, was an important prerequisite for the post-war reconstruction of the region, where heavy industry, especially the steel industry and the aforementioned mining, was being developed. In the second half of the 20th century, Ostrava was known as the "steel heart" of Czechoslovakia or the "city of coal and iron". Thanks to the development of industry and the influx of labour, the city had grown rapidly and became one of the largest in Czechoslovakia at that time. After 1989, with the decline of heavy industry, the transformation of the city and the region into one focused on the automotive industry and IT began.

Despite its industrial history and perhaps because of it, Ostrava has been developing into a SMART city in recent years. Smart cities are mainly talked about in connection with smart lighting, smart benches or shared bicycles, but it is more about a comprehensive approach, strategy and a clear vision of city management. City engineer, Michal Faltejsek, who has lived in Ostrava for more than eight years, can perceive these changes with his own eyes. "A SMART city is not only made up of the city itself and its self-government, it is made up of companies and organisations based in the city, and it is also influenced by the citizens themselves," he explains. The size of the city and its budget is not always decisive, even a small municipality with enlightened leadership can be SMARTer than a large city with a conservative leadership. However, according to Michal Faltejsek, Ostrava is a progressive city - for example, it can be proud of its public transport system, as Ostrava was the first city in the Czech Republic (and among the first in the world) to introduce card payments on public transport, and thus has become an inspiration for others. There is also the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Center in the city, which is one of the workplaces of excellence found at VSB-TUO.

Apart from IT4Innovations, VSB-TUO can also be proud of the 5G network which has been installed, by the mobile operator T-Mobile, directly on the campus. The campus is full of laboratories, e.g. the Heavy Laboratory 1 at the Centre for Advanced Innovation Technologies (CPIT TL 1), which serves engineers and materials engineers, or CPIT TL3, a platform for new technologies, which has recently been built. The University campus is a city within the city. "It has smart management that supports innovative technologies," concludes Michal Faltejsek.

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