IT and games industry
Brno is the true technological hub of the country. About a third of computers worldwide are protected by software from Brno, namely from the companies AVG and AVAST. Brno is the birthplace of many successful companies, thanks to the background of the Technical University of Brno. The city is home to Y Soft, Webnode, and Progress (formerly Flowmon Networks) to name a few. Foreign companies are drawn to Brno as well, and you will find branches of NetSuite, Red Hat, and others here.
Let’s not forget about the gaming industry either. More than thirty Brno companies are dedicated to this industry and have published over 160 digital games in total. The superstar among them is Mafia from Illusion Softworks, well known to hardcore gamers worldwide. A high reputation among gamers is held by Series ArmA and Eurotruck Simulator. The list could go on and on. Brno is a big player in the IT industry.
Brno is the mecca of electron microscopes. More than thirty percent of the world’s production of electron microscopes comes from here, which means more than 700 devices a year. Electron microscopes have a magnification ratio of 1 to 1 billion. That’s a thousand times more than ordinary optical microscopes! Electron microscopes are used in space development and in the production of microchips and large-capacity batteries. With an average cost of 800 thousand euros, these are not something you’ll see in a high-school lab. The first Czechoslovak electron microscope, the Tesla BS 241, was manufactured in 1951. Three years later the Tesla BS 242, a new desktop electron microscope, was born. This model won a gold medal at the EXPO 1958 world exhibition.
Today, there are three companies focused on electron microscopes in Brno: Thermo Fisher Scientific, with the largest production of electron microscopes in the world; Tescan; and Delong Instruments, which produces the only transmission electron microscope for tabletop use. The Electron Microscopy Days take place in Brno each year. During this event you can get closer to this Brno phenomenon.
Technical background – CEITEC and Technological Park
Why is science thriving in Brno? The city is the Czech leader in investment in science. About 3.8% of GNP goes to research. The number of people working in research is also remarkable – it is about 22,000 and almost a third of them are women. In addition, Brno has an excellent technical background, from which companies that change the world have arisen. The six most important research institutions in Brno have joined forces to create CEITEC, the first research science center in the Czech Republic focused on life sciences, advanced materials, and nanotechnologies. CEITEC is known as one of the top European institutions.
The main force driving Brno’s technological development forward is the city’s technological zones. At the border of the Královo Pole and Medlánky neighborhoods the Czech Technology Park is located, which serves as an administrative, research, and high-tech production space for various companies. Multinational companies such as Honeywell, IBM, Red Hat, NetSuise, and Infosys also use this unique environment. And more and more are coming.
Innovation agency JIC
The development of the innovation ecosystem is supported by the Innovation agency JIC. The JIC provides support, builds a business community and a secure space where entrepreneurs can share their experiences and establish partnerships. JIC also invests in startups. FabLab and KUMST (the Brno creative hub) were established under the patronage of JIC. People find a space to implement their ideas there. Last but not least, the JIC has established the INTEMAC training and innovation center.
The #brnoregion support environment is a recognized incubator for startups. Some of them already control world markets. Skypicker, founded by Oliver Dlouhý in 2012, is seeing rapid growth. Services operating on the domain Kiwi.com have grown rapidly in recent years. The Brno-based company Safetica was started by a student of Technological University, Jakub Mahdal, and today the company protects sensitive documents in more than 50 countries. Its clients include the pharmaceutical company Merck and Coca-Cola. You would hardly find a better place to start your own business.
Popularization of science
Brno is alive with science, even outside the walls of tech companies and universities. The Brno observatory astonishes visitors with its unique 3D planetarium. VIDA! science park provides interactive exhibitions for the whole family that present dozens of fascinating scientific phenomena. We can also mention the J. G. Mendel Mendelianum Center, named after the pioneer of genetics, the Technical Museum, the MU Mendel Museum, and the Partnership Foundation’s Open Garden. Various events also contribute to the popularization of science and technology. These include the increasingly popular Days of Electron Microscopy, the Game Access Festival, the Brno Space Week, the Science Festival, the Night of Scientists and many others. Visit one of these events and find out how science is done in Brno.