Eaton, a leading global electricity distribution company, will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the opening of its Eaton European Innovation Centre (EEIC) in Roztoky u Prahy this year. The EEIC was established in 2012 and just one year later applied for its first patent, which it subsequently received.
The patent was granted in the area of solutions for the automotive industry. “Obtaining this patent was actually of symbolic value for us. It was our first patent and, furthermore, it was granted in an area that goes back to the very beginning of our company. Eaton was established in 1911 as a supplier of solutions for the rapidly emerging automotive industry,” explains Luděk Janík, EEIC Site Leader.
“The decision to build Eaton’s innovation centre in Prague was taken due to the close proximity of the capital city to many of the company’s customers in the region, the outstanding technical specialists at the Czech Technical University and the strong support and involvement of the Czech authorities,” says Roman Ruffer, senior project manager for investment development at CzechInvest.
CzechInvest has long been cooperating with the company on, for example, identifying and seeking out grant opportunities to support research, development and innovation with funding from the Czech national and European budgets.
High-quality facilities for research and development
Within a year of the centre’s opening, the team in Roztoky grew to more than fifty people and later moved into a newly constructed building in 2015. The building offers engineers high-quality facilities for research and development, including modern laboratories equipped with all necessary technologies. The research teams are thus able to fully focus on developing state-of-the-art products and technologies for next-generation electrical, automotive, aerospace and IT systems. The EEIC currently employs 170 specialists and plans to increase this number to 275 by 2025.
The purpose of the centre is to develop technologies and products that will aid the development of the concept of a sustainable future and other innovative approaches to managing electricity consumption more efficiently and safely at the global level. The EEIC is one of Eaton’s six major innovation centres and the only such centre in Europe. The others are located in the United States, India and China.
Since its establishment, the EEIC has been very active in the area of collaboration with prestigious partners from the world of academia. In addition to the Czech Technical University (CTU), it also actively cooperates with the Brno University of Technology, the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics at CTU, the Research and Innovation Centre for Electrical Engineering at the University of West Bohemia, Masaryk University and RWTH Aachen University. In connection with these partnerships, the EEIC has been involved in several major innovation projects supported by the government of the Czech Republic and has also received funding from the European Union.