Investor of the Year 2012 – 4MEDi human cell research project in Ostrava
The 4MEDi Cell Therapy and Diagnostics Centre has achieved a well-deserved success in the Investor of the Year 2012 awards held by the Czech government's CzechInvest agency and the Association for Foreign Investment. The company won this coveted award for its innovative project "Ostrava Centre for the Research, Testing and Evaluation of Risks in New Materials". The project was ranked in second place among the best Czech investments in the "Research and Development" category. The Investor of the Year awards recognize projects which have made the most important contribution to boosting the Czech Republic's international competitiveness.
The investment in the project – totalling 250 million CZK, or around 9 million EUR – will enable 4MEDi to complete one of the most modern biotechnology labs in the world. The laboratory complex will be used for R&D activities related to human cells, tissues, genes and new materials for treating patients in the Czech Republic and abroad. The project will create several dozen new jobs for research workers specializing in cell therapy, genetics, biology, materials engineering, nanotechnologies and pharmacology.
The laboratory will be equipped with state-of-the-art specialist technologies which will enable the company to take its research to a new level, applying the latest know-how and harnessing the potential of new hi-tech solutions for R&D and clinical research focusing on human cell-based treatment techniques. The company's goal is to give Czech patients and doctors access to the latest cell therapy methods for the treatment of serious conditions – cardiac and ischemic vascular diseases, motor disorders, post-traumatic states, diabetes, degenerative conditions and rheumatism. These diseases cannot be treated without top specialists and state-of-the-art technologies.
The Ostrava Centre will push forward the boundaries of human cell therapy and regenerative medicine in the Czech Republic and internationally. This research will also raise the profile of Czech biomedical R&D, helping to attract foreign investors and a range of academic and industrial partners. Ultimately, the key benefits of the project will be felt by patients, both in the Czech Republic and abroad.
The Centre (costing a total 250 million CZK, around 9 million EUR) is co-financed from two sources. 4MEDi is contributing 100 million CZK of its own funds, while the remaining 150 million will come from the Operational Programme Enterprise and Innovation. The project is scheduled for completion in June 2014.
After completing the construction of the Corporate Biotech Park for Medical Innovations in Ostrava, 4MEDi will be able to use almost 7 000 m2 of unique, highly specialized laboratories for R&D focusing on regenerative medicine. This will enable the company to achieve its goal of becoming the largest producer of human cells in the world. 4MEDi works closely with Czech university hospitals and research institutes as well as with top regenerative medicine institutions abroad. All of the company's partners will have access to the lab's state-of-the-art technologies for testing, diagnostics, development and clinical research of new cell therapy products used in a range of medical applications.
Italian companies and investors in Ostrava
This autumn, Ostrava hosted an important conference featuring representatives of the Moravian-Silesian Region with members of the Italian-Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry plus several Italian companies currently operating in the region. The event welcomed over a hundred participants, including representatives of Brembo, Cromodora Wheels, ITT, Viroplastic, Comdata, CTP, GI Group, GrantEX and more. Italian companies are the second largest group of European investors in Ostrava, and their extensive investments have made a major contribution to the local economy.
The conference was introduced by the Chairman of the Italian-Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gianfranco Pinciroli. The companies then presented their current projects and investment plans; even in these difficult economic times, these companies are continuing to grow and invest, taking maximum advantage of an excellent network of synergies with local government bodies.
Ostrava's Italian companies represent a major manufacturing force in the region, interlinked in a strong industrial network.
One example is Cromodora Wheels, a producer of alloy wheels for cars. Based at the Mošnov Industrial Zone, the company is currently completing the construction of a new manufacturing facility which will enable it to raise production from 1.3 million wheels per year to 1.7 million. General Manager René Hilscher, speaking at the conference, gave more details about the company's plans: "Our factory handles the entire technological process. Currently we occupy a 25 000 m2 site and employ around 250 people, but we are planning to expand the factory, enabling us eventually to double our production volumes and employ up to 400 people."
Another Italian company, Comdata Czech, also plans to expand in the future. This outsourcing company runs call centres currently employing 120 people; in the future it plans to focus on the banking, insurance, transport and energy sectors, creating around 100 new jobs in Ostrava every year.
The ITT company makes components for brake systems. Quality Manager Richard Spurný explained the company's plans: "We decided to invest in Ostrava thanks to its strategic position in a region with a high concentration of car manufacturing. We were also attracted by the presence of the VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava, which has an excellent R&D centre specializing in friction materials and has become an important partner for us."
Another automotive industry company is Brembo, which set up its operations in Ostrava in 2010. Since its entry onto the local market Brembo has invested 50 million EUR and created around 600 new jobs.
An attractive investment destination
Carlo Albanese, Country Manager of the human resources management company Gi Group, outlined the company's plans: "2013 has been a year of expansion for us. Ostrava is increasingly becoming a hub for the automotive industry and other hi-tech sectors, which represent our core business."
Many Italian companies are based at CTPark facilities, run by CTP Invest. Park Manager Petra Pivovarová explained the company's focus: "The core of our industrial development activities is in Brno and Ostrava, where we have a large range of industrial zones and administrative centres. We are able to flexibly meet the needs of new investors: in most cases we have already sorted out the majority of the permits that are necessary to build a new factory, so the new facility can be built and fully equipped within just 10 to 12 months."
The conference emphasized the huge economic potential of Ostrava and the surrounding area. Discussions also focused on the possibility of launching a direct air link between Ostrava and Italy.
CTPark Ostrava is developing dynamically
CTPark Ostrava is situated at the southern part of Ostrava, only 10 minutes ride from the city centre, directly at the highway connecting Ostrava to Poland and Slovakia and through Brno to Vienna. On the 100-hectare land plot, over 46 clients such as GE Money, ABB, ITT, Brembo, Grupo Antolin, I-Zone, DHL and others found the right space for their business on more than 220,000 leased sqm. The location still offers more than 150,000 sqm for possible development, potential clients can choose from 5 unique development types that suit any type of business.
A long-term tenant, Brembo, a world-wide successful Italian producer of brake systems for top brands of automotive industry, signed for an additional 8,000 sqmof custom-built space to their existing 25,000 sqm production facility in CTPark Ostrava. The move-in is scheduled at beginning of 2014.
The location suits the Italian automotive industry more than well: UFI, an Italian producer of filters, which recently leased 10,000 sqm, is the third Italian company at CTPark Ostrava. Italian ITT has been producing brake pads at its 25,000 sqm facility since 2009. Also the German-based producer of auto carpet systems HP Pelzer undertook an extension of 5,800 sqm and has now two connected custom-built CTFlex buildings totalling over 12,000 sqm.
This rapid expansion is testament to the automotive industry’s success at CTPark Ostrava, which offers strategic location with direct access to well-established automotive supply chains and a highly skilled local labour pool, and continues to show promising signs for the future.
Last year, the new CTBox concept was successfully finished. CTBox offers an effective “3-in-1” combination of showroom, warehouse and office space. Adjacent to the Místecka highway, the location assures great accessibility and visibility. The pharmaceutical company Fresenius Kabi, electrical material vendor Rexel, as well as the strong automotive spare-parts seller Trost filled up all 6 CTBox units.
CTPark Nošovice, right next to the Hyundai automotive plant, is one of the latest land acquisitions by CTP which will be able to accommodate clients requiring 20,000 sqm by the end of next year. At the moment discussions with potential clients are already under way.
CTPark Ostrava is not the only development by CTP in the region. In the very centre of Ostrava, CTP developed the new office complex IQ Ostrava. The Finnish IT company Tieto, which leased more than 15,000 sqm is the anchor tenant. Regus, an international company providing temporary and virtual office space, meeting facilities, etc, recently leased 790 sqm. Apart from office space, the site also provides retail space, with units from 100 sqm.
For more information about available properties throughout the Czech Republic as well as other location within Central Europe please visit www.ctpark.eu.
New air routes to link Moravian-Silesian region with international destinations
New flights between Ostrava and Prague will be introduced in the New Year. The services will be scheduled to link up with onward flights to 22 major European destinations and the South Korean capital Seoul. From the summer of 2014, Czech Airlines services from Ostrava to Prague will be coordinated with Delta Air Lines flights to New York (in both directions).
On 2 January 2014 the Czech Airlines reservation system will guarantee three Ostrava–Prague flights per day. The departure times from Prague to European destinations have also been changed, enabling Ostrava–Prague passengers to travel onward to 22 destinations within a maximum of two hours – including services to Frankfurt, Paris, London, Geneva, St Petersburg, Berlin, Brussels, Milan, Hamburg and Moscow. Regional President Miroslav Novák expects the new flights to prove particularly popular with business travellers: "We have been able to negotiate an excellent price structure on the Ostrava–Prague service for travellers using connecting flights from Prague– making it considerably better value than a single ticket from Ostrava to Prague."
Novák expects that the new flights will be welcomed by the local business community, which has often complained about the poor transport links betweenOstrava and international destinations. The change will be a major factor influencing the decision of potential investors whether to set up their operations in the Moravian-Silesian Region, and will ultimately help to create new jobs. Novák summed up the key benefits: "The new flights will make the Region more accessible and more attractive on the international scene – sending out the signal that we are open for business.”
Introducing Gi Group Czech Republic
Gi Group Czech Republic has established in November 2013 the third Czech branch located at CTOffice at CTPark Ostrava.
Gi Group is one of the world's leading companies providing HR services operating in the fields of temporary and permanent staffing, search and selection, HR consulting and training, as well as a variety of complementary activities.
In 2012 the number of workers hired through Gi Group reached 160.000 worldwide, supplied to over 15.000 companies. Gi Group internally employed about 2.400 people in total and had a worldwide turnover of 1 billion and 85 million Euros.
The Ostrava branch supports companies operating at the CTPark Ostrava. Gi Group provides temporary and permanent staffing and search and selection.
Ostrava's Gong ranked among the most innovative projects in the world
On 7–9 October Ostrava participated in the 16th Expo Real in Munich, one of the world's premier events for commercial real estate and investment opportunities. Expo Real 2013 included the second ever John Jacob Astor Competition, which recognized Ostrava's huge potential as a location for groundbreaking investment projects by ranking the Gong – an exciting new multifunctional centre in the Lower Vítkovice area – among the top ten most innovative development projects in the world.
The winner of the competition was the reconstruction of a post-industrial site in the Polish city of Lodz, but Ostrava's Gong was a worthy rival, winning enthusiastic plaudits from both experts and members of the general public. The project, implemented in 2011–2012, involved the conversion of a historic gas-holder built in 1924 which was used by the Vítkovice ironworks until 1998, based on a design by the renowned Czech architect Josef Pleskot and built for the Vítkovice Machinery Group with the financial support of the City of Ostrava and other organizations. This bold plan has converted a derelict former industrial site into an exciting modern cultural, social and educational centre with a wide range of uses – including concerts, congresses, conferences, exhibitions and much more.
The multifunctional Gong is run by the Dolní Vítkovice Association of Legal Entities. It offers 6 252 m2 of usable space, a large hall seating up to 1 500 people, a smaller hall (for 200 – 450 people), 9 variable-layout rooms and 6 fixed-layout rooms, plus spaces for exhibitions, a gastro-gallery, and an information point for the city and the European Union.
Inter IKEA Centre invests in expansion of Ostrava's AVION Shopping Park
19 September saw the completion of one of the largest investments by Inter IKEA Centre Czech Republic, with a total value topping 1 billion CZK (over 35 million EUR). Over the past twelve years the company has invested a total 4.4 billion CZK in Ostrava's Avion Shopping Park, more than doubling the rentable floor area from 54 000 to almost 110 000 square metres and making Avion the largest retail park in the whole of Moravia. Since its opening in December 2001, the number of retail units at Avion has risen rapidly, with a further 100 units joining the original 72. Visitor numbers have also doubled, from 4.7 million in 2002 to 9.2 million in 2012.
Avion has also become a major employer in the city and the surrounding region. Currently, after the opening of the new central part, it employs over 1 600 people at the retail units, with a further 350 people working for various subcontracted service providers. The newly built part has a total of 26 highly attractive stores and brands, including Desigual, Starbucks, Gas, Manufaktura, Zara and many more.
The first investment in the centre by Inter IKEA Centre was in 2000–2001, and totalled 1.1 billion CZK (almost 40 million EUR). Out of the 72 leaseholders at the centre (then known as the Shopping Park), IKEA was the largest occupier, followed by Hypernova and Baumax. A branch of McDonald's was also opened. Visitors could use 2 800 free parking spaces (now 4 000 spaces), and in the first few months after its opening the Shopping Park welcomed an average of 150 000 cars per month (currently the figure is over 300 000 cars per month), with a total of 1.6 million people arriving by car in 2002 (compared with 3.5 million in 2012). Avion has built up a reputation as a strong regional brand, with a high percentage of brand recognition among members of the public: Kateřina Ježková adds: "From 2002 we were in third place among regional brands for around three years, and during the past six years we have been the undisputed number one on the regional market."