The Parc in the pandemic year 2020

We are proud of our achievements in The Parc in 2020 and we would like to share them with you. In this contribution, we are bringing the short summaries in the areas: People in The Parc, Scientific Achievements, Education, Funding and Communication. Let's look at the year 2020 in The Parc.

People in The Parc

As of 31st December 2020, 38 students were enrolled in The Parc Program. The number of enrolled students in an individual year of the study is shown in the Figure above. One of the newcomers has started a new collaboration between UCT and IOCB within The Parc. Three students finished The Parc program last year and two students successfully defended their Ph.D. thesis. The students were trained by 26 experts from Zentiva and 13 academic supervisors mostly from University of Chemistry and Technology and Charles University (First Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Pharmaceutical Faculty).


Scientific Achievements

In 2020, The Parc students were authors or co-authors of 12 scientific publications, mostly in Q1 journals. Two students were awarded the prestigious prizes (Werner von Siemens Award, Hlávka Award). The second best diploma thesis Siemens prize was awarded to Martin Balouch from UCT. Marel Šoltys from UCT received the Hlávka Award. The Siemens prize for the best university professor was awarded to Prof. Ing. František Štěpánek from UCT Prague, the scientific director of The Parc.
For the third time, The Parc doctoral students were awarded the annual The Parc Awards in two categories. Tereza Boleslavská won The Student Choice Award for her project on “Development of biorelevant in vitro dissolution method” while the second Student Choice award went to Jan Jirát for “Crystal design and crystallization process development” and the third Student Choice prize was awarded to Jakub Petřík for his work on “Forced degradation study system development”. The Expert Choice Award went to Jiří Kolář for his work “Mathematical modelling of unit operations in pharmaceutical formulation processes”.
Ondřej Rychecký, The Parc student, established a start-up company called MarbleMat on 17th April 2020. His own-designed machine manufactures a special kind of oral formulation – liquid marbles. The machine is patent protected and it is an excellent example of how the students research can be transferred into practical applications.


Several workshops were organized for The Parc students in 2020. To improve students' presentations during symposia, the workshops on presentation skills took place in June 2020. The students from the first and the second year of study attended the workshop with a professional coach Štěpán Galbavý. The two days of intense workshop with some following activities were focused on personal leadership. At the end of the year, Zentiva experts from various departments introduced “Life of a Project in Development” to the students.The representatives of all departments, e.g. Portfolio & Business case, Intellectual Property, individual departments in development, and Regulatory Affairs dpt., showed to students their contribution to the development of drug product.
Zentiva experts provided lectures at universities in the winter semester 2020/2021. The subject “Drug Product Development” was taught at the Faculty of Science and Pharmaceutical Faculty at Charles University and University of Chemistry and Technology. More than 90 students took part in those courses.



The Parc students used actively internal grant agencies (IGA at UCT, GAUK at CUNI) and received ten grants totalling 80 kEUR (see Attachments).
Supervisors in The Parc filed six grant applications to national grant agencies (TAČR – programmes KAPPA, TREND, ETA; MPO – Czech Rise up; AZVČR – VES2021/J).
Zentiva received a prestigious InPharma grant – an EU-funded MSCA (Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions) European Industrial Doctorate program. InPharma brings together global pharmaceutical companies (Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Jannsen, Roche, Solvias, Zentiva) and leading research institutions (e.g. University College Cork, University of Southern Denmark, University of Basel) together as a multi-sectorial team to deliver a unique research and training program for thirteen researchers to complete their industrially based Ph.D.s.



We continued to make The Parc visible on social media. The most important events from The Parc life were published on Facebook and Twitter, the researcher activities (scientific articles, grants) were published on Linkedin. The numbers of followers are: Facebook – 239, Twitter – 51, Linkedin – 92. We launched our blog on The Parc webpages in 2020.
The Parc students, supervisors, graduates and supporters promoted The Parc in the Czech media (TV, press). František Štěpánek took part in a debate with the leading Czech scientists in the talk show Fokus Václava Moravce (Czech TV). Soňa Porubská, Head of Zentiva Czech Republic & Slovakia, provided an interview in the news portal iDNES. In the article with the topic “We marketed two new products thanks to students” she emphasized the role of the students in Zentiva product development. ŽENA-IN journal published an interview with Michaela Gajdošová, The Parc graduate and Formulation Scientist in Zentiva. She mentioned the benefits of the study in The Parc for her professional career. Matěj Novák, The Parc student, published a popular educational article in Vesmír journal about Drugs for the future with a focus on 3D printing.

On the 27th of August, a government delegation led by Czech Republic's Prime Minister (PM) Andrej Babiš met with the representatives of The Parc and academic institutions involved in the project.  The project was introduced and discussed with the PM. PM posted the following statement on his Twitter account: “We discussed The Parc with participating academic institutions and we agreed that our government and the Research, Development and Innovation Council are certainly interested in supporting it. It is important mainly for students, but also science and research in healthcare”. This marks the beginning of a partnership between both parties who agreed to pursue the discussion in the near future. We were asked to prepare the project proposal which was submitted to the Czech government at the end of September. Zentiva press release is available on its web pages.


April 30. 2021

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