My name is Jana and I volunteer as an IVY Project Partner at the project REEgain in the Centre Algatech in Třeboň, Czech Republic. The project is focused on environmental-friendly recovery of scarce metals from electronic waste. And just imagine, they use microalgae for that!
There are many problems happening on our planet, which need to be solved and one of them is limited sources of materials. We already started to recycle paper, plastic, glass, etc. but there are still so many materials we cannot recycle. Ones of these are precious metals mainly used in electronic devices. As mentioned above, the goal of the REEgain project is to recycle these elements. They are called Rare Earth Elements (REEs). The main scientific point is that some strains of microalgae bind these precious metals and with this could be metals then separated and reused. You can follow the progress of the whole project on our FB and Instagram.
I joined IVY because I wanted to do something useful but also I wanted to broaden my horizons in different fields as well as improve my English. One of my good friends was working on the project REEgain as an IVY volunteer and she recommended me this experience. Today it’s been already two month since I joined REEgain project and I would like to share with you what I’ve learned so far. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge about microalgae, but also I’ve learned about scientific work and laboratory devices. I’ve found out that there is a lot of paper work behind each small experiment happening in labs. However, to be a scientist is not my job as IVY volunteer. My job is to popularize the REEgain project, talk about IVY and spread it into the World. Therefore, I write posts on social media, sharing photos, papers, articles and all the interesting information about the REEgain project. We are trying to plan short talks mainly with students (at high schools and universities) and show them what the scientists from the Centre Algatech and their Austrian partners from Campus Krems do.
The cooperation is a very important part of the Interreg program thus the REEgain project is also about the cooperation between Czech and Austrian research partners. Further, regional companies are involved as strategic partners too.
At last I would like to express my thrill from the opportunity being the IVY volunteer! I’ve never thought about something like this, because I missed the information. It shows the importance of getting information, which is also the mission of IVY. It is important to realize that you don’t really need to have many titles before you can contribute to the effort making our World a better place. Being an IVY volunteer is something I am really proud of!
Jana Šaková – IVY Project Partner at Institute of Microbiology, The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic for the REEgain project