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Babiš orders check of financing of big research centres

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Prague, Feb 2 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO), who heads the Government council for research, development and innovations, will have the financing of big research centres checked, he said after the council’s meeting on Friday.

Babis made the council’s new deputy chairman Karel Havlicek responsible for the check.

Big Czech research centres received more than 44 billion crowns in the last few years, mostly from EU funds. As these centres fall under the Education Ministry, Education Minister Robert Plaga (ANO) is to submit a report on their financial results to the next meeting of the council in late February.

Babis recalled that the costs of these centres will be covered from European projects until 2020. “We need to have an analysis of how the centres would be maintained and how they will earn the money for their operation,” he said.

After the analysis is made, the council plans to address the heads of the research centres and decide which of them would receive further support.

Petr Dvorak, deputy head of the government’s council, said about 20 percent of the costs for building the centres are needed to maintain them and run their equipment. “It is a high sum and we must talk and think about it to achieve the right efficiency,” Dvorak said.

At present, the funds for research are distributed through 15 chapters of the Czech state budget.

“We may preliminarily declare that some programmes overlap, for example those of the Czech Technology Agency and the Industry and Trade Ministry,” Babis said.

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