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New national programme to upgrade Czech applied research

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Prague, May 10 (CTK) – The Czech Technological Agency (TA CR) can launch a programme aimed to boost the effectiveness and quality of applied research in the country, Deputy PM Pavel Belobradek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said today following a cabinet meeting that approved the plan.

The 1.83-billion-crown programme, named National Centres of Competence 1, will run from 2018 to 2022 and it should enhance cooperation between research organisations and business companies.

According to the cabinet’s decision, the TA CR can employ new staff from now on.

The TA CR expects the programme to boost research and innovation activities of companies and help bridge the communication gap yawning between companies and science and research.

It expects the establishment of big complex centres to focus on applied research and international cooperation.

As for the present research centres, the project plans to interlink them to form a single integrated system including the future Centres of Competence, initiated by the TA CR, and the Centres of Excellence established by the national Grant Agency.

The programme is to help solve the financing of applied research after 2020 when the sum going to the country from the Norway Grants will decrease.

A large part of the centres’ revenues should come from contract-based research, and the rest from the state, which has earmarked the necessary sum for the programme.

The recipients of financial support within the programme are to be mainly research organisations, which are to receive subsidies worth an average 80 percent of a project’s costs.

The programme will be supervised by the Council of the National Centres of Competence comprised of representatives of public administration, and research and applied research branches.

Projects to be subsidised will be assessed within public tenders.

($1=24.497 crowns)

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