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Science Academy to get more money from state in 2018

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Prague, Dec 12 (CTK) – The Czech Academy of Sciences (AV) will receive 5.6 billion crowns from the state in 2018, which is 550 million crowns more than this year, its head Eva Zazimalova told the Academic Assembly on Tuesday.

Researchers from the Academy won two prestigious grants of the European Research Council (ERC) this year, Zazimalova said.

David Dolezel, from the Biology Centre, received two million euros for a five-year research on how insects perceive time through light.

Jakub Steiner, from the Economics Institute, won an ERC grant for his research of irrational behaviour in economic processes.

Czechs have been rather unsuccessful in applying for ERC grants, with only 5 percent of the applicants receiving them.

Zazimalova said the biggest successes that the Academy achieved this year included research on the origin of cosmic rays and on cancer treatment.

The Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina confirmed in September that ultra-high energy cosmic rays come to our planet from far off galaxies. The Academy’s Institute of Physics, Charles University in Prague and Palacky University in Olomouc took part in this research.

A team from the Academy’s Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry participated in a research that produced substances that may serve as carriers of anti-cancer drugs for tumours that are resistant to drugs administered in the usual way.

This year, the Academy received 5.1 billion crowns from the state budget, which is about one sixth of the state spending on research.

By 2020, this budget should increase by more than one billion crowns by 2020. Zazimalova said this sum includes 210 million crowns to cover the annual running costs of the ELI Beamlines laser centre in Dolni Brezany, on the outskirts of Prague.

She said she believes that the running costs of the centre should become a mandatory expenditure of the state budget because the centre is to be a part of a European consortium whose members will be member countries, not research institutions.

Zazimalova praised a declaration on a new method of research funding that the deputy prime minister for science, the education minister and representatives of the Academy of Science and universities signed in May. Thanks to the declaration, the financial support for the operation of Czech research institutes will increase in 2019-2023. This support is to cover 70 percent of the running costs of the Academy’s institutes.

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