Prague, Jan 16 (CTK) – The Czech Republic will spend up to three billion crowns on applied social sciences and humanities research in the next six years within the Czech Technology Agency’s ETA programme aimed to raise social sciences’ innovation potential, which the cabinet approved on Monday.

The agency chairman, Petr Ocko, said the programme enables to react to the social challenges of the 21st century.

Of the total costs, 2.4 billion will be provided from the state budget.

The first public tenders will be launched in the first half of 2017 based on the ETA programme submitted by Pavel Belobradek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL), deputy prime minister responsible for science and research.

Participation in the programme may be sought by projects focusing on the impacts of changes related to the fourth industrial revolution including new technologies, digitisation, cybernetics and virtual reality.

The society is undergoing big changes and it faces challenges in the areas of demography and migration. That is why the state needs really usable research results that will help solve the problems, Belobradek said.

In December, the cabinet approved the THETA programme of applied research in the energy sector, with the total of subsidies reaching up to 5.72 billion crowns in the next eight years.