On 28 February 2018, the Technology Agency (TA CR) has announced the 4th public tender of the EPSILON Programme for Support of Applied Research and Experimental Development pursuant to Act No. 130/2002 Sb., on the support of research and development from public funds and on the amendment to some related acts, to the Framework for State Aid for Research and Development and Innovation 2014/C 198/01 and to the Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014 of 17 June 2014. The subject of this public tender is the selection of project proposals for applied research or experimental development supported by the public funds of TA CR for the purpose of fulfilling the EPSILON Programme goals. The expected project proposals include, but are not limited to, the defined priority research objectives of the relevant branches, e.g. Industry 4.0 and autonomous mobility.
The maximum level of support for a project in the 4th Epsilon public tender is set at 60% of the total recognised costs and shall not be further increased.
This public tender newly introduces the position of an Application Guarantor (hereinafter AG). AG is an organisation (legal entity or self-employed natural person) which is interested in applying and using the planned outcomes of the R&D project in practice. The main role of an AG is to help the project outcome to be applicable and later applied and used in practice. Therefore, the AG plays a role in the preparation, during the implementation and after the completion of a project.
The 4th EPSILON public tender shall set a separate allocation for the Usti, Karlovy Vary and Moravian-Silesian Region at a total of CZK 70 million for the first two years of the implementation, i.e. 2018 and 2019. The allocation will be used for projects where the main candidate is a research organisation or an enterprise based in one of the three selected regions. The allocation itself is conditioned by the fact that the projects shall be recommended for support.
The tender period commences on 1 March 2018 at 9 a.m. and concludes on 12 April 2018 at the following times:
- the project proposal may be sent via ISTA until 4:30 p.m.
- the Confirmation of Project Proposal Submission to ISTA will be accepted until 12:59:59 p.m. via the TA CR signature container
- documentation proving the applicant’s capacity (with the exception of Section 18(2a) of the Act on the Support of Research and Development) will be accepted until 12:59:59 p.m. via the TA CR signature container.
The applicants in the currently announced EPSILON public tender may express their interest in products of the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank (CMZRB). The TA CR invites all applicants which submit their project proposal to this public tender to express their interest in this financial tool using the check field in the project proposal application in the ISTA information system. The CMZRB supports primarily small and medium- sized enterprises. The CMZRB has the exclusive right to decide on granting the funds from any of the financial tools and such grants are not subject to a legal claim. The aim of this initiative is to facilitate funding of projects focused on supporting R&D from private sources.
The applicant is obligated to submit the project proposal via the ISTA electronic system available at the TA CR website www.tacr.cz and to send the “Confirmation of Electronic Project Proposal Submission to ISTA” to the TA CR signature container via the main applicant’s signature container. In the “Subject” of the message, the applicant shall state “4th public tender – EPSILON Programme – PROJECT PROPOSAL”.
The applicant shall also send the attachments proving its capacity to the TA CR signature container while the “Subject” of the message shall state “4th public tender – EPSILON Programme – PROOF OF APPLICANT’S CAPACITY”. Each applicant shall send the proof of capacity separately from its own signature container.
TA CR signature container ID: afth9xp.
The TA CR further states that the 4th EPSILON public tender shall not accept such project proposals of which the applicants (i.e. main applicant and another participant):
- do not publish their financial statement in the public register and therefore fail to comply with the obligation under Act. No 304/2013 Sb., on the Public Registers of Legal Entities and Natural Persons, and Act No. 563/1991 Sb., the Accounting Act, if such obligation is stipulated by the aforementioned regulations. The provider shall check the compliance of this obligation for the period, for which the applicant submits the financial data in the electronic project proposal (2014, 2015, 2016); the performance of entities, which are not subject to this legal obligation for the entire period, shall only be checked for the period, for which the entities are subject to such obligation.
- comply with the definition of an enterprise in difficulty specified in Art. 1(4a and c) and Art. 2(18) of the Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty;
The fulfilment of these obligations shall be evaluated as part of checking the compliance with the public tender conditions under Section 21(2) of Act No. 130/2002 Sb., on the support of research and development from public funds and on the amendment to some related acts (Act on the Support of Research and Development).
Should you have any further questions about the 4th EPSILON public tender, please refer them to the HELPDESK available at www.tacr.cz/hesk pursuant to the TA CR directive SME-17 Helpdesk for applicants and beneficiaries of support.