Technology Agency of the Czech Republic
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INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION

Within its activities, the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR) cultivates international cooperation in the area of applied research and innovation, and collaboration with similar agencies abroad.

TA CR is interested in cooperation with agencies and institutions developing international cooperation around the world in order to establish contacts, identify mutual priorities, exchange know-how and support joint applied research projects to ensure the development of innovation and competitiveness of partners.

The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic also develops contacts and cooperation with embassies of foreign countries in the Czech Republic in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with Czech embassies abroad and with other ministries and organizations in order to increase the awareness of TA CR activities and programmes, and of the situation in applied research, scientific development and innovation in the Czech Republic.

TA CR activities of international cooperation take place in the following areas:

DELTA 2 programme

The DELTA 2 programme focuses on bilateral international cooperation between research teams in the Czech Republic and abroad and enables financial support for such projects in the period 2020-2025. The programme serves to support the acquisition of knowledge and skills leading to new products, processes and services or to their substantial improvement. Delta 2 focuses primarily on cooperation with partners from outside the EU (Asia, South and North America). In order to receive a grant, projects under this programme must be supported by both the Czech (TA CR) as well as a foreign party (a foreign organization in the given locality). A list of foreign organizations participating in a given DELTA 2 call for proposals is usually published some three months before the call is launched. The programme is designed to support projects in all topics of research, development and innovation. The last call is expected to be announced in 2023. The total allocation for the programme amounts to CZK 1.2 billion with a maximum funding rate of 74% of eligible project costs.

KAPPA programme

The KAPPA programme is financed from the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 and it is historically the first TA CR programme which is not financed from national sources. The programme is aimed at financing bilateral or multilateral cooperation of entities from the Czech Republic with partners from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Specifically, it focuses on connecting research organizations with customers for outputs from industrial research, experimental development and innovation, i.e. with the application sphere (primarily with enterprises and other entities at national and international level). The programme aims to foster the development of research-based knowledge through international cooperation in applied research. To achieve this, the programme supports capacity building, including support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), social sciences, humanities and art research, or the participation of female researchers in projects. The programme is designed to support projects under all topics of research, development and innovation. A specific feature of the programme is that approximately 30% of the total expenditure from the Norway Funds is allocated to projects focused on carbon capture and storage (CCS). The duration of the programme is until April 2024 and one call is foreseen to be announced in 2019. The total allocation for the programme is approximately CZK 800 million (EUR 32.5 million) with a maximum funding rate of 96% of eligible project costs, while the programme’s expected average funding rate is 80%.

ERA-NET Cofunds

ERA-NET Cofund is a mechanism within Horizon 2020, the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (for the period until 2025), providing opportunities to funding organisations from individual EU Member States (such as TA CR), associated countries and mostly also some non-European countries to launch joint international calls for proposals under some agreed theme. Applicants submit project proposals involving international consortia, with each funding organisation financing successful applicants from its own country which take part in projects selected within these international calls. A list of funding organisations taking part in a given call is usually published before the call is launched. At present, TA CR as a funding organisation participates in ERA-NET cofund calls in the fields of nanomedicine, biodiversity and climate, water pollution, ICST, non-agricultural raw materials, innovative materials, and gender in the content of research and innovation. At the same time, actions are being prepared under other themes such as transport or energy. The topics of currently open calls are published under the Programmes tab. TA CR allocation for individual ERA-NET Cofund calls varies in size, but often amounts to approximately EUR 1 million, with a maximum funding rate of
70 – 100% of eligible project costs for the Czech part of the project.

Other activities connected with the European Framework Programme

TA CR is also involved in smaller international projects under Horizon 2020 programme, for instance in coordination support actions (CSAs) which are internal projects aimed at improving the functioning of the agency.

TAFTIE

An important part of international cooperation is also the development of partnerships and the use of experience and good practice examples within TAFTIE, the European Network of Innovation Agencies.

TAFTIE is a network of 31 European innovation agencies. The aim of TAFTIE is to support the cooperation of national agencies implementing national technology programmes. It allows the best R&D and innovation work to be shared and to collaborate at European level. TAFTIE cooperates also with the European Commission and non-European partners, and is a valuable source of contacts, information and experience. Technology Agency of the Czech Republic became a member in 2010 and it chaired TAFTIE in 2017. It is involved in all working groups and participates in the organization of educational events of the TAFTIE Academy.

TA CR cooperates also within other strategic networks involved in the European Framework Programme Horizon 2020.