THETA 2 Programme

MORE INFORMATION

The THETA 2 programme supporting applied research and innovation (hereinafter referred to as the “programme”) was approved by the Czech Government Resolution No. 320 on the 3rd of May 2023.

FOCUS OF THE PROGRAMME

The THETA 2 programme is a programme focused on supporting applied research and innovation in the energy sector, which immediately follows on from the THETA programme. The focus of the programme is, as with the previous programme, relatively broad and affects all areas of dealing with all relevant types of energy in the relevant sectors, including sector coupling and interdisciplinary aspects. It includes connections both at the technical level (e.g., interaction and connection of energy with other fields such as waste management or water in the landscape) and at the social level (e.g., changes in consumer behaviour). It takes into account all the necessary dimensions of energy, from the level of national energy systems to local solutions.

OBJECTIVE OF THE PROGRAMME

The objective of the THETA 2 programme is to contribute to the transformation and modernisation of the energy sector through the outputs, results, and impacts of the supported projects, both by preparing innovative technologies, technical solutions, and approaches applicable in the energy sector in the short, medium and long term, and also by creating analyses for decision-making in energy and improving the quality of the regulatory framework. The fulfilment of this objective will support the achievement of the climate and energy objectives to which the Czech Republic has committed itself.

SUB-PROGRAMMES

For the purpose of achieving the objective, the programme is divided into three sub-programmes, which support and complement each other according to their focus and scope.

Sub-programme 1 – Research in the public interest

The aim of the sub-programme is to contribute to the creation of high-quality data (analyses, models, evaluation of alternative scenarios, etc.) for objective decision-making by the public administration in the administration of the energy sector (strategy, policies, legislation, regulation and pricing, setting standards, or determination of subsidies). This is accomplished through the identification of solutions that are feasible and cost-effective under the conditions of the Czech Republic for the fulfilment of the strategy of achieving climate neutrality and at the same time ensure the supply of energy in the necessary volume, time, and quality with acceptable effects on the environment and at prices that support the competitiveness of the Czech Republic. The sub-programme will contribute to the evaluation of an integral and systemic view of the transforming energy sector, including the evaluation of the impacts on society, and to the understanding of the motivation and behaviour of entities and actors in the energy sector, with a special focus on the preferences and behaviour of end consumers, including their attitudes, values, and standards.

Sub-programme 2 – Energy technologies for competitiveness

Projects in sub-programme 2 shall contribute to the preparation of technologies and solutions with rapid application in practice, thereby supporting the competitiveness of the innovation sphere, manufacturing and supply enterprises operating in the Czech Republic, and increasing their export potential through products and production processes with high added value and their involvement in international value chains. The supported technologies and technological solutions should contribute to the fulfilment of the climate-energy and environmental objectives of the Czech Republic, especially in the short- and medium-term horizon. However, in this regard it is mostly a secondary objective of this sub-programme.

Sub-programme 3 – Technology to ensure the long-term sustainability of the energy industry

Sub-programme 3 shall support projects preparing technologies and solutions, which at the time of project design are at a lower level of technological readiness (TRL, typically 3 to 5) and where the results are not primarily expected to be readily applicable in practice. As a rule, these are projects with a higher degree of risk in terms of achieving the planned objectives and parameters compared to the projects in sub-programme 2. Projects should be aimed at the preparation of new and non-traditional solutions, and therefore support fundamental and groundbreaking innovations that will help the Czech Republic:

  • effectively meet climate-energy and environmental objectives, energy security, and ensure acceptable energy prices in the medium- to long-term horizon;
  • strengthen competitiveness through the development of unique products.

In justified cases, there may be complex and longer-term projects, if these projects aim at complex and integral technological solutions. In such cases, it is assumed that the principal investigators will mainly be established research organisations with extensive international ties.

DURATION AND ANNOUCEMENT DATE OF THE PROGRAMME

The duration of the programme is expected to be 8 years, from 2024 to 2031. The call for proposals in research, development and innovation (hereinafter referred to as the “call for proposals”) for the selection of projects for the programme will be announced for the first time in 2023, with the support being provided from 2024. 

The duration of the projects shall not exceed the duration of the programme.

TOTAL EXPENDITURE ON THE PROGRAMME

The total expenditure for the duration of the programme is established based on an analysis of absorption capacity, evaluation of existing call for proposals relevant to the field of energy. The total expenditure from the state budget for the THETA 2 programme is 7 410 million CZK. The expected average level of support for the programme is 70%.