The programme ZETA for the support of applied research (hereinafter the “programme”) was approved by Czech Republic Government resolution no. 300 on 7. 4. 2016.
FOCUS OF THE PROGRAMME
The programme focuses on supporting cooperation between the academia and companies by putting together students of MA and doctorate study programmes at universities and young research workers aged up to 35. The programme will support projects that fall under Article 25 paragraph 2 b) and c) of the Directive and Article 1. 3. E) of the Framework fall in the category of applied research (including industrial research, experimental development or their combination). The programme will be able to use NET COFUND within the framework of the ERA schemata, or Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions COFUND Horizon 2020, for projects in areas which are in accordance with the programme’s focus.
AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME
The programme’s aim is
- connect students and young researchers in research and development activities with an aim of practical application of the results,
- raise their interest in projects with a concrete practical outcome and
- support projects in the academic sphere generally with the aim of connecting these to the economic sphere.
Another aim is to support and promote the equalization of opportunities for young researchers – both women and men – in resolving projects for applied research financed by this programme.
DURATION AND DEADLINE FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE PROGRAMME
The duration of the programme is set from 2017 to 2025, i.e. 9 years. The public tender in applied research and experimental development and innovations (hereinafter the ″public tender῞) for the selection of projects in the programme will be announced at first in 2016 with the launch of the provision of support in 2017. Subsequently public tenders will be announced every year between 2017 and 2021 with the launch of the provision of support in the years 2018 to 2022. In the years 2024-2025, activities will take place related to the assessment of the programme following the termination of all projects, including the period for the implementation of the results in practice. For this reason for the years 2024-2025 the requirement is not stated for financial funds from the state budget. The minimum length for resolving a project in this programme is stipulated at 12 months, the maximum length for resolving a project at 24 months.
TOTAL COSTS FOR THE PROGRAMME
The total costs of CZK 720 million to the state budget for the programme are for the period of its duration distributed in accordance with the estimated gradual announcement of the individual public tenders. The degree of support, stipulated as a percentage of the costs recognised for the project, will be calculated for each project and for each recipient and for each other participant individually in accordance with the Directive and shall not exceed the highest permitted degree of support determined by the Directive.
The highest permitted degree of support for one project is 85 % of the total eligible costs. In accordance with the Directive it is possible to provide a bonus for fulfilling the conditions of effective cooperation pursuant to Article 25 paragraph 6 b) i). The applicants will be expected to contribute to financing the costs. The maximum amount of financial support spent on one project is limited to CZK 5 million.
REASONING FOR THE PROGRAMME AIMS
The support programme will be directed where there is a failure in the market. In such a case the support is intended to rectify the market failure, when generally there is insufficient use of the results of applied research in the application sphere. The programme’s intervention will focus on real cooperation between young research workers in resolving concrete research projects with subjects from application practice in all areas of applied research. Concluding work as part of university study, for example, is to be encouraged in its elaboration in applicable themes, whose conclusions and outcomes can be further developed implemented in applications. The support also refers to rectifying the unequal status of students or young research workers who are disadvantaged in proposing projects by not having the requisite experience, publication and other results of their older colleagues. The programme in part responds to the fact that in 2012 in the Czech Republic women made up only 27.5 % of researchers (when converted to full-time work women represented only 24,7 % of researchers). The measures mentioned adequately relate to NP VaVal, which among other things require the creation of conditions for the greater representation of women in research, the involvement of students in VaV and the greater use of MA and Doctoral graduates in MSP innovations. The programme concerns in particular:
- motivation in university studies to solve those projects that are related to the actual needs of the application sphere in the Czech Republic;
- enabling the maximum concentration of students or young researchers in their professional work – at present it is a frequent occurrence that diploma or doctoral students are forced for economic reasons to take work alongside their studies in irrelevant jobs, which as a result lowers the quality of their work and study;
- involving individual departments or institutions in projects connected to actual needs of the application sphere and by so doing gradually removing barriers between the application sphere and research organisations, which is now recognised as one of the real problems (in connection with market failure);
- attaining actual results from this research, which will help increase innovation and competitiveness in the Czech Republic;
- setting the conditions for students and recipients which will lead to opportunities for men and women being equalised in the application research.
CONDITIONS FOR THE PROVISION OF SUPPORT
- The project team has at least four members (i.e. three students or young research workers and a mentor).
- Members of the project team are employed by the applicant or shall be once the support is allocated.
- The manager of the project team can be only a student or young research worker, who as of the date of the tender termination deadline will not be over 35. In the submission documentation conditions will be stipulated preventing discrimination of persons on maternity or parental leave, persons caring for an infant, persons who have undergone long-term illness etc.
- A member of the project team can only be those students or young research workers who as of the date of the tender termination deadline will not be over 35. In the submission documentation for the relevant public tender conditions will be stipulated preventing discrimination of persons on maternity or parental leave, persons caring for an infant, persons who have undergone long-term illness etc.
- Part of the project team shall be a person (mentor) older than 35 with the requisite experience in the academic or application sphere.
- The recipients shall be obliged to prove cooperation with regard to the solving or projects with an application partner or with a foreign
- institution with a developed system of commercialisation, according to the specifiation in the submission documentation.