The BETA programme of public procurement in research, experimental development and innovation for the government (hereinafter referred to as the "BETA programme") was approved by Government Resolution No. 54 on the 19th of January 2011.
The first round of tenders in the BETA programme was launched by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (hereinafter referred to as the TACR) on the 10th of February 2011 and government authorities, included in the BETA programme, were called upon to identify their research needs for 2011.
Research needs means the specific topics and issues that the state authorities want to address in the area of research through public procurement.
For the years 2011 and 2012 TACR selected 101 themes for which they either announced public tenders or prepared tender proceedings. Due to the large number of announced public tenders, the complexity of the tender proceedings and the associated rigid administrative duties TACR proposed to simplify the process both in terms of the themes (research needs) and the tender procedure. These and other proposals for amendments were contained in a draft amendment to the BETA programme, which was submitted to the Government for approval in early 2013.
The Government approved the draft amendment to the BETA programme by Government Resolution No. 75 on the 20th of January 2013.
The research needs must contribute to the fulfilment of at least one of the specific objectives of the programme or specific objectives set by the relevant governmental body.
The standard procedure pursuant to Act No. 137/2006 Coll., on Public Procurement, as amended (hereinafter referred to as "Act No. 137/2006 Coll.") is used to select the bids for the public tenders for the research needs approved from 2013.
The length of projects (fulfilment of the public tenders) in the BETA programme from 2013 is between 6 and 36 months. The cost of the project is limited by the programme resources, and the resources allocated to the relevant government bodies. The support for projects in the BETA programme is 100 % of the total eligible costs. The total budget for the whole duration of the programme amounts 640 million CZK. The sum of 134.5 million CZK is earmarked for 2013.
Projects in the BETA programme can be submitted by enterprises and research organizations that meet the definition of an applicant pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 2, letter b) of Act No. 130/2002 Coll., on the support of research, experimental development and innovation from public funds (hereinafter referred to as "Act No. 130/2002 Coll.") and the definition of a supplier pursuant to Article 17, paragraph 1, letter a) of Act No. 137/2006 Coll.
Evaluation in the BETA programme takes place in two stages. Firstly, each of the related governmental bodies collects proposals of their research needs from the relevant people (preference is given to internal Ministerial departments, central governmental bodies; territorial self-governing units to the extent of their delegated powers may submit their research needs through their superior authorities).
An advisory body composed of representatives of the relevant ministries and TACR is established by the provider pursuant to Act No. 130/2002 Coll. in order to evaluate the submitted proposals of research needs and to build their final ranking. Each proposal of research needs is evaluated by at least two independent expert evaluators.
The evaluation is carried out according to unified methods for the evaluation of research needs and common criteria which are described in the internal regulations of TACR. TACR then begins tender proceedings for the research needs that the expert advisory body recommends to the provider to a provider approves. TACR may only begin tender proceedings for the research needs that meet the criteria for the evaluation of research needs.
TACR collaborates with the relevant professional guarantor – governmental body for the preparation of the tender documentation for the selected research needs. TACR is responsible for the correctness of the procedure for preparation of the tender documents, and the relevant governmental department for the material side of the tender documentation (specification of the subject of the public tender and the qualification requirements for suppliers).
The tender procedure is carried out depending on the financial volume of the contract:
a) by following the procedure pursuant to Act No. 137/2006 Coll.
b) on the basis of exceptions pursuant to Article 18, paragraph 5 of Act No. 137/2006 Coll. (small-scale contracts).
The procedure according to option b) is modified by internal regulations whilst adhering to the basic principles of Article 6 of Act No. 137/2006 Coll.
Bids submitted by applicants are initially assessed for their eligibility, compliance with the tender documentation and are subsequently evaluated according to the evaluation criteria specified in the BETA programme. The specific evaluation criteria, their weight and method of evaluation are specified in the tender documentation for each public tender. These criteria are the same for all of the awarded contracts from the BETA programme.
The selected projects must conclude with at least one of the supported results pursuant to the valid methodology for the evaluation of the results of research organizations and evaluation of the results of completed programmes. These results must be actually applied in practice: