“National Centres of Competence 1: Support programme for applied research, experimental development and innovation” was approved by Resolution of the Government of the Czech Republic No. 354 of 10 May 2017.
The Programme is aimed at supporting long-term cooperation between the research and the application spheres and at strengthening the institutional basis of applied research. With a view to ensuring the long-term stability of the system, the National Centres of Competence 1 Programme will be followed by the National Centres of Competence 2 Programme for the period of 2020-2026.
The Programme seeks to synergistically interlink the already existing successful centres, which have been created with the support of the TA CR (Centres of Competence), the Czech Science Foundation (the GA CR) (Centres of Excellence) and operational programmes (mainly the so-called RDI Centres), with other research centres and units into a single integrated system. The Programme will help in significantly strengthening the segment of research organisations focusing on applied research and in motivating the relevant existing research facilities to transform into research and technological centres where quality applied research will be conducted in line with the needs of the application sphere.
The Programme will be available for synergetic and complementary effects as part of international schemes such as H2020 and other EU programmes and international programmes complying with the focus of the Programme.
The objective of the Programme is to increase the efficiency and quality of the results of applied research and technology transfer in key areas with growth prospects, increase undertaking competitiveness, and strengthen the excellence and application relevance of research organisations. The tool for achieving this objective is to build a sufficiently stable and long-term base of applied research (in the form of national centres of competence) through the concentration of research capacities and setting their strong focus on the application of their research results in practice.
The partial objectives of the Programme include:
PROGRAMME PERIOD AND ANNOUNCEMENT DATES
The Programme is expected to run from 2018 to 2022, i.e. for a period of 5 years. The first public tender under the Programme will be announced in 2018, with the start of project funding in 2018. On the basis of the evaluation of the course and results of the first public tender, further public tenders may subsequently be announced. The first public tender will support projects with a duration of up to 2020, with the option of extension by additional two years, i.e. until 2022.
The National Centres of Competence 1 Programme will be directly followed by the National Centres of Competence 2 Programme for the period of 2020-2026.
TOTAL EXPENDITURE OF THE PROGRAMME
The total expenditure of the Programme is set for the duration of the Programme in accordance with the experience with the implementation of the Centres of Competence Programme, with the expected gradual announcement of individual public tenders in research, development and innovation and the process of preparation and creation of the individual centres. An average aid intensity of 80 % is expected for the programme. The national budget shall cover CZK 1,833 million from the total Programme expenditure.