Detailed information about the current system of public support of research and development in the Czech Republic is available in a publication „GUIDEBOOK OF
PUBLIC SUPPORT TO RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC – 2007“, whose full text is published on this page.
Lists of projects and plans in the area of nanotechnology, currently implemented under individual programs, are listed under “Projects” and “Plans”.
A) PROGRAMS SUPPORTING RESEARCH PROJECTS
Provider: „Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic“ (AS CZ)
The main function of the AS CZ and its workplaces is to perform basic research in a wide spectrum of natural, technical, humanitarian and social sciences. This research - be it highly specialized or interdisciplinary by nature – strives to develop knowledge on an international level, while respecting current needs of the Czech society and domestic culture. AS CZ workplaces participate in education, above all by leading young researchers when they work on their doctoral study programs, and also by means of pedagogical activities of its staff at universities. AS CZ also develops cooperation with applied research and industry. A range of joint international projects and exchanges of staff with foreign partner institutions strengthen integration of Czech science into the international context.
Above all the program “Nanotechnology for a Society“ currently focuses on the field of nanotechnology, but there are also other AS CZ programs dealing with projects from this field.
1) Program „Nanotechnology for a Society“ – (code KA)
AV CZ enounced the program on 14.12.2005. The main goal of the program is to make significant progress in the advancement of research and practical utilization of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials in the Czech society. At the same time the program sets a goal to make a platform including AV CZ, universities and industrial sphere in the Czech Republic, which will guarantee long-term development of this scientific field. Analysis of current state showed that only a specific, comprehensive program promoting the advancement of nanotechnology research in the Czech Republic could contribute to the reversal of the unfavorable situation in this area. The program is supposed to be completed in 2012.
So far, there have been three rounds of selections, of which the last round for projects starting on 1.1.2008 was completed on 27.7.2007
2) Program “Targeted Research Projects Support” – (1Q)
This program is the second subprogram of the profile program „Integrated Research“, which is part of the National Research Program (NRP I) enounced for years 2004-2009. The program has the following goals:
1. Provide tools to aim at advanced stages of scientific research to get results that would be practically usable in further development of innovation technologies, new materials and products with high added value, or in application in the socioeconomic area.
2. By means of promoting specific projects reinforce diffusion of individual stages of research and development: scientific research – targeted research – applied research and development.
3. Create groundwork for future higher economic appreciation of the results of scientific research itself by promoting consistent protection of know-how and rights to the research and development results.
No public tenders are invited under this program any more.
3) Program „Information Society“ –
This program is the second thematic program of the National Research Program (NRP I) enounced for years 2004-2009. The goal of the program is to promote research aimed at getting basic findings enabling the development of information technologies and application of these findings and technologies based on the findings in production, communication and management spheres. Within this program, two project focusing on nanotechnologies were promoted, which will be completed in 2007 (see under „Projects“).
No public tenders are invited under this program any more.
4) Program „Grants of Markedly Scientific
Character Focused on the Field of Research Currently Promoted, Namely in AS CZ“
It is a program of long-term scientific research initiated in 2002. Projects will be completed in 2010.
5) Program „Junior Scientific Grants“
The project topic was selected by the proposer, it is of basic research nature and its scientific focus is in compliance with the National Policy of R&D in CZ. The grant project may be solved by a scientist up to 35 years old, who is a graduate or participates in doctoral study or is a graduate in the last phase of study before defense, by himself/herself or with a research team in which young team members predominate and the average age of the team, including the solver, does not exceed 38 (with respect to the anticipated project staff). Project solution may be spread over a period of 1 to 3 years, spanning full calendar years.
Provider: Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GA CZ)
Every year, GA CZ invites public tenders in research and development to promote grant projects of basic research in all scientific fields, see Table No. I.
Table No. I. – List of sphere and subsphere GA CZ Committees
1. Technical Scieces
101 - Mechanical engineering
102 - Electrical engineering and cybernetics
103 - Civil engineering, architecture and transport
104 - Technical chemistry
105 - Mining
106 - Metallurgy and materials science
It is apparent from Table No. I. that the interdisciplinary field of nanotechnologies does not have its subcommittee established and applicants may at their own discretion register “nano-projects”
in any subfield. As indicated by the list of projects in the section
“Projects”, currently solved projects focused on nanotechnologies were
identified in subfields 101, 102. 104, 106 a 202. As with programs of other
providers, it is very difficult to identify projects from the area of
nanobiotechnologies and nanomedicine (see section “Nomenclature”) within GA CZ programs, because most of the solvers do not use the preposition nano-, nor the above-mentioned expressions
Projects focusing on nanotechnologies are solved under the following GA CZ programs:
- Standard Grants Program (GA)
- Post-Doctoral Projects Program (GP)
- EUROCORES Program (GE)
More information available at www.gacr.cz.
1) Program „Standard grants“ - (GA)
GA CZ main activities consist in the program of standard projects, which any legal or physical entity from CZ may join. Topics of these projects are selected by the proposers themselves within the above-mentioned fields and subfields. Public tender is invited annually, usually in February.
2) Program „Postdoctoral Project“ -
The goal of the program is to promote interests of those who completed the postgraduate study in working at scientific institutions. The program should help the institutions to create sufficient compensation packages to prevent young scientists from leaving science. It also strives to utilize the potential of renowned experts and involve young promising scientists in issues solved by them.
3) Program „EUROCORES“ - (GE)
Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, which is a member organization of the European Science Foundation (ESF), has been involved in the European Science Foundation Collaborative Research Program (EUROCORES) since 2002. It is a program of international cooperation of scientific teams under the project on selected topics.
Each year, five highly topical, perspective and interdisciplinary topics are selected by the International Steering Committee of the program. Submitted project proposals are judged by an international board. If grant is given, the research is financed by national agencies (GA CZ). The programs are enounced at the same time in March each year with the deadline for applications in May. Grant Agency of CZ invites a public tender for the EUROCORES projects following enouncement of the ESF program. Detailed information available at www.esf.org and www.gacr.cz
Provider: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS)
MEYS is a central managing authority responsible for research and development in the Czech Republic. The Ministry is namely in charge of the following:
a) preparation of National policy of research and development of the Czech Republic in compliance with international treaties and checking its implementation in the form of a standpoint to the compliance of research and development programs submitted by the providers with the National policy of research and development of the Czech Republic before these programs are approved by the government,
b) preparation of priorities in the form of a National Research Program,
c) implementation of research priorities in areas that do not fall within the scope of the providers, in the form of securing part of the National Research Program
d) preparation of research and development legal regulations and evaluation of consequences of other legal regulations on research and development,
e) international cooperation of the Czech Republic in research and development, including dealings with authorities and institutions of the European Community and individual European Community countries within research and development field of action, except for cooperation in defense research and development, for which the Ministry of Defense is responsible.
f) In cases where a ministry secures representation of the Czech Republic in particular international establishments and organizations, the ministry presents a report of progress and results of cooperation to the government upon discussion with the Research and Development Council, and upon discussion in the government the report is published.
MEYS has a specific position within resorts with respect to state-supported research and development.
- “Bureau of International Relations in Research and Development “ handles a wide area of research and development on international level, including creation of a concept of international cooperation in research and development
- „Bureau of Research and Development Programs“ manages research programs at universities and other specific research programs
In 2007, MEYS supports the following research programs, whose projects focus among others also on nanotechnology research
1) Program „Research Centers“ - (1M)
This program is the first subprogram of the profile program “Integrated Research“, which is part of the National Research Program (NRP I) enounced for years 2004-2009.
The program “Research Centers“ is one of the basic, financially well assisted tools to eliminate persisting obstructions in cooperation between sectors and to further promote R&D in CZ. Under the public tender, 25 projects (research centers) were recommended to be solved, of which two focus on nanotechnologies (see section “Projects”). No public tenders are invited under this program any more.
2) Program „Basic Research Centers“
The goal of the program is to promote cooperation of top workplaces in the Czech Republic in the area of basic research in order to increase competitiveness on the European research territory. At the same time the program contributes to education of young experts. Research workplaces have to be linked with a foreign research workplace or workplaces by a joint research program. The program was enounced for the period of 2005-2009. Based on the public tender, 18 projects (research centers) were recommended for solution, of which five focus on nanotechnologies (see section “Projects”). Another 4 projects of the basic research centers were recommended for solution from 1.1.2007, but none of them was related to nanotechnologies.
3) Program „Healthful and Quality Life“ – (2B)
The program is the second thematic program of the National Research Program II, which was enounced for the period of 2006-2011. The program includes the following topics:
T2-1-1 Healthy and safe food
T2-1-2 Systems and methods for evaluation of safety of food industry materials, food and feed
T2-1-4 Unconventional use of agricultural production
T2-2-1 Development of new diagnostics based on molecular-biological methods
T2-2-2 Molecular genetics and biotechnology for new pharmaceuticals
T2-2-3 Nanomaterials in biology and medicine
T2-2-4 Biomaterials for transplantation medicine
T2-2-5 Genomics, proteomics, pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases
T2-2-6 Genomics and proteomics of cell differentiation in oncology diseases
T2-3-1 Limitation of surface water pollution
T2-3-2 Bioremediation of environment using microorganisms
T2-3-3 Modernization of waste disposal
T2-3-5 Environment and health
So far, 2 projects focusing on nanotechnologies have been accepted to be solved for the period of 2006-2010 (2011) (see section “Projects”).
4) Program of International Cooperation in Research and Development "COST“ – (OC)
COST (European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research) – is European multilateral cooperation in the field of research and development focusing both on scientific and applied research. The Czech Republic became a COST member in 1993. COST coordinates research and development in the form of so called Events, which scientists and researchers from COST member countries may join with their own projects. The fundamental of organization and work under the COST program includes the principle of “bottom-up“ and “a´la cart“ – events proposed by scientists and researchers. In principle, the research is financed on a national level.
5) Program of International Cooperation in Research and Development „KONTAKT“ – (ME)
Program „KONTAKT“ makes it possible to promote participation of Czech researchers and developers in multilateral research programs ESA, SEI (Central European Initiative), OECD and NATO and in some important bilateral programs with countries, with which the Czech Republic has an agreement for research and development cooperation, and also in the National Science Foundation programs – NSF (USA).
Grantor: Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT)
MIT above all promotes programs of industrial research and development. In 2007, MEYS supports the following research programs, whose project focus among other things on the research of nanotechnologies.
1) Program “PROGRESS“ – (1H)
The program is the third thematic program of the National Research Program I enounced for the period of 2004-2009 and focuses on the promotion of industrial research and development projects aimed at securing competitiveness of the Czech economy, while securing permanently sustainable growth and energy for this economy and for the society. 3 projects focusing on nanotechnologies are currently being solved under this program.
No public tenders are invited under this program any more.
2) Program „Permanent Prosperity“ –
The program is the first thematic program of the Natioal Research Program II and was enounced for the period of 2006-2011. It has the following goals:
1. Prepare new materials and secure new procedures to utilize renewable and unconventional energy sources, including hydrogen energy.
2. Increase reliability of equipment for electrical energy transfer.
3. Design new procedures for nuclear power technologies.
4. Decrease energy demands of operations in buildings.
5. Create new unconventional structures and designs of machinery.
6. Create new materials with new utility characteristics, including nanomaterials and new methods of material diagnostics.
7. Prepare new semiconductor parts for diagnostics and control.
8. Increase efficiency of the transportation safety system.
9. Introduce new techniques for selected lines of chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
10. Develop new materials, new additives to products in other industries, new polymers and catalysts.
The following topics were enounced under this program:
T1-1-1 Increasing safety of electrical networks and high-voltage distribution stations
T1-1-2 Use of hydrogen and fuel cells as energy sources
T1-1-3 New nuclear technologies for electric power generation, high-potential heat and hydrogen production
T1-1-4 Decreasing energy demand when operating buildings
T1-1-5 Renewable energy sources
T1-2-1 New technologies and materials for air protection
T1-2-2 Technologies for the protection of water and rock environment
T1-3-1 New materials with new utilizable characteristics
T1-3-2 Application of new materials in machinery construction
T1-3-3 Mechatronic systems and robotics
T1-3-4 New structures of production machinery
T1-3-5 New semiconductor sensors and nanoparts
T1-3-6 Extending service life and reliability of engineering products and equipment with high technical parameters
T1-3-7 New nanodiagnostics methods
T1-4-1 Alternative energy sources in transportation
T1-4-2 Increasing quality and reliability of transportation infrastructure
T1-4-3 Means of transportation and systems for public and individual transportation
T1-5-1 Chemical optimization and development of new pharmaceutical technologies
T1-5-2 Safety of chemicals
T1-5-3 Nanomaterials and processes
T1-5-4 Development of new chemical additives to products in other industries
T1-5-5 Functional polymers
T1-5-6 Organic syntheses for products with high value added
T1-5-7 Catalysts for environmental protection, power industry, food industry and low-waste chemical technologies
So far, three public tenders have been invited for project proposals. A list of projects currently being solved in the field of nanotechnologies are listed under “Projects”.
3) Programs “Tandem“ – (FT) and “Impulse”
In 2004-2010, MIT provides funding for the solution of research projects in the area of industrial research and development under TANDEM and IMPULSE programs. TANDEM program focuses above all on the promotion of oriented research projects, whose results will be used – through subsequent industrial research and development - in new products, technologies and services. The condition is that the solution is secured by a consortium made of employees of industrial organizations and research workplaces (academic, university and others).
IMPULSE program focuses on the promotion of industrial research and development and the above-mentioned condition does not apply to it.
Nanotechnologies and nanomaterials are one of the priorities in both programs. Information about projects in the field of nanotechnologies that are currently being solved are listed under “Projects”.
B) RESEARCH PLANS
According to the original version of the Act No. 130/2002 Coll. on public funding of R&D and its implementing regulations, only public universities, military and police academies, allowance organizations and CZ organizational units were allowed to apply for institutional support in the form of a research plan. Since 2004, if certain conditions are met, even legal entities from private sector may apply for institutional support. The most important limiting conditions include: other activities of these subjects must be listed in the establishment deed or similar document; the whole profit after taxes and after surcharges to legally established funds (e.g. reserve funds) is reinvested in R&D.
The research plan of an organization establishes the subject of research activity of a legal entity or an organizational unit, its goals, strategies, costs and expected results, which the organization secures in basic or applied research, except for industrial research. The research plan is a vision of conceptual development of an organization for a period of 5 to 7 years.
In 2007, all grantors provided funds for research plans. Research plans that entirely or partially focused on the research of nanotechnologies are listed under “Plans”.