17th February 2016

Government approves National Policy for R&D, Innovation for 2016-2020, sets key fields for applied research

At its session on 17 February, the Government approved the National Policy for Reasearch, Development and Innovation for 2016-2020. Compared with previous national R&D strategic documents, this time much greater emphasis is placed on the stregthening of applied research based on the needs of the economy and the public sector, said Pavel Bělobrádek, Vice-PM for Research, Development and Innovation. The employers say the strategic RDI document should be more focused on major problems such as the underdeveloped cooperation between the business and the R&D sectors.

The document outlines key areas for the applied research, such as biotechnology and nanotechnology, digital economy, the automotive and aviation industries, rail transport, engineering, electronics, steel, energy industries. Special emphasis is placed on cultural and creative industries. It was the first time that the private sector was invited to consultations and preparation of the national R&D policy, Vice-PM Bělobrádek said. The core focus areas of the policy are: 1. improvement of RDI system management, 2. introduction of assessment of results of research organizations and more efficient system of institutional financing, 3. strengthening foundations for applied research, 4. strengthening of research and innovation activities within the business sector, 5. strategic goal – focus on areas of research that will be an engine of the economy. View a video here (press conference after the meeting of the Government, see minute 25:00, in Czech ). Read more details here and here (in Czech). The document is available here (in Czech), summary here

Among others, the documents sets a goal to increase the share of women researchers to 30% (calculated as full-time employment), which is the EU average. This type of commitment is the first of its kind in the Czech environment, says Hana Tenglerová, the editor of the Monitoring report on the position of women in the Czech science in 2014.

The Confederation of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic argues that the National policy was adopted without sufficient consultation. „There should be a clear action plan with priority tasks for the years 2016 and 2017 and a system of interim, continuous assessment should be introduced“, Zbyněk Frolík, Vice-President of the Confederation says. According to employers, the strategic document in the area of RDI should be more focused on major problems such as the underdeveloped cooperation between the business and the R&D sectors. Read detailed statement (in Czech). 

Click on the roadmap for large RDI infrastructures in the Czech Republic for 2016-2022 (in Czech; English version attached bellow).


Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic