Operational Programme 'Research and Development for Innovations'

Multiregional Operational Programme under the Convergence Objective, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 25 September 2007 the European Commission approved a multiregional Operational Programme for all Czech regions (except for Prague) for the period 2007-13.

The Programme ‘Research and Development for Innovations’ falls within the framework laid out for the Convergence Objective and has a total budget of around €2.4 billion. Community assistance through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €2.1 billion, which represents approximately 7.9% of the total EU investment earmarked for the Czech Republic under the Cohesion Policy 2007-13.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

Upon joining the EU, the Czech Republic was included in the integration process for the national policies on research, development and innovation and related areas, which were identified by the Lisbon Strategy (Conclusions du Conseil européen concernant l'examen de la stratégie de Lisbonne, Bruxelles, 22 et 23 mars 2005). Like other Member States of the EU, the Czech Republic can see the key to growth of its competitiveness in research and development, the innovation abilities of its enterprises, the increasing quality of its human resources and the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). As a result, for the period 2007-13, one of the priorities of the Czech Republic is to strengthen the growth of the country’s competitiveness and the orientation towards a knowledge economy. The creation of highly qualified workplaces should also help make the Czech regions important locations for concentration of the aforementioned activities within Europe.

2. Expected impact of investments

The Programme should create around 2 500 new jobs in Research and Development (R&D). Total expenditure on R&D as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should increase from 1.42% to 2.2%. The Summary Innovation Index (SII) is expected to increase from 0.26 to 0.36, while support should be provided to five centres of excellence.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme ‘Research and Development for Innovations’ is structured according to the following priorities:

Priority 1: European Centres of Excellence [approximately 33.1% of total funding]

The main objective of this priority is to create a number of Centres of Excellence, which should be well equipped R&D centres with modern research infrastructures, able to contribute to the networking and closer integration between leading Czech R&D teams and the leading international research organisations and European research infrastructures. This effort will create internationally attractive partners in the Czech Convergence regions, research bodies with a clear research programme and prominent profile.

Priority 2: Regional R&D Centres [approximately 33.1% of total funding]

This priority will support the establishment and development of R&D workplaces with quality equipment focused on applied research and reinforcement of co-operation with the application area (enterprises, hospitals, etc.) according to the needs of the region. The objective of regional R&D centres is to be a relevant research partner for collaboration with those application areas (enterprises, hospitals, etc.), including partnerships with innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and other clusters. Through the advancement of knowledge, and the adaptation and transfer of technology and know-how, these centres will be able to contribute in an important way to the competitiveness of the economy in Czech regions.

Priority 3: Commercialisation and Popularisation of R&D [approximately 10.3% of total funding]

This priority focuses on several horizontal, cross-cutting themes which are crucial for successful implementation of projects under the priority axes 1 and 2. It is open to other potential beneficiaries with a view to putting commercialisation and popularisation of research on the agenda of as many Czech R&D institutions as possible.

Priority 4: Infrastructure for University Education related to Research [approximately 20% of total funding]

The main objective of this priority is to support development of a quality infrastructure of universities, the aim being to increase the capacity of tertiary education and create conditions for improving the quality of education. This type of investment represents a prerequisite for the quantitative and qualitative increase in supply of human resources which is needed for research and innovation. These efforts complement the work supported by the European Social Fund (ESF) Operational Programme ‘Education for Competitiveness’ which aims at improving the quality and relevance of tertiary education and strengthening the role of universities.

Priority 5: Technical Assistance [approximately 3.5% of total funding]

The objective of this priority axis is to support activities carried out by the Managing Authority to ensure efficient implementation of the Operational Programme: preparation, monitoring, administrative assistance, evaluations, audit and controls.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Research and Development for Innovations'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

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Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
European Centres of Excellence 685 395 373 120 952 125 806 347 498
Regional R&D Centres 685 395 373 120 952 125 806 347 498
Commercialisation and Popularisation of R&D 213 280 131 37 637 671 250 917 802
Infrastructure for University Education related to Research 414 136 177 73 082 855 487 219 032
Technical Assistance 72 473 830 12 789 500 85 263 330
Total 2 070 680 884 365 414 276 2 436 095 160