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Czech Republic  [5]  Funding framework of VET/HRD research

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Support for R&D currently falls within the framework of the "National R&D Policy for the years 2004-2008 (NP)". This document sets out both the actual focus of R&D and the anticipated level of public resources needed. The actual amount of resources allocated to support R&D is specified annually as part of the state budget development and approval. 

State support for R&D takes two forms: purpose-linked support and  institutional support. 

(a) Purpose-linked support is the major instrument for implementation of the priorities within the national policies set out in the National Research Programme, and the priorities of ministerial policies that are not, for various reasons, included in the National Programme. Resources to support R&D related to VET/HRD are provided from the budgets of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MMT) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MPSV). In recent years purpose-linked support has been largely provided in the form of grants for activities covering several years. This makes it possible to finance comprehensive research projects and promotes co-operation between research institutions. 

(b) Institutional support is focused on medium-term plans of research institutions and on specific research carried out by higher education institutions. Resources are provided from the budgets of the relevant ministries. R&D related to VET/HRD is primarily implemented by research institutions set up by the MMT (National Institute for Technical and Vocational Education, Institute for Information on Education, Centre for Higher Education Studies) and by the MPSV (Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs, Work Safety Research Institute).

Basic research is financed by the Grant Agency of the CR, which is an independent institution. On the basis of bidding procedures it allocates grants to the best projects in all areas of science. Financial resources are provided from the state budget (the part earmarked for the GA CR). The Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the CR performs a similar task (it is part of the GA CR). Based on public tenders it allocates a certain part of its budgetary resources. 

R&D is also supported by means of programmes co-funded from the European Social Fund as part of the Operating Programme Human Resources Development and the Single Programming Document for Objective 3 NUTS 2 the capital Prague. In the 2004-06 period this particularly concerns research and pilot projects supporting the development of the systems of initial and continuing education (e.g. a system for evaluation of educational outcomes, a national qualifications system). 

In 2000 the government pledged to ensure that state support for R&D should reach 0.7% of GDP. However, this promise was not met and the actual support only accounted for 0.54% of GDP. The approved outlook for the state budget envisages an annual increase in this expenditure by 0.01 percentage points for 2005-2006. In 2006 the level of public support should reach 0.6% of GDP. In view of the very limited increase in expenditure and the pressing need to reduce the state budget deficit it will be difficult for the CR to meet the Barcelona objective i.e. to allocate public resources for R&D accounting for 1% of GDP by 2010. 

It is expected that direct state support will be largely complemented by indirect support.  The actual form of this is being considered (e.g. tax instruments, depreciation policy, better loan conditions, etc.). This should contribute to the objective of private investment in R&D reaching 2% of GDP by 2010. Suitable instruments should be put into practice in connection with public finance reform. 

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Czech Republic (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO