Vienna, 17th July 2018 – Acting Deputy Minister for Higher Education, Science and Research Dr Pavel Doleček attended the informal EU Competitiveness Council Meeting of Ministers responsible for the research agenda, which was held in Vienna under the auspices of Austrian Presidency in the Council of European Union.
The major topic for policy debate of Ministers were the negotiations of 9th EU Framework Programme for Research, Technology Development and Innovation “Horizon Europe”, which – with a total budget allocation of nearly 100 billion EUR – will be the main funding instrument of research and innovation in European Research Area during the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027. “Horizon Europe” will focus on the promotion of excellent science as well as on support of commercialisation of scientific knowledge and encouragement of disruptive innovations in industries. Furthermore, the Framework Programme will, in particular, pay a special attention to transfer of knowledge from research area into industrial sector in order to capitalise the knowledge in production of innovative goods and services of high added value.
During his interventions Deputy Minister Doleček stated (among others): “The Czech Republic considers the Horizon Europe Framework Programme the key instrument for supporting the excellent science and disruptive innovations that provide high added value at the European level. The Czech Republic expects that the Horizon Europe Framework Programme will address the grand socioeconomic challenges of European citizens and significantly contribute to fulfilling the United Nations´ Sustainable Development Goals and commitments of EU Member States deriving from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.”
Deputy Minister Doleček presented also key points of general position of the Czech Republic towards the Horizon Europe Framework Programme draft legal package, which will serve as the basis for further negotiations thereof. In this respect, Deputy Minister Doleček pointed out top priorities of the Czech Republic, which are (1) increase of the budgetary allocation for the support of pan-European research infrastructures; (2) clarification of the 2nd pillar implementation structure and detailed elaboration of the strategy planning process; and (3) strengthening the tools aiming at a larger geographical balance in providing the financial support from the Horizon Europe Framework Programme.
With regard to research infrastructures, Deputy Minister Doleček stated that an even more intensive promotion of preparatory, implementation and commissioning phases of research infrastructures of pan-European and worldwide impact is of the highest importance for the Czech Republic. Furthermore, he added that a particular attention should be paid also to support of the international integration and “transnational access” based activities of those research infrastructures.
The negotiations of Horizon Europe Framework Programme draft legal package belong among the top priorities of the Austrian Presidency in the Council of European Union. The negotiations should lead to adoption of respective Council Conclusions during the EU Competitiveness Council Meeting to be held in Brussels in November 2018.