On Wednesday 14th December 2022, the Government of Czechia adopted a new multi-annual financial framework of large research infrastructures. Following the outcomes of the regular international peer-review, carried out last year under the organisational auspices of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS), the political orientations for financing of large research infrastructures in the upcoming four-year period have been determined. The budget allocation to cover the operation costs of a total of 44 large research infrastructure projects will reach the amount of almost CZK 2 billion in 2023. On the top of that, MEYS will also financially support large research infrastructures in their investment plans. This will happen through specific calls that will be launched within the Operational Programme Johannes Amos Comenius (OP JAK), in which nearly CZK 4 billion have been allocated for acquisitions by large research infrastructures in the years 2023–2026.
Czech Infrastructure for Integrative Structural Biology
From international peer-review to the Czech Government’s resolution
The decision-making by the Czech Government on public funding of large research infrastructures was preceded by an international peer-review in 2021, which was organised by MEYS already for the third time, after the previous cycles in 2014 and 2017. The evaluation methodology framework was inspired by the monitoring criteria of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) used to assess European research infrastructure projects. The international review committee, thus, assessed the quality of large research infrastructures using a wide range of monitoring indicators. They focused, among other things, on the knowledge and technological expertise of large research infrastructures; the services, which large research infrastructures provide to their user communities under the open access policy arrangements; the performance of large research infrastructures in terms of the scientific and technological outputs; or on their societal and economic benefits and impacts.
CzechNanoLab research infrastructure
MEYS will financially support research infrastructures in Czechia and abroad
According to the resolution adopted by the Government of Czechia, MEYS will continue to finance 44 large research infrastructure projects that are implemented in a large variety of disciplinary domains, including physical sciences, engineering, energy, environmental, biological and medical sciences, and social sciences and humanities. In addition, the Czech national e-infrastructure, providing the research community with top-class ICT, computing and data services, will also be funded. Following the Czech Government’s resolution, MEYS will finance not only large research infrastructures based in Czechia, but also international research infrastructures, which are hosted by other European countries and in the United States and in Latin America, and which are participated by the Czech research community. MEYS will also continue with the Czech membership in a total of 16 European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERIC) and join other, newly emerging ones in the years to come.
e-INFRA CZ Czech national e-infrastructure
What are large research infrastructures?
Large research infrastructures are top-class facilities providing the research and innovation community with unique knowledge and expertise, exceptional experimental devices and technical resources, and extensive collections of data sets and related ICT services, which are essential to perform breakthrough fundamental research, extending the frontiers of human knowledge beyond yet known horizons, and cutting-edge applied research, advancing the technology development and feeding into innovations. Large research infrastructures are operated on the open access policy basis. MEYS has been financing them though a specific funding instrument since 2010.
CzeCOS research infrastructure