Large research infrastructures are unique facilities of high knowledge and technology expertise, which are operated on the open access policy basis. They enable their users to achieve breakthrough results in the areas of basic/fundamental research and applied research as well as development of advanced technologies having significant potential for application in modern innovative products and services of high added value.
In recent years, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has responded to increasing importance of research infrastructures within the European Research Area and – in order to reflect the research infrastructures as one of the crucial component of the national research and innovation system of the Czech Republic – it has taken a number of measures to help create a suitable environment for their construction, operation, further development, financing, and integration into international structures.
In 2009, based on the amendment to Act No. 130/2002 Coll., on the Support of Research, Experimental Development and Innovation from Public Funds and on the Amendment to Some Related Acts (Act on the Support of Research, Experimental Development and Innovation), a particular grant scheme aimed at supporting the so called “large research infrastructures” from public funds of the Czech Republic was created. At the same time, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports was entitled to become the central administrative body of the Czech Republic responsible for the large research infrastructures agenda.
Roadmap of Large Research Infrastructures of the Czech Republic
Roadmap of Large Research Infrastructures of the Czech Republic is a strategy and policy document of the Czech Republic, which – by its structure and contents – corresponds to the Roadmap of European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI Roadmap). The presently issued Roadmap of Large Research Infrastructures of the Czech Republic sets out the strategy for the policy development of the agenda for the years 2016-2022.
Large Research Infrastructures Council
In 2010, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports established an expert advisory body for the large research infrastructures agenda – the Large Research Infrastructures Council – bringing together the representatives of all relevant and interested stakeholders of the Czech Republic. The Large Research Infrastructures Council gathers the representatives of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports; Research, Development and Innovation Council (an expert advisory board to the Government of the Czech Republic); higher education institutions; Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic; and the large research infrastructures operated in individual science-disciplinary fields.
International Evaluation of Large Research Infrastructures of the Czech Republic
Since 2014, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has carried out a periodic and comprehensive international evaluation of large research infrastructures of the Czech Republic. The outputs of these respective assessment procedures have been provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to the Government of the Czech Republic as an independent expert basis for the adoption of informed political decisions on financing large research infrastructures from public funds of the Czech Republic. Furthermore, the assessment outputs have served as an independent expert basis for periodic updates of the Roadmap of Large Research Infrastructures of the Czech Republic and for decision-making on support of the proposals of pan-European research infrastructures presented for the ESFRI Roadmap updates with participation of the Czech Republic.