Research and development is a key priority of the Slovak Government. The fundamental document setting out R&D polices was the Strategy for Smart Specialisation of the Slovak Republic (RIS3), a national research and innovation strategy for 2014-2020. Current policy focus has shifted to the Recovery and Resilience Plan, which sets out a coherent package of reforms and investments to be implemented by 2026 and supported by the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism. The plan consists of investments and reforms that will address the challenges identified in the context of the European Semester, in particular in the European Commission's recommendations to Slovakia. The plan also includes measures aimed at addressing the challenges facing Slovakia in the context of the green and digital transformation.
The key transport planning document is the Strategic Plan for the Development of Slovak Transport until 2030. It is a long-term strategic document that aims to set out objectives for the development of transport and determines the methods by which the objectives will be achieved. As part of this, the document provides a framework for national transport research.
Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation of the Slovak Republic 2021-2027(hereinafter only as "SK RIS3 2021+") is a strategic document defining the objectives, policy system and measures in the field of research, innovation and human resources that will support the structural change of the Slovak economy towards growth based on increasing research and innovation capacity and excellence1 in the segments with the highest competitive potential
The 2030 Strategy for Digital Transformation of Slovakia is a cross-sectional government strategy - a framework that defines the policy priorities of Slovakia in the context of currently ongoing digital transformation of economy and society under the influence of innovative technologies and global megatrends of the digital era
The transport research program is comprehensive and shared by several national institutions.
The Ministry of Education, Science, Research, and Sports is responsible for drafting, implementing and evaluating national science and technology policies.
The Ministry of Transport and Construction is responsible for developing and implementing transport policies. It works in close cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to develop a sustainable transport system.
The Ministry of Finance provides funding for national R&D through the state budget, which sets out public funding programmes and benchmarking indicators.
The Slovak Government Board for Science, Technology, and Innovation advises the Government in the preparation and implementation of science and technology policy. It is the key advisory body for the coordination of the Slovak research and development. It consists of 23 representatives of central government ministries, higher education institutions, research institutions, and industry and employers' associations.
The Slovak Research and Development Agency (SRDA) is responsible for R&D promotion in all research fields, including international research cooperation. It also plays a key role in managing R&D grant schemes.
All information about Slovak R&D is available on the Current Research Information System (CRIS), which is a national register that provides data on projects financed by public resources and their results, R&D institutions and researchers.
Transport research is funded through national research funding. The main sources of public support for R&D are:
- State budget
- EU Framework Programmes
- Structural Funds
- National/Regional Programmes
The allocation of funds is organised by several agencies operating under the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education, Science, Research, and Sports.
Current funding sources or initiatives include:
- Scientific Grant Agency (VEGA) - a joint advisory body of the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sports and an auxiliary body of the presidium of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) for projects selected for funding from institutional finance resources under two sub-chapters of the State Budget: the University-based science and technology, and the Slovak Academy of Science. The key activity of the VEGA is to support basic research in the SAS and universities in general and institutional finance in particular. The VEGA is an advisory body in field of implementation of S&T policies, financing basic research and evaluation of research projects.
- Cultural and Educational Grant Agency (KEGA) - the internal grant system which is aimed at funding projects of applied research in the fields of education, teaching and creative and performing arts, which are initiated by investigators from public universities or the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.
- Slovak Research and Development Agency (SRDA) - the research and development grant agency in the Slovak Republic. It was established by the Act No.172/2005 in July 2005 and it is a successor of the previous agency functioning since 2001. SRDA is the instrument for distribution of public finances for research and development on the competitive basis in Slovakia. SRDA is responsible for research and development promotion in all research fields, including international research cooperation.
- The EU-funded project 'Support for sustainable transport research in Slovakia' (Surftran) aimed to ensure smooth integration of Slovakian transport research capabilities into the EU. It analysed and evaluated human resources and infrastructure in the research transport field to facilitate this integration and strengthen the European Research Area (ERA).
- Slovak Research and Development Agency (Agentúra na podporu výskumu a vývoja – APVV) – is the major R&D grant agency in Slovakia. It was established in July 2005 and it is a successor of the previous agency running since 2001. In 2014 – 2020, the expenditure on operations and programmes of APVV is planned for 316 million €. The Agency acts in compliance with the long term objective of the S&T policy and its programmes are approved by the Government of the Slovak Republic. The Agency supports R&D (basic and applied research and experimental development) by providing funds for the implementation of the following types of projects:
- research and development projects in all fields of science and technology;
- within the Agency’s programmes;
- under international agreements on scientific and technological cooperation and projects within international programmes and initiatives in the field of research and development, including costs of their preparations.