The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic is an organisational unit of the state that was founded in 2009 by the Act No. 130/2002 Coll. to support research, experimental development and innovation. The creation of TA CR is one of the cornerstones of the fundamental reforms in research and development (R&D) in the Czech Republic. The key feature of the reform is the redistribution of financial support from the national budget. The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic simplifies the state support of applied research and experimental development which has been fragmented and implemented by many bodies before the reform.
In accordance with the Act No. 130/2002 activities assigned to TA CR are:
- preparation and realization of its own programmes of applied research, experimental development and innovation; and realisation of programmes from those governmental departments without public financial support,
- evaluation and selection of programme proposals,
- administration of functional financial support of applied research from the national budget,
- control of a fulfillment of project contracts,
- evaluation of fulfillment of objectives of programmes and control of their results,
- counseling (legal, financial and IPR) for programmes and projects of applied research, experimental development and innovation,
- communication support between research organisations and the private sector,
- negotiations with institutions in the Czech Republic and the European Union in terms of permitted public support of applied research and innovation, and
- cooperation with similar foreign institutions.
There are 7 funding programmes of The Technology Agency CR:
- Alfa Programme
- Beta Programme
- Gama Programme
- Delta Programme
- Epsilon Programme
- Omega Programme
- Competence Centres
The ALFA Programme aims to support applied research and experimental development especially in the field of advanced technologies, materials and systems, energy resources and the protection and creation of the environment and the sustainable development of transport. The acquired knowledge, applied in the form of innovation, will strengthen the performance of businesses and increase the competitiveness of the economy and society of the Czech Republic, thereby increasing the quality of life and overall quality of the environment.
The ALFA Programme is divided into 3 sub-programmes:
1. Advanced technologies, materials and systems
2. Energy resources and environmental creation and protection
3. Sustainable development of transport
The recipients of support may be independent business entities (legal entities and individuals) as well as research organisations; the ALFA Programme will mainly support their joint projects.
The ALFA programme can only support projects that reasonably expect to achieve at least one of the following types of results according to the Register of information on results:
• pilot operation, proven technology;
• results with legal protection - utility models, industrial designs;
• technically realized results - prototypes, functional samples;
• certified methodologies and procedures, and maps with expert content;
• ALFA programme for the support of applied research and experimental development
• List of members of the Programme Council
• List of members of the Sub-programme Council
• Statute and Rules of Procedure of the Sub-programme Council
• Statute and Rules of Procedure of the Programme Council
• Rules for expert evaluations of project proposals
• Community Framework for State aid for Research, Development and Innovation
The programme is planned for a six-year period (2011-2019), during which a total of 7.5 billion CZK will be distributed. The first public tender was announced on the 24th of March 2010, and the second public tender was announced on the 20th of July 2011. The third and final public tender of the ALFA programme was announced on the 6th of June 2012.