The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic is an organizational unit of the stat that was founded in 2009 by the Act No. 130/2002 Coll. on the support of 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 features 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 realization 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 fulfilment of project contracts,
- evaluation of fulfilment of objectives of programmes and control of their results,
- counselling (legal, financial and IPR) for programmes and projects of applied research, experimental development and innovation,
- communication support between research organizations 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 Beta Programme is focused on the public procurement in research, experimental development and innovation for the needs of public administration.
The BETA programme of public procurement in research, experimental development and innovation for the government (hereinafter referred to as the "BETA programme") was approved by Government Resolution No. 54 on the 19th of January 2011.
The first round of tenders in the BETA programme was launched by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (hereinafter referred to as the TACR) on the 10th of February 2011 and government authorities, included in the BETA programme, were called upon to identify their research needs for 2011.
Research needs means the specific topics and issues that the state authorities want to address in the area of research through public procurement.
For the years 2011 and 2012 TACR selected 101 themes for which they either announced public tenders or prepared tender proceedings. Due to the large number of announced public tenders, the complexity of the tender proceedings and the associated rigid administrative duties TACR proposed to simplify the process both in terms of the themes (research needs) and the tender procedure. These and other proposals for amendments were contained in a draft amendment to the BETA programme, which was submitted to the Government for approval in early 2013.
The Government approved the draft amendment to the BETA programme by Government Resolution No. 75 on the 20th of January 2013.
As of the 31st of January 2013, TACR awards public contracts in the BETA programme to the following governmental bodies:
• Czech Mining Authority;
• Czech Office for Surveying, Mapping and Cadastre;
• Ministry of Transport;
• Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs;
• Ministry of Industry and Trade;
• Ministry for Regional Development;
• Ministry of Interior;
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
• Ministry of the Environment;
• The State Office for Nuclear Safety;
• other providers implementing research and development programmes.
The research needs must contribute to the fulfilment of at least one of the specific objectives of the programme or specific objectives set by the relevant governmental body.
The standard procedure pursuant to Act No. 137/2006 Coll., on Public Procurement, as amended (hereinafter referred to as "Act No. 137/2006 Coll.") is used to select the bids for the public tenders for the research needs approved from 2013.
Projects in the BETA programme can be submitted by enterprises and research organizations that meet the definition of an applicant pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 2, letter b) of Act No. 130/2002 Coll., on the support of research, experimental development and innovation from public funds (hereinafter referred to as "Act No. 130/2002 Coll.") and the definition of a supplier pursuant to Article 17, paragraph 1, letter a) of Act No. 137/2006 Coll.
Evaluation in the BETA programme takes place in two stages. Firstly, each of the related governmental bodies collects proposals of their research needs from the relevant people (preference is given to internal Ministerial departments, central governmental bodies; territorial self-governing units to the extent of their delegated powers may submit their research needs through their superior authorities).
An advisory body composed of representatives of the relevant ministries and TACR is established by the provider pursuant to Act No. 130/2002 Coll. in order to evaluate the submitted proposals of research needs and to build their final ranking. Each proposal of research needs is evaluated by at least two independent expert evaluators.
The evaluation is carried out according to unified methods for the evaluation of research needs and common criteria which are described in the internal regulations of TACR. TACR then begins tender proceedings for the research needs that the expert advisory body recommends to the provider to a provider approves. TACR may only begin tender proceedings for the research needs that meet the criteria for the evaluation of research needs.
TACR collaborates with the relevant professional guarantor – governmental body for the preparation of the tender documentation for the selected research needs. TACR is responsible for the correctness of the procedure for preparation of the tender documents, and the relevant governmental department for the material side of the tender documentation (specification of the subject of the public tender and the qualification requirements for suppliers).
The tender procedure is carried out depending on the financial volume of the contract:
a) by following the procedure pursuant to Act No. 137/2006 Coll.
b) on the basis
The length of projects (fulfilment of the public tenders) in the BETA programme from 2013 is between 6 and 36 months. The cost of the project is limited by the programme resources, and the resources allocated to the relevant government bodies. The support for projects in the BETA programme is 100 % of the total eligible costs. The total budget for the whole duration of the programme amounts 640 million CZK. The sum of 134.5 million CZK is earmarked for 2013.