Within the framework of the RTD programme of the Czech Government, the Government Council for Research and Development defined three programmes for the transport sector in 1998 which originally should terminate in 2001 but were partially extended to 2002/03. The most urgent needs of the transport sector concerning the research and development were assured by 3 programmes. The sets of projects which fulfil the defined programmes represent an open system annually complemented and refined. The projects were also closely related to topics determined by the 4th and 5th Framework RTD programme of the EU.
In compliance with the framework policies and programmes, the RTD programme for transport was prepared in 2001, called 'Optimisation of the Transport System and its Sustainable Development'.
As for the past transport RTD programme (1998-2001) a common objective of the implementation of the programme was development of the national transport system by gradual modernisation, with a focus on transport infrastructure, extension of the technology transfer, development of comprehensive information systems and creation of necessary economic tools.
The main objectives of the current transport RTD programme (2001-2006) are:
- to focus the RTD on assurance of sustainable mobility of persons and goods;
- completion and optimisation of the restructuring of the transport system under the conditions of European integration, taking into account the environmental and human aspects.
The long-term policy objectives of transport RTD emphasise strategic research and complex transport issues. At the same time it is aimed at taking a greater share in the supra-national research in co-operation with other transport entities and supply organisations. The objective of the re-organisation of the research is to obtain an efficient interconnection of research institutes and universities and their involvement in international co-operation. This means the generation of a research and development management system in the transport sector.
The objectives and projects of the transport RTD programme for the period of 2001-2003/04 are to some degree overlapping with both the past (1998-2001) and planned (2004-2008) transport RTD programmes. In so far continuity of transport RTD programmes and policies is ensured.
The current transport RTD programme is subdivided into 4 sub-programmes:
- Energy in transport, environment and sustainable development, human factor in transport
- Position of transport in the information society, information systems, telematics in transport
- Development of the transport infrastructure and transport technologies
- Social structures, forecasts and transport economy
Most transport RTD projects are totally funded by the Government, so the current RTD programme as well.
As for the past RTD programme (1998-2001), the original budget proposal of CZK 110.4 million for 2001 was adapted to a final volume of CZK 94.1 million, which means that in 2001 in comparison with 2000 a reduction of 1.08 % occurred. For 2002 and the further years of 2003 and 2004 the Government's Council for RTD determined the expenditures for RTD at the amount of CZK 112.4 million. This amount will remain fixed even when the GDP would increase, since the excess amounts generated by any additional GDP increase will be used for the CR's international obligations in the field of research and development.
For the current Transport RTD Programme(2001-2006) a total budget of 286.3 million CZK is provided. Annual budget allocations are increasing year-by-year and some of the projects were originally scheduled to end in 2005 (though part of them might be taken over by the new RTD programme planned for 2004-2008). The annual budget breakdown of the total current RTD programme is as follows:
2001: 42.8 million CZK
2002: 52.7 million CZK
2003: 74.1 million CZK.
The funds provided for the 4 sub-programmes are as follows:
Sub-programme 1: 70.1 million CZK
Sub-programme 2: 116.2 million CZK
Sub-programme 3: 82.7 million CZK
Sub-programme 4: 17.4 million CZK
All the procedures and funding conditions to be applied for the state funded RTD programmes and projects are dealt with in Act No.130/2002.