Czechia in H2020. How to unleash the sleeping potential?

Jarolím Antal authored a policy paper on the Czech Republic's involvement in the Horizon 2020, a research programme under the EU's Framework programme.

  • Investing in research and development has been one of the main priorities of the EU for decades. The EU has several tools for supporting outstanding research via the Framework programme (FP), among which Horizon 2020 which is in the current financial framework the largest research programme. It aims at supporting top science, innovations and technical development through bridging the private and public sector, and thus contributes to the EU’s competitiveness.
  • As the FP is a competitive programme in which proposals are selected based on their merit, the involved institutions and companies from participating countries have a unique chance to develop and create unique knowledge, invent products and contribute with their know-how to the common goals of the EU and EU’s position of top innovators globally. From the perspective of participating countries, the presence in the Horizon programme calls also shows their excellence, ability of the national institutions to join the top international teams and demonstrates prominence in addressing issues that Europe and the world are facing.

In this programming period, the H2020 has selected approximately 20 000 projects, in which 94 000 organizations participated. Czechia is part of the Framework program for the 4th time. The participation of Czech subjects in the Horizon calls has undoubtedly helped them gain experiences and to build contacts with the best research centers and to contribute to the high quality research. However, as Daniel Frank (2017) stated in his analysis, the presence of Czech subjects in the Horizon calls has been limited, which is also reflected in the historical data: 5. FP 1,06%, 6.FP 1,43%, 7.FP 1,05%, 8.FP 1,07%.

Nevertheless, looking at the position of Czechia in single calls of Horizon 2020, the participation varies depending on the field. The low participation in the whole H2020 therefore is not caused by insufficient infrastructure, although lack of interest in the European projects plays a key role.

Czechia has been recording a relatively poor participation in Horizon calls, however in some very specific fields has comparably stronger position among the EU13 and it is competitive with the EU15. Ultimately, there is a lot of untapped potential. The question of the future positioning of Czechia in Horizon Europe should become more central to the Czech government.

You can read the whole policy paper through the PDF button on the right.

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