Policy on research and innovation in the Czech Republic are set out in the National Research, Development and Innovation Policy 2009–2015 (RDI), which focuses on the reform of the research sector currently taking place in the country. A panel of experts has prepared long-term national priorities in research, development and Innovation for the period up to 2030. Specific research has been identified in six broad areas:
- Knowledge economy
- Natural resources
- Social Sciences
The Transportation Policy of the Czech Republic for 2014-2020 sets strategic and conceptual goals for the development of the transport system.
A document relevant to transport research is entitled Back to the Top International Competitiveness Strategy for the Czech Republic, approved by the Government in September 2011. The Strategy identifies 'Institutions, Infrastructure and Innovation' as the three key areas for the future competitiveness of the Czech Republic.
The Research, Development and Innovation system is currently being reformed by:
- Simplifying the public funding structure and reducing the number of funding bodies;
- Shifting decision making from ministries to organisations with regard to institutional funding, and to professional agencies with regard to programme funding;
- Strengthening collaboration between the research organisations and the private sector;
- Improving participation in international research collaboration.
The central administrative body responsible for public research is the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The Ministry cooperates closely with the Council for Research, Development and Innovation, which is the main body responsible for formulating R&D policy. The Ministry cooperates with the Council for R&D on preparing the State R&D budget and the setting up and maintaining R&D databases. After the reform process, the Ministry will also be responsible for the distribution of EU structural funds.
Until recently, sectoral research was managed by specific ministries (including the Ministry of Transport), which have their own rules and resources for research in addition to the general policy and rules set by the Research and Development Council. In the reform period, responsibility for transport research has been transferred from the Ministry of Transport to the Czech Technology Agency.
The funding process has also been changed; there are now 11 instead of 22 funding bodies. Czech Technology Agency is currently responsible for transport research funding. Financial support from EU funds for the transport sector in the period 2014–2020 is being administered by the Operational Programme Transport. (Ministerstvo dopravy vykonává prostrednictvím Odboru fondu EU pro tento operacní program roli Rídícího orgánu). This programme is managed by the Department of EU Funds in the Ministry of Transport.
Recently seven new programmes were launched under the Technology Agency to support national research:
- ALFA: a programme to support applied research and experimental development especially in the fields of advanced technologies, energy resources and the sustainable development of transport;
- BETA: a programme for public procurement in research, experimental development and innovation for public administration bodies;
- GAMA: a programme to support the verifica