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Czech Republic

New ideas

Updated 09/2012

Legal requirements

The government has approved a National Policy on Research, Development and Innovation for the Czech Republic in the years 2009 to 2015.

At present preparations are under way for a reform of the system for research, development and innovation in the Czech Republic, which should increase the country's reputation and attractiveness both to domestic and foreign research workers, as well as interest from abroad in research cooperation with Czech teams and organisations, and interest in purchasing research, licences or know-how from Czech organisations.

Development plans and programmes identify priorities and areas of development and the basic framework for supporting innovation in businesses.

Technological innovation

New technologies can dramatically increase a company's productivity, drive down production costs, shorten production time and improve product quality.

Product innovation is the introduction of new or significantly improved products, technologies, and services to the market. These technical innovations can involve the characteristics of the product, its components or the materials used. The goal is to come up with something new and find a competitive advantage.

Product innovation strategies can be:

  • reactive (when you strive to satisfy customer demands);
  • proactive (when you anticipate these demands).

Non-technological innovation

Innovation in business refers not only to technological development but also to organisational, financial and commercial issues.

This involves the implementation of new and significantly improved methods of production or service provision (including significant changes to technology and equipment).

It includes , for example, innovation in the area of organisation and management (new ways of organising work, managing quality, process management etc.), market innovations, business model innovation or innovative presentation (a comprehensive concept of innovation in the area of design and marketing).

Innovation in management procedures can be needed when:

  • the business environment changes;
  • your company grows or does not achieve the required performance due to management problems;
  • competitors introduce better management procedures.

The measures introduced can include new ways of organising business practices, the workplace and external relationships.

Organisational innovations proceed both inside and outside an organisation and bring in new methods:

  • in the organisaion of business structures - including new methods not used in the business previously that are the outcome of a strategic decision adopted by management,
  • in the organisation of the workplace - including new methods for sharing responsibility and adopting decisions among employees, dividing work between organisational units or the integration of various business activities in the organisation of business and commercial practices or in external relations - including the introduction of new methods for organising relations with other companies or public institutions, such as creating new types of cooperation.

Alongside innovation, access to R&D is essential for businesses to develop and stay competitive.

Intellectual property must be protected to encourage innovation.

Resources

The Technology Agency of the Czech republic (TA CR) has provided targeted support for projects in applied research, development and innovation since 2009 on the basis of an amendment to Act No 130/2002 on support for research, experimental development and innovation. Under the Act, the Agency above all secures the implementation of programmes of applied research, development and innovation in support of projects and public procurement in this area.

The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic is an organisation with 54 public research centres. Its mission is to carry out fundamental research across a broad spectrum of natural, technical and social sciences and the humanities.

Inovace.cz is the specialised portal on innovation for businesses. It includes advice on how to start a business, how and where to innovate and how to protect intellectual property. In addition to the portal, Inovace.cz offers an international and domestic database of tenders and requests for innovative services, products, experts, investors and innovative projects.

Businessinfo.cz is the official portal for business and exports. It is a combined project of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and its CzechTrade agency. The partners in the project include ministries, their agencies, non-governmental entrepreneurial organisations, chambers and associations.

Useful information is also provided on the Public Administration Portal, and on the website of the Czechinvest - the business and investment support agency.

Programmes

The Operational Programme "Enterprise and Innovation" helps companies to develop their innovative potential. It provides financial support for:

  • the use of modern technologies;
  • increasing the use of renewable energy resources;
  • improving infrastructure and services;
  • establishing cooperation between companies and research institutions.

The Research and Development for Innovation programme aims to promote innovation and strengthen the research and development sector by supporting cooperation between universities, research institutions and the private sector.

Financial support is granted for:

  • purchasing new equipment for research centres and modern technologies;
  • setting up new research centres;
  • tertiary education schemes.
Help & advice

Help & advice

The main activities of the Technology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic include information and consultancy for EU framework programmes, monitoring the participation of the Czech Republic in international research cooperation programmes, coordination and guidance on the NINET national information network, direct cooperation with industrial firms and entrepreneurs in the innovation of products and technological processes, innovation audits, international technology transfers and commercialising the results of research and development, R&D policy studies, R&D priorities, foresight, strategies for a knowledge-based economy, regional innovation strategies and structural fund projects focused on innovation.

The National Information Centre for European Research (NICER) is a project of the Technology Centre providing comprehensive support to centres in the Czech Republic in linking up with the European Research Area (ERA).

The Innovative Enterprise Association of the Czech Republic focuses on innovative firms, transfer centres, science and technology parks and research and development centres. Among other things it arranges experience sharing in the development of innovative businesses in the activities of the Science and Technology Parks Association, the Czech Society for New Materials and Technologies and other domestic and foreign partners who participate in the development of innovative businesses in the Czech Republic.

The business information points at the Czech Chamber of Commerce - almost 180 contact points are included in the Business Information Point project in the Czech Republic, where entrepreneurs may obtain information on business and for business in a service on demand format.

Science and technology parks offer small or medium-sized innovative firms an incubation environment which includes economic, patent, technological, financial, marketing and legal advice, technical services, the arrangement of technology transfers and training in innovative business.

The South Moravia Innovation Centre (SMIC) supports innovative firms, science, research and students with original ideas. It secures money, advice, contacts and premises for them. The SMIC runs the VUT Technology Incubator and Technology Incubator II.

The services of the Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) Plzeň are intended mainly for small and medium-sized companies and include support in setting up new technology-focused firms and in the development of already existing firms, assistance in looking for and obtaining finance for development projects and for linking firms up with national and European programmes, support in the implementation of innovations in firms and in finding suitable partners for cooperation, as well as premises for innovative companies, including comprehensive related services.

The activities of the Business and Innovation Centre BIC Ostrava are focused on supporting R&D activities and a pro-innovation environment, including related services - business advice, training and active assistance in implementing business projects. BIC is the operator of the science and technology park and business incubator in Ostrava - Vítkovice.

Technology and knowledge transfer centres are being set up with financial support from the Structural Funds at most universities in the Czech Republic.

Innovation Centre ČVUT serves as a central point for mediaing cooperation between firms and scientific research staff at ČVUT. They secure technology transfer services for ČVUT - evaluating its know-how and intellectual property.

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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