The office provides information and consulting to those interested in the field of agricultural and food sciences and related fields in technical and socio-economic areas, including environmental sciences. The aim of the “Office to support international projects focused on Life Sciences in the European Research Area” project, supported by the EUPRO II (LE14018) programme, is to support the participation of leading Czech experts and teams in international research and development programmes in the Horizon 2020 general programme for 2014-2020. The support of participation of leading Czech research teams in Life Sciences will allow for them to contribute to shaping the European research area, in which great emphasis will be put on bio-economy. The involvement of Czech scientists is crucial in order to maintain the competitiveness of Czech research institutes.
Within the project, CZU specifically intends
> To create an industry-focused supporting office for consulting, administrative and managerial support for the participation of research teams primarily engaged in the so-called issue of Life Sciences in Prague and Central Bohemia. This office will be used for researchers from universities and other scientific research institutions that are actively interested in participating in programmes focused on basic research and development in the EU. Although the office will focus on innovative research in scientific areas (e.g. biotechnology, genetics and other identified areas linking various scientific and technical disciplines), it will also provide support in all of the relevant areas of the Horizon 2020 programme with the aim to strengthen more than just participation in projects.
> Provide sufficiently-effective acquisition of relevant information in the advisory bodies of individual programmes and ensure their expansion in an appropriate form for the target group by deepening contacts with the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, programme committees and other institutions, including the Czech Liaison Office for European Research based in Brussels. From the on-going evaluation of the existing cooperation and involvement in implementing projects in the general programmes, the importance of the rapid conveying of accurate information when creating researcher consortia and in formulating applications is apparent. Without support in this area, Czech teams cannot succeed as applicants coordinating projects.
Specific tools will be information seminars, practical workshops and individual consultations. Processed methodical materials, a printed and electronic newsletter and, naturally, websites will be available to those interested.
The uniqueness of the project lies in the project’s focus on Life Sciences, as bio-economy is one of the pillars of the development strategy for Europe, and it also plays a crucial role in the European Research Area, or in the Horizon 2020 programme. The project is also original in the way the office works. The office will ensure mutual cooperation and the transfer of gained experience of project specialists of Prague universities and active scientific research institutions within regular meetings, but also in informal contacts, thus leading to a synergic effect that is beneficial for all of the involved entities.
The partial goals of the project are
- to provide relevant information and practical experience directly from sources (Directorate-General for Research and Innovation European Commission, Information and Contract Days in European metropolises, Programme Committees, AS CR Technology Centre, specific members of the scientific committees, evaluation panels, etc.),
- to collaborate and share industry-contingent experiences with like-minded specialists (support of preparation of projects in the field of Life Sciences) at other worksites in Prague,
- to provide methodological, administrative and managerial support of participation of research teams of universities and other scientific research institutions in research and development programmes within the European Research Area,
- ensuring mediation of information on strategies, challenges, specific procedures according to possibilities in advance due to direct “Brussels cooperation” in seminars, round tables, individual consultations, and also through a web application and printed publication,
- providing methodological support and assistance with the preparation of the project proposal, or with the preparation of periodic material or financial parts of the monitoring report through workshops and individual consultations,
- intensifying mutual cooperation and transfer of acquired industry-contingent experiences of project specialists of Prague universities and active scientific research institutions in the context of not only regular meetings, but also continuous informal contacts.