There has been a tremendous wave of enthusiasm and solidarity among people, companies and academic facilities, resulting in a number of projects aimed at combatting the coronavirus pandemic. These include, for example, the design of respirators manufactured on 3D printers and protective shields for healthcare workers. As a long-time supporter of modern technologies and innovations, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is involved in assisting projects and has thus issued a call for submission of applications within the Czech Rise Up – Smart Measures Against Covid-19 programme. “Of course, we were all pleasantly surprised by the private collection taken up for the production of a new type of respirator. The new programme is one of the possible ways we want to support this and other projects. My colleagues and I put it together in the shortest possible time,” says Petr Očko, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade for Digitalisation and Innovation.
The programme was established on the basis of a needs analysis that was rapidly conducted from 19 to 24 March 2020 in connection with an online survey in which nearly four hundred businesses participated. The first group of projects that can apply for financial support comprises those involving expansion of capacities or the introduction of manufacturing of new protective equipment solutions such as respirators and ventilators. In this area, Czech Rise Up is supplemented with the government-approved Technology-Covid call prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Trade within the Operational Programme Enterprise and Innovation for Competitiveness.
In the second and third groups, it is therefore possible to support the rapid introduction of both medical and non-medical solutions that can help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, including measures aimed at mitigating the impact of the further spread of the disease and subsequently addressing the impacts of this situation. Registration in this area will be open also to projects that go through the Czech version of the Hack the Crisis hackathon, which has already proven its worth in a number of countries and is being organised by CzechInvest and the Ministry of Industry and Trade in cooperation with Poland and Estonia.
Business entities are eligible to receive support. Aid is provided in the de minimis form, i.e. the maximum amount is the koruna equivalent of EUR 200,000. The maximum aid intensity, i.e. the share of state funding in the eligible costs of a given project, is in the range of 50% to 90% depending on the activity. Eligible costs may include non-investment costs of projects, particularly:
- wage costs (jobs in the scope necessary for the purposes of the given project)
- material, water and energy costs
- costs of necessary services
The total allocation is anticipated to be CZK 200 million. The aid provider will continuously accept
and evaluate submitted applications until funding has been exhausted or until the reasons for launching the programme cease to exist. The period for submitting applications began with the announcement of the programme on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) on 2 April 2020. The MIT will send the applications via data boxes with the designation “Czech Rise UP – Smart Measures Against COVID-19” to the Department of Brownfields and Innovative Business Development. Documents including annexes must be prepared in common formats (Microsoft Word, Excel, Open Office, PDF, etc.). All information for submitting applications is available on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Trade at https://www.mpo.cz/cz/podnikani/dotace-a-podpora-podnikani/program-czech-rise-up/default.htm. Please address any questions that you may have to CzechRiseUp@mpo.cz.
More information is available in the attached press release from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.