The Ministry of Industry and Trade is also taking this step as a response to the unfavourable environment for economic growth in certain regions of the Czech Republic. “The opening of targeted Calls under the Operational Programmes for the Moravia-Silesia and Ústí regions is one of the anti-crisis measures adopted by the government to address the situation in structurally impacted regions. The aim of this measure is to improve company competitiveness and to promote new job creation in the region," said Jiří Cienciala, Minister of Industry and Trade.
With the help of subsidies from the structural funds, even companies outside the Moravia-Silesia and Ústí regions will be able to reclaim up to 50 percent of the costs incurred in connection with the project.“By releasing funds from the Innovation, Development and ICT (information and communications technology) and Strategic Services programmes, we are trying to help Czech companies to implement their business plans and offering them the option of possible co-financing for their projects," said Deputy Minister for EU Funds, Research, Development and Innovation in the MIT, Alexandra Rudyšarová, adding: “Thanks to the Calls that have been prepared, we will be able to support new business sectors in the region, such as IT development, the MedTech sector, nanotechnology and others, and we firmly believe that the announcement of these Calls will help to address the complex economic, social and environmental challenges facing the regions involved.“
Priority Axis 2 projects, which also include the Development and ICT and Strategic Services programmes, represent the area of the overall OPEI that is most targeted at job creation. Since 2007, almost 13,900 have been created under this Priority Axis alone.
Aid under the Development programme is aimed at improving technical facilities for companies through the acquisition of advanced technologies. This covers the whole of the Moravia-Silesia and Ústí regions, as well as other areas with high levels of unemployment. Projects under the Innovation programme apply the results of previous research and development projects. The advantage accruing to these selected regions derives from the fact that the maximum volume of aid has been increased from CZK 50 million to CZK 75 million. Under the ICT and SS programme, aid is provided for offers of new information systems, ICT solutions and new software products and services.
All three programmes deliver positive results in the form of increased competitiveness in the companies or regions supported. “The last Call for the Innovation programme was announced this spring with an allocation of CZK 2.4 billion. Not even this high volume of aid could satisfy the demand from companies, and because of this we plan to allocate an additional CZK 2.5 billion to this programme. The same amount will be provided for the Development programme. We are also considering providing CZK 1 billion for ICT and Strategic Services," says Petr Očko, Director of the EU Funds Section at the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The announcement of all three Calls is planned for the end of October, beginning of November this year. Detailed information will be published on the Ministry of Industry and Trade website www.mpo.cz, www.mpo-oppi.cz and on the website for the Intermediate Body, the CzechInvest Agency www.czechinvest.org.
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