The long anticipated Technology Incubation project has the date of its initial calls. Today CzechInvest announced the period and preliminary wording of the call for submission of applications for the Technology Incubation project, which will help the Czech Republic to become an innovation leader on the global scale. Acceptance of applications for the first call will take place in the course of July.
“Since I became the minister, my goal has been to support the innovation environment and startups. The Technology Incubation project is highly anticipated by a full range of potential partners from the private sector and, for example, regional innovation centres and the academic sphere. We are now on the verge of the project’s full-scale launch and I firmly believe that we can expect very interesting results,” said Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela.
The Technology Incubation project, which has also received support from Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Helena Langšádlová, represents a major investment in the future of Czech industry. Over the next five years, it is anticipated that the project will support up to 250 innovative startups with approximately CZK 850 million in seven key areas. These include artificial intelligence, mobility, the creative industries, space technology, ecology and the circular economy, smart solutions in the area of healthcare, pharmaceuticals, cybersecurity and nuclear physics. Unlike other programmes in which open communication with applicants is prohibited, it is encouraged and recommended in the Technology Incubation project. Consultations with the purpose of advising startups and students, who can also apply for the project in connection with “pre-incubation”, started this month.
“The Technology Incubation project is the result of many years of work and is based on experience gained from previously implemented projects, particularly the very successful ESA BIC space business incubator. We also took inspiration from abroad, specifically from Israel, which is the leader in supporting startups, and we discussed the project also with other partners. This is a well-prepared and unique project that will help the Czech Republic achieve its goal of becoming an innovation leader on the global scale,” said Petr Očko, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, who is also currently the acting CEO of CzechInvest.
The period for the first call of the project is from 1 to 31 July 2022. Successful applicants will receive financial support in the amount of up to CZK 5 million for the purchase of services. This money will serve for the development or completion of the applicant’s respective products or services and fulfilment of the goals set by the applicants in their project plans. The provided support also includes an incubation package, which represents a major difference between incubation and a standard grant. A team of experts will work intensively with the companies for up to two years, helping them with their business and providing legal services, as well as services in the areas of marketing and finance. Specific technologies will comprise a key area of consulting and mentoring.
The first call will be open for four of the seven areas, namely mobility, the creative industries, ecology and the circular economy, and artificial intelligence. Throughout the selection process, the innovative nature of the given project in relation to the particular sector will be the factor receiving the greatest scrutiny. “The reason that this project makes sense to me and that I have been working on its preparation for several years is the fact that it has the ambition to bring together startups, regional innovation infrastructure, established companies and the academic sphere in all supported sectors, just as we are doing in the area of space activities. The main benefit for the supported startups is thus connection to potential partners and the fact that we will work intensively with all of the supported companies during the period for drawing aid and incubate them, which is the basis of the project’s name,” say Tereza Kubicová, CzechInvest’s deputy for technological development.
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