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16 new projects for ESA

ESA has recommended the implementation of the first 16 projects from the Incentive Scheme of Czech workplaces.

Prague, 13 January 2010 – ESA has recommended 16 projects from the total number of 54 to be realized within the Incentive program for the Czech workplaces. Companies, research institutions and universities from the Czech Republic will then be able to cooperate on the scientific projects in the field of the ground segment, Earth observation, navigation and especially then in the field of technological solutions with broader application.

“The main goal and point of the Incentive program is to teach Czech workplaces to work on an sufficient competitive level to be able to be an equal partner to foreign organizations and institutions and to be able to successfully join the involuntary as well as voluntary programs of the ESA,” says the director of the Czech Space Office Jan Kolář and adds: “The selection of the projects on the basis of technical evaluation by the ESA experts, carried out according to the standard rules employed by the ESA, is chosen by a joint ESA and Czech work group.”

In the first six years after the Czech Republic’s accession to the ESA, Czech Republic has been granted with half its mandatory contribution, around 2.5 million EUR per year, for the funding of solely Czech projects. Currently, first contracts were signed between ESA and organizations, which had submitted first projects within the first call of the Incentive program designated exclusively for Czech workplaces. Universities, research institutions and industrial development corporations from the Czech Republic were allowed to join.

The companies and workplaces, which had succeeded in the tenders declared by the ESA, are: AVX Czech Republic, Iguassu Software Systems, Evolving Systems Consulting, CSRC, Gisat, ANF DATA, BBT-Materials processing, ProjectSoft HK, L. K. Engineering, Frentech Aerospace, the Institute of Atmospheric Physics ASCR, the Astronomical Institute ASCR and the Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics CTU.

The call was open for drafts of all the fields of technology, which the ESA is engaged in, and it was specified for three categories of projects that had been chosen with regard to the strong parts of the Czech industry:

·         flight hardware, with the preference of the activities connected with the basic equipment of probes and sensors or to general technologies with the potential to be reused (budget limit of 1,000,000 EUR)

·         research and development activities (including feasibility studies) leading towards products (hardware or software), services, technology verification or towards general technologies with the potential to be reused (budget limit of 200,000 EUR)

·         preparatory activities (for example: studies, formulations of user requirements, market research) supporting Czech competitiveness in the ESA programs (compulsory or voluntary) in which the Czech Republic takes part (budget limit of 100,000 EUR)

In the end of February 2009, there was a three-day course in Prague, during which the participants could’ve adopted the basic practice for writing the project drafts for ESA. After the announcement of the first call for submitting the project intents within the Incentive programme, there was an information day settled there, on which the requirements, rules and specializations were thoroughly explained.

The next call within the Incentive program is awaited in September 2010.