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Security Research in the Czech Republic

 

  


The fundamental mission of the system of public funding of security research, experimental development, and innovation is to gather and subsequently effectively foster the development of innovative knowledge, methods, and technologies that allow the Czech security system and its relevant partners to face current and future threats stemming from the changing realities of the security realm.

The most current essential document guiding the development of security research in the Czech Republic is the Interagency Security Research Support System Policy of the Czech Republic 2017-2023 with a view to 2030 (pdf, 2 MB). This document lays out a framework for the development of state funding for security research as one part of the broader research and development policy, the part realized with the goal of shoring up the security system of the Czech Republic.

The funding system connects several basic principles, such as a rational utilization of a broad spectrum of research capacities in the form of public funding programs, the development of research organizations set up with the goal of security research and development, and the maximal utilization of the potential for international cooperation. The priorities of the document are in full accordance with the National priorities of oriented research, experimental development, and innovations and the focus of the Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation of the Czech Republic (the RIS3 Strategy) and other vital documents on Czech Research and Innovation.

The Ministry of the Interior is the agency responsible for the provision of public funding for security research.

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Approximately EUR 31 million is appropriated towards security research each year via the budget of the Czech Republic.

  


Czech legislation defines two types of support: purpose-based and institutional support.

The Interior Ministry provides approximately 20 percent of its budget in the form of institutional support for the development of organizations that conduct security research. Institutional support aims to foster a transparent, stable, and standardized system of supplementary financing of research organizations in maximal accordance with the aims of the National Research, Development, and Innovation Policy of the Czech Republic 2021+.

Currently, the Interior Ministry grants institutional support to these institutions:

A research organization within the Justice Department. Its subject of activity is criminological research based on an interdisciplinary approach, specifically research, study, and analytic activities in the field of criminal and security policy, efficacy of penal legislation, victimology and penology, control of crime through repression and prevention, manifestations and causes of crime and pre-crime and related socio-pathological phenomena.

The Criminalistics Institute is a specialized subdivision of the Police of the Czech Republic specializing in providing criminalistics expertise in electrotechnics, chemistry, criminology, calligraphy, and engineering.

This technical establishment is intended for scientific research in the fire protection branch, testing and certification of fire equipment and certain protective equipment, and technical expertise. It is also responsible for investigations of causes of fires, provides certifications of fire equipment, etc.

The Population Protection Institute carries out emergency response and specialized activities as well as research and education. The Institute provides direct and indirect support to agendas performed within the Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic with regards to civil protection, the integrated rescue system (IRS), fire protection, civil emergency planning, and crisis management.

Public research institution established to perform research and development in the field of chemical, biological, and radioactive (CBRN) compounds and to provide technical and analytical support to inspection activities of SONS in radiological protection and the supervision of compliance with nuclear weapons non-proliferation and chemical and biological weapons prohibition.

Public research institution responsible for protection against ionizing radiation, including the provision of infrastructures and research in the areas of security, radiation monitoring networks, medical exposures, and exposures to natural radiation sources.

State university aimed at education in the areas connected to internal security, as well as security research.

The purpose-based support scheme is realized on the basis of security research programs. Two types of funding instruments are available: grants (open calls) and procurements (solutions to specifically defined security research needs).

Currently, there are several distinct programs of purpose-based support:

  • Strategic Support for the Development of Security Research 2019-2025 (IMPAKT 1)

This program creates the conditions for the utilization and development of the full potential of the academic and public research sectors, which ensure the long-term synergic research support for the Czech security system. The program aims to integrate mutually thematically connected research projects of chosen institutions; help in the further development of highly specialized research teams in security research; and support activities that set up and deepen international cooperation.

  • The Security Research Program of the Czech Republic 2021-2026: development, testing and evaluation of new security technologies (SECTECH)

Aimed chiefly at helping to utilize the potential of small- and medium-sized private firms to contribute to develop innovative technologies in the realm of security and to remove barriers that hinder the implementation of technological solutions in practice. The cooperation of private companies and research institutions is a crucial aim of this program-

  • The Security Research Program of the Czech Republic 2015-2022

A wide-ranging program aimed mainly at funding multidisciplinary research projects that provide complex solutions which contribute to internal security. The program priorities also encourage public research institutions to work closely with private firms in order to produce theoretically sound solutions with a high potential for practical implementation. The last funding call was aimed specifically at projects addressing epidemiological and other challenges stemming from the Covid crisis.

  • The Security Research Program for State Needs in the Years 2022-2027 (SECurity PROcurement, SecPro)

Aimed at saturating the predefined needs of state agencies responsible for maintaining internal security in the Czech Republic. Funding will go mainly towards solutions that allow for more effective research in sensitive areas, analytical endeavors that further the knowledge about improving security, and the integration of existing technological solutions into existing systems and platforms of state agencies. The program builds upon the successful Security Research Program for State Needs in the Years 2016-2021.

Some of the top beneficiaries of public funding for security research projects include universities (Brno University of Technology, Masaryk University, Czech Technical University in Prague, Charles University, Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Technical University of Ostrava …), institutions receiving institutional support from the Interior Ministry (see above), other research organizations (Institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, CESNET…) and private firms.

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https://crp.kypo.muni.cz/

Security research results have a direct impact both on the improvement of the quality of individual activities and on the development of entire areas of interest. These are but a few examples of areas that have been significantly improved thanks to publicly funded security research, with the particular solutions in brackets:

  • Forensic methods of the police and fire departments (software allowing for image analysis of dental and skeletal evidence)

  • The fight against cybercrime and predictions of cyber-attacks (a cybernetic polygon aimed at the creation of a unique virtual environment for the purposes of playing out cyber-attack scenarios against critical infrastructures)

  • Protection of the population against terrorist threats, mainly in the area of identifying and soft target protection, and the biometric recognition of persons (perfecting the methods of odor identification through specially trained police dogs)

  • Elimination of the impacts of natural disasters (fires, floods) and the development of crisis management as a complex system (specific assessments of high-risk conditions in fire safety using fire engineering)

  • Detection of dangerous chemical and biological agents and explosives (using police dogs for the detection of IEDs)

  • Radiation monitoring systems (low-cost passive dosimeters for the assessment of exposure of persons in operational environments)

  • Critical infrastructure security (software for the determination of the degree of resilience of aspects and networks of critical infrastructure)

  • Environmental security and the protection of the environment in the form of mapping risks and preventing possible threats (software mapping of the impacts of radiation contamination in the vicinity of the Temelín nuclear power plant)

  • Road safety (deep analysis of traffic accidents)

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http://flexiguard.cz/

  


The agenda of international cooperation is also a crucial part of the system of public support for security research and development, and the Interior Ministry´s system of security research support. Promotion and assistance of international cooperation between the various stakeholders is a key pillar of security research support system provided by the Department of Security Research at the Ministry. The Department´s mission includes the aim of helping both researchers and end-users to fully utilize the potential of successful international cooperation, chiefly within the framework of the Horizon Europe program, but also when other opportunities should arise. The Department aims to actively search for such opportunities and to forward all such offers to the relevant actors within the security research community in the Czech Republic.

The Interagency Security Research Support System Policy of the Czech Republic 2017-2023 with a view to 2030 defines these subject as priorities of international cooperation:

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An additional tool for supporting international cooperation in security research takes the form of projects of support for economic diplomacy (PROPED) coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This program supports collaboration between individual researchers and research institutions in the field of defense and security technology.

Further opportunities for deepening international cooperation are also continuously created by the network of Czech ambassadors for research and development, who foster mutual relations with particular countries and regions in the R&D realm. As of 2021, the Czech Republic has sent scientific ambassadors to:

Israel, Delana Mikolášová (delana_mikolasova@mzv.cz)

United States of America, Luděk Moravec (ludek_moravec@mzv.cz)

  


If you are looking for potential research partners, or if you need any additional information about security research and its system of support in the Czech Republic, please do not hesitate to contact any of the following:

  • Dominika Jandová: dominika.jandova@mvcr.cz

    • Czech Republic´s Delegate to the Horizon Europe program committee for Cluster 3: Civil security for society, international cooperation coordinator in security research at the Ministry of the Interior

  • Jakub Dopieralla: jakub.dopieralla@mvcr.cz

    • Coordinator of international cooperation in security research at the Ministry of the Interior

  • Eva Hillerová: hillerova@tc.cz

    • National Contact Point for Security at the National Information Center for European Research

  


Important links:

Czech Liaison Office for Education and Research in Brussels (CZELO)

Czech information hub for Horizon Europe

Interagency Security Research Support System Policy of the Czech Republic 2017-2023 with a view to 2030 (pdf, 2 MB)

National Cyber and Information Security Agency

General info about Research and Development support provided by the Ministry of Education and Sports

Crucial legislative and policy documents outlining the general research support system of the Czech Republic

  

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