Langšádlová: By the end of this year, I will submit a law on science and research

Langšádlová: By the end of this year, I will submit a law on science and research

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Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) visited the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Helena Langšádlova (TOP 09) as part of his balance visits. April 27, 2023, Prague.

Prague – The Minister of Science, Research and Innovation Helena Langšádlová (TOP09) intends to submit a law to the government and the Chamber of Deputies this year, which should contribute to reducing the administrative burden, support the application of scientific knowledge in practice and improve the process of evaluating scientific projects. Langšádlová said this after a meeting with Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS), who ended his visit to the minister with a series of balance negotiations in individual departments. According to Fiala, creating the Ministry of Science was a good move.

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“The fact that I left science and research to the end does not mean that these areas are not among the priorities of our government. The minister took on her role with great motivation,” said Fiala at the press conference after the meeting, and appreciated, for example, that Langšádlová created an advisory body of young scientists who also have experience from abroad and “their voice is reflected in the government's policy”.

“My priorities are people in science, supporting talents and valorizing the results of our scientists through cooperation with companies, selling licenses , establishing spin-off companies and other steps. Although we are not at the level of, for example, Austria, I believe that there is still a lot of potential for science to contribute more to the functioning of our economy and the creation of public policies,” Langšádlová said.

The Minister wants to support young scientists and PhD students, she is discussing changes in the social system with the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs. Among other things, it envisages support for women who have children during doctoral studies, or that the amount of scholarships for doctoral students at public universities would be calculated according to the amount of the minimum wage.

At the end of March, the Government Council for Research, Development and Innovation (RVVI) proposed a budget for science of 47.8 billion kroner for next year, which is 7.6 billion more than what is approved for this year. In her statement today, Langšádlová was not specific about whether the upcoming government consolidation package will also affect science and research, although she stated that “she is aware that every government department must act very responsibly and balance what is necessary to preserve and where on the contrary, there is room for discussion about reductions”.

If the Ministry of Science and Research does not receive the funds it is requesting by next year, according to Langšádlová, it will be considered whether the department will continue to provide subsidies to large companies for investments in research .

“The provision of the research needs of the departments, which are now taken care of by dozens of research organizations, is also up for discussion. There, it is appropriate to talk about a well-thought-out and gradual transformation…some departments can be supported from the capacities of, for example, universities or the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Some topics, the response to climate change, for example, is also dealt with at the pan-European level,” the minister explained.

At the press conference, both Langšádlová and Fiala emphasized the importance of science and research for supporting the economy and the value of people engaged in research. Langšádlová confirmed today that last week she was one of the addressees of the Hour of Truth petition of university teachers mainly from the humanities and social sciences who are dissatisfied with their working and wage conditions.

In response to a question from ČTK, the minister said, that “the government cares that these people are well paid”, but according to Langšádl, the government and the Ministry of Education do not allocate money for individual fields of study. Fiala added that his government has “increased the amount of money for universities year-on-year”, and that “the solution to the problem of salaries at some faculties will not be solved by a one-time increase in funds”. ..talking about how to stabilize the long-term financial situation of these fields. But we are not opposed to this debate, after all, some members of the government are from humanities fields, we have a lot of experience with that,” added Fiala, adding that finding a solution would be one of the first tasks of the new Minister of Education Mikuláš Bek (STAN).