Legislative framework of research and development in Slovakia
Research and development – its legal status
The basic act in the area of research and development (R&D) is the Act No. 172/2005 on Organisation of State Support for Research & Development and on Amendment of the Act No. 575/2001 Coll. on the Organisation of the Activities of the Government and on the Organisation of the Central State Administration as amended by later regulations of Act No. 233/2008 and Act No. 40/2011. The Act defines among others the role of the Government of the Slovak Republic, Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and other central bodies of state administration, position and roles of the Slovak Research and Development Agency, conditions and forms of granting state support, system of state programmes of R&D and the information support for R&D.
R&D in the Slovak Republic is carried out in particular at universities, institutes of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and legal entities which have been established by state administration central bodies (state department research institutions) that are mostly financed from the state budget, and in private research institutions financed by the business sector.
The government of the Slovak Republic approves in the area of R&D:
- long‑term objective of state science & technology (S&T) policy;
- national programme of S&T development (budgetary programme);
- state programmes of R&D;
- state programmes of R&D infrastructure development;
- programmes of the Slovak Research and Development Agency.
- appoints and dismisses members of the Council of the Government of the Slovak Republic for Science & Technology, members of the Board of the Slovak Research and Development Agency and members of state programmes councils on the basis of the proposal of the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport;
- approves the Statute of the Slovak Research and Development Agency, the Statute of the Council for Science & Technology, statutes of state programmes councils; discusses the annual report on the situation of R&D in the Slovak Republic on the basis of the proposal of the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport.
The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic (MESRS SR)
is the central body that is responsible for creating conditions for S&T development, for cost‑effective utilisation of state budget funds and coordination of activities of other central bodies, the Slovak Academy of Sciences and of universities which are involved in the preparation and implementation of state S&T policy.
The support of R&D is realised by granting funds from the state budget in the form of non‑repayable subsidies. It can be a purpose‑oriented form of support on the basis of public tender or an institutional form of support. Funds within the purpose‑oriented form of support are granted for solving R&D projects and infrastructure development projects through the Slovak Research and Development Agency and projects within state programmes. Funds within the purpose‑oriented form of support are granted to private enterprises and are considered as state support. Funds within the institutional form of support are granted for the support of R&D at public and state universities, in the Slovak Academy of Sciences and in state department research institutes.
Public and state universities are educational, science and artist institutions established by a separate act (the Act No. 131/2002 on Higher Education Institutions). The Slovak Academy of Science is a self‑governing science institution of the Slovak Republic established by a separate act (the Act No. 133/2002 on Slovak Academy of Sciences).
The Council of the Government of the Slovak Republic for Science & Technology
is an advisory body of government for preparation and implementation of state S&T policy, the Council:
- discusses and assesses conceptual materials and strategic objectives for government decision-making in the area of S&T development;
- submits to the government opinions and proposals of fundamental conceptual material from the field of organisation, funding, legislation, focus of S&T development and international S&T co-operation submitted to the government by individual central bodies of state administration of the Slovak Republic.
The Slovak Research and Development Agency
is the only national grant agency established in order to support research and development in Slovakia by granting financial means from the State Budget to implement the following projects:
- research and development in particular science and technology fields
- within the Agency‘s programmes
- within bilateral or multilateral contracts on scientific and technological cooperation and projects within the Slovak participation in international programmes of research and development and community programmes projects as well as initiatives of European Union in research and development including preparation costs
The Agency is a state-budget institution linked to the State Budget of the Slovak Republic through the budgetary chapter of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic and fulfils the Programme Declaration of the Slovak Government whose core priority is formation of knowledge society in Slovakia.
On July 1, 2008, the amendment No. 233/2008 of the Act No. 172/2005 came into force. It includes the definition of innovation, centre of excellence and specialised organisations of S&T – scientific and technological park, R&D centre and technological incubator. The amendment defines funding of memberships of Slovakia in international R&D centres, co‑funding of projects approved within the FP7 from national sources, launching and maintenance of Central Information Portal for Science, Technology and Innovation, evaluation of the qualification to execute R&D as well as transposition of the Council Directive 2005/71/EC on a specific procedure for admitting third‑country nationals for the purpose of scientific research.
The applicant who requests grant aid from Slovak Research and Development Agency must have a qualification certificate for execution of R&D which is issued by the MESRS SR for 6 years.
On March 15, 2011, the amendment No. 40/2011 Coll. of the Act No. 172/2005 came into force. It defines a grant for scientific‑technical services and submission of an application for incentives for research and development. The MESRS SR shall post on the Central Information Portal the list of members of the expert commission, an advisory body of the Provider of grant, the list of grants awarded and their amounts, the contracts on grant provision, the list of Applicants that have not been awarded grants, including reasons thereof, and the information indicating which applications for grants were approved on recommendation of the expert commission, and which were approved despite non‑recommendation of the expert commission, and the justification of the decision thereof. The MESRS SR shall receive applications for incentives for R&D on the basis of a public call posted on the Central Information Portal and in press. The MESRS SR will post on the Central Information Portal a list of applicants for incentives whose applications have been granted and a number of the grants, a list of applicants for incentives whose applications have not been granted including the reason for not granting and a list of contracts on incentives provision.
On August 1, 2009, the Act No. 185/2009 Coll. on incentives for R&D and on the amendment of the Act No. 595/2003 Coll. on income tax as amended by later regulations came into force. The act regulates terms and conditions of providing incentives for R&D to a legal entity that is an entrepreneur.
Incentives include state budget subsidy to support basic research, applied research, experimental development, an elaboration of a project feasibility study, a project on industrial property protection or a project on a temporary assignment of high qualified R&D staff and income tax relief. Conditions of incentive provision include the establishment of a new research workplace or extension of an existing research workplace by an applicant through its own resources. Incentives up to 2 million € are approved by the MESRS SR, incentives higher than 2 million € must be approved by the Government. An incentives recipient is obliged to implement the project results in the Slovak Republic territory at the latest within five years from the day when the provision of incentives to the project was completed, and to provide information on economic and social benefits resulting from the project to the MESRS SR.