NOVAKOVA VLADIMIRA, SLUKOVA KAMILA
Ing. Novakova Vladimira, Ph.D., Ing. Slukova Kamila
Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Civil Architecture,
Czech Technical University Prague, Str. Thakur 7, 166 29 Praha 6 CR
Science, research, education Ц key elements of the economic development
Science, research and education Ц these are the key elements of the development of every society. This article documents, the main problem of the financing of science and research in the Czech Republic is not the money deficit but the inefficient use of the money. This is the main reason of the fact that the outcomes of science and research (i.e. the number of new patents and technologies etc) are worse than ones of some states with smaller budgets. If this situation is not to change, the Czech Republic will not compare favourably with others in the global competition and it will become dependent on the other knowledge and technologies from abroad.
Nearly in any economic textbook we can reed that the main source of wealth are the production factors Ц labour, soil with natural resources and capital Ц by combination of which originates and growth the wealth of individuals and of all the society. Some few books only mention a fourth factor, nowadays a very essentials one Ц namely information.
The time is over, when there was possible to reach the economic growth by increasing the industrial production, by higher exploitation of natural and mineral raw materials, often at the expenses of living environment. The contemporary society is aware of the fact, that with failing of extensive sources of growth (raw materials, energy etc, with unfavourable demographic development and with worsening status of environment its future success depends especially on the fourth production factor Ц information, knowledge, science. This factor Ц in contrary to labour, soil and capital, which are rare because they are available in limited amounts Ц is the only one not limited and even vice versa, when supported and optimally used, it can accumulate.
Then the future must be built on new information technologies, new scientific and technological knowledge, qualified human resources, who are able to obtain information and evaluate them consequently in practice.
According to the statistics, the Czech Republic and European Community namely invest to science, research and innovations too little share of GDP in comparison with the USA, Japan or some other Asian states. Taking in consideration the total science and research expenditures and number of population, the Czech Republic has invested to the science and research amount equal to USD 340 per capita and the EC in average USD 500 per capita (see the chart 1.1.) This share drops significantly behind not only in comparison to USA, Israel, Korea or Japan Ц the traditional science superpowers, but even in comparison to Scandinavian or West-European states like Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and other, with investments over USD 1 000 per capita.
At the end of the rank Ц significantly under the average Ц are the newer member states of European Community Bulgaria and Romania with expenditures less than USD 50 per capita. The total rank you can see in the Chart 1.2.
However, lack of finances for science and research is not the only problem - much more serious is their inefficient exploitation. It causes that in comparison of the science and research outcomes (number of new patents, technologies, etc) has the Czech Republic worse position than some other states with lower budgets.
Even if the expenditures for science and research have been subsequently increasing in last years, unfortunately in took only small effect in output. For example in 2004 the expenditures reached CZK 35,1 billion, in 2005 CZK 42,0 billion, in 2006 CZK 49,9 billion and in 2007 even CZK 54,3 billion (see the Chart 1.3). At the same time grew in this period the number of economic subjects active in research and development, as well as the number of scientific and research workers and further the number of persons with tertiary education, pedagogical workers and graduates Ц factual data see the Chart 1.3. Another interesting comparison shows the Chart 1.4. with the number of registered science and research outcomes between 2003 and 2007.
In comparison to other states the Czech Republic falls behind especially in number of outcomes of applied research Ц certified technologies and patents, technologies and prototypes. The biggest shortage (according to the indicators of innovative bulletin УEuropean Innovation ScoreboardФ) is in patent activity (Czech Republic, as per EIS 2004 for the high-tech patents applied at American Patent Office, has the worst position at all, only a little better situation is with European patents). See also B. Exelova.
Taking in consideration the number of newly projected realised schemes and their efficiency, even smaller countries like for example Cyprus, Slovenia, Malta, Estonia or Luxembourg showed much bigger activity then Czech Republic, where approx. 111 projects are registered per 1 million of population. This is the fourth lowest number from the EU Ц 27 states.
The Chart 1.5. illustrates the rank of individual states according to the projects efficiency. The rating of Czech teams reached 22,5 % in total, what lines up the Czech Republic to 11th position among the EU Ц 27 states. From the diagram follows that he medium size states, i.e. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Finland, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden, often compared to Czech Republic, record bigger number of projects than Czech Republic (in equivalent of 1 million of population). As emerges from the report of Technology Centre of Czech Republic Academy of Sciences, as a consequence of this fact the Czech Republic will take a share in smaller number of projects than majority of these comparable large states.
It appears clearly from this explicit information, that Czech Republic, but as well the other EU states must increase their activity in the triangle science Ц research Ц education as soon as possible, if they want to compare favourably in global competitive strength with developed countries. There is not possible to await the change only from the authorities, like legislative measurements with aim to make the work in science and research easier, to facilitate the interconnection between universities, research institutions and private companies not only internally, but with their counterparts abroad as well. Further must be streamlined the system of redistribution of finance from our and European funds and the economic subjects and especially young advanced people working in science and research must be more motivated. Everyone should take a think how to contribute for improving the existing situation. This is a challenge for the universities Ц as centres of education Ц how to assist on increasing the competitiveness of domestic economics. They can reach it by creating of new education forms (E-learning, all-life-education, etc) by implementation of sophisticated projects in sphere of science and research, through the tight cooperation with enterprises, research institutes etc.
1. Exelova Brigita: Information securing of science and technology: Information structure.
2. Knihovna plus (online), available trough
3. WWW: http://knihovna.nkp.cz/knihovnaplus51/exelova.htm
4. ISSN 1801-5948
5. PROVAZNIK Stanislav and co. Transformation of science and research in Czech Republic 1998, Prague
6. ISBN: 80-7007-118-4