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Slovak universities and the Slovak Academy of Science (SAV) have issues complaints that they did not receive any of the earmarked EU funds, amounting to nearly EUR 300 million, originally allocated for encouraging long-term strategic research and innovations. Therefore rectors have published a joint statement expressing concerns about the absent funds, which went mostly to projects submitted by private companies and asked the Minister to ensure that evaluations into the selection results will be undertaken by independent experts.
The Slovak Minister of Education Peter Plavcan, in a meeting on July 12 with the rectors of the county’s most prominent universities, assured higher education institutions to launch an inspection into the evaluation process of projects and to also examine how subjects that applied for the money fulfilled the stipulated criteria. The Minister also emphasized that the calls for projects were aimed mainly at encouraging research in innovation in the business sector, and that the approval process has not been finalised yet.
The rectors in their joint statement, critically pointed out that respected scientific research activities in Slovakia are carried out predominantly by universities or SAV and that the diversion of EU funds, originally designed for schools and SAV, may lower competitiveness and attractiveness of Slovak universities in international competition. The Minister was encouraged to apply the necessary tools to correct this state of affairs, and to furthermore allow universities and SAV to become partners in projects submitted by the private business sector.
The Slovak Ministry of Education - Press Release (only in Slovak)