At the beginning of this year, the Ministry of the Environment announced the first set of thematic calls under the Just Transition Operational Programme focusing on school modernisation and circular economy. The total allocation of these calls exceeds CZK 5 billion and, in line with the targeting of the whole programme, is intended for the Karlovy Vary, Ústí nad Labem and Moravian-Silesian regions.
The Just Transition Operational Programme is a completely new subsidy programme designed for structurally affected regions. In the Czech Republic, these include the Karlovy Vary, Moravian-Silesian and Ústí nad Labem regions. The programme aims to help these regions, their inhabitants, and businesses to address the economic, social, and environmental impacts associated with the transition of the energy sector and economy towards climate neutrality. The programme will, for example, support the transition of businesses to low-carbon operations, the development of new renewable energy sources, provide jobs for workers leaving the coal industry, improve public services or reclaim landscapes affected by mining.
The programme is being prepared for the 2021-2027 programming period and will be funded by the European Just Transition Fund. The total allocation for the Czech Republic is EUR 1.64 billion, so the regions concerned will share approximately CZK 41 billion (after deducting the technical assistance funds).
The currently announced calls focus on two areas. The first is the modernisation of primary and secondary schools in the form of investments in the internal connectivity of these educational facilities (e.g. ensuring better internet access) or in the equipment of secondary school classrooms.
Another currently supported area is the circular economy, where entities of all types (including businesses) can apply for support for investments in innovative waste management equipment. The parameters of the call are as follows:
Who may apply for the subsidy:
- Small and medium enterprises
- Large enterprises only in cases where the investment creates or protects a significant number of jobs – to be evidenced by the annex “Impact analysis of the productive investment implementation by a large enterprise on the labour market”
- Municipalities, regions
- State-owned enterprises and organisations, organisational units of the state, public entities
- Universities, research organisations
What expenditures can be supported:
Construction of innovative projects for sorting, re-sorting, treatment, material conversion, and chemical recycling of other and hazardous waste:
- Construction work, supplies and services
- Purchase of tangible and intangible assets – e.g. technology, SW, HW
- Purchase of immovable property (up to 10% of other expenditures)
Form, intensity, and amount of subsidy:
- Aid intensity up to 85% according to GBER
- The minimum subsidy amount is CZK 8 million, max. according to region and GBER
Receipt of applications for the first evaluation round:
- Start of the application process: 15 February 2023
- End of the application process: 31 July 2023
At the same time, subsidy calls are open for the preparation and implementation of strategic projects within the regions concerned. The support is intended for applicants whose individual projects have strategic project status.