Czech government plans new start-up fund
The Czech government is looking at ways to support the high-tech sector in order to reduce the country's unhealthy dependence on the automobile industry. The sector is responsible for nearly one-quarter of all Czech exports and creates roughly 10 percent of GDP. The government's newest idea is to set up a fund that would support start-ups, in part because it has access to CZK 230 billion in European funds for that purpose. Ministry of Industry Karel Havlicek says that Czechia needs to invest into science, research and innovation. He insists that the new fund is not simply a pilot project, but a long-term vehicles that would serve to provide start-up firms with the financing they need to grow. However, Havlicek was unable to say how the support would be provided or how much would be made available. Prime Minister Andrej Babis is also calling for changes to the way re-qualification and training are carried out for workers who are made redundant. He said companies should re-qualify their employees with financial support from the state. Too often, he said unemployed workers receive training, but remain without a job afterwards.