On 4 and 5 April 2018, the working group with provisional name – Central Europe Initiative (CEI) met in Prague to discuss the future possibilities of cooperation on the principle of Multilateral Lead Agency between involved national grant agencies.
The Prague meeting followed the Ljubljana and the Vienna meetings. Heads of individual research grant agencies together with their representatives and members from international divisions participated in the discussions.
A joint agreement was reached that the first call will start with bilateral and trilateral projects in basic research on the bottom up principle. The most crucial task for all involved agencies will be harmonizing legal regulations, which the agencies abide by and which differ in each country.
The founding members of this initiative apart from the Czech Republic (Czech Science Foundation) are Poland (National Science Centre), Slovenia (Slovenian Research Agency), Austria (FWF Der Wissenschaftsfonds) and Hungary (National Research, Development and Innovation Office). Observers of the negotiations were representatives from Slovakia (Agentúra na podporu výskumu a vývoja), Croatia (Croatian Science Foundation) and Switzerland (Swiss National Science Foundation), who also represented Science Europe as an observer.