The mission of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) is top research focused on problems and challenges of contemporary society. Topics such as energetic future of the Czech Republic, health of its citizens, artificial intelligence, or quality of public policies present complex areas of problems whose solution requires a wide interdisciplinary research, both basic and applied.

The strategy of the Czech Academy of Sciences responds to current social challenges through a sophisticated formulation of research programmes, based on cooperation of scientific fields and institutions. The basic programme framework of the Strategy AV21 was accepted by the Academy Assembly in December 2014. The research programmes of the CAS are open to partners from universities, corporations, and institutions of regional administration, as well as foreign research groups and organisations. The research programmes are proposed and formulated in discussion of the leadership of the CAS with directors of the institutes with regard to trends in global science, social relevance of the research, and National Priorities of Oriented Research. The motto of the Strategy AV21 is „Top research in the public interest“.

The Council of Strategy AV21 is chaired by prof. Ing. Michal Haindl, DrSc. (member of the Academy Council of the CAS tasked with coordination and conceptual development of Strategy AV21). The other members of the Council are prof. Jan Řídký, DrSc. (vice president of the CAS for 1st research area), RNDr. Zdeněk Havlas, DrSc. (vice president of the CAS for 2nd research area), PhDr. Pavel Baran, CSc. (vice president of the CAS for 3rd research area), RNDr. Martin Bilej, DrSc. (member of the Presidium of the Academy Council of the CAS entrusted with conceptual economic and financial matters), prof. RNDr. Ondřej Santolík, Dr. (vice chair of the Academy Council for 1st research area), prof. RNDr. Blanka Říhová, DrSc. (vice chair of the Academy Council for 2nd research area), and PhDr. Zdenka Mansfeldová, CSc. (vice chair of the Academy Council for 3rd research area).

Research programmes 1–14 were launched in 2015, programme 15 in 2016 and programs 16–18 in 2017. In 2019, programmes 8, 9 and 13 were completed and in 2020 new programmes 19 – 23 began and programmes 4 and 14 completed. In 2021 new programmes 24 and 25 began.