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Network of science and technology (S&T) attachés

Hungary delegates S&T attachés to partner countries that are the most important from the perspective of its scientific and technological policy. The attachés are primarily responsible for cultivating bilateral relations, coordinating RDI efforts, promoting the economic utilisation of research achievements, networking, exploiting capacities and sharing information between the partner countries.

The objective and role of the network

In accordance with the Government’s research and technological development endeavours, the network of S&T attachés work to the benefit of the entire Hungarian scientific community. Their activities include the representation of research in natural sciences and engineering, technological and product development, and innovation. The S&T attachés have to serve the institutions of Hungarian scientific research and management and the Hungarian researcher community as a whole.

The control, funding and operation of the network

Control of the network and selection of S&T attachés

The network is operated jointly by the NRDI Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. S&T attachés are professionally supervised by the NRDI Office but they form an integral part of the organisation of the uniform integrated foreign representations and thus of the organisation of the Ministry, so in the host country, just like other diplomats, they are directly subordinate to the ambassador or consul general in charge of the foreign representation Science attachés are selected in the framework of an open call for applications.

Funding of the network

The network is financed from chapter “Management of foreign representations” of the budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The expenditure related to the service of S&T attachés are covered in line with the financial management of foreign representations and are subject to the decisions of the heads and financial managers of the foreign representations. However, the attachés also benefit from so-called earmarked appropriations. They have a budget to cover the costs of posting and representation activities, which they manage independently.

Responsibilities of S&T attachés

  • Collection of information: Monitor, analyse and report on the RDI policy of the host country. Assist the RDI decision making of Hungary.
  • Information activities: Promote the achievements of Hungarian science policy. Provide information on Hungarian S&T policy, achievements and potential opportunities for cooperation.
  • Networking: Facilitate the networking activity of Hungarian institutions and thus actively contribute to the European and international integration of Hungarian science.
  • Mediation: Represent Hungarian RDI policy interests abroad. Act as intermediaries between the host country and Hungary through their interest reconciliation efforts.

The detailed responsibilities of S&T attachés are stipulated in Instruction 10/2016 (8 June) of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Legal background to the operation of the network of S&T attachés

The network is regulated by the following laws and public law regulations:

  • Act LXXVI of 2014 on scientific research, development and innovation
  • Government Decree 172/2012 (26 July) on permanent and temporary foreign posting
  • Joint Instruction 1/2006 of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the NRT Office on the joint tasks related to the science and technology attachés [PDF 93 KB]
  •  Instruction 2/2012 (16 February) of the Minister of Foreign Affairs on certain aspects of the permanent foreign posting of government officials, clerks and employees
  • Act LXXIII of 2016 on foreign missions and permanent foreign representatives
  • Government Decree 239/2017 (18 August ) on the establishment of professional diplomatic positions and on the preparation and professional control of science attachés
  • Instruction 10/2016 (8 June) of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade on S&T attachés and related tasks
  • Act CXCIX of 2011 on public service officials

Furthermore: several Decrees, Instructions and Directives of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade (and formerly: Minister of Foreign Affairs) governing the operation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the use of diplomatic and consular ranks, the amount of salaries of foreign representation officials, the reimbursement of costs of posted employees, the financial management of foreign representations, the use of official cars and mobile phones etc. In relation to the Permanent Representation of Hungary in Brussels the Decree and Instruction of the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office are also applicable.

Locations of S&T attachés

S&T attachés are currently delegated to the following 12 host cities:

Further information on S&T attachés

Science diplomacy events for the information of the scientific community

The system of S&T attachés is an open one which is clearly shown by the annual attaché reports and the biennial science diplomacy conferences.

Read more about the 2017 science diplomacy conference here:
http://nkfih.gov.hu/hirek/hivatal-hirei/meggyozo
http://tdf.kormany.hu/a-tudomanydiplomaciai-munka-tapasztalatai-pozitivak

Last modified: January 25, 2018
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