First announced by the European Commission in 2015, the competition aims to draw international attention to Europe’s top innovators with major future potential. The expert panel uses the “Innovation Radar” initiative (hence the name of the prize) to identify high potential SMEs which received funding under the H2020, the RDI framework programme of the European Union. The European Commission has selected the 48 best performers based on a complex methodology, and a public vote will decide which 20 innovators go forward to the final. This year three Hungarian SMEs have made it to the top 48: Gravity R&D Kutató, Fejlesztő és Szolgáltató Zrt, Femtonics Kutató és Fejlesztő Kft and Aeroglass. These businesses, along with the rest of the international selection, will pitch their projects to the jury at the ICT Proposers’ Day to be held in Budapest on 9 November 2017. Nominees are grouped into five categories, and only one winner will be selected from each category.
The National Research, Development and Innovation Office encourages the members of the R&D community to vote online to the Hungarian innovative businesses here: https://ec.europa.eu/futurium/en/innovation-radar-prize
Each of the three projects was selected for funding under the Horizon 2020, the EU’s innovation framework programme. The NRDI Office regularly organises information events to update stakeholders on the H2020 calls for 2018–2019, with the first call to be announced in late October 2017. For dates and topics please refer to the Horizon 2020 Event Calendar at the NRDI Office’s website. The Network of National Contact Points, coordinated by the NRDI Office, can also contribute to the successful participation of domestic businesses in H2020 calls. NCPs support applicants in getting information about calls, finding consortium partners, managing projects and even by providing customised consultation in relation to the application procedure. In addition, increased participation is also facilitated by domestic funding schemes announced by the NRDI Office.
The Dedicated SME Instrument aims to support project implementation from the feasible innovative concept to the market without thematic restrictions. There is also a domestic call titled SME Instrument Assistance, financed from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund, which is open to micro, small and medium businesses which were positively assessed by the international expert panel but were finally not selected for funding in the first stage of the H2020 Dedicated SME Instrument call.
In terms of funding awarded under the Horizon 2020 framework programme Hungary is ranked at the 19th place among participating EU Member States. By institution type, domestic businesses have the highest success rate: 34% of all H2020 sources received by Hungary were won by businesses, 33% by higher education institutions and 26% by research institutions.