In the television coverage the representatives of several Hungarian businesses already awarded under the Horizon 2020 Programme shared their application experience. Their success is partly owing to the expertise of the NRDI Office, through professional advice and consultation. These services are available to all future applicants, while domestic funding schemes also support H2020 applications.
By autumn 2016, more than 437 applicant organisations received direct EU funding worth more than EUR 105 million for developing highly innovative, globally marketable products or services under the Horizon 2020 Programme – the RDI framework programme of the European Union between 2014 and 2020 – promoted by the NRDI Office as a professional contributor. To apply for these direct funds, applicants need to find their way through an extensive system of financial and legal rules. This is where National Contact Points (NCP) coordinated by the NRDI Office offers professional assistance to Hungarian applicants. In connection with Horizon 2020 calls, this year the NRDI Office organises more than 20 thematic information days and consultation events to facilitate the participation and success rate of domestic stakeholders in the competition for EU funds. At these events the experts of the NRDI Office provide information and practical advice, and they are also ready to answer questions arising throughout the application process. They also encourage sharing experience of others gained from previous applications, which are all useful and essential for a successful application in the competition for directly accessible European funds.
The participants of the round table discussion were Csaba Mészáros, president and owner of the Evopro Holding, Dr Márton Beck, CFO of Femtonics and Dr Pál Varga, Telecommunications Division Director at AITIA International. They emphasised the positive experience gained during the application process under the H2020 Programme which opened up new perspectives for them. They all confirmed that besides the grant received it proved extremely useful that they had to seek consortium partners to submit their applications, so they joined forces with foreign businesses. This connected them to the international market and through the foreign partners they met innovative technologies which otherwise would have been out of their reach. In addition, the cooperative attitude further strengthened the team spirit and open-mindedness within their companies. The company leaders also stressed: it is essential for innovative businesses to diversify their application activities, that is, in addition to EU funds they should also look for and exploit all possible sources available in the market – this is a key requirement for sustainable operation.