Pursuant to Act LXXVI of 2014, the international activities of the Office include the following:
6. The tasks of the NRDI Office
Section 10 (4) The NRDI Office shall, within the framework of establishing and strengthening international and European integration cooperation in the area of research, development and innovation policy, in agreement with the minister responsible for foreign policy:
- provide technical support to the Government’s international science and technology policy activities;
- in cooperation with the relevant bodies, take initiatives regarding the signing of intergovernmental science and technology agreements, participate in their preparation and coordinate their execution;
- participate in directing the activities related to the diplomacy of science and technology;
- participate in the Hungarian Government’s activities related to the development of the European Research Area;
- within the framework of the rights and obligations arising from European Union membership, exercise powers regarding Government tasks related to research, development and innovation;
- act as a representative in international scientific and technological organisations and initiatives;
- as part of its duties, cooperate with the foreign representations of Hungary and maintain contact with foreign representations and partner institutions operating in Hungary and abroad, especially the official bodies of the European Union.
International activities in detail:
Bilateral cooperation relationships in science and technology (S&T):
Hungary currently maintains intergovernmental bilateral S&T cooperation relationships with 36 countries and has signed interinstitutional S&T agreement with another 10 countries.
Interstate S&T cooperation agreements promote networking, knowledge transfer and collaboration between researchers and innovation communities in the partner states. The agreements usually function as a framework for joint activities in many fields, including the exchange of professionals, information and experience; granting access to each other’s research equipment; organising joint conferences, seminars, training courses; and launching joint projects.
The international S&T relationships are also facilitated by S&T attachés in 11 cities in 10 partner countries (Beijing, Berlin, London, Moscow, New Delhi, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Tel Aviv and Tokyo). In collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the NRDI Office operates and professionally coordinates the network of S&T attachés who are responsible for science and technology diplomacy. Attachés monitor local RDI trends in the partner countries, and facilitate the conclusion of bilateral agreements, the development of relationships between the researchers and partnering activities.
Activities in relation to Hungary’s EU membership
As a contributor to Hungary’s operation as an EU member state, the NRDI Office takes part in the legislative work relating to the EU’s RDI policy, in particular by coordinating expert group No. 31 on “Science and Research” which is responsible for developing Hungary’s position in the Inter-ministerial Committee for European Coordination. In order to represent a coordinated position, the Office develops positions and background material for Hungarian representatives delegated to the relevant body of the EU decision-making system in relation to the research agenda of the Research Working Party, COREPER I and the Competitiveness Council.
It also closely cooperates with the science and technology (S&T) attachés delegated to the Permanent Representation of Hungary in Brussels, professionally coordinating them in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office.
The NRDI Office is responsible for governmental coordination in relation to the EU’s research and innovation framework programme (currently: Horizon 2020), operates the network of National Contact Points who support domestic applicants with information and consultation activities, and coordinates the work of programme committee members delegated to the strategic decision-making bodies of the framework programme.
Other international representation activities
The Office also takes part and represents Hungary’s interests in several multilateral international science and technology cooperations (NATO Research and Technology Organisation, COST, EUREKA, ICGEB, EMBO etc.), it also ensures participation in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and its working groups. It also coordinates professional duties, domestic representation and expert work in relation to specific international research infrastructures (ITER, CERN, XFEL, ESS etc.).
The NRDI Office also participates in the work of RDI policy and strategic planning organisations (OECD committees, TAFTIE).