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Hungary presents suggestions in Brussels on EU RDI funding beyond 2020
Hungary presents suggestions in Brussels on EU RDI funding beyond 2020
30 November 2017
Modified: 14 December 2017
Reading time: 9 minute(s)
Hungary’s position paper on the content and strategic directions of the next research, development and innovation framework programme (FP9) to be launched in 2021, prepared with the contribution of a dedicated expert group, was presented in Brussels by József Pálinkás, President of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office. The 2014–2020 framework programme of the EU with an original budget of EUR 80 billion is still running with hundreds of calls.

The event organised for presenting the Hungarian position on continuation and renewal was also attended by R&D deputy ministers from Slovenia, Poland and the Czech Republic to discuss at a round table the standpoints of the countries in the region on the upcoming framework programme.

As the RDI entity responsible for the domestic coordination of the currently running Horizon 2020 research and innovation framework programme of the European Union, the NRDI Office involved an expert group to sum up the achievements and lessons learned from Hungarian participation and to suggest strategic future directions considered as key priorities by Hungary.

In his speech in Brussels József Pálinkás pointed out: “With our current system of publicly financed RDI calls Hungary is also preparing for the period after 2020. It is important that our funding decisions adopted nowadays should contribute to strengthen the international competitiveness of Hungarian applicants and facilitate international research and innovation cooperation so that our researchers, developers and innovative businesses can successfully participate in the European and global competition after 2020.”

The event held at the Permanent Representation of Hungary in Brussels was also attended by Aleksander Bobko, state secretary for science and higher education of Poland, Tomaz Boh, state secretary for education and science of Slovenia, and Václav Velčovský, deputy minister of education of the Czech Republic. 

According to the document presented in Brussels, the best way to promote an efficient RDI system both at EU and member state level is to utilise national and EU funds in a coordinated, mutually complementary and value-creating manner. The RDI calls for project proposals of the NRDI Office lay the foundations of entering the international arena and successfully participating in the EU’s research and innovation framework programmes.

According to the Hungarian position, in addition to supporting market-making breakthrough innovations, it is also very important that the framework programme also promotes innovation resulting from gradual development. Besides funding the independent development activities of SMEs, the Hungarian position also emphasises the role of RDI funds in fostering cooperation. Funding programmes significantly contribute not only to cooperation between industrial actors and research centres but also to the reinforcement of macro-regional cooperation programmes. In Hungary nearly HUF 200 billion (over EUR 660 million) has been awarded in total to industry/research cooperation projects since 2015, which lays the foundations of successful Hungarian participation in FP calls beyond 2020. The domestic system of research funding also offers several funding schemes for stimulating corporate innovation. Since 2015 altogether HUF 300 billion (nearly EUR 1 billion) of funding has been awarded to businesses for RDI activities, elaborating business ideas, targeted research, prototype development, export-oriented development of already complete products, as well as for intellectual property protection, procurement of RDI services and creating startup incubator houses.

In addition to funding issues and the coordination of sources, the Hungarian position also touches on RDI policy topics of strategic importance. In respect of researcher wages, it sets the objective to reduce the wage gap between researchers working in old member states and member states which have joined the EU since 2004 by approximating wages, thus reducing the outflow of researchers. The document also covers the topic of open science: it suggests that the framework programme should include actions targeted at open access to scientific results. József Pálinkás emphasised that the administrative burden of the application process in the framework programme needs to be further eased by introducing funding schemes that are more flexible for applicants and by further speeding up evaluation and contracting processes. The President of the NRDI Office added: it is necessary to create a system of rules that promote the collective and coordinated use of funds under the framework programme and the Structural Funds.

In terms of the expected budget of the framework programme after 2021 it is suggestive that the currently running framework programme was originally announced with a total budget of EUR 80 billion, of which EUR 30 billion was made available under several calls a few weeks ago by the European Commission. More than EUR 140 million (over HUF 42 billion) in funding has been awarded to Hungarian institutions and businesses so far in Horizon 2020, the EU’s framework programme for research, development and innovation. In connection with the mid-term evaluation of the Horizon 2020 programme this summer, the preparation of the upcoming RDI framework programme of the EU also commenced. The presentation of member state positions forms part of the planning. The package of suggestions for FP9, expected to be published in June 2018, will be discussed in detail by member states and MEPs to collectively decide on its final budget, form and content.  The member states’ positions also provide a point of reference for consultation between member states, enabling them to identify their joint interests and to take common action later on. The Hungarian position was developed with the contribution of an expert group of renowned academic, university and business leaders, as well as experts of institutions with related RDI policy or public duties, who were familiar with both national and international RDI policies and with the evolution of the EU research and innovation framework programmes over the years.

Hungary’s key recommendations for the RDI framework programme of the European Union for the period after 2020

  • Include research, development and innovation as a priority amongst EU policies with a significant increase of the budget at EU and national level, and increase the efficiency through more coordination between EU and national RDI policies and programmes
  • Follow the principles of excellence, cooperation, impact, sustainability, European added value and openness in implementation of the FP
  • Keep a strong focus on scientific and technological excellence but at the same time contribute to the competitiveness of the EU and respond to societal challenges of European relevance
  • Preserve the European Research Area as a core concept and exploit the full potential and capacities of the EU Member States and regions to complete it
  • European Research Council programmes, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and Future and Emerging Technologies initiatives to be continued and strengthened with substantial budget increase
  • Reinforce the key role of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) in strategic planning and coordination of research infrastructures in Europe and offer stronger support for transnational access to research infrastructures
  • Keep the right balance between funding exploratory and applied research and close to market activities inspiring both breakthrough and incremental innovation
  • Preserve key enabling technologies (KETs) as a dedicated part of the FP
  • Provide further support to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) to improve innovation capacities and skills throughout Europe
  • Involve key stakeholders and the wider public in identifying the most relevant missions within societal challenges combined with strategic programming strongly supported by scientific evidence
  • Integrate social sciences and humanities (SSH) better throughout the FP and keep a dedicated programme part for SSH
  • Continue and strengthen the “Spreading excellence and widening participation” actions and introduce “Widening” as a horizontal aspect in all actions aiming to achieve wider societal and economic impact
  • Simplify the implementation further with more flexibility from users’ perspective and enable real synergies between EU framework programme, European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and national RDI programmes
  • Maintain and amplify open access efforts



Hazai javaslatok brüsszeli bemutatója a 2020 utáni uniós KFI finanszírozáshoz
Hazai javaslatok brüsszeli bemutatója a 2020 utáni uniós KFI finanszírozáshoz

Hazai javaslatok brüsszeli bemutatója a 2020 utáni uniós KFI finanszírozáshoz
Hazai javaslatok brüsszeli bemutatója a 2020 utáni uniós KFI finanszírozáshoz

Hazai javaslatok brüsszeli bemutatója a 2020 utáni uniós KFI finanszírozáshoz
Hazai javaslatok brüsszeli bemutatója a 2020 utáni uniós KFI finanszírozáshoz

Budapest, 30 November 2017

Updated: 14 December 2017
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