Katalin Sebők, Vice President of the NRDI Office for Business Innovation, stressed at the kick-off event that innovation is the way of the future, a decisive factor both at national economy and at business level. She said that Hungary is ranked 21st on the European Innovation Scoreboard, its strengths being the high number of international joint publications, high broadband penetration and R&D expenditure in the business sector.
However, the innovation capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the volume of sales resulting from innovations should be improved and cooperation between innovative SMEs and other organisations should be developed, she said. She added: “The ratio of R&D expenditure shows that Hungary has achieved significant growth in the last twenty years, but further growth is needed because the average ratio is 2.19% in the EU, but only 1.48% in Hungary as a percentage of GDP.” She stressed that research has shown that innovative businesses can achieve a four-fold increase in turnover.
Katalin Sebők said that the platforms were created to enable more innovation, to help participants in as many areas as possible, but also to assess needs. She also pointed out that universities have a huge knowledge base, which is translated into projects or collaborations on the market. The Territorial Innovation Platform could be used to increase these opportunities, with the university playing a role in bringing together and encouraging participants. She added that anyone can join the platform, free of charge. The platforms currently have 294 members nationwide.
In his welcome speech, Attila Fábián, Rector of the University of Sopron, said that in the future the higher education institution would like to build a “science park” linked to the platform. The park would include a national forest laboratory and research into the ecosystem with innovative solutions. It would also include centres of excellence in forestry, waste management and human ecology, which would serve to make the university an important centre in the region, he said.
The University of Sopron also joined the professional initiative established by the NRDI Office in 2019 and supported by the ITM.