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Integration and efficient public financing – Press release
Integration and efficient public financing – Press release
26 April 2008
Modified: 14 December 2017
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The National Office for Research and Technology (NKTH) and the Ministry of Economics and Transport (GKM) organised a joint conference on the national innovation system on 29th March 2007. They invited prominent stakeholders of the Hungarian science sector and innovative enterprises.

The goal of this conference was to review the current trends in the development of the national innovation system, to emphasize the importance of protection of industrial property rights and to review publicly financed R&D and innovation programmes. These programmes shall provide a total targeted funding of HUF 500 billion in the following 7 years. Another important opportunity for funding is the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) of the EU, in which a total of EUR 54 billion will be available in non-repayable funds, again in 7 years. Those measures and organisations are also important which provide Hungarian applicants with information on EU calls as well as with Hungarian and international contacts. NKTH is running a consulting network related to different research areas and is planning to set up an R&D liaison office in Brussels. It is worthwhile concentrating on and using the necessary resources for this opportunity, because if Hungarian applicants are granted 1% of the total available EU funding (i.e. HUF 20 billion a year), that means that every further 0.1% shall provide an additional HUF 2-billion funding for Hungarian R&D.

In the closing section of the conference, current issues of research institutions and innovative enterprises were discussed based on the questions of the participants.

The discussions of the conference were focused on the three key concepts of the future Hungarian innovation system: integration, efficient public financing as well as protection and exploitation of intellectual property.

Presentations linked to the topics above were given by Géza Egyed, state secretary responsible for economic development of GKM, Dr Miklós Bendzsel, president of the Hungarian Patent Office (HPO), Dr Ilona Vass, vice president of NKTH, Dr László Kállay, head of the department of enterprise subsidies of GKM and Gábor Ormosy, CEO of MAG Zrt. The chairman of the conference was Dr György Csepeli, public policy director of GKM. A large number of representatives from research institutions, large companies, small and medium sized enterprises and the public administration participated in the conference.

As pointed out in the conference, integration is already present at the coordination level: GKM, the Ministry of Education and Culture (OKM) and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) coordinate at a strategic level in cooperation with the representatives of research, development and innovation sector. The new mid-term science, technology and innovation strategy of the government has also been developed with the consensus of the three institutions above. OKM is responsible for science policy which is formed in cooperation with HAS to match the educational and cultural policy. GKM is responsible for the strategic control, including legislation, of R&D and innovation (R&D&I). NKTH is a powerful service organisation of this sector primarily with functions of a government agency. These include organizing and providing professional support of public financing measures; organizing and supporting international R&D&I relations; organizing large international projects and coordinating Hungarian regional innovation. MAG Zrt. (undertaking the responsibilities of four other institutions) is the central executive organisation of the sector. Its responsibilities include providing a unified service platform for the implementation of the measures of the Economic Development Operative Programme (GOP) and the Research and Technology Innovation Fund (the Fund).

The cooperation of knowledge bases (universities, research institutions, inventors) and the economy should be characterized by integration. An important objective in this respect is to help technological supply and market demand meet. In order to do so, GKM wishes to improve, in cooperation with NKTH and HPO, technology matchmaking (technology brokering) in Hungary through connecting owners of research results in Hungary and of the region to enterprises, bridging organisations and investors from Hungary and the region. They provide specialist assistance to help the two different cultures (that of technological innovation and that of financial investments) better understand each other. It is important that the representatives of the knowledge bases recognise market demands and understand decision points of market players. The goal is to provide an institutionalised solution for the efficient exploitation of knowledge and to make Hungary a leader of the region in this respect.

Integration should also be a characteristic feature in international cooperation in R&D&I. Neither science nor the application of results will recognise geographical borders and therefore It is aimed to set up a system that does take into account non-Hungarian opportunities to utilise Hungarian research results and to meet the knowledge and technology demands of Hungarian enterprises. The primary driving force of government action, besides achieving common European competitiveness goals, is to generate Hungarian income, to create Hungarian jobs and to exploit research results to improve quality of life in Hungary.

The second key concept is efficient public financing. It is clear that a rational, coherent government financing policy is an important factor in a liberal market economy. In the R&D&I sector, the further away a given research activity is from the market, the larger its risks are, so the larger role the government should take in it (e.g. in the case of basic research, government support may be as high as 100%). The closer we are to the market, the further back government should withdraw and focus on measures mobilising further business investment (like a ’starting engine’). Government subsidies cannot replace or drive out the investment of enterprises. These principles form the basis for the development of a unified application system which, using primarily the resources of GOP and the Fund, provides tailor-made support for R&D&I activities in the unified administrative framework of MAG Zrt.
The third key concept is the protection and exploitation of intellectual property. No innovation system can prosper, if legislature and judicature do not provide an adequate support for it. In the field of tough international competition, the fight is on for new knowledge, for the utilisation of new technologies, since these are the ones that can generate higher incomes recognized by the globalising markets. Besides technological innovation, it is important to mention trademarks and designs that guarantee the uniqueness of a product because often these are the factors that guarantee substantial market shares to companies or countries. Protection and exploitation of intellectual property is therefore an important priority.

Updated: 14 December 2017
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