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Hungary’s participation in international research infrastructures and organisations
28 April 2021
Last modified: 06 May 2021
Reading time: 21 minute(s)

Participation in European research infrastructures greatly boosts Hungarian researchers’ performance in international RDI partnerships. In recent years, the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NRDI Office) has joined several international research infrastructures and has been actively participating in several professional collaborations and policy-enabling organisations to facilitate the involvement of Hungarian RDI professionals in the international scientific community. During 2020, 3 new research infrastructure memberships were added to this portfolio, and Hungarian research communities got involved in the preparation of 5 new European research infrastructures with the support of the Office.

The NRDI Office ensures the financial background of obtaining and maintaining membership in international research infrastructures from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund (NRDI Fund) and chapter-managed appropriations.

In addition to central budget contributions, however, it is an aim that international membership fees are paid to the largest possible extent from the own resources of the research and higher education institutions involved in the given international research infrastructure. Another aim is to increase the share of in-kind contributions in Hungary’s contributions to international membership fees.

The NRDI Office and the NRDI Fund has earmarked HUF 4205 million annually for the costs of membership in international RDI organisations and access to research infrastructures.

In order to ensure the proper and effective utilisation of funds, the NRDI Office considers it a priority to monitor on an annual basis the benefits of membership in various organisations by looking at achievement and expenditure in the specific R&D fields, and to ensure that the resulting public benefits are not only enjoyed by the beneficiaries but also by the wider research community, society and decision-makers responsible for science funding.

Memberships in international RDI organisations financed by the NRDI Office cover the following main areas:

  1. The most advanced international research infrastructures are highly expensive equipment, facilities or databanks that go beyond the economic capabilities of a single country, and therefore are established and operated in international cooperation. As access to world-class research infrastructures is essential for Hungarian researchers to take part in cutting-edge international research, the NRDI Office has joined several international infrastructures in recent years. Apart from granting access to new research findings, Hungary’s membership in international organisations also promote closer cooperation between domestic research groups, boost domestic innovation and knowledge sharing with the business sector, and help tackling wide-scale social problems. Membership in large international research infrastructures enable Hungarian researchers to participate in world-class experiments in physical and engineering sciences, biological research, and social innovation.
  2. Professional cooperation programmes provide coordinated research and further training opportunities for Hungarian researchers mostly in specific fields (e.g. VKI), or development frameworks and funding for marketable innovative ideas (COST, EUREKA, AAL). The industrial and technological research cooperation programmes of EUREKA and EUROSTARS provide an excellent opportunity to involve businesses in R&D projects in any field of science. In return for the annual membership fee, which is based on professional partnerships, the direct-access development funds received by successful Hungarian applicants often exceed the amount of the membership fee.
  3. Organisations belonging to the third group provide help in making sound RDI-policies and strategic planning by providing data, comprehensive statistics, analyses on global problems affecting Hungary and possible answers, and by sharing best international practices. Good examples include the OECD data base and the analytical-synthesizing work of technical committees, or the TAFTIE membership which enables the representation of national interests in matters already in progress or under preparation through the exchange of experience by European innovation agencies. The background knowledge acquired here has many practical and informal benefits for RDI experts and the country.

OVERVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL MEMBERSHIP FEES FINANCED BY THE NATIONAL RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION OFFICE, AND THE PUBLIC BENEFIT OF MEMBERSHIPS

1. INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURES
Total membership fees in 2020: approx. HUF 4178.5 million

Organisation, programme Objective, characteristic feature Benefits of the membership
HEALTH AND FOOD SCIENCES
ECRIN-ERIC
ECRIN-ERIC
European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network

Member since: 2017
Membership fee for 2020: 17,937 (≈ HUF 6.5 million)

Organisation that coordinates scientific partners and networks across Europe to facilitate multinational clinical research.
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Participation of Hungarian researchers in European multinational clinical trials.
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ELIXIR
ELIXIR

European Life-sciences Infrastructure for Biological Information
Member since: 2016
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 46,421 (≈ HUF 15.3 million)

Its main objective is to create, develop and ensure access to existing (and future) sources of biological data.
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Direct economic benefits in the research and development of pharmaceuticals, medicine, agriculture, biochemistry, biophysics and bioinformatics research.
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EMBL
EMBL

European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Member since: 2017
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 709,704 (≈ HUF 253 million)

European intergovernmental research organisation dealing with life sciences (genetics and molecular biology), which plays a leading role in the integration of European life science research.
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It provides opportunities for Hungarian researchers to conduct state-of-the-art research in life sciences and participate in training programmes.
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EuBI-ERIC
EuBI-ERIC

The European Research Infrastructure for Imaging
Technologies in Biological and Biomedical Sciences – Euro-BioImaging
Member since: 2016
Membership fee for 2020: 21 627,21 EUR (≈ 7,8 millió Ft)

Provides open physical access to a wide range of world-class biological and biomedical imaging technologies for researchers in life sciences.
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Gives access for the domestic research community to the laboratories equipped with the most advanced technologies; while research help to better understand diseases from diagnosis to treatment, thus improving the overall health of the population.
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ICGEB
ICGEB

International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
Member since: 1987
Membership fee for 2020: USD 40,300 (≈ HUF 14.5 million)

The autonomous intergovernmental organisation aims to enable less industrialised countries to take advantage of the latest advances in biotechnology.
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Hungarian researchers can apply for grants annually for high-standard biotechnological research projects (Collaborative Research Programme, CRP) as well as for PhD and Post-doc fellowships.
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PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING
ceric-eric
CERIC-ERIC
Central European Research Infrastructure Consortium

Member since: 2016
Membership fee for 2020: 0 EUR
The Consortium aims to provide external researchers with access to analytical, structural and  imaging studies using synchrotron, neutron beam and other microscopic probes, and to the necessary material modification techniques, in the fields of nanotechnology, environment, materials science, life sciences and cultural heritage.
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The domestic scientific value of CERIC-ERIC lies primarily in its proactive involvement/participation in the Central European large-scale analytical research bloodstream in a highly organised multidisciplinary service framework.
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CERN
CERN

European Organization for Nuclear Research
Member since: 1992
Membership fee for 2020: CHF 7,516,200 (≈ HUF 2,480 million)

The world's largest particle physics laboratory, which examines the building blocks and operation of the universe by using particle accelerators and detectors. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is now the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.
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Hungarian researchers gain access to a new, internationally unique large facility, which hosts half of the world’s particle physicists. Opportunity to make new results and discoveries in basic research in physics, which can lay the foundations of subsequent developments.
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CERN LHC Alice
A Large Ion Collider Experiment

Member since: 1989 and 2000
Membership fee for 2020: CHF 46,319 (≈ HUF 15.3 million)

The ALICE heavy-ion detector is an experiment on the LHC ring focusing on the physics of strongly interacting matter at extreme energy densities where a new state of matter, namely the quark–gluon plasma (QGP) appears.
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The contribution of Hungarian scientists to research results potentially open up new prospects for international cooperation and research.
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CERN LHC CMS
Compact Muon Solenoid

Member since: 1990 and 2000
Membership fee for 2020: CHF 100,177 (≈ HUF 33 million)
(with CMS Detector Upgrade II)

The CMS is a general-purpose detector at LHC having a broad physics programme ranging from studying the Standard Model (including the Higgs boson) to searching for extra dimensions and particles assumed to make up dark matter.
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The contribution of Hungarian scientists to research results potentially open up new prospects for international cooperation and research.
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ESRF
ESRF
European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

Member since: 2017
Membership fee for 2020: 243 475,0 EUR (≈ HUF 85.2 million)

Special X-ray source which is fundamentally important for determining the atomic structure, electronic structure and magnetic properties of materials. It also offers measurement services in almost all fields of science.
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ESRF stands out from the numerous synchrotron sources of the world in terms of test beam parameters, the number of measurement techniques, available equipment and the number of measurement channels, enabling Hungarian researchers to participate in cutting-edge research, and promoting multidisciplinary research and cooperation between researchers from various fields of science.
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ESS
ESS

European Spallation Source
Member since: 2014
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 2,686,804 (≈ HUF 967.2 million)

One of the largest ongoing investment in research infrastructure in the EU, which aspires to global leadership in neutron research. It will receive a major role in biotechnology and energy research, as well as in the fields of materials science and ICT
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The future access by Hungarian researchers to internationally competitive and costly large research equipment provides great opportunities for the domestic R&D sector, while 70% of the membership fee is reinvested in Hungary in the form of orders to domestic suppliers.
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European XFEL
European XFEL

European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser Facility
Member since: 2009
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 1,255,208 (≈ HUF 439.3 million)

Following full commissioning, the international research infrastructure is going to be Europe’s first and the world’s largest hard X-ray free-electron laser.
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Access to internationally competitive, costly large research facilities enables Hungarian researchers to produce new results in areas such as molecular biology, genomics, medical diagnostics, therapeutic applications, nanotechnology and materials science.
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ITER
ITER

International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor
Member since: 2007
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 41,500 (≈ HUF 15 million)

Its EU/EURATOM membership enables Hungary to take part in the large-scale research infrastructure cooperation aimed at fusion energy experiments producing marketable results.
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Access to the internationally competitive, costly large research facility enables Hungarian researchers to produce new results in nuclear physics theory and application, supported by research grants and opportunities for industrial supply.
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SOCIAL AND CULTURAL INNOVATION
CESSDA ERIC
CESSDA ERIC

Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives
Member since: 2017
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 5,700 ( ≈ HUF 2 million)

Virtual research infrastructure focusing on collecting, archiving, distributing and increasing the searchability of social sciences databases.
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In addition to providing access to, connecting and standardising sociological databases, and improving data quality, Hungarian researchers and data archiving staff can also take part in professional training courses.
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Clarin Eric
CLARIN ERIC

Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure
Member since: 2016
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 13,825 (≈ HUF 5 million)

The infrastructure provides advanced digital language resources and tools primarily for scholars and social scientists.
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The membership provides Hungarian researchers access to the most advanced language technology databases, while the integration of digital language databases gives access to remote archives for linguists, scholars and social scientists.
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European Social Survey
ESS ERIC

European Social Survey
Member since: 2016
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 21,855 (≈ HUF 7.9 million)

The organisation biannually collects international comparative data about the demographic and social conditions of European societies, political and public preferences of citizens, and changes in social attitudes and action-guiding values.
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The methodology used is also a model for national surveys, and there is no need to conduct new primary research in the topics covered by the ESS
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SHARE ERIC
SHARE ERIC

Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe
Member since: 2017
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 187,550 (≈ HUF 67.5 million)

The multi-country, multi-disciplinary research network conducts surveys on the health and social implications of aging, as well as the potential public policy responses to these issues in a European comparison.
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In addition to the wealth of information covered, the project’s scientific strength lies in its panel structure, which captures aging as a process and its far-reaching consequences. It also provides a unique opportunity for Hungarian social and health researchers to get involved in international research.
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2. PROFESSIONAL COOPERATION PROGRAMMES
Total membership fees in 2020: approx. HUF 22.3 million

Organisation, programme Objective, characteristic feature

Benefits of the membership

EUREKA
EUREKA
European market oriented R&D cooperation

Member since: 1992
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 30,834 (≈ HUF 10.2 million)

Contributes to Europe’s global competitiveness by coordinating industrial and technological research implemented by collaborating businesses, for-profit institutions, SMEs and research centres. Projects are funded in the R&D stage preceding market entry, and are open to all technological areas. The EUROSTAT programme operating in the framework of the cooperation is specifically designed to support R&D performing SMEs.
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The R&D cooperation provides an opportunity for SMEs without thematic restrictions to launch innovative projects implemented in international consortia, and also for joining consortia led by world-class research groups and major European companies.
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AAL
AAL
Active and Assisted Living Programme

Member since: 2008
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 10,000 (≈ HUF 3.5 million)

The initiative aims to improve the living conditions of elderly people through developing marketable ICT tools and services in international consortia.
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The new products and services resulting from the programme are potentially advantageous for all aging societies, including Hungary)
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VKI
VKI
The von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics

Member since: 2001
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 23,948 (≈ HUF 8.6 million)

International non-profit educational and scientific organisation that offers postgraduate training in the field of fluid dynamics, and coordinates extensive research in gas and liquid flow research.
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Every year, several researchers win research and training grants in the fields of aeronautics, air transport, environment and applied fluid dynamics.
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COST
COST
European Cooperation in Science and Technology

Member since: 1991
Membership fee for 2020: 0 EUR

Aims to align nationally funded technical and scientific basic research at a European level in the framework of researchers’ thematic grassroots actions, while observing the criteria of scientific excellence.
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Provides a good opportunity for young researchers to get involved in the international scientific life and gain access to the latest research results.
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3. ORGANISATIONS PROVIDING HELP IN MAKING SOUND RDI-POLICIES AND STRATEGIC PLANNING
Total membership fees in 2020: approx. HUF 4.3 million

Organisation, programme Objective, characteristic feature

Benefits of the membership

OECD
OECD
Member since:
1996
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 1,806 (≈ HUF 0.6 million)

OECD aims to help member states make the best possible economic and social policies It pursues analytical and research activities in the field of economic policy and social sciences at its fora and working organisations.
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Ensures access to information databases (statistics and analysis) indispensable in the design of national policies and strategies, and enables participation in specialized committees (analysis of trends, best practices and plans related to science, technology and innovation policies).
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GSF
Global Science Forum

GSF focuses on international scientific and technological cooperation. The consultative forum for senior science policy officials draws up draft proposals for action in priority science policy issues and contributes to the identification of opportunities for significant scientific cooperation.
NESTI
Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators
NESTI is responsible for monitoring, supervising and coordinating science, technology and innovation statistics, which will help elaborate the indicators necessary to comply with requirements and priorities set by the science and technology policy committee.
TIP
Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy

TIP provides evidence-based advice to help countries develop policies that increase productivity and promote sustainable and inclusive, knowledge-based economic growth; strengthen public research institutions; and encourage the creation of knowledge-intensive technology companies.
TAFTIE
TAFTIE
The European Network of Innovation Agencies
Member since: 2009
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 10,000 (≈ HUF 3.5 million)

The network of European institutions managing national RDI programmes provides an opportunity to exchange experience, establish good practices and further develop innovation services.
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Its membership makes enables Hungary to join European-level RDI processes and ongoing strategic work, represent national interests, get information on current issues and trends, and enhance domestic preparations.
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euroCRIS logo
euroCRIS
The International Organisation for Research Information
Member since: 2012
Membership fee for 2020: EUR 300 (≈ HUF 0.2 million)

The most important product of the non-profit organisation established to support the development of quality RDI information systems is the Common European Research Information Format (CERIF), created with the support of the European Union, now considered as a quasi-standard. Its use is officially recommended for EU Member States to facilitate the development and cooperation of information technology systems in the field of RDI.
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The NRDI Office is a member of the euroCRIS which aims to create, maintain and distribute a standardised research register database model in Europe.
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Updated: 06 May 2021