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Globally outstanding achievements yielding a total of more than HUF 33.8 billion in surplus revenue and bringing outstanding social benefits were awarded at the Hungarian Innovation Grand Prix ceremony
28 March 2024
Modified: 28 March 2024
Reading time: 10 minute(s)

Budapest, 26 March 2024 – Hungary’s innovation scene sprang to life again when the 2023 Hungarian Innovation Grand Prix and 7 other innovation prizes were awarded on 26 March 2024 in the Upper House of the Hungarian Parliament.

Magyar Innovációs Nagydíj 2023The jury made of scientists and renowned business experts, headed by the Minister of Culture and Innovation, focused mainly on economic results and social utility in selecting the outstanding innovation achievements.

The award ceremony was moderated by Dr Zoltán Birkner, Vice President of the Hungarian Association for Innovation. After his opening speech, Dr Péter Závodszky, President of the Hungarian Innovation Foundation, which has been organising the Hungarian Innovation Grand Prix for 32 years now, gave a keynote address, followed by a welcome speech by Dr Csaba Hende, deputy speaker of National Assembly.

At the ceremony, Dr Eszter Vitályos, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Culture and Innovation, gave a presentation on the importance of innovation and its role in the Hungarian economy, followed by László Bódis, Deputy Secretary of State for Innovation and co-chair of the jury, who introduced the competition and the evaluation process and congratulated all the businesses that entered the Grand Prix competition.

The 2023 Hungarian Innovation Grand Prix was awarded to Egis Gyógyszergyár Zrt. for the development of the DELIPID® Plus and TORVAZIN® Plus combination capsules.
Egis’ so-called fixed combination products containing rosuvastatin-ezetimibe (Delipid® Plus) and atorvastatin-ezetimibe (Torvazin® Plus) together are used to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Their product development has included a number of innovative elements, the importance of which is reflected in the fact that Egis has obtained a total of three patents for these two products, one for active ingredients and two for product development, relevant to large‑scale manufacturing technologies. The innovative development work for these two products has been backed up by very significant market success. As a result of year-on-year sales growth since the market launches, Egis Torvazin® Plus sales exceeded HUF 4 billion in the financial year ending in September 2023, while sales of Delipid® Plus, a medicine used to treat more than 15,000 people in Hungary, came close to HUF 20 billion.  Compared to the concomitant use of two single-agent drugs, their combination in a so-called fixed-dose combination product provides better tolerability and greater therapeutic cooperation by patients, as well as increased patient compliance and ultimately more effective therapy.

The 2023 Industrial Innovation Award, sponsored by the Ministry for National Economy, was awarded to Electrostatics Kft. for its innovation “InteGREATed protection - a new generation of conductive suits”.
Building on the research and development results of the past years, Electrostatics Kft. has created a conductive protective suit that enables safer and more ergonomic under voltage than other international manufacturers’ solutions. The former is ensured by the use of a face net as a compulsory accessory and the resistance of the entire suit to the electric arc. The latter is achieved through the double cloth structure of the suit. The economic benefits of the innovation lie in increased suit life, reduced accident costs and continuity of electricity supply, while the social impacts include a smaller ecological footprint of the electricity system, increased employment, support for domestic suppliers, diversity and support for specific needs.

The 2023 Agricultural Innovation Award, sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture, has been awarded to ZILDA Dairy - Makrom Kft. for the first A2 and lactose-free A2 dairy products and for the dairy and food innovation achieved.
ZILDA's dairy processing plant, where premium quality products are made from A2 milk, has antibacterial wall surfaces and air technology to ensure microbiological purity, so their yoghurts have a two-month shelf life, and are made exclusively with milk and pure bacterial culture. By their own account, this is what makes them truly different from their competitors in the market. As a producer of pure A2 milk products, they first entered the market in 2021. In addition to the “traditional” A2 technology, they now also offer a lactose-free version of their products. They make their products for conscious consumers who demand GMO-free, A2 quality products.

The 2023 Environmental Innovation Award, sponsored by the Ministry of Energy, has been awarded to Respray Solutions Kft. for the world’s first spray deodorant refill solution.
Respray Solutions Kft. was the first company in the world to develop and market a spray deodorant refill solution. The business was founded in an effort to protect the environment, which has been a key focus of their activities ever since. Their products emit one fifth less than traditional spray deodorants, so they can confidently claim that they currently offer the most sustainable spray deodorant in the world. They have been on the market since January 2023. Since then, they have achieved a turnover of HUF 5.5 million with their three vending machines and have become one of the top 10 best-selling deodorant products.

The 2023 Energy Innovation Award, sponsored by the Ministry of Energy, has been awarded to FUX Ipari, Szolgáltató és Kereskedelmi Zrt. for the production of an environmentally friendly carbon fibre reinforced composite core high voltage transmission line.
The experts at FUX Zrt., a renowned European manufacturer of electrical cables, are constantly monitoring international trends and looking for new, competitive solutions on the manufacturer side. Such innovation has resulted in the ACCC© conductors for high-voltage electricity transmission. To realize this innovation, it was essential to develop the manufacturing technology for the so-called trapezoidal cross-section wires, and then to develop and implement a process for their twisting to produce a ready-made conductor. This innovation has resulted in the successful winning of Europe’s largest ACCC© conductor replacement project with 1,775 kilometres of conductor replacement. The total value of the pipeline is more than HUF 10 billion.

The 2023 Innovation Award of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office has been awarded to Femtonics Kutató és Fejlesztő Kft. for the development of Femtonics FocusPinner - 3D real-time image stabilization.
Scans using 3D acousto-optical microscope technology have opened up a radically new perspective in brain research. Commonly used diagnostic methods such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) do not allow cellular imaging. FEMTO3D Atlas is currently the best solution for functional, cellular (intracellular) assessment of brain function. Femtonics Kutató és Fejlesztő Kft. was the first company in the world to commercialise image stabilisation technology, an essential tool for basic neurobiological research experiments. Software development for the high-end FEMTO3D Atlas microscope is one of the latest innovative products from Femtonics FocusPinner. In 2022, major institutions such as Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich, Boston Children’s Hospital, the most innovative children's hospital in the US, MIT and McGill University in Canada opted for FEMTO3D Atlas. In 2023, the renowned research group, i.e., the lab led by Prof. Dr Attila Losonczy at Columbia University purchased Atlas, with its third image stabilisation development.

Magyar Innovácios Nagydíj 2023The National Research, Development and Innovation Office’s Innovation Award 2023 “From Basic Research to Market” was awarded to Technoorg Linda Tudományos Műszaki Fejlesztő Kft. for the innovation “CleanMill - Ion Beam Sample Preparation System with Adaptation to Inert Gas Working Environment”.
Since its establishment, Technoorg Linda Kft. has been engaged in the development of ion beam sample preparation equipment, which in many cases is an indispensable complement to electron microscopy. This experience was the background for the development of CleanMill. The innovation of the development is that the CleanMill can also be used to test novel materials, and the CleanMill distinguishes itself from other instruments on the market in terms of both precision and reliability. Another unique feature of CleanMill is its compatibility with the architecture of the currently available market-leading transmission electron microscopes.
Thanks to the launch of the CleanMill ion beam sample preparation tool in summer 2023, sales grew by 114% compared to the previous year, which also saw a spike in sales. The new development alone has generated export revenues of €2,000,000, almost HUF 800,000,000, despite the fact that sales could only start in June. This represents 60% of the company’s turnover in 2023. In six months, 17 users in 7 countries on 3 continents have been supplied with the equipment and its unique sample preparation capability. The product and thus the company have every potential to become the world leader in battery sample preparation by 2026.

The 2023 Startup Innovation Award of the Hungarian Association for Innovation was awarded to Voovo Hungary Kft. for the intelligence-based, super-fast development of Voovo - digital flashcards.
Voovo is an application that allows you to create digital flashcards from anatomy diagrams, definitions, paragraphs or any other teaching material in no time. Students in dozens of countries around the world have already created 1.5 million flashcards. In February this year, the team was accepted into the Techstars Transformative World accelerator programme, one of the 3 most successful startup accelerator programmes in the world. The team is in the process of receiving a quarter of a million dollars to reach 5 million completed flashcards and start working with platform universities.

The jury of the Hungarian Innovation Grand Prix competition also gave special recognition to 3 other innovation achievements. The joint application of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medical School, University of Pécs, the Research Centre for National Reproductive Methodology and the Human Reproduction National Laboratory of the University of Pécs for the "Light-protected flask protection" method, Ganz Motor Kft. for the “Development of the Ganz 180.1-30 type bogie” and Hidrofilt Vizkezelést Tervező és Kivitelező Kft. for the development of the “Hidrofilt energy-efficient ZLD and NZLD water treatment systems”.

A total of 57 applications were received for the 32nd Hungarian Innovation Grand Prix, of which the jury recognised 55 innovations as successful achievements implemented in 2023. These have generated significant additional revenues (more than a third of which come from exports) for the implementing companies. The savings, the price reduction effect and the reduction in environmental impact have generated an additional HUF 11 billion in social benefits.

A brochure presenting the winners and 44 other applications recognised as innovations is available here.

The 32nd Hungarian Innovation Grand Prix contest was funded by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office from the NRDI Fund.

Source: Hungarian Association for Innovation

Updated: 28 March 2024
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