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Palkovics: R&D funds doubled in the last decade
03 December 2020
Last modified: 10 December 2020
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Budapest, 3 December 2020, Thursday (MTI) – Domestic expenditure on research and development has been rising for years, reaching an unprecedented HUF 702 billion last year, which is more than double the 2010 expenditure – the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (ITM) disclosed to MTI this Thursday.

Recent statistics published by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) show a HUF 48 billion growth in 2019 alone. Researcher headcounts increased by about 2500 in a single year, the ITM briefing says. As László Palkovics, Minister for Innovation and Technology pointed out: “the Government aims to increase domestic spending on R&D to 1.8% of GDP. Seeing the steadily increasing amount of funds and the recent incentive measures introduced for the entire RDI system, the goal is realistic.”

Last year, about three-quarters of all domestic R&D expenditure was used by businesses. The greatest increase in R&D funds, by one-fifth compared to the previous year, was experienced by universities: they can spend over HUF 16 billion more. According to the KSH report, the rise in researcher headcounts was split between the business sector and the academia in the proportion of two-thirds to one-third, the MTI reported.

The ITM said that further growth can be expected as, at the initiative of the ITM, the annual level of budgetary support for RDI increased by HUF 43 billion this year. Much of the domestic scientific output was driven by the Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH) established last September. From 2021, the Government provides an extra HUF 22 billion to the ELKH for the operation of the research network and for wage and infrastructure development. Wage subsidies for R&D employees, the amount of which is unique even by international standards, have contributed to the retention of over 23,000 highly qualified jobs with more than HUF 17 billion in total.

Competences to address global problems can be developed in the National Laboratories comprising the domestic scientific workshops of research topics that are particularly promising for the national economy. The Government has provided HUF 14 billion for the creation and setup of 17 national laboratories and one research laboratory to facilitate the social, economic and environmental exploitation of research results – the briefing says.

In 2018 the Government began to reform the country’s entire research, development and innovation structure based on strategic considerations. Hungary is placed 35th in the Global Innovation Index 2020 rankings which measures the innovation performance of 131 countries. In regional comparison, Hungary is preceded by the Czech Republic alone. The Government is working to move Hungary up to the strong innovators – the Ministry for Innovation and Technology announced.

Source: ITM

Updated: 10 December 2020
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