László Palkovics stressed that the Hungarian government shares this idea of the EU and, to this end, it gives priority to research, development and innovation, and aims to make Hungary one of Europe’s strong innovators. “The European Innovation Scoreboard 2020 currently ranks Hungary as a moderate innovator, and our goal is to move up the list in this decade,” he said.
With a budget of more than EUR 95 billion, the new seven-year programme is a continuation of Horizon 2020 (H2020).
The Minister pointed out that the government’s aim is to find the right balance between supporting curiosity-driven research, challenge-based applied research and market-driven innovation in the national RDI system in the new framework programme structure. The new framework programme will establish stronger links with national innovation ecosystems through a dedicated sub-programme. Welcoming the innovations of the programme, the Minister said that all the recent changes and reforms in the Hungarian innovation ecosystem will allow national actors to be more active in the Framework Programme than ever before.
He said that the most important task in the new budgetary period is to win much more funding from the EU’s direct-access funding programmes than in the past.
The aim is to achieve a higher share than in the Horizon Europe 2020, more specifically 2.18% of the total budget.
He said Hungary had performed well in the previous Horizon 2020 programme, coming third best among the EU13, after Poland and the Czech Republic. Hungary obtained 0.6% of the total budget available to the EU28 countries, which means EUR 364.7 million and 1108 projects. In terms of funding volume, the Hungarian projects were most successful in ICT, health and food.
To achieve better results in the new framework programme, László Palkovics considered it crucial to develop the national research and innovation potential by restructuring and modernising the RDI system. The innovation ecosystem should be strengthened, building on higher education, and special incentives should be introduced in national RDI systems to facilitate international RDI cooperation, he said. He underlined that every effort will be made to provide practical support to Hungarian organisations wishing to participate in Horizon Europe programmes, including through information campaigns and training courses.
The National Research, Development and Innovation (NRDI) Office will play a key role in this, as the institution maintaining the network of Horizon Europe national contact points. The Minister expressed the hope that many Hungarian researchers and entrepreneurs will take advantage of the opportunities offered by the programme.
In her opening speech, Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, stressed that research and innovation will determine Europe’s future, and that pan-European cooperation, high quality research and the translation of new ideas into concrete innovation are, therefore, essential. The Commissioner said that the European community is doing a high quality job in research. Hungarian researchers have done well in the previous programme and she is confident that this will continue in 2021-2027.