The Ministry’s Wednesday statement cited the annual summary of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH), which showed that business expenditure on R&D has been steadily increasing for about two decades, accounting for more than three quarters of total R&D expenditure The government is putting higher education institutions at the heart of the innovation ecosystem. For the first time, university R&D expenditure and investment exceeded HUF 100 billion. The results of the strengthening of the research institutions are already visible, with their expenditure rising by 9% in a year to nearly HUF 77 billion.
The ITM stresses that a key objective is to increase the successful participation of domestic innovators in the EU’s RDI framework programmes, thus increasing their international embeddedness. Compared to previous years, foreign funding has increased sharply by almost 40 percent to over HUF 128 billion, which is the largest amount in this category in the last two decades.
The government’s strategic vision is to increase the share of R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP to 3% by 2030. Alongside the expansion of funding, the development of new institutions will support Hungary’s ambition to become a strong innovator by the end of the decade. The Eötvös Loránd Research Network will have an increased budget and will be able to carry out major infrastructure improvements. Fourteen Science and Innovation Parks will be created, building on local assets to strengthen links between universities and businesses. The National Laboratories encourage the exploitation of the results of exploratory and experimental research and the linking of national research centres in these fields. This autumn also saw the establishment of the Bay Zoltán Research Institute Network, which supports applied research.
Tamás Schanda stressed that “the government is expanding the number of Hungarian researchers and enabling them to develop their skills through targeted support programmes and by improving working conditions. The year before last, we already met our strategic target for 2020 to increase their number from 38,000 in 2013 to 56,000.
It has gone even further: last year, more than 62,000 researchers worked in Hungary. The rise of high-value-added, knowledge-based employment has not been held back by the coronavirus pandemic, but rather accelerated. Most of the new jobs were created in sectors that contribute to long-term competitiveness, including the IT sector and professional and scientific activities,” the State Secretary said according to the ITM statement.