According to the announcement, the primary objective of the Fast Track call is to stimulate the development of domestic businesses capable of rapid growth and significant added value. The new funding scheme, which was successfully launched two years ago, will this year provide more than four times increased funding to help the utilisation of marketable Hungarian ideas.
The National Research, Development and Innovation Office first launched the Fast Track call in September 2020 for RDI projects of high-growth potential but often undercapitalised domestic businesses (start-ups and spin-offs). Twenty promising development projects were funded from the then HUF 3 billion budget, focusing on the health sector due to the topicality of the COVID-19 epidemic, the press release said.
The Ministry of Culture and Innovation pointed out that after the success of the first year, the Fast Track scheme was re-launched in December 2021 with a budget of HUF 8 billion, but the funding request of the project proposals submitted for peer review was still 3.5 times the available funding. Due to the great interest and the positive experience of the implementation of previous winning projects, KIM has increased the budget to HUF 12.85 billion.
László György, State Secretary for Innovation and Higher Education of KIM stressed that “both the market demand and the high professional quality of the project proposals justified the significant increase in the budget. As a result, 40-50% more businesses will be boosted to break into the market than planned, and more innovation can come from the realisation of viable ideas,” according to the press release.
The State Secretary added that “these companies will also contribute to achieving the goal set in the National RDI Strategy, and to Hungary becoming one of Europe’s top 10 innovators by the end of the decade.”
Each of the 74 winning projects in the current Fast Track call aims to help applicants develop a marketable prototype, product, technology or service with significant scientific or technical novelty, involving the employment of at least one researcher. The National Research, Development and Innovation Fund will support this aim with a maximum of HUF 300 million in non-refundable funding per project, the press release said.