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Zoltán Birkner: Hungary spends approximately a thousand billion a year on research and development
08 December 2022
Modified: 20 December 2022
Reading time: 4 minute(s)
Budapest, Thursday, December 8, 2022 (MTI) - Hungary now spends nearly a thousand billion forints a year on research and development, and if this pace is maintained, it will be among the top ten RDI countries by 2030, the president of the National Research, Development and Innovation (NRDI) Office said at a conference in Budapest on Thursday.

Zoltán Birkner added that in 2021, HUF 907 billion will be spent on research and development, 18 percent more than in the previous year.

He said that the strengthening of R&D in recent years, the creation of a new university structure and the closer links between research networks and market players have all contributed to strengthening the country’s innovation capacity.

At the conference presenting the work and achievements of the Translational Medicine Research Centre of the National Institute of Hematology and Infectology of the South-Pest Central Hospital, Zoltán Birkner emphasised that in order to have a high added value industry, much more needs to be invested in innovation.

He pointed out that the state has supported this area with a number of programmes and funding schemes, such as the HUF 100 billion Thematic Excellence Programmes, or the HUF 160 billion National Laboratories Programme, in which healthcare and the health industry are prominently represented.

According to the President of the NRDI Office, science and its results should be better linked to the economy and industry, i.e. the link between knowledge production and knowledge exploitation should be strengthened.

He mentioned the Translational Medicine Research Centre at the South Pest Central Hospital as an excellent example of this.

István Vályi-Nagy, Director General of the National Institute of Hematology and Infectology of the South-Pest Central Hospital, presenting the Translational Medicine Research Centre, said that the aim of the centre is to analyse the data collected in the course of medical and research work, to make them available (without patient identifying information) to various research centres or other national institutions and health industry players, so that they can use these data for their future health industry developments.

Translational medicine is all about bringing the data, basic and clinical research results gathered in healthcare back into the medical field as quickly as possible, he added.

The Director General said that it is necessary to be able to analyse patient data generated in healthcare with the help of artificial intelligence, and to build “dynamic registers” from them.

At the South-Pest Central Hospital, data are mainly available for haematology and coronavirus patients. For example, Covid has been shown to exhibit immunological and genetic differences between mild, moderate and severe patients, he said.

According to István Vályi-Nagy, with the amount and quality of information constantly increasing, we can only be competitive in the healthcare industry if there is adequate funding and support available. Gábor Boér, Deputy State Secretary for Health Financing and Development at the Ministry of the Interior, said that the rapid feedback of translational medicine results into health care will contribute to increasing the number of healthy life years.

The government’s main ambition is to strengthen care close to home by leveraging the competences of general practitioners, which will increase the burden on urban and county specialised care institutions, he said, adding that the aim is also to maintain and strengthen the response capacity that was reinforced during the coronavirus epidemic.

These are the objectives of the new digital solutions, which must meet different requirements. These include: valid information, data-driven care, improving the efficiency of data use, an environment that supports innovation, and the integration of artificial intelligence into daily practice, he said.

The digital transition is one of the defining processes of our time, and the social provision of health requires a new set of tools that go beyond the current health subsystems, he said.

He pointed out that the translation of data collected in the health sector into various databases helps government decisions, individual patient-level decision making, contributes to participation in pharmaceutical research and provides opportunities to involve partners in the health industry.

Source: MTI

Updated: 20 December 2022
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