Zoltán Birkner, President of the NRDI Office, said that the aim of the professional partnership is to strengthen the knowledge-based, sustainable competitiveness of the Hungarian economy, in addition to basic research.
The research network has also joined the network of Territorial Innovation Platforms established by the NRDI Office, which, among other things, provide further opportunities to create and strengthen cooperation between researchers and the business sector.
The cooperation can facilitate the better use of domestic and international funding opportunities and contribute to the exploitation of scientific results generated at ELKH's research centres, said Miklós Maróth, President of ELKH.
The most important goals of the NRDI Office include strengthening the socio-economic benefits of scientific research and encouraging cooperation between science and economic actors, Zoltán Birkner stressed. He added that the ELKH has an important role to play in the redesigned institutional structure.
In recent years, the NRDI Office has developed schemes to strengthen cohesion between the two groups and has launched a wide range of calls for proposals. While in 2018, calls worth HUF 80 billion were announced, this increased to HUF 180 billion by 2021, with the addition of international and other funding, he said.
Speaking about the network of Territorial Innovation Platforms (TIP), Zoltán Birkner said that the new type of model covers the whole country and all sectors, and by addressing regional actors, the network already has around 500 partners.
Miklós Maróth recalled that in order to improve the situation of the research network, which was taken out of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, internal reforms had to be implemented. Among the first important steps, he said, were an average 30% increase in researchers’ salaries and stable funding for institutes.
He also pointed out that a separate innovation department has been set up to disseminate the results of the research network to the Hungarian economy.
The transformation of ELKH, which employs around 5,000 staff, including 2,500 researchers, is a long-term, conscious process, in which the NRDI Office is an important partner, said the President of ELKH.