Huge reserves can be mobilised in the Hungarian economy by improving the innovation performance of businesses, in particular SMEs, and by better involving universities and other research institutions in the innovation chain. However, in order to be more competitive and more efficient, the country needs a radical change in the mindset. The NRDI Office organised the National Innovation Forum in February 2019 with the specific aim to make all stakeholders in the ecosystem more aware of the importance of innovation and to directly contribute with proposals to the renewal of the innovation system and the competitive funding system. This way, the NRDI Office managed to involve over 2800 participants in the design process and has used the feedbacks from the consultations to design many new funding schemes to be launched later this year and to streamline or completely phase out existing funding programmes.
Goal-oriented, predictable and sustainable funding is vital for the new innovation system. The calls announced or to be announced this year from the NRDI Fund already aim in the first place to enable Hungarian businesses, including SMEs, to develop new marketable products and services and to ensure a more organised utilisation of the research results of universities, which are the foundations of the innovation ecosystem, either independently or through collaborations with the industry. Also, the NRDI Office’s activities are currently undergoing a strategic transformation to reinforce the supportive environment with real services in addition to the funding opportunities.
As the RDI programmes of the EU are gradually phased out, it is becoming more and more important to take advantage of direct access EU funds which are currently open for businesses and research organisations for RDI activities under the Horizon 2020 framework programme. Hungarian stakeholders have to better leverage these opportunities in both the current framework programme and the upcoming one to be launched in 2021. The NRDI Office has various means to facilitate this by providing active expert services for applicants or reforming the Hungarian booster funding system.
Budapest, 20 June 2019