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Proposal on the Research, Development and Innovation Strategy of Hungary (2021-2030)
13 September 2021
Modified: 13 September 2021
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The vision of Hungary’s RDI strategy for 2021-2030 is a knowledge-based, balanced, sustainable economy and society capable of creating high added value in all areas of the country, a vision supported by the Government through the instruments of RDI policy.

The RDI policy aims to put Hungary among the strong innovator countries in the EU by the end of the decade, through the value-creating capacity of the RDI ecosystem, intensive improvement of the innovation performance of the business sector and consistent implementation of smart specialisation. To this end, the Government has committed in its RDI strategy to increase R&D expenditure as a share of GDP to 3% by 2030.

To achieve the government’s goals, competitiveness needs to be enhanced with a high value-added, innovation-open economy and a business sector that uses and develops modern technology and is able to respond flexibly to global trends.

The RDI strategy sets out three main overarching objectives for domestic innovation policy:

  1. making more use than at present of the research results of public research institutions (research institutes and higher education institutions);
  2. improving the innovation performance of domestic enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises;
  3. strengthening cooperation between actors in the R&D and innovation system.

The objectives of the RDI strategy are structured around three main pillars, as outlined above:

  • strengthening knowledge production by expanding and modernising the capacity of the RDI institutional system and ensuring a supply of researchers;
  • enhancing knowledge flows by encouraging more effective cooperation between actors in the RDI ecosystem, increasing interoperability between sectors and expanding opportunities for knowledge transfer;
  • making more effective use of knowledge by boosting innovation in enterprises.

Increasing the efficiency of knowledge production, knowledge flows and knowledge use is the basis of the strategy, but to achieve its vision, it is also necessary to move forward on horizontal issues that have a major impact on the functioning of the innovation ecosystem. However, RDI actors have only limited influence on these, so government intervention is essential.

Horizontal objectives of the RDI strategy:

  • Encouragement of openness to innovation, creative thinking and value creation
  • Creation of an RDI-supporting regulatory framework and business environment
  • Strengthening of regional, social and economic cohesion through RDI
  • Creation of a funding system that promotes both stability and incentivisation
  • Stimulation of challenge- and demand-driven RDI
  • Ensuring gender equality in the RDI system

In parallel with the development of the RDI strategy, Hungary also designed the 2021-2027 National Strategy for Smart Specialisation (S3). S3 can be seen as an umbrella strategy for the strategic planning documents of three areas. These are: the RDI Strategy, the Strategy for Strengthening Hungarian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and the National Digitalisation Strategy, which is about to be adopted by the government.

The integration and alignment of the S3 and the RDI strategy are essential to boost Hungary’s RDI performance in this decade. While the former defines the horizontal objectives and RDI-specific areas of intervention necessary for the development of the innovation ecosystem, S3 builds on the pillars of the strategic objectives of the three areas and sets priorities with high development potential, where the concentration of resources can contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the economy.

Updated: 13 September 2021
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