Róbert Ésik, the CEO of HIPA, at the agency's "Investors of the Year" gala event in Pest Vigadó.
Photo by Attila Kovács / MTI
The Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) held its annual "Investors of the Year" award ceremony last week, recognizing the most important foreign investments of 2020, as well as a Hungarian supplier and an industrial park.
The prizes, granted in a total of eight categories, were presented by Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Róbert Ésik, CEO of HIPA.
Largest Greenfield Investment of the Year
Lithium-ion battery separator film developer and producer company, Semcorp Group has established its first production unit outside of China. The 97,000 sqm greenfield plant will start operations in early 2023 in the South Industrial Park located in the city of Debrecen. The investment, worth more than EUR 183 million, will create 440 new jobs. The separator films, manufactured in Hungary, will be used primarily in electric and hybrid car batteries.
Business Expansion of the Year
Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary Kft.
With two strategic decisions in favor of the Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary Ltd. in 2020, the Kecskemét plant strengthened its key position in the Mercedes-Benz Cars' global production network: With an investment value of more than EUR 100 mln, Mercedes-Benz announced that it had established a 23,000 sqm new, fully automatic press plant in March 2020. In addition to this expansion, the decision of the Mercedes-Benz management to invest more than EUR 100 mln in developing the Kecskemét plant to add the first purely electric vehicle to the current series production was announced in December 2020. By 2021 Q4 the production lines of the Kecskemét plant will manufacture every drive type from the classic internal combustion engines through the plug-in hybrids to the purely electric drive.
Company of the Year for Job Creation
Lenovo Manufacturing Hungary Kft.
Lenovo, one of the world's leading computer-manufacturing companies, is widely known for its global hybrid-manufacturing model, which involves a mix of in-house and contract manufacturing. To strengthen this model, the global company with Chinese roots established an in-house manufacturing unit in Hungary, their first in Europe. The plant produces desktop computers, graphics workstations and data center products, mainly for the European and African markets. Lenovo's investment in Üllő will create 1,000 jobs, including positions for IT specialists and engineers.
Center of Excellence of the Year
Diligent Governance Hungary Kft.
The U.S.-based Diligent Corporation is a leading governance, risk and compliance (GRC) SaaS (Software as a Service) company providing various services to more than one million users from over 25,000 organizations around the globe. Diligent's modern GRC platform ensures boards, executives and other leaders have a holistic, integrated view of audit, risk, information security, ethics, and compliance across the organization. More than 300 professionals with a high level of education will be working in Diligent's new Center for Global Product Innovation in Budapest in the areas of software engineering, product management, quality assurance and more.
Business Services Centre Investment of the Year
Support Services Group Europe
With its headquarters in Waco, Texas, Support Services Group (S2G) offers a wide range of business services to over 60 partners, from classic service center functions to professional B2B business services and its own CRM system. The management of S2G chose Hungary as the location for its European center and wishes to create 300 jobs. The Budapest center can provide high-quality customer support to a leading streaming service company in five languages, covering eight countries.
R&D Investment of the Year
ARM Hungary Kft.
ARM, founded in 1990 and headquartered in Cambridge, develops smartphones and IoT tools in addition to designing AI systems, 5G networks and business infrastructure solutions. ARM Group has been present in Hungary since 2014 and their areas of business include traditional hardware and embedded software development, in addition to providing operative support to various business units within the parent company. The firm has expanded its presence by investing EUR 9 mln and creating 60 R&D related workplaces in their Budapest office.
Industrial Park of the Year
Nyíregyházi Ipari Park Nonprofit Kft.
Due to its highly developed infrastructure and favorable geographical features Nyíregyháza Industrial Park serves as a home for many multinational companies with a core area of 127 hectares. As a result of the successful investment promotion policy and the dedication of the Local Municipality, the industrial park is fully occupied nowadays, but in order to satisfy the requirements of the great number of new incoming inquiries, a new 88 hectares industrial area will be developed.
Supplier of the Year
Hirschler Glas Kft.
The family-owned Hirschler-Glas Ltd., has been manufacturing glass and mirror parts for the automotive industry, and supplies 26 manufacturers, with 70% of its exports purchased by OEMs. In recent years, the firm has successfully implemented several R&D projects, which have resulted in increased productivity. Hirschler-Glas is dedicated to a complete transition to Industry 4.0, in which it can already show significant results. The company successfully applied for the HIPA-managed Subsidy to Improve Competitiveness, which helped to retain its 67 employees. In 2020, the plant won the Factory of the Year award in its own category.