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Universities, businesses urged to cooperate more in Hungary

Ecosystem

A European study on university-business cooperation in 33 countries carried out for the European Commission shows that cooperation in Hungary is below the European average, but both academics and businesses plan to increase their collaborative activities in future.

Over 60% of Hungarian academics are not engaged in university-business cooperation (UBC) at all, rarely commercializing their research and development (R&D) results or participating in entrepreneurship activities for students, says a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal. Similarly, it adds, the business sector barely supports academics and students who want to create their own businesses.

Hungarian academics share few resources with businesses and participation in each other’s governance systems is low, the study found. This low level of UBC is likely to be hindering student employability in Hungary, innovation efforts at local companies, and the ability of university research to impact society.

Barriers to collaboration are perceived to be higher than in other European countries, according to a sample of 662 representatives from Hungarian academia and business. The lack of university and government funding, bureaucracy, and a lack of time are cited among the main barriers for academics.

Hungarian businesses are also hindered by a lack of government funding, along with the differing motivations of universities and businesses. A university’s focus is typically on producing scientific outcomes instead of more practical ones, notes the study.

At the same time, the study found, Hungarian academics and business people who do collaborate are generally satisfied with their cooperative activities. Cooperation occurs more often in education and research, and the most common activities are student internships in companies, joint R&D, and academics acting as consultants for businesses.

The potential to access better-qualified graduates, technologies and knowledge is what drives Hungarian businesses to collaborate, whereas academics who cooperate are principally driven by the possibility to obtain financial resources and improve their research.

Hungarian academics undertake most of their cooperation with large businesses or small/micro-sized companies at regional or national level, while lacking cooperation with business internationally. On the other hand, some 53% of cooperating businesses engage with international universities.

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