Hungary Picked to Participate in MIT Innovation Program


Actors of the Hungarian innovation ecosystem will be working together with one of the best universities in the world for the next two years. The aim of the entrepreneurship acceleration program of Boston-based MIT is to encourage international participants to think and work together, thus helping the development of their region more efficiently, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

Being in the program gives Hungary the opportunity to reach the global front line of the innovation scene.

The goal of the MIT REAP initiative is to strengthen innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystems, which can have a long-term impact on the local and global economy and social processes. 

MIT selects eight new partner regions for the two-year program per year, then multidisciplinary teams are formed from them. The regional actors are encouraged to share their own experiences with the whole batch and to learn from each other. Hungary got into the ninth cohort (organized in 2022-23), as a partner of Kansas City, Omaha, St. Louis, and Des Moines (USA), the Dominican Republic, Piauí in Brazil, and Western Australia.

All five major stakeholder groups are represented in an MIT REAP team: government, corporate, academia, risk capital, and the entrepreneurial community. From Hungary, the National Bank of Hungary; the Budapest University of Technology and Economics; the National Research, Development and Innovation Office; Oncompass Medicine Hungary Ltd.; 77 Elektronika Ltd.; 4iG Plc;. and Design Terminal got into the program.

"We must reach the sustainable economic level in a turbulent decade. The key to success will be the forging of knowledge, capital and new technologies," emphasized Barnabás Virág, vice president of the Hungarian National Bank. "There is a lot of innovation potential in the Hungarian economy, separately and scattered. Our goal is to create platforms and utilize good practices with the help of interconnected knowledge and by that to achieve a significant growth at the level of national economy."

"It is a huge opportunity and honor to be able to represent large companies and capital investors at MIT," says István Sárhegyi, space industry investor and minority owner in 4iG subsidiary, CarpathiaSat. "I believe that it is extremely important to create an ecosystem in Hungary that can be seen as an exciting opportunity for corporations and investors."

"Today, Boston is considered to be the Silicon Valley of the healthcare industry. I will gladly share my learned experience in my home country, in order to contribute to the founding of many internationally successful, innovative businesses that make use of Hungarian scientific results. Biotechnology, the health industry, and especially digital health care offer exciting opportunities to professionals who want their research results to be used in practice,"  says cancer researcher István Peták, co-founder of Oncompass Medicine.

"By participating, our goal is to bring the latest and best international practices into Hungary's innovation ecosystem," says László Jónás, head of strategy at Design Terminal. "Thus, we can reach the global front line of the innovation scene."

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