HU-rizon Program: HUF 8 bln Funding for International Research led by Hungarian Unis


Balázs Hankó

Hungary’s National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NRDIO) has announced a new HUF 8 billion call to support the launch of international research projects led by Hungarian research teams, involving the world’s top universities and research institutes and focusing on solving three social and economic challenges of importance to Hungary and the world.

Digitalization, the green transition, and the preservation of a healthy life are pressing challenges faced in almost all areas of the economy and society. Under the new call, the NRDIO invites innovative research proposals from Hungarian-led international research teams in these three priority focus areas identified in the John von Neumann Program (NJP).

Applications can be submitted until July 5. The goal-oriented, impact-driven approach of the HU-rizon Program and the requirement to achieve results that can be applied in practice will contribute to strengthening market-oriented research and the international embeddedness of Hungarian universities, NRDIO says.

The move follows an earlier EU decision to block Horizon Europe and Erasmus+ funding for some Hungarian institutes, including 21 universities, over concerns about their management structures.

“Our new international research excellence call shows that if they try to close us down, we will open up to the world. That is why we have initiated our international student exchange scheme, the Pannonia Program that is currently available, and launch now the HU-rizon Program to support international cooperation with Hungarian researchers,” says State Secretary for Innovation, Higher Education, Vocational Training and Adult Education Balázs Hankó, of the Ministry of Culture and Innovation.

The Importance of Research

“Facing the European Commission’s unfair and discriminatory decision, which seriously harms the competitiveness of Hungary and Europe, we believe in the importance of international research cooperation. Through the launch of the HU-rizon Program, we will fund research in areas of interest to Hungarian society and economy and cover the costs of the best foreign universities participating,” the state secretary underlined.

The program is open to research centers and researchers not only from Europe but globally, based on excellence, while Hungarian higher education institutions will lead the international consortia implementing the research projects.

Funding from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund will cover the total budget of the research and development projects; in other words, the costs of both Hungarian institutions and their foreign partners. Projects can be awarded a budget of up to HUF 400 million.

Hungarian academic research groups have nine exciting topics to choose from within the three focus areas of the NJP and have two months to develop innovative concepts in cooperation with fellow researchers from Europe or beyond.

The 24-36-month collaborative projects funded under the HU-rizon Program aim to support the development of strategically important global partnerships and assist Hungarian researchers in getting ready to lead large-scale international projects.

Further details are available on the NRDIO website.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of May 17, 2024.

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