Hungary to launch revamped R&D institutional, financing system from 2012

Telco

Hungary’s institutional and financing system for research and development will be revamped from next year with the goal of raising R&D spending to 1.8% of GDP by 2020, National Economy Ministry state secretary Zoltan Csefalvay said at a conference organised by business daily Napi Gazdasag on Wednesday.

R&D spending in Hungary is currently at 1.14% of GDP, well under the 1.9% European Union average, Mr Csefalvay said. In order to achieve the goal, the creation of at least 10,000 R+D workplaces will be necessary, he added.

Hungary’s government has already established a National Innovation Office that operates as an agency, Mr Csefalvay said. The agency is expected to open an office in Brussels in the first half of next year, he added.

When the government took power, the Innovation Fund had made just HUF 200m in commitments, which is why no new tenders for grant money were called this year and the amount available next year will be limited, he said. From next year, not only companies that are active in R+D, but all mid-sized and large businesses will contribute to the fund, he added, noting companies would still be able to write off the contribution from their tax base.

From January 1, the Innovation Fund will operate with HUF 46bn, including a HUF 32bn commitment, thus tenders can be called for about HUF 13.5bn in grant money, Mr Csefalvay said.

Hungarian companies and research institutes have won a combined €160m in R+D grants in the 2007-2013 EU budget period.

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