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Tungsram, iLex launch SME assistance platform

Hungarian legal IT startup iLex and lighting company Tungsram have announced the launch of an online platform aimed at helping local SMEs bring innovative products to market, the companies told the Budapest Business Journal.

The launch of the program

Ferenc Pongrácz, general manager responsible for innovation at Tungsram, says that the "Tungsram Innovation Marketplace powered by iLex" allows SMEs to connect with both Tungsram and its partners to request assistance. Currently in the experimental phase, the platform can be found at ilexmarketplace.tungsram.com.

Using the platform, businesses can receive quick answers to legal, patenting, innovation management, prototype manufacturing, production capacity, lab infrastructure, and market access questions. Later, the two firms behind the platform and their partners will also offer specific solutions in the aforementioned fields.

Marianna Ritter, CEO of iLex, describes the recently launched platform as merely the tip of the iceberg. After the introductory phase, the full version will be available in January 2020.

Ritter adds that iLex connects large and small enterprises with tech solutions, as the company has already developed seven such AI-based applications.

Tamás Stukovszky, chief advisor to the Minister for Innovation and Technology, emphasizes that the government supports companies taking part in innovation, as well as the cooperation of large enterprises and SMEs, adding that Tungsramʼs online platform is a good example of this.

Tungsram President-CEO Jörg Bauer says that Tungsram can become the flagship of Hungarian SME innovation, facilitating entry to the market with its manufacturing and labor capacity, and global sales network. He adds that the company will expand its cooperation with the SME sector to let companies put as many innovative solutions on the market as possible.

The online platform is in line with Tungsramʼs external market mentoring role within the National Entrepreneurship Mentor Program, launched by the Ministry for Innovation and Technology and the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK) to support SMEs.

Tungsramʼs strategy is to boost the share of its revenue generated from innovative activities to 50% within ten years, Pongrácz was cited as saying by state news wire MTI. At present, lighting technology accounts for 93% of the companyʼs turnover.

Last year, MTI recalled, General Electricʼs lighting business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, as well as its global automotive lighting business, was acquired by its chief executive in Hungary, Jörg Bauer. He gave the business back its old name, Tungsram, a global Hungarian brand that is still synonymous with lighting products in many parts of the world, more than a century after its establishment.