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R&D spending up 21.1% in 2017

Spending on research and development in Hungary amounted to HUF 517 billion, or 1.35% of GDP, in 2017, up 21.1% in current prices from a year earlier, according to a summary of data by the Central Statistical Office (KSH), state news agency MTI reported.

State financing jumped 47.1% to HUF 165 bln, accounting for 31.9% of total R&D funding, compared to 26.2% a year earlier.

Businesses again played a big role in funding R&D. The business sector spent more than HUF 272 bln in 2017, up 13.0% from a year earlier, accounting for 52.6% of total R&D funding compared to 56.4% a year earlier. The share of business spending has been rising every year since 2013, but major government spending in 2017 reversed the trend.

Foreign resources came close to HUF 77 bln last year, up 8.6% from 2016. The share of foreign resources fell to 14.8%, down from 16.6%. Around 75% of foreign funds came from companies, and 20% via various European Union tenders.

At the same time, the KSH reported that the number of institutions and entities involved in research and development rose by 14% in 2017, after dropping previously for three years in a row.

The number of R&D units in Hungary last year climbed to 3,109, up from 2,727 a year before, but was still below the peak of 3,159 units registered in 2013.

There were 119 organizations and institutes funded by the government, 1,346 research labs run by higher education organizations, and 1,644 corporate units carrying out R&D activities.

Data show that 666 units were involved in natural sciences research, 1,064 in engineering sciences, 343 in medical sciences, 240 in agricultural sciences, 483 in social sciences, and 313 in humanities.

There were 60,932 people involved in research activities in 2017, some 0.91% of the entire national workforce. The figure was up 11.5% annually, the KSH reported. Of these, 42,729 were actual researchers, and 10,729 were assistant staff.