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Innovation is the engine of economic growth

Competitive taxation, efficient tender application system, innovative SMEs and the education supporting R&D: these are the main recommendations AmCham announced in its tenth position brief, published on Tuesday. 

This year, AmCham put innovation in the focus among five other special areas, said István Havas, president of the chamber, presenting their position brief called R&D and Innovation as a Pillar For National Competitiveness.

Since AmCham finished preparing its paper in December 2011, the Hungarian government has implemented several steps concerning R&D and some of them are considered as positive by the chamber. "We hope that several other recommendations will be built in government policies," Havas added. 

There are four major areas of recommendations: a competitive tax system, efficient tender applications, predictable, flexible actions for the competitiveness of innovative SMEs and education supporting R&D.

"Legal and regulatory conditions concerning R&D have an important effect on competitiveness and on sustainable economic growth," said Lajos Reich, GM Technology of GE Healthcare and head of AmCham Innovation Group. "By realizing our proposals, Hungary's R&D spending could be doubled."

There is a global competition for creating R&D centers, and this competition is only getting harder. To attract these investment is also crucial because multinational R&D centers are an important catalizator for SME innovation. "We also think that software development and internet technologies should be supported with special grants, including ones that foster incubation models for conscious founding of SME's," said Gábor Vicze of Microsoft.

"We recommend the diversification of tax incentives related to R&D activites. Also, pharamaceutical R&D, giving more than 50% of the total spending, should further be supported. And last, but not least, R&D definitions should be made unambigous in the tax and tender application system," Csaba Márkus, tax partner of Deloitte added. 

"The governemnt should support an education system that fosters creativity, an environment that pushes the dialogue of the education and the industry. Meanwhile, the companies should have the final word in what to spend their contributions for vocal training should be spent on," Vilmos Benkő, AmCham board member noted. 

Anikó Jóri-Molnár