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Agreement reached on financing of MTA

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) says it has reached an agreement with the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (ITM) on its financing, Hungarian news agency MTI reports.

(Photo by Botond Horváth/Shutterstock.com)

In the summer, lawmakers moved state funding for R&D activities of the MTA from its own independent budget chapter to the budget chapter of the ITM, sparking a debate over how the academyʼs research strategy might be affected.

"As a result of the talks, the sides agreed that the financing conditions are in place according to the approved budget act, and the legal and administrative conditions for the implementation of the law will be established," the academy said in a statement posted on its website dated September 14.

"The planning of the chapter in the 2019 budget - naturally, including the network of institutions - will transpire in the same way as in earlier years, in a manner and with deadlines that are in line with regulations. Financing for the institutions next year will be finalized in an agreement," the academy added.

"The academyʼs currently active tenders for projects [...] may continue with the academyʼs support without interruption, and in accordance with the original decisions on the funding and the original funding periods. The ITM will ensure for the academy the necessary fiscal allocation for this," the statement said.

After the agreement was reached, the ministryʼs experts announced the restructuring of the innovation system, the academyʼs statement continued.

"It is the ministryʼs position that a review and assessment of institutions active in basic and applied research be conducted before the new system is introduced," it noted. "The reviews and assessments will be carried out by the ministry for institutions within its own scope, and by the academy for institutions that belong to its own network. Decisions on the structures of institutions will not be taken before the reviews take place."

The ITM aims to continue talks on the timeframe and method for undertaking the reviews, the statement added.