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MTA makes plea for full research funding

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) is asking Minister for Innovation and Technology Lászlo Palkovics not to withhold funding for the first quarter of next year from the academyʼs research network, MTA President László Lovász said after an extraordinary general assembly on Thursday.

About half of the first-quarter funding, allocated for material expenditures, not salaries, is being withheld until an agreement is reached between the ministry and the academy, Lovász said.

Responding to the academyʼs concerns, Palkovics said at a press conference on Thursday that the government will ensure the research institutions make payroll until a new structure is established, by next April according to plan. Operating costs will be covered by the academy, he added.

Early next year, new tenders will be called for funding research groups, and these will be open to everybody in the ecosystem of innovation, Palkovics said.

"The academyʼs budget is HUF 64 billion, of which a total of HUF 17 bln is earmarked for research. The academy has the resources to cover material costs for the next several months," the minister said.