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RIO Country Report 2017: Hungary

The R&I Observatory country report 2017 provides a brief analysis of the R&I system covering the economic context, main actors, funding trends & human resources, policies to address R&I challenges, and R&I in national and regional smart specialisation strategies. Data are from Eurostat, unless otherwise referenced and are correct as at January 2018. Data used from other international sources are also correct to that date. The report provides a state-of-play and analysis of the national level R&I system and its challenges, to support the European Semester.



Challenges for R&I policy-making in Hungary

Fostering innovation in domestic enterprises. Small domestic firms lack their own funding for R&D and often wait for public support in order to launch new R&I projects. Recognising this issue, a large number of measures have been put in place to support private research and innovation activities, however the statistics has not reflected these investments so far.

Enhancing the cooperation between science, higher education and business. Several programmes were launched to support the cooperation between science, higher education and business in the past decade. However, they had usually short life-span to foster the achievement of significant results. The new Higher Education and Industry Cooperation Centres (FIEKs) have been established for a span of at least four years and it is expected that they would create long-standing bridges between academia and business which requires changes in the culture and attitudes in both spheres.

Supporting the demand side of innovation. Hungary has had little experience so far in pre-commercial public procurement (PcP). In fact, the National RDI Strategy 2013-2020 identified the enlivening of the R&D demand as one of the key issues in the development of the Hungarian RDI system. Although the National Reform Plan 2016 foresaw a PcP programme, this planned call was not published in the portfolio of RDI calls in 2017 due to the lack of demand from the public sector side.

Supplying the R&I system with high-skilled human resources. Both the share of science and engineering (S&E) graduates and the rate of participation in life-long learning are rather low in international comparison and a significant gap might be opening between the supply and demand for qualified S&E personnel in the future. There are several initiatives to improve the situation but it will take several years to reverse the trends.

Smart specialisation

The implementation of the National Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) has begun under the supervision of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH). The defined specialisations of the S3 strategy are embedded in the calls of the NKFIH that were published for the new programming period 2014-2020. 
The S3 strategy is aligned with the National RDI Strategy 2013-2020  and provides a sectoral and territorial detailing of that strategy and therefore the two are – to a certain extent - intertwined. The NRDI Office launched the renewal of the RDI Strategy involving key stakeholders in May 2017 which may influence the S3 strategy, too.
The national S3 strategy put focus on the promotion of smart production. Partly from these antecedents the government started to elaborate a new strategy of Industry 4.0 in 2016 (Irinyi Plan). The aim of the Irinyi Plan is to further increase the share of manufacturing in the Hungarian GDP with the support of seven key industries. In the context of the Irinyi Plan so called “sample factories” are planned to be established in several locations throughout Hungary that will be announced in autumn 2017 .
The RDI calls published by NKFIH and other calls co-funded by the EU Structural Funds contain explicitly S3 priorities within the stated objectives of the calls, and the evaluation process favours those project proposals that are in line with S3 priorities. Consequently, the strategic objectives of S3 are realised at the level of the entire RDI portfolio.

Geo coverage
Report year
Official publication date
Tuesday, 17 April, 2018
National expert name
Tibor Dőry, László Csonka
Last update: 19/11/2019 | Top | Legal notice | Contact | Search