Research and development

Research and innovation in Hungary

Hungary has always been proud of its outstanding researchers, inventors and innovators. Hungarian creativity is indeed a treasure that has been reflected through our past and present. It is generally acknowledged that the latest generations of Hungarian talent, scientists, inventors and innovators are the key to our future.

With that in mind, the National Research, Development and Innovation (NRDI) Office was launched as of 1 January 2015 to promote value creating innovation, in strong partnership with the researcher and innovation community. The NRDI Office is the national strategic and funding agency for scientific research, development and innovation, the primary source of advice on RDI policy for the Hungarian government.

The RDI law (Act2014/LXXVI on scientific research, development and innovation) not only established the NRDI Office as a framework institution but also provided for the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund (NRDI Fund) to render state support for research, development and innovation.

Launching the NRDI Office also aims the efficient, transparent and purpose-oriented use of all available RDI resources i.e. both the domestic funds from the NRDI Fund and the funds provided from the European Union’s Structural Funds. In order to ensure access to the latter, Hungary developed its National Smart Specialisation Strategy in 2014. These funds all have to serve the scientific and economic competitiveness of Hungary, the effective involvement of our country in the forefront European Research Area, and stimulate sustainable economic growth.

In order to enable the most efficient possible integration of European best practices into the National Innovation System and to facilitate Hungary's most successful possible participation in the European Research Area, the President of the NRDI Office seeks strategic advice from international experts who are not only world-class scientists in their respective field of expertise, but also have broad experience in science policy and research financing.

The scope of activities and responsibilities of the NRDI Office include the following areas:

Competitive calls for RDI project proposals

  • stimulating the implementation of well-designed R&D project plans and promising R&D programmes,
  • the harmonisation of applicants’ aims, strategic development directions and the institutional/organisational development ideas, and
  • the preparation of solid budget plans that promote the successful and sustainable utilisation of R&D funds.

Researchers’ thematic applications

Funding discovery research projects without thematic priorities

  • funding promising basic research projects initiated by researchers with an aim to get a better understanding of natural and social phenomena, potentially resulting in the foundation of new methods and/or procedures
  • strengthening workshops of scientific excellence through postdoctoral fellowship programmes for early career researchers

Research infrastructure

Providing appropriate tools and equipment for domestic research organisations

  • strengthening the R&D capacity of state-operated knowledge centres of strategic importance
  • development of research infrastructures with a view to build networks, supplementing regional research opportunities and leveraging existing infrastructures

Corporate RDI

Incentives for large enterprises, SMEs and innovative startup businesses to achieve their R&D objectives

  • development of new marketable products, services and technologies with added value
  • prototype development
  • industrial property rights
  • procurement of RDI services
  • creation of startup incubator houses

Knowledge transfer

Supporting the commercialisation of scientific results

  • building cooperation with an aim to solve complex multi-disciplinary tasks with strategic importance
  • establish the research infrastructure for industrial development projects which are based on actual market needs, in cooperation with excellent research institutions in the specific field;
  • development of the domestic research infrastructure in the form of cooperation between the industrial and higher education sectors, where the created RDI capacity generates new competitive products and service.

International cooperation

Improving the competitiveness and ability to benefit from international funds of SMEs

  • joining co-financed international cooperation
  • promotion of consortium building activities
  • supporting bilateral scientific and technological cooperation primarily through calls promoting project based cooperation
  • supporting Hungarian discovery research projects ranked among the best but ultimately not selected for funding by the European Research Council (ERC)

source: National Research, Development and Innovation (NRDI) Office 

The Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA) has been the major funding agency of basic science and scholarship since 1986 when the transition to competitive research funding started in Hungary. Its "founding fathers" modelled the principles of operation on the practice of German (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and American research funds (National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health). Upon a government decree, OTKA has been operating as an independent non-profit organisation since 1991. Its legal status and rules of operation were established in an act in 1993 and reinforced in 1997 by the Hungarian Parliament in order to provide independent support to scientific research activities and infrastructure, to promote scientific achievements of international standards, and to provide assistance to young researchers. As an independent institution, OTKA reports to the Parliament and the Government of Hungary. With regards to the funds provided within the annual budget of the Republic of Hungary, the appropriations of OTKA are administered via the budget of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The administrative and financial tasks related to its operation are performed by the OTKA Office in Budapest.

source: OTKA

Latest news

March 28, 2017 09:23

The Summer University on Hungarian Language and Culture at Eötvös Loránd University prepared a present for Spring to those who are interested in Hungarian language and culture.

March 13, 2017 13:52
Semmelweis University is among the best according to the QS world rankings

Semmelweis University has been ranked as 262nd according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking list, on the basis of which our university has achieved the best result in the field of life sciences and medicine among Hungarian higher-education institutions. The ranking position of Semmelweis University is better with 54 ranking places this year as opposed to last year’s ranking result. In the field of medical education Semmelweis University is ranked among the best 200 institutions, and it is among the best 150 in the area of pharmaceutical education according to the QS 2017 ranking.

In the field of life sciences and medicine altogether three Hungarian universities are listed: Semmelweis University is ranked as 262nd, Debrecen University is ranked as 401-450 and the University of Szeged is ranked as 451-500. Regarding the area of medical education: Semmelweis University is ranked as 151-200, Debrecen University is ranked as 201-250, the University of Pécs is ranked as 251-300 and the University of Szeged is ranked as 301-350. The rankings in the category of pharmaceutical education are as follows: Semmelweis University is ranked as 101-150, Debrecen University is ranked as 151-200 and the University of Szeged is ranked as 201-250.

This international ranking list was prepared with the consideration of four aspects: the reputation of the university in the scientific world, assessment of the employees, the frequency of the citation of the university’s scientific works and h-index citations.

Eszter Keresztes
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University
Translated by: Katalin Romhányi

March 13, 2017 13:51
Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Tokyo Medical University

The delegation of Tokyo Medical University visited Semmelweis University on February 24-25, 2017, in the framework of which the collaboration has been reinforced on three different levels between the two institutions. Besides the Memorandum of Understanding a Sister Agreement as well as a Student Exchange Agreement were also signed by the representatives of both universities.

The members of the Japanese delegation, led by Dr. Mamoru Suzuki, President of Tokyo Medical University, were Dr. Miki Izumi, Professor of Medical Education, Ms. Aya Nagata, Coordinator of the Student Exchange Program and Dr. Mária Mernyei, Professor, who provided a lot of support in the organization of the delegation’s visit. The representatives of Tokyo Medical University were welcomed at Semmelweis University by Dr. Ágoston Szél, Rector, Dr. Miklós Molnár, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. József Sándor, Scientific Advisor of the Department of Surgical Research and Techniques, Dr. Marcel Pop, Director of International Relations and Dr. Judit Vadlövő, Project Coordinator of the Directorate of International Relations.

After a warm welcome Rector Szél said that he considers this visit very important, since the agreements signed during the discussion provide an opportunity for both Japanese and Hungarian students to study abroad in the framework of a training programme. Rector Szél expressed his gratitude to H.E. Dr. Kosuge Junichi, Ambassador of Japan in Hungary, who participated in the official discussion and the signing process together with Ms. Yoshiko Okamoto, Second Secretary of Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Hungary. As Rector Szél pointed out, the presence of His Excellency at the discussion unquestionably proved the high level of Japanese-Hungarian relations.

Dr. Kosuge Junichi talked about the undergoing process of the reinforcement of Japanese-Hungarian political and economic relations, and he expressed his appreciation that this is also manifested in the academic relations.

Dr. Mamoru Suzuki, President of Tokyo Medical University, also highlighted the significance of the signing of these agreements: according to him the collaboration now has become official between the two institutions.

Dr. Miklós Molnár talked about the fact that more and more Japanese students study at Semmelweis University and he expressed his hope that Hungarian students will soon also have an opportunity to study in Japan. Dr. Molnár also said that our institution will be pleased to have Japanese professors as lecturers at Semmelweis University.

Dr. József Sándor emphasized among other things that both institutions have the same principles and purposes: a well-operating patient care system.

At the end of the discussion the leaders of both universities officially signed the Memorandum of Understanding, a Sister Agreement as well as a Student Exchange Agreement. These agreements contain regulations regarding the mutual student-, researcher- and staff exchange programme, the exchange of information between the two institutions as well as the organization of common lectures and seminars. The agreement related to the exchange of medical students provides the opportunity for the following: both universities to send and receive 2-2 graduating students for clinical training during one academic year, for maximum 8 weeks per student.

After the discussion and the official signing of the agreements the Japanese delegation visited the 1st Department of Pathology and Experimental Cancer Research, where Dr. András Matolcsy, Director, welcomed the representatives of Tokyo Medical University. The delegation also visited the Heart and Vascular Centre, where they were welcomed by Dr. György Bárczi, Senior Lecturer. Dr. Bárczi introduced the facilities and the daily work of the Centre to our Japanese guests in details.

Pálma Dobozi
Source: Directorate of International Relations
Photo: Gábor Ancsin
Translated by: Katalin Romhányi