The national innovation system of Hungary
In order to speed up economic growth in Hungary, the government is committed to the development and operation of a new, efficient innovation system. This goal can be realised only if research and development is driven by the present and future needs of the economy.
A government office, the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund (NKFIA) is responsible for implementing the government's science, technology and innovation policy. Creating a new framework for the national innovation system and promoting research and development are key elements of its duties expected to boost the Hungarian economy.
To create a predictable environment for the exploitation of R&D findings, the Research and Technological Innovation Fund was established in 2003 providing stable and reliable financing for competitiveness-oriented research, development and innovation activities. The Fund is managed by NKFIA. Apart from the micro- and small enterprises, every enterprise is obliged to pay at least 0.3% of its turnover into the Fund (innovation contribution).
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.