Hungary: Innovation, technology and research

Hungarian flags on the Hungarian Parliament Building or Parliament of Budapest, a landmark and popular tourist destination in Budapest, Hungary
Image: © Sitthipong Pengjan | iStock

Open Access Government lifts the lid on aspects of innovation, technology and research policy in Hungary, including a look at nuclear energy

Hungary’s former Minister for Innovation and Technology, László Palkovics (1), once stated at the University of Debrecen that Hungary could benefit from the opportunities presented by artificial intelligence (AI). Looking at innovation, technology and research, he laid out Hungary’s AI Strategy and said, “Hungary would like to benefit from the opportunities afforded by artificial intelligence, and would like to be one of the winners of these technological changes”.

Hungary’s AI Strategy

At least 250 organisations (Artificial Intelligence Coalition members) plus more than 1,000 experts had input into the AI Strategy mentioned above: “Based on the strategy, we must prepare Hungarian society and the Hungarian economy for the fact that this technology is coming, this technology is already here, and that we must do our best to use it”, the former Minister explained.

Administration is one area that makes “our everyday lives easier”, Mr Palkovics remarked. He said that AI innovation, technology and research could help the citizen with tasks like submitting forms at the post office or government service centres.

“We must rapidly bring this technology close to people”, the former Minister said, telling us that AI makes decisions based on data so that at a point in the future, the individual will have “wallets for money” plus “data wallets”, thus easing administration.

We also hear that by 2030, AI might be “responsible for 11-14 percent of Hungary’s gross domestic product (GDP).” Mr Palkovics added that Hungary is devoted to the Strategy and wants to increase AI knowledge among its inhabitants and offer them training in this new technology. (2)

Hungary’s circular economy & nuclear energy

When László Palkovics was Minister for Innovation and Technology, he underlined why the circular economy is becoming more critical. Mr Palkovics highlighted that establishing battery production, development, and recycling capabilities will enable future strategic benefits. At the University of Veszprém, Mr Palkovics remarked on greening transport, expanding solar power and why hydrogen is vital for energy storage.

Mr Palkovics also stated that: “nuclear energy should be considered as a green energy source and confirmed that the government will build Paks 2.” (3) We know that Paks II is a significant industrial investment concerning two new units constructed to be essential in producing electricity in the Country. Paks II “contributes to the growth of national economy and the continuation of the safe, climate friendly and affordable supply of electricity of Hungary,” as Paks II. Nuclear Power Plant Private Limited Company (Paks II. Ltd.) describe. (4)

During March 2023, a nuclear coalition was established involving 12 countries, including Hungary, “to work closely together against artificial, ideology-based negative discrimination against nuclear energy,” we hear. This nuclear alliance work to make the licensing processes and EU regulatory framework simpler and develop “common training systems to increase Europe’s nuclear capacity”. We hear that licensing processes slow down and hamper progress in new projects concerning nuclear power. Considering the above thoughts, Péter Szijjártó, Foreign Minister in Hungary underlined that “to avoid unreasonable and extreme price fluctuations, more and more nuclear investments are needed across Europe, and therefore we urge that subsidised loans should be available for these projects in a fair and equitable manner”. (5)

Innovation in Hungary

Did you know that Hungary’s performance around innovation is improving, according to a 2022 European Commission report? The report reveals that Hungary has moved up to 21st in the innovation ranking, the best outcome possible from all the “emerging innovators”.

“We are renewing our innovation and knowledge production systems based on the best international examples. Learning from the best is always an honour, so to ensure knowledge-driven economic growth, we are creating university-led innovation ecosystems based on the best examples from the Netherlands, Finland, the UK, the US and Israel,” László György, KIM State Secretary for Innovation and Higher Education said in the briefing quotes. (6)

The internationalisation of Hungarian research

There is welcome news that additional finance will assist researchers and businesses in participating in international programmes. We hear that the funding mentioned above will help Hungarian researchers and organisations take part in programmes like Horizon Europe Accelerator, ERA-NET, and EUREKA “and encourage the use of internationally high-quality research infrastructures in Hungary and abroad.”

State Secretary György mentioned this HUF 3.5 billion funding boost aims to make the Nobel Prize a closer possibility for researchers, a point he developed as we now hear: “I believe that we can do it, because the potential is there in Hungarian researchers and in our education system. To achieve our goal, it is essential that domestic players, including R&D businesses, higher education institutions, research institutes and individual researchers, become increasingly involved in the world’s scientific community and in forward-looking international collaborations.” (7)

Innovation, technology and research future

That optimistic note above is an excellent place to end our investigation of some aspects of Hungary’s innovation, technology and research policies. We have looked at many areas like AI’s potential, innovation’s importance, nuclear energy and internationalising the Country’s research. We wish Hungary’s Government well as they continue these policy endeavours in the future.



Open Access Government






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