National Innovation Forum for SMEs 2019

path to innovation

The Ministry of Innovation and Technology helps local SMEs to innovate space.

“Hungarian businesses do not innovative enough”, said Dr. István Szabó, Economist, Head of Department, Ministry of Human Capacities, Department of Higher Education and Research Strategies at the National Innovation Forum organized by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology.

The aim of the Ministry and the National Innovation roadshow is to encourage local companies to submit tenders that enables them to work in long term.

HBIK Debrecen SME Innovation 1024x714 - National Innovation Forum for SMEs 2019
National Innovation Forum

“We do not want companies to apply for a funding because they need a one-time capital injection. The aim would be that what they invent could serve as a long-lasting foundation for the company”, emphasized Szabó.

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Éva Skultéti, Secretary General from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hajdú-Bihar County, emphasized in her speech that the Chamber of Commerce is supporting SMEs in many areas and has done so for many years.

“We do our best to ensure that the SME sector receives all the important advice they need. It is important that the enterprises can not only position themselves at home, but also in Europe and worldwide. To achieve this, we can provide enterprises with programs like scale me up”, said Skultéti.

Zoltán Pajna, the President of the Local Government of Hajdú-Bihar County, emphasized that there is a great need for businesses to get help to develop.

“If we look at county GDP data, we can see that we are in the sixth place in terms of producing values; but if we look to the individual, then the situation is very bad. WE are only in the thirteenth place with Hajdú-Bihar”, said Pajna.

Local SMEs don’t see the need for innovation and it needs to change.

Nearly 90 per cent of the non-innovative enterprises in Hungary stated to the Central Statics Office (KSH) that they had not implement innovation so far because they did not see any reason to do it.  One of the most important goals of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology is to change attitude of the local companies towards innovation.

“Hajdú-Bihar County is in great position: it takes the 3rd place in terms of the number of research sites and researchers, and the second place in the volume of R&D expenditures. After Budapest, the most students are studying at the University of Debrecen (DE) and the research resources are also significant here. The organizations in Hajdú-Bihar received funding of HUF 52.3 billion in 387 projects for research and development and innovation between 2015-2018” – said Zoltán Bács, Chancellor of the University of Debrecen.

According to Csilla Hegyi, Strategic Counselor for the Innovation, the focus is now to establish a well-founded innovation environment in Hungary, but it is only possible if the entrepreneurs clearly state their research and development and innovation (RDI) strategy.

The participants of the event had the chance to listen to lectures and participate in a workshop with a wide range of businesses represented.

Regarding the RDI Tender in 2019, the innovation activities of the companies can be greatly enhanced if they are willing to innovate and research in collaboration with the university. Small companies can apply for a funding of 10-20 million HUF, while market-driven RDI activities can win a larger amount 50-700 million HUF.

Open innovation projects can also be exciting, while the innovation projects of large companies when their activities bare no relation to their core business will be supported.