NIH - Hungary


National Innovation Office

As the Government’s body responsible for research, development and technological innovation, the National Innovation Office takes part in: the development and implementation of national science, technology and innovation policy (STI policy), as well as the governmental information and analysis activities that support its implementation; enhancing innovation activities of SMEs; supporting research cooperation and enhanced networking, as well as the incubation of young innovative enterprises; supporting national and international exploitation of R&D results; boosting foreign investments in Hungary; harmonisation of international and EU cooperation activities in the areas of STI policy, as well as the coordination of bilateral science and technology (S&T) cooperation.



3 706 000 € for 2011


NIH activities cover the following three strategic areas:

   1. Strategic planning and analysis
   2. Coordination and stimulation of international R&D&I cooperation
   3. Innovation management


1. Strategic planning and analysis

NIH is responsible for supporting evidence based strategy formulation that meets the requirements of the R&D&I ecosystem, the preparation and implementation of governmental and sectoral R&D&I strategies and policies, as well as the planning and implementation of innovation initiatives related to EU strategies and policies.


NIH cooperates in the development and implementation of mid- and long term national economy concepts and strategies for governmental R&D&I, and the review and implementation of the R&D&I action plan. NIH contributes to the New Széchenyi Plan’s Science-Innovation-Growth priority programme and key sector development programmes; the Office makes recommendations for priorities in the allocation of resources that are distributed through calls under the New Széchenyi Plan.


NIH is responsible for establishing an information and analytics base well-suited to the national R&D&I system to meet the information needs of both government decision makers and expert communities. This central resource links existing databases, helps avoid and eliminate duplications, and offers a basis for integrated analytics, thus laying the foundations for evidence based strategic planning. Each actor involved in the innovation ecosystem will be able to access all the information necessary for concerted activities and increasingly efficient cooperation. This information base will also ease efforts needed to provide data for EU and OECD statistical publications, and enable continuous comparative analysis and evaluation with respect to international trends.

2. International R&D&I cooperation

NIH is responsible for contributing to the implementation of the Government’s R&D&I plans through the exploitation of synergies arising from international cooperation and the effective use of international resources. To achieve this, NIH supports participation in international networks, operative partnerships and projects which have the potential to deliver specific short and medium term economic and social impact in Hungary.


National activities linked to the EU Seventh Framework Programme form a key part of NIH’s external relations: NIH operates the National Contact Point (NCP) network, which disseminates information and advises proposers in 22 thematic programmes. NIH participates in the work of strategic and decision making Programme Committees of the Framework Programme, where it represents national perspectives and interests through its coordinated network of recognized national experts. NIH actively contributes to the planning of the Eighth Framework Programme; NIH identifies and represents Hungarian perspectives, priorities and interests in this process.


Fulfilling Hungary’s commitment, as an EU Member State, NIH plays an active role in EU level R&D activities. NIH is involved in the development of national positions and ensures participation in the Interdepartmental Committee for EU Coordination. NIH contributes to the preparation of mandates and background material for research, development and technology policy related issues on the agendas of the Competitiveness Council, COREPER, and the research working party meetings, and takes part in the work related to Hungarian representation in the ERAC (European Research Area Committee).


Hungary participates in numerous initiatives co-financed by the EU, including joint technology initiatives (ENIAC, Artemis), joint programmes (AAL, EUROSTARS), as well as coordination schemes (ERA-NET, ERA-NET Plus). Within these programmes NIH coordinates Hungarian participation and acts as the national representative. These initiatives – launched in cooperation with Member States – use national funding in a concerted manner to advance innovation and attain scientific-technological breakthroughs in transnationally recognized priority fields.


For over 20 years, Hungary has been a member of the intergovernmental EUREKA initiative established to support international market-oriented bottom-up R&D&I activities. From the start, NIH – and its predecessors – have represented Hungary in the programme and supported Hungarian enterprises to become successful participants. Starting in July 2011, Hungary will fulfill the Eureka Chairmanship. NIH will involve its institutional network as well as other organisations in the R&D&I sector in the planning and implementation of the Chairmanship’s programme.


Hungary maintains inter-governmental bilateral science and technology (S&T) cooperation agreements with 37 countries. The primary aim of bilateral S&T relations is to support R&D&I cooperation through calls for proposals. NIH is responsible for commitments based on these agreements, as well as the coordination of the cooperation.


International S&T cooperation is supported by delegated S&T attachés in 11 countries. NIH and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs jointly operate the network of science and technology attachés that cultivates science and technology diplomacy, and is in charge of its S&T priorities. The attachés follow the development of R&D&I trends in these countries, facilitate the establishment of bilateral agreements, encourage the networking of researchers and offer help in building partnerships.


NIH is involved in numerous multilateral international S&T cooperation programmes, where it represents Hungarian interests (NATO Research and Technology Organisation, COST, ICGEB, EMBO, etc.), and also participates in the activities and working groups of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI),. NIH also coordinates specific activities, covers the national representation, and ensures the coordination of expert activities related to international research infrastructures (ITER, CERN, XFEL, Dubna etc.).


3. Innovation management

NIH is responsible for strengthening innovation activities of enterprises and boosting their economic competitiveness by managing national R&D&I processes, providing innovation services, and supporting national and international R&D&I cooperation. NIH is responsible for supporting the protection of intellectual property and the practical exploitation of R&D results by reinforcing academy-industry cooperation, and promoting the involvement of market actors (risk capital).


The third pillar of NIH’s responsibilities is strengthening national innovation by establishing new innovation models and structures, supporting commercial exploitation of innovative ideas and R&D results, and introducing innovation services.


By preparing and implementing R&D and innovation programmes, NIH supports the development of strategic key sectors identified in the New Széchenyi Plan’s chapter on innovation (automotive industry and logistics, health industry, infocommunication, new energy and environment developments, creative industries, agriculture).


Reinforcing research cooperation between academy and industry, facilitating technology transfer, and encouraging commercial exploitation of R&D results are key endeavours, in which NIH will rely on the activities of existing knowledge centres.


Small and medium enterprises can become the engines of the Hungarian economy. They play a significant role in national employment and in the creation of jobs. NIH will contribute to shaping the environment and the incentive systems that support national SMEs in strengthening their competitiveness and innovation capacities.


NIH aims is to widen the financing opportunities available for innovative SMEs, in particular to facilitate the access of high-tech enterprises to risk capital, encourage the establishment of technology intensive enterprises, as well as strengthen SMEs’ innovation capacities. NIH supports the incubation of start-up companies through cooperation with technology incubators and business investors. As a framework of indirect incentives, NIH deals with the introduction of schemes to reduce tax and social benefit obligations, as well as the simplification of taxation.


The development of regional innovation capacity is of essence not only to enhance national innovation performance, but also to decrease regional differences.


With further development of the regional innovation network and its professional management, NIH intends to extend its regional presence through the Regional Innovation Agencies (RIÜs), which offer innovation services directly in the regions, enhance the regions’ innovation absorption potential, and facilitate the mapping and strengthening of innovation capacities within each region.



91 employees



Zsuzsanna Mokry
Neumann J. u.1/c.
H-1117 Budapest
Phone: +36 1 484 2533
Fax: +36 1 266 8851