Separate structures do not exist yet, and the current setup applies to Budapest and Pest regions (previous Central Hungary). The extraordinary concentration of Hungary’s innovation activities and innovation performers in Central Hungary (CH) produced a unique situation for policy-makers, namely that policy levers in CH are more or less identical to those at the national level. According to CH Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3 Strategy of Central Hungary), and to the Integrated Development Strategy of Budapest, overall policy objectives include the enhancement of business innovation, and particularly SMEs’ innovation activity, improvement of universities’ R&D infrastructure, creation and development of knowledge clusters, improvement of human resources, and improvement of energy efficiency.
The RIS3 Strategy is driven by the vision that CH becomes an outstanding region by 2020 from the perspective of innovation. The RIS3 Strategy aims to contribute to the region´s and nation´s inclusive and intelligent growth by fully exploiting the economic and societal excellence of Budapest and Pest county and by actively involving the local and international innovation stakeholders.
The RIS3 Strategy highlights the following key sectors and technologies:
- Pharmaceutical industry;
- Information technologies;
- Green technologies;
- Creative industries;
The RIS3 strategy indicates that financial support for its priorities is provided through European and national funds, as well as tax and fiscal incentives and the abolition of certain tax burdens. The European funds specified in the RIS3 strategy are:
- European Regional Development Fund (ERDF);
- European Social Fund (ESF);
- European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD);
- Horizon 2020.
The national fund specified in the RIS3 strategy is:
- National Research, Development and Innovation Fund (NKFI Fund).
The sectors and technologies identified as drivers of regional innovation-driven growth include ICT, creative industries, health industry, biotechnology and environmental technologies. Policy measures addressed these strategic objectives through promotion of SMEs’ investment in technology upgrading, support to basic research and innovation excellence in universities, and to enterprises’ applied research. Innovation collaboration was promoted through support provision to enterprises’ cluster-based joint innovation undertakings, to industry-university collaboration and indirectly, through the funding of universities’ investment in research infrastructure. Some policy measures targeted innovation intermediaries: incubators, technology parks and innovation clusters, supporting the improvement of services and to the development of these organisations’ infrastructure. Policy measures also focused on the development of tertiary education, improvement of curricula and of higher education institutions’ student services.
In the current development period support to RTDI is allocated from the Competitive Central Hungary Operative Programme (VEKOP) and the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund (NKFI Fund). Neither the key target groups, nor the purpose of support or the form of funding is expected to change compared to the prior financial perspective.