RTDI performance indicators showed an overall decline in 2014 compared to the previous years. GERD declined by almost 20% compared to 2013, which together with some increase in regional GDP led to a very weak GERD/GDP indicator of 0.6%, which is less than the half of the national average (1.37%). The number of research centres also declined (to 175), similarly to the number researchers (904 FTE).
ST is a modest innovator region with a high share of the central budget in innovation financing. A major problem is the small number of large innovation-intensive foreign-owned enterprises. In contrast to other regions where BERD is driven mainly by foreign-owned companies, regional BERD in ST is accounted for mainly by local innovative SMEs.
Major innovation stakeholders include the University of Pécs (specialised in medical sciences and health industry, ICT and environmental sciences), the University of Kaposvár (specialised mainly in agricultural and food sciences) and several regional knowledge clusters. The key players are the university affiliated research centres, e.g. Medipolisz, the Biosciences Centre (Szentágothai János Research Centre), the Environmental Sciences Centre and the Information Technology Centre.
ST has a variety of innovation brokering institutions: industrial parks, incubators, technology transfer offices, NGOs specialised in innovation support, chambers of commerce. Nevertheless, neither these innovation intermediaries, nor the substantial amount of EU co-funded support to innovation (€77.7m was allocated to 359 beneficiaries of RTDI related funding in the programming period 2007–2013) could provide a momentum that would boost the region’s innovation-driven development. The outcome of government's support to business innovation efforts was below expectations. ST innovation potential is still much lower than the national average and innovation activities are sporadic and below the critical mass.