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Hungarian businesses and higher education institutions are making good progress in developing innovative solutions that will be used to help advance climate protection in the Western Balkans, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM) said on Wednesday.

As part of a scheme designed to help with the development of the Western Balkan region and expand export opportunities for Hungarian SMEs, the government is providing a 400 million forint (EUR 1.09 million) non-refundable grant to Hungarian businesses and higher education institutions to develop innovative solutions supporting the transition to a circular economy, Attila Steiner, the state secretary for energy and climate policy, said.

The scheme allows Hungary to meet its international climate change-related commitments and create jobs in the process, he said. The government is supporting projects that can be used to increase the volume of Hungarian investments in the Western Balkans, he added.

Applications for the grants offered by the ITM’s Western Balkans Green Center exceeded the initial allocation of funds for the scheme, the ministry said, adding that it plans to organise another bidding process later this year.

featured image: Attila Steiner in February (illustration); via Tamás Vasvári/MTI