Hungary plans to spend 1.8 percent of GDP on research and development by the year 2020, the minister of innovation and technology said on Thursday. Resources need to increase by 330 billion forints (RUR 1.1bn) compared with 2017 in order to achieve this, László Palkovics told an economists’ meeting in Debrecen, in eastern Hungary.
Hungary is in 22nd place among European Union countries in terms of innovation, an area vital for economic growth, he said. The government wants to improve the country’s position by boosting resources for R and D, he added. In addition to the innovation fund, a research fund is planned, he said.
Universities with international links must have a greater role in innovation in the future and help to promote the development of an entrepreneurial approach and support companies with professional and business advice, he said.
The government’s target is for Hungary to be among the five most liveable countries of the EU by 2030. A general economic development strategy is being developed to achieve this, he added.
The strategy focuses on improving the living standards of Hungarians, and one important element is to strengthen Hungarian-owned companies to enable them produce more value-added and improve export capabilities and productivity, he said.
The education system needs to be further developed in order to effectively address the challenges of digitalisation and robotics. The same is true of building and equipment infrastructure, and more teachers are needed, he added.
Commenting on energy and climate policies which represent part of the strategy, he said the energy sector should be made greener based on reliable nuclear energy and also by increasing the use of renewables and hydrocarbon resources. There is also need to develop high-speed rail links and roads to reach the borders at as many points as possible, he added.
The target in public road infrastructure development is that the nearest motorway should be accessible from any point in Hungary within 30 minutes, he said. The strategy also includes the development of the cycle path network of around 10,000kms, similar to Austria’s, he said.
featured image: László Palkovics in Debrecen; via Czeglédi Zsolt/ MTI