Innovation & Technology

Hungarian-Israeli program to support researcher mobility

The program could begin as early as the second half of 2021 as Hungary seeks to maximize access to eligible EU funds.

A letter of intent setting out a framework for cooperation between the Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and Technology and the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology is about to be signed. The two ministries are expected to launch a joint tender supporting researcher mobility later this year.

The Minister of Innovation and Technology László Palkovics said that the co-ministries will in the near future designate priority areas for strategic cooperation in a memorandum of understanding to strengthen industrial and innovation relations. 

Palkovics, who also co-chairs the Bilateral Joint Economic Committee, introduced the ZalaZone automotive test track in Zalaegerszeg to Israeli Ambassador Yacov Hadas-Handelsman on February 21. 

We are working to ensure that Hungary can get 2.18 percent of the directly eligible EU funds by 2027 in proportion to its population. Sharing experiences can also be useful in making this a reality, the minister said. 

With around 1,500 supported projects and more than EUR 1.1 billion in funding, Israel has been one of the most successful associated countries in the European Union’s Horizon 2020 framework program, Palkovics explained.

Compared to the funds of the previous financial period, Hungary has so far received about EUR 350 million through 1,400 winning applications, which is 0.6 percent of the total amount of H2020. As partners of international consortia, Hungarian and Israeli organizations cooperated in 118 co-financed projects, thus receiving a total grant of  EUR 77 million. In addition to research infrastructures, infocommunications, healthcare technologies, food security and sustainable agriculture, Israel is also pushing for stronger cooperation in the automotive industry, Palkovics highlighted.

Hungary wants to play a leading role in the development of self-driving cars at the regional and European levels. The world-class ZalaZone automotive test track is constantly proving its almost inexhaustible utilization capabilities and connectivity to 5G for defense, logistics and other industries. The facility and its industrial-innovation-education ecosystem is also developing at a rapid pace and can attract Israeli research institutes and corporate partners, he added. 

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