The implementation of the Irinyi Plan for the development of Hungarian industry will continue in 2020. In operation since 2016, the plan has provided companies with HUF 5 billion in recent years. Now, small- and medium-sized enterprises interested in developing and launching new products on the world market will be able to apply for a grant of HUF 2.5 billion this year.
Thanks to government measures, Hungarian industrial production has increased by 50 percent compared to 2010, and the export of industrial products has increased 1.5 times, contributing significantly to domestic economic growth. Furthermore, employment in the manufacturing sector exceeded 1 million last year, and nearly 230,000 new jobs have been created since 2010. Industry’s share of Hungary’s GDP in 2018 was close to 26 percent, above the EU average of 20 percent, putting Hungary now in eight place among the EU Member States for this measure.
László György, State Secretary for Economic Strategy and Regulation, stated that “Hungary is strong” according to the number of domestic brands and Hungarian-owned companies producing state-of-the-art products and services via the use of state-of-the-art – and increasingly green – technology. This, in turn, also helps provide jobs to Hungarians. The secretary further noted that “changing technology is a capital-intensive process,” something the Irinyi Plan and its system of support has helped with.
The Irinyi Plan focuses on the development and marketing of high value-added products that can compete on international markets. The new round of tender funding this year for HUF 2.5 billion has already proven very popular, as 87 applications for support were submitted in 2019. The majority of those applying were in the food industry (20 percent), the green economy (18 percent) and specialized machinery and vehicle industry (18 percent). After a peer review, 20 projects were recommended for funding based on their ability to significantly contribute to the growth of Hungary’s domestic economy.
There have been many beneficiaries of the Irinyi Plan that have already greatly contributed to the country’s growth. These include a new generation of aerobatic aircraft from Generation Aircraft in Jakabszállás, which was able to achieve significant weight reductions by replacing most of the steel in its planes with lighter alloys; this also reduced fuel consumption and environmental impact. Another example is Hirschler-Glas, a 100-year-old Hungarian family business, which was able to produce 120 new products, including rear-view mirrors for trucks and passenger cars to be sold on the international market.
In recent years, support has also been given to the development of energy-efficient building management systems, railway interlocking equipment, universal distillation equipment and special beds for dialysis treatments.
More than anything else, the numbers coming out of the Irinyi Plan prove its success: For every 1 forint of subsidy, 4 forints of extra budget revenue is generated in under five years. Furthermore, companies are increasing productivity via these supported projects – by at least 30 percent on average. And more competitive companies can then use such increased productivity to lower prices, invest in further improvements, or raise wages, a trickle-down effect that benefits employees, employers, and consumers as well.