Briefing notes

Palkovics meets Nobel Prize-winning chemist in Budapest

Dan Shechtman, the Nobel Prize-winning chemist, met with László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology in Budapest.

The Israeli professor, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2011 for the discovery of quasicrystals, arrived to Hungary to accept the John von Neumann Award from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics and the John von Neumann Computer Society.

According to Innovation and Technology Minister Palkovics, the two discussed how Israel’s entrepreneurial infrastructure made the country the world leader for start-ups.

“The difference between a young Israeli or Hungarian engineer or scientist is not significant. Their education and tools are the same. Maybe the only difference is that while in Hungary we are afraid of failing or bankruptcy, in Israel they are not,” the minister emphasized.

Cooperation between Hungary and Israel, and the joint Israeli-Hungarian research fund

Palkovics added that he spoke with the Israeli professor on how to eliminate this fear, how to show the positives of launching our own businesses from our own ideas, and why working for an already existing large company is not the only option for those entering the workforce.

The Innovation and Technology Minister also highlighted that the previous two years had seen strong, structured and systematic cooperation between Hungary and Israel in the fields of industrial research and innovation. The result was a series of collaborative projects, such as the joint Israeli-Hungarian research fund established a few months ago.

Dan Shechtman stressed that John von Neumann was a prominent figure in science and mathematics, and that it is a great honor to receive a prize named after him.

The Israeli scholar received his award on June 15th as part of a public ceremony held at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

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