Tamás Schanda, Deputy Minister of Innovation and Technology, added that the government’s goal is for Hungary to be at the forefront of science, technology and innovation in Europe by 2030.
With the policy support of the ministry, the top researchers can receive a five-year grant under the Leadership Program, managed by the National Office for Research, Development and Innovation (NKFIH). The state contribution of up to HUF 300 million is intended to help Hungarian or foreign professionals implement their project in a Hungarian research institution.
The call was open to all researchers who had obtained a proper professional evaluation of a recent project proposal but had not received funding from any European Research Council (ERC) program. Researchers who have completed a major international research project in the last four years or will be completing one this year were also invited to apply. An important condition for participation was that the research project take place at a research site in Hungary.
The Leadership Program did not exclude, and even explicitly encourages, the participation of successful foreign researchers or Hungarian researchers living abroad.
HUF 2.2 billion was allocated to the eight winning projects, which deal with research in biology, astronomy, physics, mathematics and medicine. With the available resources, we can create competitive conditions for world-class work even in an international comparison, while not losing any good ideas, Tamás Schanda emphasized.
The supported scientific research includes the construction of fast information-processing optical circuits, the production of artificial materials with revolutionary new properties that can be constructed precisely in atomic layers, and the computer processing of vibrations of pulsating stars that act as a sort of cosmic rangefinder. The mathematics behind very large finite networks is being studied using graph theory tools, while one of the projects in the field of medicine aims to develop new methods to restore human vision, the communication said.
István Szabó, NKFIH’s vice-president, added that international collaborations will continue to play an important role in the implementation of research next year, which will be encouraged by a new call in 2022.