"To improve and recognize innovation and R&D as a driving force of economic growth and a competitive edge for Hungary, while representing the needs of businesses to enhance this development."


By April 2015, AmCham Hungary has defined its vision, new strategy and new way of work, according to which four Policy Task Forces were established to dedicate focus and resources to the selected four key areas. One of them is the Innovation Policy Task Force, whose activities will serve the above mission.

For PTF meeting dates please click here.


The Innovation Policy Task Force has defined four main objectives for the period of 2015-2017:

  • Focus on innovation as a corner stone of macroeconomic policy;
  • Stimulate high-value added R&D projects that lay a solid groundwork for sustainable growth after 2020;
  • Encourage long-term cooperation between large enterprises, SMEs and academia on R&D projects;
  • Attract more people to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM);


Main Achievements and Activities in 2017

Business Meets Universities Project & Workshop 

AmCham Innovation Policy Task Force has launched the "Business Meets Universities" ("BMU") project in January 2017. The goal of this project is to initiate a dialogue that creates a mutually beneficial advantage, and cooperation with measurable benefits for both the academic and the business spheres. The Business Meets Universities Workshop served as a plenary forum for discussing key aspects of the project with all stakeholders: universities, corporations, startups, decision-makers, university students. 

Prof. Dr. Aard Groen, Professor of Innovative Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the University of Twente and the University of Groningen

The Workshop examined the key elements of the ‘Invented in Hungary’ paradigm shift, by focusing on how to enhance cooperation between business and academia in research, development and innovation programs, and enhance the development of innovation ecosystem. 

The importance of the effort is further highlighted by the fact that Hungary fell from 50 to 80 in the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness ranking. As Joerg Bauer, President of GE Hungary, pointed out, the main reason for the decline is rooted in the fact that innovation has been losing on ground, whilst relationship between the business and academic sector has been poor.

Christopher Ball, Director of the Central European Institute and speaking on behalf of Quinnipiac University highlighted that in Connecticut technology and incubation programs help startups engage students under well-organized schemes. Special 10-week summer training courses offering paid traineeships provide further opportunity for those studying to forge closer relationships with startups. Disseminating best practices and management technics on an institutionalized level also has a positive snowball effect.

Prof. Dr. Aard Groen, Professor of Innovative Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the University of Twente and the University of Groningen shared the experience of the Dutch Twente region to give an idea about how Hungary should proceed in order to get more out of innovation.

Participants closed the session by forming small groups to identify best practice projects of business-university cooperation, how to retain high level scientific goals and become successful in business activities. They also discussed how to build an innovation ecosystem around a large company, namely successful models for ecosystem hubs in the world.

A White Paper of the event summarizing conclusions will then be discussed with universities throughout the summer on the basis of which policy recommendations will be submitted to the Business Meets Government Summit in September 2017.

For more information the Workshop, please visit: 

Main Achievements and Activities in 2016

Regular dialogue along main objectives maintained with decision-makers

As a follow-up to the first AmCham-HIPA-NHIT Business Meets Government Summit, held on October 27, 2015, the Policy Task Force formulated their recommendations on how to stimulate high-value added R&D projects in Hungary, how to attract more investments in R&D, and to help increase the country’s competitiveness. Recommendations were incorporated into the 19-point recommendation package titled “For a more competitive Hungary” that was published and sent to decision-makers in February 2016.

A detailed list of R&D&I related suggestions and commitments focused on four key areas:

(1) Coordinated Government approach to stimulate increased corporate R&D spending and R&D&I-related investments.

(2) Effective operation of a grant system, that will contribute to achieving  the Government’s following two goals regarding R&D spending: (i) to reach at least 1.8% GDP proportionate R&D spending by 2020, and (ii) corporate R&D spending should drive increased R&D spending/

(3) Hungary shall shift support from pure R+D to also include innovative projects

(4) Fostering long-term cooperation between startups and large companies; and the introduction of grant schemes aiming to support the startup ecosystem.

The Innovation PTF held several meetings with decision-makers to follow-up on these recommendations. On July 14, 2016 a discussion took place with two high-level government representatives dr. Antal Nikodémus, representing the Ministry for National Economy and Dr. Ferenc Friedler, Vice President of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH) at AmCham.

In order to shift support to innovative projects, the introduction of a new R&D grant scheme has been further discussed at meetings with the Hungarian Investment Agency (HIPA).

The Innovation Policy Task Force is also dedicated to support the work of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office by sharing its industry expertise and knowledge of R&D related corporate processes. AmCham is represented at the Advisory Board of the NKFIH by its President Ferenc Pongrácz.

AmCham Brain Bar Lab: Industrial Internet, the game changer of our time

As part of the Brain Bar Budapest festival held in early June, AmCham’s Innovation Policy Task Force organized a Lab titled Industrial Internet, the game changer of our time, at the LogMeIn headquarters. The goal of the AmCham Lab was to examine and discuss key challenges that industrial internet, also known as Industry 4.0, is bringing for Hungary. In diverse teams involving business, government representatives, innovators and academia, participants discussed what different scenarios could be envisioned for Hungary’s future development and what will be the impact of industrial internet in seven areas:  education, work, manufacturing, services, social system, healthcare, services and entrepreneurship. Discussion focused on the actions we need to take today to become and stay competitive in these areas. Keynote speeches were delivered by Alan Kirman professor emeritus of Aix Marseille University on “Will AI replace humans in the near future?” and by Peter Rožek, Country Sales Director for CEE, Rockwell Automation on the “Connected Enterprise”.

Second Business Meets Government Summit

The Innovation PTF prepared and organized an innovation focused roundtable discussion, where participants discussed the following four topics and challenges in details:

  • Introduction of a new R&D grant scheme to attract new and stimulate the expansion of existing R&D centers of larger corporations in Hungary.
  • How to help R&D projects performed jointly by the academia and the corporate sector become more efficient in the context of the Higher Education and Industry Cooperation Center (FIEK).
  • How to enhance cooperation of large companies and startups, including mentorship relations where mentorship costs would be legally recognized.
  • How to train entry level IT specialists in large number, to ease labor shortage of skilled IT professionals within the shortest possible time

For the list of Innovation Policy Task Force meetings in 2016 please, click here. 

Future Goals

Planned activities of the Innovation Policy Task Force include:

  • Preparation of innovation and R&D related recommendations and positions
  • Organization of regular Innovation PTF meetings
  • Organization of an AmCham Workshop within the framework of Brain Bar Festival 2017

Organization of an Innovation Roundtable at the Business Meets Government Summit 2017 Launch of Business Meets Academia sessions in 2017

PTF Leadership:

Policy Task Force Lead: Mr. Csaba Márkus
Policy Task Force Co-Lead: Mr. Joerg Bauer
PTF Board Representative: Ms. Bea Előd


Deloitte Hungary

Mr. Csaba Márkus


Deloitte Hungary
36 1 428-6800
GE Hungary

Mr. Joerg Bauer


GE Hungary
36 1 237-6800
Citi Hungary

Ms. Bea Előd


Citi Hungary



+36 1 428-2089

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