Energy Research Knowledge Centre


Research themes and prioritisation


Hungary’s primary energy supply depends strongly on imports[1] (mainly from Russia), so energy security and decreasing energy dependency are the main strategic goals of Hungarian energy policies. In electricity production, nuclear energy has a 42 % share. Priorities for research and innovation include the development of nuclear power, regional cooperation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and diversification of energy imports and fuel storage facilities.

In renewable energy, priority research areas include biomass, second-generation biofuels and geothermal energy (e.g. enhanced geothermal systems). Energy efficiency is not currently promoted through government R&D funding. Research is funded on nuclear waste disposal, nuclear fission, and oil and gas production.

[1] Primary energy supply is based on gas (38 %, of which 79 % is imported), oil (25 %) and nuclear power (16 %, 100  % imported fuel), coal (11 %) and renewables (8 %). The share of renewables remains below the EU-27 average.

Organisation of research


Project-oriented energy research in Hungary is based on funding schemes run by the National Development Agency, which manages both national and EU resources. Energy research funds fall under the Science-Innovation Priority of the Economic Development Operational Programme of the New Széchenyi Plan. The content of the funding schemes is developed by the National Innovation Office and the State Secretariat for Environment (Ministry for Rural Development). The Innovation Office is responsible for national innovation and R&D strategy, and administers the State Secretariat for the National Environmental Technology Innovation Strategy 2011–2020 (NETIS).

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences has an institute dealing with energy research (mainly nuclear energy) and most Hungarian universities are also very active in energy research. Their participation in EU FP7 projects is supported by national funds.

Figure 1: Organisation of energy research funding in Hungary.

Programmes and budgets


Budget overview

According to the IEA Country Report on Hungary (2011), government spending on energy research, development and demonstration was €5.48 million in 2010.

Programmes related to innovation and R&D do not have specific energy-related priorities, so no estimate of the budget share of energy research is available.

Table 1: Main programmes related to energy research in Hungary.

* The budget refers to the total amount as there is no specific energy related part of the programme.

Programmes and initiatives

The New Széchenyi Plan

Új Széchenyi Terv

The overall goal of this plan, named after 19th-century statesman Count István Széchenyi, is to improve Hungary's competitiveness and create jobs. Its R&D objectives are to increase innovation capacity, improve better exploitation of results, build R&D infrastructure, provide a financial base for risky pre-competitive research, and facilitate effective involvement of the state in research.

Science and Innovation Priority of Economic Development Operational Programme

Gazdaságfejlesztési Operatív Program

The Economic Development Operational Programme is designed to encourage continuous growth in the Hungarian economy. Its R&D objectives are to increase R&D expenditure to 1.5 % of GDP by mid-decade and raise the country’s accumulated innovation index: first to the EU average, and then to the EU top one-third in the next cycle.

Research and Technology Innovation Fund (RTIF)

Kutatási és Technológiai Innovációs Alap

The Research and Technology Innovation Fund (RTIF) is a national funding scheme for innovation, managed by the National Development Agency. Its calls for grant applications are organised in line with national innovation and R&D policies. The annual spend is set by the national budget.

Norvég Alap

The overall objectives of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009–2014 are to contribute to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area and to strengthen bilateral relations between the Donor States and the Beneficiary States. The Agreement with Hungary sets out 12 programme areas, of which two are relevant to energy research: Green Industry Innovation and the Norwegian-Hungarian Research Programme.

National govermment departments


Ministry of National Development

Nemzeti Fejlesztési Minisztérium

This ministry coordinates Hungary’s development policies and supervises the National Development Agency, the main administrative and implementing body for EU and national funding programmes. The Minister of State for Climate and Energy Affairs is responsible for planning energy policies and green economic policies.

Ministry for National Economy

Nemzetgazdasági Minisztérium

The Deputy Minister of State for Competitiveness coordinates innovation and R&D policies. This office supervises the National Innovation Office.

Ministry of Rural Development

Vidékfejlesztési Minisztérium

The Environmental Technologies Department within the State Secretariat for Environmental Affairs is responsible for eco-innovation policies in Hungary. The National Environmental Technology Innovation Strategy 2011–2020 (NETIS) is developed and coordinated by the Department.

Nemzeti Környezettechnológiai Innovációs Stratégia (NKIS)

National research programme management agencies


National Development Agency (NDA)

Nemzeti Fejlesztési Ügynökség (NFÜ)

Supervised by the Ministry of National Development, this institution has responsibilities including: co-ordinating planning for the operational programmes; monitoring programme implementation and managing the calls for applications and selection of projects and investments to be funded. The NDA is also active in planning the budget for the 2014–2020 development cycle.

National Innovation Office (NIH)

Nemzeti Innovációs Hivatal (NIH)

The National Innovation Office (NIH) is the government body responsible for research, development and technological innovation. It operates under the direction of the Minister for National Economy. The mission of the NIH is to build and operate administrative cooperation structures, cooperation networks, a national innovation service and analytical capacity in R&D and innovation. The NIH, together with its supervising Ministry, supports the development of national R&D and innovation and high-level international cooperation.