EGVIA Board visit to Hungary
On 27th November, EGVIA (the European Green Vehicles Initiative Association) and ERTRAC (European Road Transport Advisory Council) organised a visit with some of their Board members to Hungarian stakeholders involved in road transport related topics with the objective to present them the ongoing activities at European level and opportunities to be involved.
Kindly hosted by the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), this event raised a lot of interest with more than 50 experts who registered to the event. Dr. Zsolt Szalay opened the seminar with information on the current situation in Hungary and provided the audience with information of latest development in the area of road transport, particularly with the development of Zalazone, a proving ground for Connected and Automated Driving and the new legal framework allowing to test CAD features on public roads.
Dr. Pál Lukács and Ádám Mészáros presented the national strategy and priorities. Despite several European OEMs present in Hungary, investing a lot in the development of manufacturing plants, and 1200 researchers working in the automotive area, Hungary is ranked 23rd among EU countries, according to the European Innovation Scoreboard. The national strategies recently launched, such as the Irinyi plan are aiming at reinforcing the research capacities of the country.
The presentations, done by Julija Sakovica from the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation) and Jean-Luc di Paola-Galloni Vice-Chair of ERTRAC and EGVIA, aimed at providing information to the participants on existing opportunities to support research and innovation activities at European level, presenting the Horizon 2020 programme and ERTRAC and EGVIA activities. With the election of the new European Commission, and the launch of the European Green Deal and Horizon Europe, a lot more opportunities will come in the future for all actors involved in research and innovation.
As Mr. Andras Siegler, the former Director for Transport in DG RTD said to the participant, Hungary has a lot to offer, but is still facing a “marketing” gap. To move to top innovator, one of the keys will be to be more present on the European scene – and this could contribute to making the shift from “Made in Hungary” to “Invented in Hungary”.