About the planned restructuring of the research network of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

About the planned restructuring of the research network of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Material compiled by principal investigators in the “Lendület” (Momentum) program for the Ministry for Innovation and Technology and decision-makers

Abstract

The principal investigators engaged in the “Lendület” program wish to contribute the observations summarized in the present report to facilitate the policy preparation process pertaining to the restructuring of both the research financing system and the innovation landscape in our country, as initiated by the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (ITM).

Main points of communication:
● We support the Government’s initiative to improve our country’s innovation potential.
● Unilateral schemes of restructuring which focus exclusively on a narrow conception of innovation threaten basic research in general, and especially research belonging to the humanities and the national culture of Hungary.
● Any solution can only be reasonably envisaged in cooperation and consultation with the scientific community, and with the leaders of the Academy, which serves as a body of representation to that community.
● In the current situation, measures designed to build trust are warranted; in connection to this, the Ministry’s concept of restructuring and the impact study therefore must be made public.
● The autonomy of scientific research and of the academic research network must be respected.
● The basic funding support guaranteed in the Finance Act, yet frozen by the Ministry, must be transferred to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) immediately and without conditions, and said support must continue to be guaranteed.
● A critical element to successful innovation is a currently lacking institutional system whose sole purpose would be precisely to facilitate a stronger interweave between academic research and industrial applications. To promote such a connection, it is desirable to establish a professional organizational unit (innovation
office) to match the preexisting structure of the academic research institutions.
● The identification of economic and societal priorities is an important instrument for increasing the societal impact of research, and one for which the current institutional forms are completely adequate.

The whole text of the report can be downloaded from here.