The government would like more, not less research. The goal is to ensure that the billions spent on local scientific research enhance the effectiveness and competitiveness of the Hungarian economy.

The Innovation Ministry has developed a transparent and effective organisational structure that is free from the control of public bodies and provides full academic autonomy for the network of research institutes of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on the basis of the memorandum of understanding signed by the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Minister for Innovation and Technology on 8 March. An important new element of the organisational arrangement is that it creates a management structure which is at an equal distance from the Academy and the government and allows members of the research network community to take part in management.

During the talks the Ministry fully embraced the considerations highlighted by the Academy, with special regard to the expectation that the research network should continue to be able to operate in a budgetary environment that is independent of governments. However, the Ministry takes the view that, in accordance with the signed memorandum of understanding, this is only possible as part of a separate budgetary chapter allocated to the research institute network, not as part of the Academy’s fiscal allocation.

Yesterday the Board of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences decided to present the Ministry’s position to the General Meeting, but continues to support the idea of keeping the research network under the auspices of the Academy.

During the series of talks which have been ongoing for months, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences has effectively refused to compromise on its starting point that it wishes to keep the network of research institutes “under its auspices”; despite the fact that Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics and President of the Academy László Lovász signed a joint memorandum of understanding in which the President of the Academy acknowledged that in the future the research network would operate independently, outside the Academy’s organisation.

The Ministry continues to expect constructive cooperation from the Academy in the development of a new organisational arrangement that is also supported by professional and research circles. Instead of maintaining the status quo at any cost, the Academy should endeavour to adopt an approach, as part of which it is ready to consider the advantages that are inherent in change.

The government is committed to an organisational arrangement that guarantees full academic autonomy, and regards the increase in the medium-term of government funds intended for science in connection with science-policy goals as a priority.

The Academy’s General Meeting can decide whether they wish to take part in the transformation process as a constructive partner or not. If so, it will be possible to develop jointly the elements of guarantee which could serve as the pledge of an autonomous Hungarian academia which operates in the interests of the community’s goals and Hungary’s competitiveness with a continuously improving performance.

(Ministry for Innovation and Technology Communication)