To ensure the unified interpretation of research and development, the Hungarian Government established a transparent institutional system for R&D qualification
Corporate applicants to R&D funding are often uncertain under which categories of research and development their planned project activities belong to. In fact, on many occasions the same holds to Managing Authority and Intermediate Body assessors that have limited time to judge the R&D content of a project proposal in the case of large open calls. This has however strong implications on whether a project can be funded at all, and what intensity rate can be offered to the proposal.
Companies can apply on a voluntary basis for the R&D project qualification of their project. Companies provide a technical and technological description of their project in a pre-set template. The Hungarian Intellectual and Property Office (HIPO) examines the activities against transparent criteria (novelty, creative activity, scientific uncertainty, systematic activity, transferability). At the end of the process a resolution is issued. The result can be used for verifying the R&D content of projects and the ratio of R&D categories (basic research, applied research, technological development) of the project. The result must be accepted by all government bodies (legally binding).
Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (a government agency) provides the service. HIPO is strongly endorsed by ministries and by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office.
The service is run by internal staff of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO). The project R&D qualification procedure has a fixed basic fee: HUF 83,000 (~EUR 230). Determination of the R&D categories ratio is additional HUF 20,000 (~EUR 55).
Evidence of success
Since 2012 more than 5000 projects have been assessed by the R&D qualification in every industry. The procedure is welcome by the managing authority of competitiveness programmes since applications with the R&D qualification are assessed much faster than the ones without it.
Potential for learning or transfer
The system is applied for a wide variety of subsidies and also for tax incentives that are offered in relation to R&D activities. The system ensures a unified interpretation of R&D and guarantees proper allocation of R&D funding. It can also be used in ex post analyses to monitor whether state aid was actually spent on R&D purposes. The system relies on the Hungarian Innovation Act of 2014, which provides a uniform definition of R&D in line with the Frascati Manual by OECD and which also sets out the standard and transparent procedure. HIPO has published a methodology guide that provides a reliable source of information about the qualification procedure. Duration and fee for the process is fixed.
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