EEA and Norway Grants in Hungary launched
Under the EEA and Norway Grants more than € 150 million will be made available for programmes and projects in Hungary in the coming years.
On April 25 the EEA and Norway Grants were launched in Budapest. Hungary is the third largest beneficiary state of the EEA and Norway Grants.
Among the 12 programmes that will be implemented, the priority areas include support to:
- strengthen civil society
- improving the well-being of children and youth at risk
- green industry innovation
- cooperation in research
Important source of funding
The launch event for the Grants held on April 25 in Budapest attracted great interest. One important target group is the Hungarian local governments.
“We must grab every opportunity we get, and the EEA and Norway Grants provide an excellent source of external funding for us in several crucial areas”, said Tamas Korosvolgyi from the municipality of Godollo.
The town implemented a successful cultural project in the previous funding period, and will definitely apply again.
“We have concrete development plans that are relevant for several of the EEA and Norway Grants’ programmes, such as the modernisation of our distance heating system, or the establishment of a cultural centre, possibly with Norwegian elements, in one of our historical buildings”.
Strengthening relations and cooperation
In addition to reduce social and economic disparities, the Grants should also foster strengthened bilateral relations between the three donors - Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway - and Hungary.
“A crucial element in our planned project is to share expertise with and transfer technology from our prospective donor state partner”, said Andras Zatyko, business development director at SWR Geopower.
Public authorities in the donor states, so called donor programme partners, are involved in a number of the programmes and a fund to strengthen the bilateral cooperation will also contribute to this overall objective.
Creating green jobs
One of the first programmes ready to be launched in Hungary is the more than € 21.2 million green industry innovation programme.
The programme will provide excellent opportunities for Hungarian businesses (especially small and medium sized enterprises) to develop green technologies, create green jobs, and by their new and innovative solutions contribute to the reduction of hazardous waste, CO2-emissions, or other forms of pollution. These objectives are in line with the Hungarian National Environmental Innovation Strategy, the country’s EU commitments, and at the same time complement the supported activities of other programme areas under the EEA and Norway Grants, such as renewable energy and academic research.
With the help of Innovation Norway, Hungarian companies will be encouraged to partner up with Norwegian businesses and clusters, which may have valuable technologies to share. A event where Hungarian and Norwegian partners can establish contact and start development of project proposals is planned to take place in Budapest in June 2013.