Press Release - 29 March 2017

Innovative thinkers of the region meet in Budapest

The large-scale innovation forum of the region is organised for the second time in the Hungarian capital. At the strategic conference called think.BDPST, representatives of the economic, governmental, and scientific spheres will discuss break-out points of the region in the fields of digital economy, the transformation of labour market, the future of education, healthcare, and pharmaceutics.

The second instalment of think.BDPST opened with speeches by His Excellency Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Dr József Pálinkás, President of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office Hungary, and Dr Gábor Bagdy, Deputy Major of Budapest. The aim of the conference, which is held on 30-31 March at the Bálna event centre and consists of six panels that involve 40 lecturers, is to strengthen cooperation between the economic, governmental, and civil spheres in the field of research and development, while also aspiring to become a noted strategic forum on innovation in Europe. The main patron of the event is HE Péter Szijjártó and is organised by the Antall József Knowledge Centre in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the International Visegrad Fund, in strategic partnership with the National Research, Development and Innovation Office, and with the support of MVM the Hungarian Electricity Ltd.

Topics to be discussed on the first day include the role of digital technology in shaping society and the possibilities it offers, the transformation of labour and its effects on the future of professions, big data, and artificial intelligence. The second day will focus on innovation in healthcare and pharmaceutics, with special regard to cancer research and treatment.

“From the point of view of the economic and societal development of the region, innovation in the fields of digitalisation and healthcare has a special significance. Therefore, it is crucially important for the V4 countries, especially Hungary, to take the lead. For this purpose, Budapest is hosting the region’s biggest innovation forum” emphasised Veronika Antall-Horváth, head of the think.BDPST project.

In his speech, Minister Szijjártó pointed out that one of the main goals of the upcoming Hungarian V4 presidency is connectivity, as in connecting the transport, energy, and digital systems of the region, since cooperation in innovation and development can on the long run become an engine of growth in the EU. Only a competitive region is capable of attracting more investments than member states individually. Minister Szijjártó also added that, as the closest and most effective partnership in the EU, the V4 has every chance to do so.  

Dr József Pálinkás, President of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office, stated that the V4 countries could enhance their competitiveness in innovation through the coordinated and sustainable use of the research infrastructures, as well as the efficient use of funding aimed to boost research programmes. This is strengthened by the statement of V4 ministers issued on 28 March at the CEE Innovators Summit in Warsaw to reinforce the use of the funds of International Visegrad Fund in financing research and development and innovation projects. Regarding the research and development framework programme of the EU, the Horizon 2020, coordinated V4 cooperation is required to represent a common standpoint in strategic issues at the half-year evaluation and the planning of the new framework programme for the post-2020 period.

Speakers of think.BDPST include George Friedman, geopolitical strategist, Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, former Deputy Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkowitz, former Minister for Science and Technology of the State of Israel, and Ronald de Bruin, Director of COST. The event will also feature speeches by Dr Csaba Balogh, Minister of State for Public Administration, and Dr István Mikola, former Minister for Health.

Similarly to last year, the conference will feature an exhibition involving innovative ideas and exciting start-ups. As part of the Start-up and Innovation Corner, innovative companies, innovators, and start-ups introduce their latest innovations and ideas in front of national and international audiences and investors, including the Japanese AI robot, Tapia.


Press Release – 8 March 2017

Hungary organises the largest innovation forum of the region again

The Antall József Knowledge Centre (AJKC) is organising the second instalment of the regional innovation conference, think.BDPST, under the patronage of Péter Szijjártó and in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and the International Visegrád Fund involving Hungarian and international experts, political leaders, and economic decision makers – announced Dr Csaba Balogh, Minister of State for Public Administration. The main sponsor of the event, to be held on 29-31 March, is the Hungarian Electricity Private Limited Company (MVM Group).

The think.BDPST conference brings key actors of innovation to Hungary for the second time.  The aim of the annual strategic forum is to promote the development of the Central European region, and strengthen cooperation among the business, governmental, and civil spheres by involving the most prominent political, academic, and economic actors. “The most significant professional event of the region organised in Budapest provides opportunity for our country, the region, and Europe to rethink our innovation opportunities.” – emphasised Péter Antall, Director of AJKC.

Topics to be discussed during the three-day event include the role and opportunity of digital technology in transforming social relations, future professions, and changes in the labour market. In addition, big data, artificial intelligence, new developments in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, such as personalised medicine and innovations in cancer research and treatment are in the focus this year. Digitalization and healthcare innovation became inevitable factors in the world of global innovations, which constitute important development areas for Hungary and the entire region. Although Hungary has already achieved significant results in innovation, cooperation can be the source of huge competitive advantage for the countries of the region.

The conference will feature geopolitical analyst George Friedman, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al Sabah, and Former Minister of Science and Technology Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkowitz, and Director of the COST Association Ronald de Bruin. Opening speeches will be delivered by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, President József Pálinkás, Minister of State for Public Administration Dr Csaba Balogh, and Former Minister of Healthcare István Mikola.

As a strategic forum of innovation, the annually-organised think.BDPST conference promotes the development of the region and the cooperation and competitiveness of the V4. “In addition to promoting the political and scientific discourse, the aim of think.BDPST is to provide space for business networking. In a broader sense, the conference contributes to the presentation of the economic and innovation potential of the entire V4 region, as the region is a perfect target for innovative and future-oriented investments. Hungary is committed to establishing active regional cooperation alongside with national and EU-level strategies in digitalisation.” – Dr Csaba Balogh added.

Following the principles of its eponym, the Knowledge Centre gives priority to the issue of national innovation and mentoring. The basis of joint work of the V4 countries can be to connect business, governmental, and civil spheres and establish long-term cooperation. The Knowledge Centre fosters regional and international common way of thinking and acting by organising think.BDPST in March.


Press Release – 14 February 2017

Budapest is to become capital of healthcare innovation

On a national economic level, healthcare innovation and the resulting efficiencies can create hundreds or even thousand billion forints, and contribute significantly to the improvement of Hungarian health conditions – it was assessed at the expert meeting at the Antall József Knowledge Centre, the organiser of think.BDPST, a conference on innovation to be held at the end of March.

The good condition of human resources can add an additional 30-40% to economic prosperity. Furthermore, efficiencies resulting from the use of innovative tools in healthcare produce a great deal of economic benefit. With the help of prevention, motivation, and big data analysation, digitalisation has the greatest potential in the field of personalised medicine.

“The application of innovative technologies will bring about revolutionary changes in healthcare, which has an enormous economic potential for the Visegrad region and Hungary.” – stated Dr István Mikola, former Minister for Health Care, current Minister of State for Security Policy and International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 “The general use of smart devices can lead to the saving of 500 billion forints on a national economy level, due to the improvement of healthcare procedures” – emphasised Pál Heim, Strategic Director of the Heim Pál Foundation. “Those who, due to their physical condition, have to leave the labour market can contribute even 600-700 billion forints to the national economy” – he added. Digitalisation helps the improvement and the strengthening of the relationship between doctors and patients, thereby enabling physicians to spend more valuable time with their patients. This way, sources can be directed to improving the quality of medical treatments and to wage developments.

Modern technology provides all the possibility to develop special medicines and treatments, which can most optimally be achieved through appropriate professional conversation and regional cooperation. “The Antall József Knowledge Centre is organising think.BDPST conference in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the International Visegrad Found, under patronage Péter Szíjjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The conference will be attended by international and national experts, leading politicians, and decision-makers” – added Head of Project Veronika Antall-Horváth.

The second think.BDPST conference, to be held on 29-31 March 2017, will focus on the role of digital technology in shaping social relations, the future professions, and changes within the labour market. In addition, questions connected to big data, artificial intelligence, and new developments in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, such as personalised medicine and innovations in cancer research and treatment, will be addressed during the event.


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