The one-day SURE workshop in Hungary received positive responses from the 30 attendants composed of representatives of Small Medium Enterprises, scientists and governmental representatives.
High ranking Hungarian officials presented their view on the SURE cooperation with ESA, underlining not only the unique research and development opportunities onboard the International Space Station (ISS) that the SURE initiative offers to Small Medium Enterprises and scientists, but also the chance of tightening the good cooperation between ESA and the Hungarian Space Office.
Broad national support for innovative Small Medium Enterprises
The ESA SURE initiative found broad support from the national Hungarian authorities. Tivadar Lippényi, Vice President of the National Office for Research and Technology, presented various national funding methods for Small Medium Enterprises focusing on innovation. These funding programmes could assist Small Medium Enterprises to develop and complete industrial research and development projects to be carried out on the ISS, and would also support the creation of new innovative Small Medium Enterprises to that end.
Hungary eager to tighten cooperation with ESA
Dr. Elöd Both, Head of the Hungarian Space Office, underlined Hungary’s eagerness to strenghten the cooperation with ESA. Outlining Hungary’s early involvement with ESA, which started in the 1990s through a framework agreement, Elöd Both highlighted Hungary’s successes through ESA’s PRODEX (PROgramme de Développement d'Expériences scientifiques) programme, which Hungary joined in 1998.
Through PRODEX, Hungary participated in various ESA missions, amongst others Rosetta, Mars Express, Envisat and the International Space Station. Several Hungarian research institutes and companies have flown projects to the ISS performing research in the fields of material sciences, biology and space radiation. In 2003, Hungary took another step towards ESA by signing the Plan of Space Collaboration Activities for European Cooperating State Document. Hungary has formally requested to join ESA and plans the accession for 2008/2009.
In his closing summary, Elöd Both pointed out that the SURE initiative plays an important role in triggering the innovative power of Hungary’s Small Medium Enterprises and scientists.