Press Release - 4 January 2019

The biggest innovation forum on smart transportation is organised in Budapest

In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary and with the support of the International Visegrad Fund, the Antall József Knowledge Centre is organising the third think.BDPST conference on innovation in March 2018 where international and national experts, leading politicians, and economic decision-makers will participate – announced Deputy Director Veronika Antall-Horváth.

Today in Hungary, there are around 20 thousand people working in the automotive industry, which provides 20% of the national export and 5% of the GDP; in seven years until 2017, its value increased from 1700 billion HUF to 4100 billion HUF. The automotive industry is one of the most important sectors in all the Visegrad Countries but Poland: in the region, there are 3,5 million vehicles produced annually, which equals to 20% of the total production in Europe and there is a constant competition for investments not only among countries but regions too.

Digitalisation, developments in transportation, e-transportation, and driverless cars will change the world fundamentally, and provide exceptional opportunities for the region – these topics will also be covered by the Antall József Knowledge Centre (AJKC) at think.BDPST. The guest country is the Republic of Korea.

The event, to be held on 28-29 March 2018, will yet again bring the most important actors of innovation to Hungary. The aim of the annual innovation forum is to facilitate the development of the Central European region, while also strengthening cooperation between the governmental, business, and civil spheres through the involvement of the most renowned political, scientific, and economic actors. The most significant event of the region which is organised in Hungary gives a chance to rethink the innovation possibilities of Hungary, the region, and the European Union.

“Not only do new technologies in vehicle production and transport make the movement of goods and people easier, but they present a huge economic potential for the Visegrad Countries through developments and innovative technologies. Although Hungary has achieved considerable results in the innovation of the automotive industry, cooperation in the global competition can give a huge advantage to the countries of the region and it underlines the establishment of a high-level forum such as think.BDPST” said Veronika Antall-Horváth.

“We are delighted that the Republic of Korea, one of the leading innovation centrums of the world, has accepted our invitation to become the guest country of the event. We cooperate closely with the Republic of Korea not only on the bilateral, but the V4 level too. Beyond the high level, prime ministerial and foreign ministerial meetings, Korea supports the International Visegrad Fund’s work and there are regular consultations to encourage exchange of experience in R&D. The V4, in turn, share experience on the democratic and market economy transition of Central Europe to expand the knowledge of Korean experts on the topic” – said Krisztina Dóra Varju, Ministerial Commissioner for the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Group 2017-18.

Confirmed lecturers of the think.BDPST conference include HE Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary; HE Dr Zoltán Cséfalvay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the OECD; Dr József Pálinkás, President of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office Hungary; Dr Jacob Cohen, Chief Scientist of the a NASA Ames Research Center; Karel J Gota, CEO of Indeed Innovation; Chang-woon Lee, President of the Korea Transport Institute; ProfessorDavid Winickoff, Secretary of the Working Party on Bio-, Nano-, and Converging Technologies at OECD; John Ford, Director of the GE Hungary Digital Hub; LordDavid Willetts, Board Member of UK Research and Innovation; and Kornél Szepessy, CEO of HungaroControl Ltd.

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