The Main Activities of IKU

The work done at IKU can be divided into three major sections:

  1. The main profile of the Institute is participation in research investigating the social science aspects of science and technology and innovation. More specifically, the fields typical of IKU since its inception are projects promoting the understanding and improvement of the features and operation of national innovation schemes, as well as research revealing the Hungarian situation in an international light. Within the innovation system, special attention is paid to the challenges affecting Hungary resulting from the internationalisation of Research & Development, as well as to the areas of mobility and the consequent information flow. The other main field of research is contribution to the development of political tools and the promotion of their application in Hungary. Within this framework, an attempt is made to promote the application of traditional Research and Development indicators on a wider scale, but there is also cooperation on an international level aimed at experimenting with new evaluation methods. From time to time our research projects are expanded to other fields such as the exploration of the sector features of innovation or the impact of networking on Research & Development.
    In the course of carrying out these tasks, IKU has been involved with numerous joint research projects at national and international level since 1991. During the period of the 5th EU R&D Framework Programme, the Institute was a member of the MESIAS, ENMOB and MUSCIPOLI networks. During the 6th EU R&D Framework Programme, the Institute was an active member of the PRIME Network of Excellence, and also took part in the Asbl activities of the ERAWATCH Network. During the years of the 7th EU R&D Framework Programme IKU' staff take part in the international projects of POCARIM, MORE II and MASIS as well as in the ResAGorA. The Institute had also been involved in the feasibility study and data collection of the EUMIDA project.
    The Institute regularly participates in and has also initiated several Central Eastern European joint science and technology policy projects for research and training. (Under the framework of the CIPRE network.) The members of the network thus established long-standing relationships and still actively cooperate in the preparation and implementation of new projects and tenders.What is more, IKU has established good working relationships with large international organisations active in the field, such as the EU, ESF the OECD, UNESCO, UNECE and NATO. Staff members of IKU have been involved in various CREST initiatives, too.
    On the national level the Institute’s recent major research projects include the "Role of networks in the innovation process" (OTKA PD101410), the “Chances of Hungarian SMEs in the era of globalizing learning economies” (KKVENT) or the “Competitive integration into the ERA – Supporting the collaboration of public research organisations and the economy” (VERINEKT).
    The Institute has been involved in the preparation of the foundations of a contemporary policy relevant STI information system in Hungary. On that basis a national RDI Observatory was established for which the IKU continues to provide expert knowledge even now.
  2. IKU is actively involved in the performance of scientific duties in public life. This field includes various consultancy and counselling activities (studies, professional disputes, conferences), providing expertise for players in national and international government, research and the corporate sphere, and also participation in the work of journals of note in this specialist field (e.g. positions on editorial boards).
  3. Besides performing research, IKU also plays a major role in the communication of knowledge. In order to do this, the Institute is involved in university education (by providing opportunities within the curriculum and beyond it) at both Bachelor's and Master's degree levels, as well as in adult education and the training of PhD students. Various conferences and seminars are held for the latter in cooperation with foreign partners. Foreign guest researchers and students are regularly invited.