The EDF National Information Day was held in Budapest

The EDF National Information Day took place on 13 June 2023 at the Stefánia Palace in Budapest. The event was organised by the Ministry of Defence, the European Defence Fund (EDF) and the Defence Innovation Research Institute (DIRI). The event was attended by TECHTRA representative, Dr. Ferenc Dávid research fellow.

The event was opened by Brigadier General Imre Porkoláb and Minister of Defence Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky. In his opening speech, Imre Porkoláb, Ministerial Commissioner for Defence Innovation of the Ministry of Defence, said „Technological autonomy, knowledge and technology transfer, and resilience require a concerted effort to ensure broad access at the national level for researchers and entrepreneurs committed to supporting national defence capability development”.

The introductory presentation was given by Sylvia Kainz-Huber, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Defence and Space, European Commission, where she presented the EDF, the opportunities for funding and the responses to defence innovation at the EU level.

The event featured a number of presentations focusing on the role of defence innovation and the EDF. Balázs Hankó spoke about the national higher education reform and the János Neumann Programme, highlighting the importance of innovation in defence. He stressed the importance of cooperation between the DIRI model and research centres in promoting defence innovation.

Balázs Nagy presented the relationship between EDF and EU funds, highlighting the importance of civil and dual-use technologies. In his presentation, he pointed out that the EDF will play an important role in bringing together national, EU and NATO defence innovation activities. Given the scarcity of resources and the fragmentation of the Hungarian defence industry, he underlined the indispensable role of the DIRI.

Zsolt Bunford spoke about the current geopolitical and security environment, considering the possible escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian war and the dynamics of the US-China-Russia relations.
József Bokor, Scientific Director of the Institute for Computer Science and Control (ICSC) spoke about the importance of dual-use research. In his presentation, he highlighted the capabilities of ICSC, the Széchenyi István University, and the National Laboratories, as well as the potential of Hungarian research groups to participate in EDF proposals.

Bernadett Petri, managing director of the Hungarian Development Center (HDC), presented how Hungarian companies can contribute to defence innovation and the development of the defence industry. She highlighted the importance of dual-use and the integration of industry into defence policy. She promoted the role and importance of the HDC in her presentation.

Pál Bárkányi, Managing Director of ITSec Area Ltd., presented the company’s cyber industry group, which includes five small and medium-sized enterprises. Their goal is to develop national capabilities and to create their own cyber and artificial intelligence capabilities in the field of dual-use products and technologies.

The EDF National Information Day was a highlight event in the field of defence innovation, focusing on dual-use technologies and the development of the defence industry, as well as on the opportunities for EDF applications and the use of EU funds. The event helped to foster cooperation in defence innovation and develop national capabilities.