Hungary is a popular destination for foreign r&d investment

Several R&D investments planned for Hungary have been reported recently. The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade recently announced that Samsung SDI would bring electric car development to Hungary, in what would be the largest R&D investment ever. At the same time, Stellantis is investing HUF 20 billion in aiMotive, which is developing self-driving technology.

Hungary remains a popular R&D destination for international corporations. According to the latest data currently available, the amount spent on R&D at the level of the national economy exceeded HUF 900 billion in 2021, representing 1.64 percent of gross domestic product, and has been growing steadily over the past ten years. The government has set a strategic goal for Hungary to become one of Europe’s top 10 innovators by 2030, which requires the country to spend 3 percent of GDP on R&D by 2030.

Last autumn, Continental opened its new Application Development Centre in Budapest, further expanding its autonomous mobility activities in Hungary. The centre currently employs 200 software engineers and plans to recruit hundreds more in the coming years. The specialists will focus on the development of long-range radars, radars that detect the vehicle’s immediate environment and various camera systems. I     n addition to its      Budapest headquarters, the company has also started recruiting specialists in Debrecen and Szeged, who will also work on autonomous driving support systems.

Stellantis, one of the world’s largest automotive groups, has also chosen Hungary as its hub for self-driving technology and electrification. The automotive company bought Hungarian software developer aiMotive for a record sum last year, investing HUF 20 billion in the company, which plans to further expand its knowledge centre and world-class development team built up over the years. One of the goals is to have the Hungarian startup’s developments utilised in the vehicles of 14 Stellantis brands by 2026.

The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade heralded as a giant investment the other major recent project of Samsung SDI, which would be the largest R&D investment ever in Hungary. The South Korean company’s HUF 22.5 billion activity aims to increase the capacity and safety of electric batteries and improve the economics of production. The Hungarian state is supporting the project with HUF 5.5 billion, which it hopes will help create dozens of high value-added jobs. Samsung SDI will also further strengthen its cooperation with Hungarian universities, which already offer automotive and electric battery training.