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Roundtable discussion on innovation in the Hungarian defense sector

On 4th February 2019, the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade hosted a roundtable discussion entitled “Innovation in the Hungarian defense sector”, which focused on the outlook for research + development activities within the Hungarian armed forces.

The event was opened by Márton Ugrósdy, the Director of the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT). As he mentioned, this roundtable discussion was just the first installment of IFAT’s series of commemorative events to mark the 70th anniversary of NATO’s founding, along with the 20th anniversary of Hungary’s accession to the alliance.

The first speaker was Gergely Böszörményi-Nagy, the executive director of Design Terminal, who provided an overview of the innovation environment in Hungary. This was followed by a brief presentation by Dalma Lilla Dominek, PhD, the CEO and managing director of Valor Hungariae Plc. She spoke of the governmental framework in place to foster innovation in the defense sector. Finally, Colonel Imre Porkoláb, PhD, deputy of the National Armaments Director responsible for research + development and innovation shared his thoughts with the audience on behalf of the Ministry of Defense. His remarks were both a reflection on the experiences he gained at NATO and the Pentagon, along with the main strategic directions of the so-called “Zrínyi 2026” modernization program within the Hungarian Defense Forces.

The discussion ended with a Q+A session. The issues covered included the need to harmonize innovation and procurement processes, the complex challenges posed by cyber warfare and digitalization, as well as the means to create an innovative culture within the Hungarian Defense Forces.

Diána Szőke, IFAT’s senior analyst, was the moderator of the event.