Coronavirus pandemic: Update on financial reporting rules and suspension of the on-site inspection of projects funded from the NRDI Fund
Given the extraordinary circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the NRDI Office informs the beneficiaries of projects funded from the NRDI Fund as follows:

Reporting costs of travels and events cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic

The current pandemic may affect the implementation of funded projects and the performance of project commitments, in particular through the cancellation of scheduled travels and events. Applying the rules of force majeure, the already paid and unrecovered costs of cancelled travels and events are considered eligible under the project by the NRDI Office. Beneficiaries are dispensed from the obligation to report on cancelled travels and events (with the exception stated below), but are required to state the related costs in their upcoming progress report, providing detailed reasons for the cancellation and presenting the steps taken to mitigate damage and recover costs (if possible, with supporting documents). The NRDI Office will verify the eligibility of each cost item with respect to force majeure.

Please note, however, that if the cancellation of the travel or event makes it impossible to implement the project in its entirety, the NRDI Office must be notified accordingly, in line with the provisions set out in the Terms of Performance.

If the current pandemic is likely to cause changes to the implementation or schedule of the project, it may become necessary to amend the funding agreement or the funding document, also subject to the Terms of Performance.

Submission of reports and responses to notices of deficiency related to reports and amendment requests

In order to ensure the uninterrupted processing of reports and amendment requests, in addition to hard copies please also submit all documents in response to notices of deficiency electronically, in the form of scanned copies (and tables in Excel format) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., unless the reports were submitted over the Online Participant Portal (EPTK). For users of cloud-based services, it is enough to upload the documents requested in the notice of deficiency to their storage space, and send the password to the above email address of the NRDI Office.

In the case of reports and amendment requests submitted via the EPTK, for faster processing and due to the special characteristics of the participant portal, the NRDI Office may also send notices of deficiency in email instead of the EPTK to the contact person/project leader (and at the email address) indicated in the EPTK. Please follow the above steps even if you are notified in email.

In order to ensure the uninterrupted processing of financial reports submitted through the Electronic Portal of Proposals (EPR), you are kindly requested to forward the scanned copies of duly executed interim and final financial reports, together with applicable statements, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The documents submitted electronically in line with this measure and accepted by the NRDI Office will not be required to be submitted in hard copy later, but please note that the NRDI Office may examine such documents at a future on-site inspection.

Suspension of on-site inspections

Furthermore, please be advised that with regard to the state of danger announced by Government Decree 40/2020 (11 March), the NRDI Office has suspended the on-site inspection of funded projects.

We will update you as soon as the deficiency procedures related to reports and amendment requests and the on-site inspection of projects are back to normal.

Thanks for your understanding and cooperation!

NRDI Office

 

Source: https://nkfih.gov.hu

Palkovics: Hungary to set new directions for health research
Budapest, 9 March 2020, Monday (MTI) – Hungary can set new health research directions in the future, as it has received priority status in the LinQ Catalyst programme of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Presenting the innovation cooperation between MIT and Hungary, University of Debrecen and GE, László Palkovics, Minister for Innovation and Technology told to a press conference in Budapest on Monday: they try to achieve that advanced technology is not only manufactured but also developed in Hungary, in which Hungarian higher education institutions play a central role.

As he said, University of Debrecen and GE Healthcare participate together in the MIT LinQ Catalyst programme, conducting research in health science and the health industry. The university will employ PhD students who will also be the researchers of MIT, he added.

In addition to providing financial and environmental support, facilitating research and promoting knowledge and technology transfer, the Hungarian government also supports the transformation of ideas into operating companies, he said, noting that the project period is ten years.

László Palkovics also mentioned that the collaboration currently focuses on health research but the parties are already negotiating on extending cooperation to climate and energy technology, autonomous machines and laser physics research.

 

If you wish to read more about this article, click here.

 

Source: https://nkfih.gov.hu

The NRDI Office introduces flexible disbursement rules for advances, simpler administration and a new RDI Hotline channel to support all stakeholders of the domestic innovation ecosystem
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, applicants, evaluators and financing institutions of pub-licly funded R&D and innovation projects are all facing new challenges. The NRDI Office comes up with eased rules for disbursement of advances to alleviate cash-flow difficulties of ongoing pro-jects and supports beneficiaries of funded proposals with simpler administrative procedures and prolonged submission deadlines.

These measures can be followed on the website of the Office, while a new communication tool called RDI Hotline has been installed to efficiently handle in-quiries and suggestions.

The National Research, Development and Innovation (NRDI) Office plays a key role in implementing the government’s RDI strategy and innovation efforts. However, the state of danger caused by the coronavirus pandemic requires the NRDI Office to adopt new approaches and introduce targeted tools.

Dr Zoltán Birkner, President of the NRDI Office pointed out: ‘We have reviewed the entire portfolio of calls to identify the difficulties funded projects currently face. As an immediate measure, we modified the cost eligibility and reporting rules, and provisionally suspended on-site inspections. Our latest measure has eased the rules of disbursing advances from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund to all beneficiaries, and is expected to speed up the disbursement of nearly HUF 28 billion to up to 340 innovation projects and 450 OTKA basic research projects in the upcoming months. In addition, we have extended the period for using the innovation funds, set longer deadlines for the submission of invoices, supporting documents and responses to deficiency notices, and adjusted the rules governing mandatory commitments and indicators set out in the funding agreements. In the case of running innovation projects, this affects nearly 950 beneficiaries, including approximately 600 businesses and 330 pubic research organisations, and a total funding volume of around HUF 180 billion. As for the Thematic Excellence Programme and the Excellence Programme for Higher Education Institutions, we have extended the period for using the awarded funds (around a total of HUF 30 billion in over 90 priority thematic areas), and the same measures have been applied to the 1600 ongoing scholarship projects of the New National Excellence Programme, benefitting of more than HUF 2.9 billion funding.

The NRDI Office is continuously assessing the necessity of further measures. The President of the NRDI Office highlighted: ‘Questions, comments and suggestions in relation to the new measures are welcome and will be responded as quickly as possible at the RDI Hotline, a recently introduced communication tool.’

The NRDI Office has dedicated a thematic webpage to all COVID-19 related information, including the rules of application updated in response to the emergency situation, and fresh Hungarian and international news about research and development in relation to the pandemic. The recently launched RDI Hotline information channel primarily helps to manage the increased number of customer and partner queries more effectively and to relieve our phone and email customer service lines, which are also available. The RDI Hotline offers a user-friendly easy-to-use interface with drop-down menus and open text form fields to pick a topic and send queries. The new system enables faster processing and response times, while continuous monitoring helps to evaluate measures already taken and plan new ones to address the emergency situation.

Budapest, 20 April 2020

 

Source: https://nkfih.gov.hu

 

 

 

 

Information on the temporary modification of the rules of disbursement of advances in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic
In consideration of the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the state of danger declared in Hungary, and the expected economic and social consequences of the situation, the National Research, Development and Innovation (NRDI) Office has adopted measures to simplify and facilitate the financing of research, development and innovation projects funded from the National Research, Development and Innovation (NRDI) Fund.

The measures include the introduction of eased rules for the disbursement of advances, as detailed in the attached official notice published on the NRDI Office’s website. The beneficiaries are also notified over the EPR in the case of research and development projects, and also in email in the case of innovation projects. most important information about the measures introduced by means of the notice are summarised below:

Form of measure

The measure in the notice has been introduced by the NRDI Office as a unilateral amendment (of the funding agreement / funding document).

Scope of measure

The measure in the notice applies to all funding agreements and funding documents which name the NRDI Fund as the source of funding and set the end date of project implementation to a date after 1 March 2020.

Note that the measure in the notice has temporary effect: the amended provision on the disbursement of advances can be applied by 30 September 2020. (Accordingly, the measure applies to reports to be submitted by 30 September 2020, that is, the project stage covered by the report must end by 31 August 2020.)

After the expiry of the above deadline, the original provisions of the funding agreements, funding documents and their annexes governing the disbursement of advances will come back to force.

Disbursement conditions

The detailed conditions of the disbursement of advances are included in the Terms of Performance annexed to the funding agreement or funding document. The Terms of Performance originally provide that, among other conditions, advances may only be disbursed if the NRDI Office has approved the (technical and financial) report. The measure in the notice amends this provision to the effect that during the temporary period it is sufficient to submit the report (and, for innovation projects, the request for advance) for the next advance payment. (Requests for advance must be submitted over the EPTK portal for innovation projects and via email, as a scanned copy, for other projects.)

Please be advised that all other provisions of the funding agreements, funding documents and their annexes that are not affected by the measure introduced with the notice (such as the rules of eligibility for funding or advance payments) remain effective without any change.

Following disbursement of an advance, the NRDI Office will assess the submitted report in line with the funding agreement, funding document and their annexes, and will decide on approval based on the outcome of the assessment. In other words, the disbursement of an advance is no guarantee for the approval of the report.

Notice on the temporary rules of disbursement of advances for projects funded from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund, in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic PDF (273 KB)

Budapest, 21 April 2020

National Research, Development and Innovation Office

 

Source: https://nkfih.gov.hu

 

Notice in relation to the pandemic caused by COVID-19
 
Notice in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic on the extension of the duration of projects funded from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund, on the performance of mandatory commitments and monitoring indicators and on the extension of certain deadlines set out in the funding agreements.

In consideration of the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the state of danger declared in Hungary, and the expected economic and social consequences of the situation, the NRDI Office notifies the beneficiaries of projects funded from the NRDI Fund in relation to 1) the extension of project durations, 2) mandatory commitments and monitoring indicators specified in the funding documents (hereinafter: Funding Agreement), and 3) compliance with certain deadlines set out in the Funding Agreement.

1) Extension of the duration of funded projects

Pursuant to Section 18 of Government Decree 85/2020 (IV. 5.) on the specific rules applicable in domestic and administrative affairs in a state of danger the duration of projects

  • implemented until the termination of the state of danger and
  • in progress when the state of danger was declared (11 March 2020) (the legal provision applies to projects that meet both conditions)

is extended with a period equal to the period of the state of danger.

The above provision also applies to projects for which the funding relationship was established in the period of the state of danger.

Please note that the measure creates an option (not an obligation) for beneficiaries to extend the duration of their projects. Beneficiaries will decide for themselves whether to take the option or stick to their original project schedule.

 

If you wish to read more about this article, click here.

 

Source: https://nkfih.gov.hu

 

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