Society of Hungarian Researchers in Germany
The Society of Hungarian Researchers in Germany (NMKT) is a non-profit, grassroots community. It is aimed at uniting Hungarian researchers in Germany, promoting the exchange of information and improving the German connections of Hungarian R&D. They though it was important to set up and manage a database of Hungarian researchers in Germany in cooperation with organisations in Hungary. Currently, their database contains the data of more than a hundred researchers and they maintain daily contact with their colleagues. They inform them about important developments related to research and development in Germany and Hungary in a newsletter.
Their first meeting was held on 14 October 2005 in the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin with more than 40 researchers. The participants discussed the issues of arriving to Germany, adaptation, success, connections, returning to Hungary and exploitable knowledge and results. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) and the National Office for Research and Development (NKTH) considered this initiative important. Prof Pál Pritz, head of the Department of Social Sciences of HAS and Dr Ilona Vass, acting president of NKTH were also participants to the first meeting and gave keynote presentations on what changes happened in science management in Hungary and how researchers abroad can help the country. This meeting is meant to become a regular forum where, besides discussing their problems and successes, researchers will have a chance to become symbolic bridges between Hungarian research and development and its potential German partners, both in the professional and the human sense. The Hungarian Embassy suggested organising such meetings bi-annually.
NMKT has also set up a permanent information network. They started their own homepage and chat forum, partly to support Hungarian science policy with their special means. Most probably, the Society can facilitate the smooth return to Hungary for successful young researchers and quicker exploitation of experience obtained in Germany.
Sweden – Peregrinus Club
Peregrinus Club was established at the end of 2001 in Stockholm. The aim of the Club is to bring together Hungarian professionals, researchers, graduates, students in postgraduate courses and on scholarships in an intellectual centre where they have the chance to keep in touch with each other and also with members of the scientific community in Hungary. The Club enjoys special support from the Hungarian Embassy.
Members of the Club are regularly sent an electronic version of the Club’s newsletter and are invited to participate in all sorts of programmes. Membership is free and may be continued even when the stay in Sweden is over. The Club has no board, administrative tasks are carried out by two secretaries. They organise meetings, discussions and presentation of various fields regularly, once in a month. They help members to have the opportunity to participate in thesis defences and other public events related to their professions. Their website contains links that help facilitate everyday life in Sweden.
An important priority of the Foundation is their Homecoming initiative started in cooperation with the Hungarian Embassy to the US. In this initiative, they have already organised three conferences and several workshops and meetings. They hold regular meetings with Hungarian delegations visiting Washington. The aims of such meetings included promoting research and development cooperation, business relations and education exchange programmes between the two countries, as well as supporting European Union programmes for researchers and health system development. Besides facilitating returning to Hungary for researchers and other professionals, Homecoming Programme is aimed at helping their professional, business and scientific communication, as well as maintaining their connections with Hungary and with each other. Specific results of their efforts are launching the HunEx website and the organisation of several trade groups (IT, BioMed, Econ).
HunEx is a system that consists of an online portal and a database. The aim of the system is to promote mobility of knowledge and labour in order to improve competitiveness of the Hungarian R&D. The portal contains information about Hungarian professionals living and working abroad that would like to channel their capacities back to Hungary and utilise their results there in research and development, science or business. Besides promoting ’homecoming’, HunEx also wishes to motivate two-way mobility of knowledge and labour between Hungary and the United States.