Swedish networking and telecommunications company Ericsson inaugurated a new headquarters and R+D centre in Budapest on Tuesday.
The headquarters, dubbed Ericsson House, was inaugurated by Ericsson chairman-CEO Borje Ekholm and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
More than 1,700 of Ericsson Hungary’s 2,000 employees work at the site on the banks of the Danube, and over 1,400 of these staff are R+D-focused.
Ericsson also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) to extend a collaboration aimed at long-term close cooperation in education, research, and innovation.
“Ericsson has a strong commitment to Hungary. The continuous growth of the local R+D organisation builds on excellent results achieved by Hungarian researchers and engineers, such as the development of Ericsson Expert Analytics, our real-time analytics solution,”
Orbán noted that Hungarians, as well as the Swedes, had been pioneers in the telecommunications industry in Europe, referring to Tivadar Puskás, the Hungarian inventor of the telephone exchange. He added that Ericsson had been the first foreign investor in Hungary’s telecommunications industry, entering the market in 1911.
Orbán called it encouraging that nearly 25 percent of Hungary’s economic growth in recent years came from the digital economy, and said the sector was of strategic importance. He added that the sector could do with another couple thousand small and medium-sized companies as well as 10,000 young engineers and IT specialists.
The prime minister said
the government would spend a nearly 130 billion forints (EUR 407.4m) on telecommunications developments involving over 8,000 companies.
He also mentioned that 11 companies from the sector have been included in the government’s strategic partnership programme.
“Hungary’s leaders must understand, not only in politics but in the economy, in science and in the intellectual world, that those who want to hold their own in the fight for the future cannot succeed unless they learn how to navigate on the ocean of global data flows,” Orbán insisted. The Hungarian government aims to “become conquerors and winners in an expanding world”.