Seventeen of the 39 projects have already been completed. All projects have resulted in many positive and concrete results. Below is an overview based on the five project goals.
Results in Hungary
Getting innovative companies off the ground
The Hungarian venture capital fund, which receives 43% of its funding from Switzerland, has supported 17 SMEs and helped create 186 jobs for highly qualified workers. With three of the young enterprises that received support the fund could sell its shares in 2015.
Sixty-two Hungarian doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers are taking part in a fixed-term research residency at a Swiss university thanks to SCIEX fellowships. More than 100 academic publications and four patent applications have resulted from joint research projects between Swiss and Hungarian universities.
A number of measures have improved the tourism infrastructure in the city of Kazincbarcika and in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county.
Switzerland is supporting four water-supply projects in Hungary. In 2015, 27km of water pipes made of asbestos cement were replaced with plastic pipes. The number of burst pipes and the subsequent maintenance costs have been massively reduced.
Improving the air-quality network
The reference laboratory for air quality of the Hungarian weather service and the regional laboratories have been equipped with 218 new devices for taking measurements and carrying out analyses. With these devices more information can be gathered on concentrations of heavy metals, fine dust, nitric oxide, sulphur dioxide and carcinogenic hydrocarbons. Two mobile measuring stations complement the range of the electronic surveillance network, which mainly covers major cities.
Surveillance of waste dumps and emissions controls
The inspectorate responsible for surveillance has brought into operation new laboratory equipment and two mobile measuring stations. Ten specialists have undergone specialised training to be able to use the equipment over the long term.
Raising energy efficiency
Seven police stations and immigration centres have been renovated and equipped with energy-efficient technology.
The flora and fauna of several hundred thousand hectares of "Natura 2000" areas have been recorded. Management plans for the sustainable use of 13 areas have been drawn up. In addition, some 6,000 children have participated in school forest camps.
A new information and forecasting model, supplemented by a network of measuring stations and a modern digital radio and communication system, provide 350,000 people living in the north-east of Hungary with better protection against flooding. In addition, contingency plans have been brought up to date and the authorities have been provided with 12km of mobile protection dams. Two dams for reservoirs as well as drainage systems have been renovated, thus protecting communities of some 10,000 residents from flooding.
Improved entry controls in courthouses
State-of-the-art security controls have been installed in the entrances of selected courthouses in north-east and central Hungary with 108 walk-through metal detectors and 52 X-ray scanners.
NGO and partnership funds: This fund helps to strengthen civil society and facilitates the sharing of experience between institutions in the new EU member states and their Swiss partners. More than 150 projects have been supported, of which approximately one third with Swiss partners.
In a pilot programme, newly set up teams of family doctors have increased the quality of healthcare, especially in disadvantaged regions. As a result, 18,000 people have undergone health examinations. The results of this pilot programme will be taken into account in the decision on introducing this model throughout the country.