Introduction Central Transdanubian Region
Central-Transdanubia (CTD) has good geographical location as well as geopolitical position. CTD is situated in the crossing point of Central European development zones. Due to its favourable geographical location, it has become an integrated part of the European economic space. At the same time none of its cities can be regarded as cities with central role in a European dimension.
CTD has 1.1 million inhabitants, 15,6% of the total labour force have tertiary education, 14,3% of total employment is in high and medium-high technology manufacturing and 20,6% of total employment is working in the knowledge intensive services. The unemployment rate is about 8% with 56% activity rate.
CTD Region has a favourable economic position among the regions in Hungary. The development in the past two decades is rooted from the changing industrial structure. The previously dominant heavy industry and mining have relegated while mechanical engineering have developed constantly. Nowadays, the Region has no specific economic orientation. Despite, there are some economic branches which potentially may be regarded as the region’s present and future key industrial sectors. They are as follows: mechatronics, car industry, material science related technologies, environmental industry and technologies (especially renewable energies), IT industry and food industry. These sectors are mainly connected to foreign owned multinational companies and have huge economic potential with limited regional added value and R&D potential. The region’s limited higher educational and public funded research-development capacities raise serious problems for enterprises as well. The economics-oriented higher education system fails to meet the demands of enterprises of mostly technical nature. This results in occasional and weak cooperation among the higher educational, R&D and business sectors.
The double-faced development (huge economic potential vs. limited added value) has created a duality of development chances for the region’s enterprises and particularly for SMEs. On the one hand their above national average positions are granted creating good fundamentals for the increase of the activity level of their innovation. On the other hand it limits their activities into local or national level as their role in international markets is minimal. For all that we should not neglect those deficiencies or problems the Region is still facing now. The aforementioned sectoral heterogeneity, the inadequacy of policies, the limited access of to investment funds for start-up and spin-off businesses, the insufficiency of R&D capacities, the low limited capacity of higher education, the low inclination for cooperation and the problems of the region’s internal capacities are all crying for a further strengthening of the region’s internal cohesion.