Innovation That Matters

Global innovation spotlight: Hungary

Global Innovation Spotlight

From thermal energy storage to an indoor composting robot, discover exciting innovations from Hungary

Reflecting our global Springwise readership, we explore the innovation landscape and freshest thinking from a new country each week. Ahead of St. Stephen’s Day, we are celebrating three exciting innovations from Hungary…

Hungary Innovation Facts

Global Innovation Index ranking: 34th

Climate targets: A 40 per cent reduction in domestic greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2030 , achieve climate neutrality by 2050

Sustainability issues

Air pollution – Hungary has among the highest levels of particulate matter air pollution in the OECD. In 2021, the EU’s top court found that Hungary has systematically breached EU limits on particulate matter pollution, for as long as 12 years in some regions. And the European Environment Agency attributed 13,100 premature deaths in Hungary to air pollution in 2018.

Water pollution – Hungary is home to Lake Balaton – the largest lake in Central Europe. It is an important site for migratory birds and has become a major tourist destination in recent years. However, one academic believes might become unfit for bathing in 10-15 years due to deteriorating water quality. Although, today, the waters are relatively clean, the most polluted parts of the lake are prone to frequent algal blooms. 

Energy security – Hungary is heavily dependent on Russian natural gas imports. It is therefore vulnerable to price hikes and dislocations caused by the current conflict in Ukraine. In response, the government has loosened restrictions on logging in order to meet surging demand for firewood, sparking protests in the nation’s capital.

Sector specialisms

Education

Foodtech

Transportation

Source: StartupBlink

Three exciting innovations from Hungary

Photo source Canva

INDOOR COMPOSTING ROBOT REDUCES URBAN FOOD WASTE

Many towns, villages, and cities don’t have the infrastructure in place to manage a community-wide composting system. Food therefore continues to end up in landfill, especially in areas where room for gardening is scarce. Hungarian startup Compocity’s solution is to bring composting indoors with a smart system called the CompoBot. Read more

Photo source HeatVentors

A THERMAL ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM REDUCES ENERGY COSTS AND EMISSIONS

Nearly half of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with buildings are the result of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). Buildings, in turn, account for 39 per cent of energy-related global greenhouse gas emissions. In response, buildings are increasingly fitted with thermal energy storage systems that smooth and optimise heating and cooling throughout the day. Traditionally, these systems work by changing the temperature of water in huge tanks that are expensive and inefficient. This could be set to change, however. Read more

Photo source Canva

RE-PURPOSING NATURAL GAS PIPELINES TO TRANSPORT HYDROGEN

Natural gas will be phased out of the energy mix as the world transitions to renewable energy. But what is to be done with all the gas infrastructure once this happens? At the same time, hydrogen, one of the most promising clean fuels for the future, currently lacks infrastructure for storage or transportation. This raises an intriguing possibility – what if existing natural gas infrastructure was used to transport hydrogen? Hungary’s natural gas network operator FGSZ, is exploring this option with risk and assurance company DNV Group. Read more

Words: Matthew Hempstead

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