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Hadházy says companies syphoning off university research funds

“LMP will be filing a criminal complaint on grounds of fraud and abuse of power concerning the use of European Union funds designated for university research,” said LMP (Politics Can Be Different) politican Ákos Hadházy on Thursday at his weekly anti-corruption briefing, reports Hungarian news site Index.hu.

According to Hadházy, companies that took part in consortiums with Hungarian universities have been syphoning off money from the projects.

The opposition politician accused Kaposvár University and Pannon University of paying “exorbitant amounts” for “bizarre” studies in 2015, such as HUF 20 million for quality control, partnership building and pre-project preparatory studies.

He said Assas Research Nkft., a company founded in 2013, enjoyed revenues of HUF 7 billion in 2015 thanks entirely to its partnership with Kaposvár University and Pannon University. Hadházy said that in 2014 the company employed two people and lost HUF 44 million after revenues of just HUF 12 million.

In the case of one HUF 276 million research project, Assas Research Nkft. was tasked with writing a study about selecting the research project’s participants “based on the expert opinions of the research project’s administrators”. Assas’ study was entitled “Study on the planned project’s criteria for young researchers and doctoral candidates”. Assas did not actually write the study but outsourced it to another company.

A company by the name of Tender Network Kft., which had earlier won a tender to prepare the installation of LED streetlights in Szekszárd, was awarded a tender by Kaposvár University to perform quality control, process tracking, monitoring and academic needs assessments for a project concerning “Research and development on the prevention and removal of mycotoxin pollution at Kaposvár University”. The company was paid HUF 28 million for its role in the project.

 

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