Ongoing projects

The role of domestic companies in the reindustrialization of the national economy


Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. József Vörös



As our previous project entitled ’increasing the role of domestic companies in the process of reindustrializing the country’ has proved to be successful, this proposal is a continuation of the previous one. Reindustrialization is a prevailing topic and by the end of the previous phase we had doubled the number of publications in the first class (Q1) professional journals. Our young colleagues have attended post-graduate courses in excellent institutions like Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan Management School, London School of Economics, and by a contract with HBS we are able to provide the best teaching material for our students for years. So, it seems to be reasonable to base the foundations of the new project on these pillars: we will continue enrolling our young colleagues to best universities, extend the usage of demanding teaching materials, and prevail our enhanced research activity.

At the same time, the accelerated changes due to pandemic, the development of artificial intelligence/digitalization, and environmental changes draw boarder line between the previous phase and the new one as these events have been causing so dramatic changes that must be considered in all research tracks. To mention some research tracks:

  • The pandemic has increased or decreased the role of industrial activities in economic growth.?
  • Producing primary information by using questionnaires and running experiments on the personality characteristics and decision-making and thinking styles leading to productive entrepreneurship in a dynamic economic environment involving uncertainties. 
  • Study how laypeople and professionals make complex financial/consumption decisions, observe the applied information search processes and the considered information cues to formally describe information search and decision-making strategies that may lead to good financial/consumption decisions in the novel digital environments.
  • Research focusing on clean production, ESG (Environmental, Societal, Governance) and circular economy issues, investigates the impact of these new considerations on evaluating the pure value of production activities, on the pure financial performance and the judgement of companies by financial markets (stock exchange).


Examining the competitiveness of Hungarian small businesses


Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. László Szerb 




While small units constitute the vast majority of the business sector, our knowledge about the small and medium-sized businesses is limited. To close the gap in small business research, we have developed a unique questionnaire that is a useful tool to measure small business competitiveness. Up to now, we have collected data on 1200 Hungarian and 700 other country businesses. We plan to continue this data collection in 2021 and 2023. The small business competitiveness index consists of ten pillars -human capital, product, domestic market, networks, technology, decision-making, strategy, marketing, internationalization, and online presence – representing ten features of small business operation. In this project, we would like to examine five important aspects of competitiveness.  By analyzing the composition of these pillars, we could provide useful suggestions on small business stakeholders on how to improve the competitiveness of their business. By collecting additional data about the environment of SMEs, we are able to provide useful policy suggestions to local policymakers on how to improve the institutional, local business atmosphere. We are also planning to shed light on the connection between competitiveness and business financial performance. Small businesses export intensity is much lower than large firms, so we aim to identify the key factors of internationalization and export. Finally, we would like to develop new complex performance measures for family businesses that are more appropriate to quantity family business characteristics and compare them to other nonfamily types of ventures.


With resilient systems against climate change


Principal investigator: Dr. Tibor Kiss



The question beyond the research is what are the main features of the production systems, which are considered as the most advanced sustainable systems of our age? The research demonstrates examples of resilient micro-regional economic systems, which fulfil the requirements of the blue and the circular economy. 

•    Mushroom production in Belgrad (Serbia): An ecological innovative production model for mushroom production.
•    Energy production in El Hierro (Spain): El Hierro can be a worldwide benchmark island in implementing energy self-sufficiency and autonomy systems.
•    DYCLE (Diaper Cycle, Berlin) – production circle around a totally recyclable diaper: it is converted into black soil, which is used for growing fruit trees and fruits are converted to baby food and juice.
•    N17 Brewery (Galway, Ireland) – a beer factory by blue economy principles. This factory produces more than eight products, including mushrooms, dog biscuits, fish. 

These cases will be fully processed with the following outputs:

  • A system dynamics (or the appropriate) model to cover the general framework of the case;
  • Calculation of the Fitness of Evaluation indicator (for the resilience of the system); 
  • The popular Business Generator Canvas is further developed for a blue canvas. Each model will be demonstrated by this canvas.
  • A detailed Hungarian language documentation for further usage. 

The project aims to publish 112 blue business cases and clusters in Hungarian language online. The research results are continuously published on the page.


Development of hydrogen-based, resilient city-region protocol and IoT monitoring system for economic development



Principal investigator: Dr. Zsolt Bedő



The increasing frequency of global shocks requires continuous adaptation from economic actors, irrespective of them being individuals, companies or settlements. Resilience as a skill has gained value as this characteristic ensures the responsiveness of an economic unit in face of a shock related to energetics, natural resource, raw material or any kind of other input factors. Many new solutions, technologies emerge that try to solve this issue, however the quick implementation of one single new technology does not necessarily lead to the expected changes if the economic and social embedding of the given technology is not adequate. The same is true for the widely cited hydrogen technology today. If the company or settlement choosing the costly hydrogen technology does not fit it into existing value chains and production processes, then its social and economic impact will be suboptimal.

Ongoing research at the UPFBE addresses this current problem through developing a protocol with the help of which experts are able to formulate advices with respect to moving towards hydrogen-based operations at the city-region or company levels. This includes the ’circular’ way of thinking as well if it is relevant in the given situation.

Beyond formulating advices, the research develops an IoT framework which can be used to monitor resilience at the level of the unit deciding to use hydrogen-based technology. With this framework, the unit is able to continuously measure the impact of technological and economic interventions and prove its the ESG development towards potential financing agencies and authorities which is closely related to the original goal, that is resilience.


Risks, efficiency and development in global and national production networks


Principal investigator: Dr. Tamás Sebestyén




Pointing to the relationship between the (network) structure of complex systems and their aggregate performance (output, efficiency, vulnerability, resilience), recent advances in economics call for considering the (global) economic system as a complex one. Recent developments in slowing globalization, strengthening protectionism and a restructuring towards more locally organized production networks raise the question of changing gains and risks arising from the changing network configuration. The main aim of this project is to enrich our knowledge about the role of these structural characteristics of global production networks with respect to the possible efficiency gains arising from an enhanced division of labor, the (systemic) risks arising from particular patterns of shock propagation as well as the specific challenges, constraints and possibilities provided by the structure of these networks for countries and sectors to move towards activities with higher value added. These aims are pursued by developing a measurement tool which is suitable for the assessment of these risks and gains through integrating positional and structural indicators with contagion model simulations, and we use this tool in assessing the previous questions. The research team and results can be followed on the EconNet webpage.


The chances and opportunities for the development of smart destinations and smart tourism in Hungary with special regard to the challenges of the post-pandemic period („OTKA” K_22 application, NKFI N 142571 identification number, 4 years of research)


Principal investigator: Dr. János Csapó




Smart tourism is one of the newest and most innovative trends in tourism development of our time, the development of which has already started in many places abroad – even in internationally prominent tourist destinations – but its development and embeddedness in Hungary can only be found at the level of mention. One of the pillars of this can of course be detected in the initial works of domestic researchers. The other main direction is the start of the development of data-driven tourism and sector management, which is also recognised by the Hungarian Tourism Agency in 2021. Within this framework, from November 2021, the tourist accommodation and tourist attractions will be channelled to the so-called National Tourism Data Service Centre (NTAC) (Nemzeti Turisztikai Adatszolgáltató Központhoz, NTAK), which will provide Hungary's most comprehensive, real-time big data to support the Agency's work and the development of Hungarian tourism. The research of this database will also open up many new opportunities for background analyses of Hungarian tourism.

In our opinion, as the ultimate goal of smart tourism is to improve the efficiency of resource management, increase digitalisation (in which Hungary’s tourism is lagging behind), maximise competitiveness and enhance sustainability through the application of technological innovations and practices, the importance and value of research in this area concerning the innovative development of tourism is unquestionable and fully in line with EU tourism policy as well.

The overall research aim is to explore the chances and opportunities for the development of smart tourism in Hungary and in the tourist destinations of Hungary. The main questions of our research are:

  • RQ1: Can smart tourism and smart destinations be developed in our country, and if so, how and in what form?
  • RQ2: What role can smart tourism and the development of smart destinations play in the re-launch and re-design of domestic tourism?
  • RQ3: What needs and attitudes can be identified on the consumer side for domestic smart tourism and smart tourism in general?

In the course of our research, we have identified the following objectives and expected results, which we believe have both theoretical and practical value and novel outcomes:

  • Explore the theoretical foundations and the international and national research background of smart tourism through a systematic literature review.
  • A complex exploration of the theoretical and practical background and application possibilities of smart tourism, exploring international models, identifying and presenting good practices, taking into account the results of the EU's Smart Tourism Communities programme.
  • Developing and providing methodological basis for the development of smart tourism strategies at destination level, especially in the 11 tourist areas defined by the Hungarian Tourism Agency.
  • Developing and providing methodological and practical bases for the introduction and dissemination of smart tourism at enterprise and entrepreneurial level, in particular by strengthening networking.

A representative survey of consumer attitudes towards smart tourism.


Gardener connection research group

Principal investigator: Dr. Ever Bedoya


Gardener Connection is an independent research group that seeks to connect small-scale farmers through computer-mediated communication platforms. It accompanies and connects leaders, small-scale farmers, society, and technology so that they achieve actions to meet part of their food demand, exchange food, sell surplus crops, and information sharing knowledge to achieve community food sovereignty. The group is formed by 4 members. It is led by Ph.D. Ever Bedoya, senior lecturer for the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Pécs; Ph.D. Evelyn Calispa, research assistant for the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Pécs; Ph.D. Jahir Gutierrez Ossa, lecturer for the University of Antioquia; Alexander Tabares, lecturer for the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Medellin. 

Lines of research

- Computer-mediated communication and small-scale farming 

The research investigates the integration of computer-mediated communication (CMC) in small-scale farming contexts. It examines how digital tools like mobile apps and online platforms impact knowledge sharing and market access. This line of research explores the effects of CMC on food demand, food exchange, and sell of surplus crops. Furthermore, it explores virtual community formation, highlighting how online networks enable peer learning and support. Finally, the research explores how CMC empowers small-scale farmers, fostering sustainable practices, enhancing economic opportunities, and creating a more interconnected agricultural landscape.

- Knowledge Sharing and small-scale farming

Knowledge is essential for small-scale farming as it facilitates access to data on vital aspects such as weather, market trends, and best agricultural practices, enabling informed decisions. Moreover, knowledge-sharing networks foster community cohesion and innovation. This line of research includes studies on local knowledge creation, channels for knowledge sharing, barriers hindering effective knowledge sharing in small-scale farming contexts.

- Food sovereignty

Food sovereignty is a concept that emphasizes the rights of communities and individuals to control their own food systems. It goes beyond just ensuring access to food and involves the ability of communities to shape their agricultural and food policies, production methods, and consumption patterns according to their cultural, social, ecological, and economic needs. This research line delves into the conceptualization of food sovereignty, the epistemological and practical differences between food sovereignty and food security and the quantitative measurement of food sovereignty.

Current Project

It is an action-research project that seeks to create a communication network among small-scale farmers and the community through CMC channels to generate links that allow the transfer of knowledge, also the exchange and commercialization of agricultural products. 

Phase: Fieldwork and empirical research.

Phase 2: Platforms design

Phase 3: training and use of the platform.

The project is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals


End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.


Ensure access to water and sanitation for all.

SDG 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

SDG 15

Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.


Ever Bedoya

Senior Lecturer


Ph.D. Evelyn Calispa Aguilar

Research Assistant