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Centre of Regional Studies for the Hungarian Academy of Sciences West Hungarian Research Institute (WHRI) was founded in 1986 in Győr (originally called North Transdanubian Institute). The mission of WHRI is to study regional processes in one of the most dynamic areas of Hungary. WHRI established a subsidiary in Székesfehérvár (Central Transdanubian) on September 1, 2000 with support of the city of Székesfehérvár and the local government of Fejér County.

Researches of the institute focus on the spatial aspects of innovations, local and regional economic development and the policy implications of these studies. In this respect we are dealing with:

• Diffusion of innovation factors (organisations, products, market processes, social political actions, etc.);

• Processes of modernisation across the settlement network (exploration of innovation potential among Hungarian cities)

• Complex study of micro regions and settlements (analysis of settlements and micro regions; development studies and strategies; functional changes of settlements networks);

• Regional analysis (the development process of larger regions, regional and innovation strategic planning of regions);

• Cross-border socio-economic co-operations (the establishment of innovation-oriented collaboration in the Austrian-Slovakian-Hungarian and the Austrian-Slovenian-Hungarian border areas, organisational issues /e.g. Euregions/);

• Study of Central and Eastern European integrations (multi-regional connections and co-operations, developing plans and programs);

• Study of the government sector (local government finance and local economic development, changes of structure and institution system of public administration, changes in public services delivery, property management of local governments, project integration of local governments in small regions).

• Transformation of the city network (transformation of city functions, settlements factors; connections of the cities and their suburbs)

• Spatial planning: development strategies and concepts, monitoring

Research topics of WHRI listed above are included both in basic research (sponsored by different research funds as National Research Fund, National Research and Development Fund, etc.) and in applied research provided for different government organisation (e.g. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, State Property Agency, regional development councils, small region development associations and local governments). Based on the network of the Centre, WHRI is also involved some expertise for private companies (e.g. AB-Aegon Co., Creditanstalt Bank Co., MATÁV Co.)

The multidisciplinary character of the Centre is represented at the research units by geography, economics, law, history, sociology and ethnography. The principle of the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach prevails both in the conceptual and methodological solution of scientific problems.

Since years WHRI provides studies and surveys establishing government policies. In recent years, WHRI has also gained experience in regional strategic planning.

WHRI has been a registered consulting organisation of PHARE/TACIS (Brussels) on the fields of regional policy and analysis, public sector management, SME development and investment promotion since January 16, 1996. The No C.C.R. of WHRI is HUN-20860. WHRI has also been registered on the expert list of the former Ministry of Economic Affairs since February of the 1997.