Authors:Viktória Endrődi-Kovács and Tamás Stukovszky
Hungarian small- and medium-sized enterprises are facing the challenges of digitalisation and innovation to survive fierce competition in the era of Industry 4.0, and particularly of COVID-19. Survival in the heavily hit sectors depends on the degree of digitalisation and involvement in e-commerce. This paper aims to examine Hungarian SMEs’ current scale of digitalisation and adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies. It also analyses the role of the Hungarian government’s support for SMEs’ digital transformation. To this end, secondary data were collected from Eurostat, the European Commission and the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, including the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), indices of skills and innovation from SME performance reviews and sectoral business statistics. In processing the data, the study strictly followed the European Commission’ classification protocol, complemented by a qualitative analysis of reports and programmes related to digitalisation and Industry 4.0 in Hungary. The findings reveal that there is a further need for strengthening the digitalisation and innovation capacities of Hungarian SMEs. The effects of introduced measures could not be seen yet. Hence, the Hungarian government should continue to support SMEs’ digital transformation in order to increase their role in high-tech manufacturing and knowledge-intensive services.