The roots of MTA Information Technology Foundation go back more than ten years ago when a group of young mathematicians, engineers and system programmers got interested in new emerging approaches and technologies in computing (relational databases, conceptual modelling, object-orientation, knowledge-based systems, and the related methodologies, etc). This group of people still forms the core of MTA Information Technology Foundation.
During the early '80s they carried out studies, academic research and were involved in pilot projects in various fields of computing (Hungarian Ada Compiler, Conceptual Modelling Tool, Software Quality Checking, Ad-hoc Enquiry System).
From 1986 their interest turned toward the improvement of the development process of information systems in Hungary. An office automation package was designed and implemented on the PDP microcomputer. Later on, they pioneered the use of industrial strength RDBMSs (Rdb/VMS, ORACLE) in Hungary. Having tried to apply their own systems analysis and design methods, they realised that in Hungary there were no support for defining a complete systems building method. They started to study existing well-accepted methods like SSADM (Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method) and PRINCE (PRojects IN a Controlled Environment). These methods were used in the real life on pilot projects. In order to support by computers the techniques of SSADM, they were the first large-scale CASE-tools users (Excelerator, SSADM Engineer) in Hungary.
In the same time the interest in academic research remained strong in the group. They investigated the possible use of Artificial Intelligence techniques within Software Engineering. PhD students were working under the direction of key members. They tried to understand and to analyse the process of building information systems from the AI point of view. The uses of knowledge-based systems for such purposes were also studied. In cooperation with a Romanian research institute, a tool for hybrid knowledge-based systems development was created. Most recently, the Foundation is started participating in a joint research project, namely the PEKADS under the CP 93: 7599, Integrated Knowledge Modelling Environment.
Throughout the 1980s they were part of one of the largest research establishment in Central-Eastern Europe, the Central Research Institute for Physics in Budapest. After the political changes in 1990 and as a result of a major re-organisation within this research centre, the MTA Information Technology Foundation was formed as a separate legal entity.
During these years, a large amount of state-of-the-art knowledge was accumulated, and there was an intention to disseminate this knowledge for a wider audience. They started to teach at various universities (Technical University of Budapest, Budapest University of Economics). The Foundation became an associate member of the Euromethod project consortium (coordinated by SEMA GROUP).
They also established the Software Technology Special Interest Group within the John von Neumann Computing Society and. There is member of Foundation taking part in the Board of the Specialist Group on Knowledge-Based Systems of John von Neumann Society for Computing Science and here is member of Foundation who works as the Hungarian delegate to the Advisory Board of AI Communications the European Journal on Artificial Intelligence, and also member of IAKE (International Association of Knowledge Engineers).
The Foundation employs 4 experts. Besides them 4 specialist is available for the Foundation in part-time. The Foundation sometimes involves – on it’s own responsibility – contributors, who are most appropriate for the task to suit the contracting party’s requirements, as sub-contractors.
The Foundation had and has leading activity in spreading up to date IT in Hungary , and naturally applying the methods for IT and informatics. It had significant role in customizing the methods - appeared in the references of the IT Interministerial Committee – at home, these are based on the developed British Government IT approaches. This way applying in it’s work IT strategic planning, development methodology (SSADM), project management (PRINCE), data management, infrastructure management methods, and especially in calls for tenders, reconciling the requirements between the contracting party and the supplier using the EUROMETHOD approach. There are methods in the AI area as well, the Foundation is ready using CommonKads methods in a cooperation with the Informatiosn System Department of Corvinus University of Budapest. In security questions the organization has experts trained for CRAMM methodology.
We have 2 members of Foundation with CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) certificate, who are also members of ISACA (The Information Systems Audit and Control Association & Foundation).