Construction has begun: SZE is building a Science & Innovation Park in Győr

Within the framework of the Economic Development and Innovation Operational program, SZE has won a non-refundable 6,766 billion HUF (19,034 million EUR) support, from which it will build the Science & Innovation Park at the place of the former Biscuit & Wafer Factory in Győr.The iconic cube-shaped building is being renovated and is expected to become one of Győr’s most spectacular buildings. The Science & Innovation Park is designed in a way that supports SZE university’s main areas of research – thus contributing to the improvement of the Győr region – where the resulting increase in its scientific potential supports the successful participation of the corporate sector and their competitiveness in international markets.

SZE is building the park close to the university, on the opposite side of the river Mosoni-Danube, only 500 meters from the main campus. Firstly, the iconic cube building is being renovated, which is happening this year.Although the former factory building used to be an important firm of the city for a hundred years, it has not been used for more than 10 years , but through its renovation it is now being elevated to its previous status.

Closer links to the private sector – economy

László dr. Palkovics, minister of Innovation & Technology, has shared the following during his speech: significantly more financial support is given to universities compared to earlier times and due to the change in this model, real-estate worth more than 3 trillion HUF (8.4 billion EUR) has been granted and handed over to the universities. Moreover, 2.7 trillion HUF (7.6 billion EUR) is being provided for the development of higher education institutions in the upcoming years – this includes the establishment of science and innovation parks.

The minister highlighted the fact that these parks help the universities with not only educational and research purposes, but to also have a closer relationship with both the economy’s private and public sectors. SZE university, which has campus buildings in four locations already –  Győr, Mosonmagyaróvár, Zalaegerszeg, and Budapest – is creating two parks at the same time, one in Győr and one next to ZalaZONE proving ground in Zalaegerszeg.

László dr. Palkovics, minister of Innovation & Technology (Photo by Csaba József Májer)

The key to the university’s future

In her speech, dr. Erzsébet Knáb, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the SZE Foundation, said that the university is building its future based on its past, serving the local populations, relative business partners, the city of Győr, and our country as a whole. “SZE is a big player in the improvement of the city and its surrounding region. Through its international education and research activities it contributes to strengthening the competitiveness of the economy. The establishment of the two Science & Technology parks in Győr and Zalaegerszeg may be considered as new milestones for the SZE university, thanks to government support. These parks serve the future in the form of an innovative and creative platform, where they showdifferent perspectives of our relationship with business, hence boosting the approachability and openness of our institution.”

She emphasized that through the Science & Innovation Park of Győr, the development of the region is supported by strengthening of the university’s main research areas; ranging from engineering, IT, through to the creative arts and food-agricultural sciences.

“Through the scientific potential of our university we are aiming at supporting the corporate sector’s participation at the international market level. The various cooperative collaborations which occur this way help to establish the innovation ecosystem, the formation and the strengthening of start-up and spinoff companies, and increase expotentially the number of unique modern and significantly applicable innovations. Based on our traditions from the past, we are creating a new venue for the world of science, where modern technologies and innovative approaches make us even better.” Ms Knáb has also mentioned that they are contributing to the development of Hungary’s future together with the project’s partners.

dr. Erzsébet Knáb, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the SZE Foundation (Photo by Csaba József Májer)

Róbert Balázs Simon, Government Representative of Győr, stated the following: SZE is one of the most dynamically developing higher educational institutions in the country, which supports the businesses of Győr and the region with its educational knowledge. He added that the first phase of the Science & Innovation Park, establishing the six-storey “cube”, with more than a 4 thousand square meters space, will help support the future science to business knowledge transfer.

Róbert Balázs Simon, Government Representative of Győr (Photo by Csaba József Májer)

A creative, inspiring environment

The university’s main focus areas of study and research to be located in the newly renovated building were represented during this inauguration event. Among them, the Design Campus, which includes the Department of Design a part of the Faculty of Arts and the Design Competence Centre. Gábor U. Nagy, Head of Department, Deputy Dean of Science & Research of the Faculty of Arts, explained: design interconnects or bridges the arts, human thinking, and technological sciences. The Design Centre allows for a creative and inspiring environment that supports both start-ups and spinoffs.

In this way, the park will also help the innovation ecosystem to become complete. Szabolcs dr. Rámháp, start-up and incubation manager from SZE’s Management Campus Competence Centre explains; “the institution has put a lot of effort in building an innovation ecosystem in the recent years, to which these new changes in its innovation ecosystem model provides higher hopes.” Onward, the “cube” will also provide space for the Computer Science and Automation Research Institute (SZTAKI) and for the Industry 4.0 Research & Innovation Institute, where both are in close working relationships with the Vehicle Industry Research Centre (JKK). Parrellely and with also significant importance, the building will be the new location of the university’s Digital Development Centre, whose activities were explained by István Drotár, Head of the Centre when he stated“their research, development, and innovation actions support the industrial application of the university’s scientific and technological knowledge in the fields of 5G, drone-control technologies, vehicle communications, precision agriculture, as well as information and communication technology (ICT) enabled healthcare and digitalisation.

Robert Buttenhauser, Member of the Board of Directors responsible for vehicle powertrain production at Audi Hungaria Zrt., Dr. Patrick Heinecke, Member of the Board of Directors responsible for Finance, IT, Procurement and Compliance at Audi Hungaria Zrt., Szabolcs Szeles, Deputy Mayor of Győr, Balázs Róbert Simon Member of Parliament, László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology, dr. Erzsébet Knáb, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, dr. Bálint Filep, President of the Széchenyi István University, Széles Sándor, Győr-Moson-Sopron County Government Commissioner, Imre Pintér-Péntek, President of the Győr-Moson-Sopron County Chamber of Commerce and Industry, dr. Zsolt Kovács, Chancellor of Széchenyi István University, dr. Zoltán Péter Baranyi, Rector of Széchenyi István University and Márton Maczkó, President of the University Student Self-Government, also placed their message in the inaugural cornerstone ceremony’s time capsule. (Photo by Csaba József Májer)