Science, Innovation, Entrepreneurship on a higher dimension with SZE's Foundation

DJI_030875.jpgOver the past two and a half years, Széchenyi István University has successfully completed a model change with a new operating structure, assets and leaders supporting further development. As a result, the institution is able to formulate and implement its strategic objectives with greater autonomy, more efficiency and flexibility, and within a self-determined framework.

The Széchenyi István University Foundation, which runs the institution, is continuously expanding its activities and its assets. As part of this, in 2021, by way of an asset transfer, the Foundation acquired a stake in the public limited company Rába Járműipari Holding as well as in Győr-Pér Airport Ltd. and this year it will acquire a 138.7-hectare site in Pér under a public service financing contract, where it plans to develop an industrial-logistics park and an airport in addition to renewable energy production and storage. At the same time, Széchenyi István University has created an ecosystem with a special focus on multi-level cooperation with the business sector. This is supported by the development of science and innovation parks in Győr, Mosonmagyaróvár and Zalaegerszeg.

Based on the law adopted by Parliament, the Széchenyi István University Foundation may acquire additional assets from the Hungarian State by way of an asset transfer, such as the Automotive Test Track Zala Co. Ltd., the ZalaZONE Industrial Park Co. Ltd., the HUMDA Hungarian Automobile-Motorsport and Green Mobility Development Agency Co. Ltd. and the Techtra Technology Transfer Institute Non-profit Co. Ltd.

These significant changes justify a restructuring of the organisational structure based on Western models, helping Széchenyi István University to become even more competitive. As part of this, an asset management company and an incubation holding company will be established alongside the University to perform knowledge exploitation, research and development and industrial cooperation tasks related to specific assets and innovation projects. In view of the new operational structure, at the 5 December session of the Board of Trustees and the Supervisory Board of the Széchenyi István Foundation, at the proposal of Dr Erzsébet Knáb, former Chair of the Board, Dr László Palkovics, academician and Széchenyi prize-winning research professor at Széchenyi István University, was unanimously elected member of the Board of Trustees and Chair. He will also perform the executive functions of the asset management holding company.

As founding Chair, Dr Erzsébet Knáb will continue her work in close cooperation with the new President as member of the Board of Trustees responsible for strategic University affairs. In addition, as head of the newly created incubation holding company, her main objective is to develop and internationally represent the innovation activities of the Foundation, business stakeholders and the University.

Dr József Bokor, academician, having stepped down as a member of the Board of Trustees,  in addition to his position as President of the University's Centre for Automotive Industry Research, will in future assume the position of Vice President for Technology and Research of the Incubation Holding.

From 1 January 2023, the former Rector of Széchenyi István University, Dr Péter Zoltán Baranyi, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the new structure, will carry out priority research. Due to the importance of this task, he will be unable to continue his duties as Rector. In the near future, the Board of Trustees of the Széchenyi István University Foundation will ensure the appointment of a new Rector, with which it would like to contribute to the exploitation of the unique synergies of the new operational structure.

"Széchenyi István University's ambitious developments have made it a leading university in Hungary, attractive to young people and international students. Its priority aim is to become a unique international centre of automotive knowledge. I am very pleased that, as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Széchenyi István University Foundation, Dr László Palkovics is playing a significant and leading role in this. His person and the new structure will help not only to achieve the University’s strategic goals, but also, through even closer and true partnerships with industrial companies and other economic players, to strengthen the competitiveness of the region and Hungary", said Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and member of the Board of Trustees of the Széchenyi István University Foundation in connection with the changes.

"In recent times, Széchenyi István University has become a true university, already included in international higher education rankings. This is why I joined the institution's community as a lecturer and researcher more than a decade ago. I would like to thank Dr Erzsébet Knáb for the extraordinary work she has done so far as the founding Chair of the Board of Trustees, and I look forward to working together with her in the future for the development of the University. I am confident that the interconnection of the University and industry, supported by the new assets, will be a great advantage for the competitiveness of the national economy", said Dr László Palkovics.


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