Global forum at SZE: focus on digital transformation and sustainability

Approximately 200 participants attended the two-day conference organised within the framework of the Regional University Network - European University (RUN-EU) consortium at Széchenyi István University. The aim of the programme was to discuss common development strategies, action plans and to make suggestions which contribute to the management of regional, national and European-level mechanisms, digital transformation and environmental sustainability and to the implementation of circular economy.

The first stage of the second global forum series called ‘RUN-EU - European Innovation Hubs - Regional Economy and Society - took place at Széchenyi István University. At the event, following the inaugural speech of prof. dr. Friedler Ferenc, the Rector and Vice-President for Academic Affairs of the university and Németh Zoltán, the president of the Győr-Moson-Sopron County Council digital transformation and environmental sustainability, as well as corporate and municipal challenges and opportunities related to these fields stood in the centre of the lecture of Simon Geraghty, vice president of the Irish Unilever Prestige company and Bouwe de Boer, project leader of the Dutch professional association, Friends of Fossil Friesland.



Professor dr. Friedler Ferenc, the Rector and Vice-president for Academic Affairs of Széchenyi István University (Photo: Májer Csaba József)



Németh Zoltán, president of the Győr-Moson-Sopron County Council (Photo: Májer Csaba József)


The participants could get to know the results and plans of the three RUN-EU Innovation Hubs (Future Industries, Food Products and Bioeconomy, Social Innovations). The afternoon programmes were organised around these three themes.



The conference was very well attended. (Photo: Májer Csaba József

At the thematic workshop of the Future Industries Hub Ricardo João Ferreira Simões, professor of the Portuguese university, Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave and prof. dr. Dogossy Gábor, dean of the Audi Hungaria Faculty of Automotive Engineering of Széchenyi István University welcomed the participants. Dr. Jósvai János, head of the Department of Vehicle Manufacturing presented the institution’s developments and cooperation related to automotive researches, while Krecht Rudolf, founder of the startup SentryNode Robotics touched upon the potential of university-business cooperation and the role of innovative solutions in sustainability. The last presentation was not without the demonstration of university innovations in a joint presentation by Trencsényi Tibor, head of the Directorate of Projects and dr. Nagy András Lajos assistant professor.



Ricardo João Ferreira Simões, professor of the Portuguese university, the Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave (fotó: Májer Csaba József)

The thematic workshop of the Food Products and Bioeconomy Hub was chaired by Annukka Pakarinen, research director of the Finnish HAMK University. Professor dr. Palkovics László Amand, head of the Department of Plant Sciences of Széchenyi University gave the participants an account on the institution’s researches related to food sciences and bioeconomy. He was followed by dr. Kovács Attila, head of the Department of Biological Systems and Precision Engineering who presented the university’s precision agriculture projects and Smart Farm experimental farm. On behalf of ABZ Drone, Bori Tamás, the company’s international sales director outlined the potential of drone technology and its role in sustainable agricultural production.



Michelle McKeon Bennett, Dean of the Irish Technological University of the Shannon. (Photo: Májer Csaba József)

The Social Innovations Hub was managed by Ellen de Bruin, head of the social working group at NHL Stenden University in the Netherlands. Here professor dr. Ablonczyné Mihályka Lívia described the social innovation projects and cooperation of the University of Győr, Keszthelyi Bernadett, director of Mobilis Interactive Exhibition Centre showed the activities and educational methodology of the centre, while dr. Tóth Péter associate professor, the president of Keret Kulturális és Szabadidős Egyesület (Keret Cultural and Leisure Association) presented the work of the non-governmental organisation, its projects realized in the framework of national and international cooperation.

The first day of the two-day event was concluded with a round table discussion where the participants could discuss regional, national and European-level mechanisms, the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation and questions related to the management of environmental sustainability. Besides these they formulated recommendations to the European Commission to move towards a circular economy.

Three presentations took place on the final day. Dr. Dőry Tibor, head of the Management Campus Competency Centre of Széchenyi University described the university’s innovation ecosystem, dr. Rámháp Szabolcs, head of the Startup Centre presented the university startup and spinoff programmes, while Mészáros Gergely, national contact person of the Eurostars and Eureka programmes of the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office gave an account of tender opportunities related to these programmes.

The event, in the organisation of which dr. Szakonyi Petra adjunct professor at Széchenyi University took a major role, was supported by the European Union and RUN-EU. The next stage of the forum series is going to be held in Braga, Portugal on 25-26 May, then the series will be finished in Athlone, Ireland on 15-16 June.

H-9026 Győr, Egyetem tér 1. 


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Friday  10:00-11:00 12:30-14:00