SZE hosts EU ambassadors at ZalaZONE

Széchenyi István University has hosted the ambassadors of the European Union Member States accredited to Hungary at ZalaZONE, Europe's most modern proving ground for the automotive industry. At the event, the institution presented how its modern infrastructure contributes to future-oriented research and development.

Sweden holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in this sixth-month term. To mark this occasion, the Swedish Embassy to Hungary organised a meeting for the Budapest based ambassadors of the Member States, with the event taking place at ZalaZONE at the initiative of Széchenyi István University. 

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Dag Hartelius, Ambassador of Sweden to Hungary (Photo: Csaba József Májer)

At the event, which was attended by ambassadors and senior diplomats from twenty EU embassies as well as by the Representation of the European Commission, the Swedish Ambassador, Mr Dag Hartelius, stressed that ZalaZONE is a showcase for examples at the forefront of innovation, green transport, digitalisation and smart cities. He added that this fits very well with the priorities of the Swedish Presidency, such as increasing the EU's resilience to strengthen the Community's global competitiveness. He noted that the green economy also contributes to this. "In a period of industrial and technological transition, those who move and act earlier will gain a competitive advantage," he said, stressing that European companies offering green solutions can help the transition to a circular economy.
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Dr Eszter Lukács, Vice President for International Affairs and Strategic Relations at Széchenyi István University, who initiated the ambassadors' meeting at ZalaZONE during the visit of Swedish Ambassador Dag Hartelius to Széchenyi István University last November. (Photo: Csaba József Májer)


Prof Dr László Palkovics, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Széchenyi István University Foundation, the maintainer of Széchenyi István University, presented to the guests the automotive proving ground and the associated innovation ecosystem, located on the outskirts of Zalaegerszeg. He said that there has never been a time in the history of the world when technological change has been as rapid as it is today, and one of the driving forces behind this is the automotive industry. It is on this basis that Europe's most modern automotive proving ground has been built, providing a complete validation environment for both classic and self-driving vehicles, and even a platform for research and development in the field of drones. The Chair of the Board of Trustees added that the multiplier effect is already striking, with major companies such as AVL, Bosch and Rheinmetall setting up in the immediate vicinity of the test track. In choosing the site, he said that the criteria were both proximity to large automotive companies and the need to offer new opportunities for a less developed region.

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Prof Dr László Palkovics, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Széchenyi István University Foundation (Photo: Csaba József Májer)


Prof Dr László Palkovics also spoke about the fact that Széchenyi István University operates laboratories, an incubator and buildings for accommodation adjacent to the test track, and the construction of an educational building is underway. He added that, as Hungary's most dynamically developing higher education institution, it is making further significant infrastructure investments, such as the Science and Innovation Park in Győr, the first phase of which will be completed this year.

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Group photos of the participants in the ZalaZONE reception building and in front of the racing car of the Széchenyi István University students’ Arrabona Racing Team (Photo: Csaba József Májer)

As the final activity of the meeting, the ambassadors were introduced to the modules of the proving ground, and then to the technological developments of Széchenyi István University’s Digital Development Centre and Vehicle Industry Research Centre. They were able to see the "forerunner drone", which is designed to accompany the emergency unit in the air and warn the driver of dangers not visible from the driver's cab in time, thus making it safer for the ambulance, fire brigade or police to arrive on the scene. University researchers have demonstrated a spraying drone designed for domestic and European agricultural conditions, offering farmers safe and easy-to-use drone technology. Guests also had the opportunity to meet the members of the leading Formula Student Arrabona Racing Team, as well as being introduced to innovations in self-driving vehicle functions and e-mobility from the Centre for Automotive Research.

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The ambassadors were also given an insight into the opportunities offered by ZalaZONE and the future-oriented research and development activities of Széchenyi István University (Photo: Csaba József Májer)

H-9026 Győr, Egyetem tér 1. 


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