The auditorium of the Science and Innovation Park of SZE was inaugurated at ZalaZone

After the innovation and accommodation buildings, the auditorium of the Science and Innovation Park of Széchenyi István University has also been completed at ZalaZone in Zalaegerszeg. The aim of the HUF 740.2 million non-refundable EU grant awarded in the Economic Development and Innovation Operational Programme is to contribute to the competitiveness of the region by creating an internationally high-quality education and research environment.

At ZalaZone, part of the Széchenyi University Group, Széchenyi István University has implemented state-of-the-art infrastructure investments that contribute to the high quality of professional education, the research, development and innovation activities of the institution, and the further strengthening of cooperation with the industrial sector.

The innovation and accommodation buildings were handed over last year, after that now the auditorium building was completed, thus concluding the construction of the 4.016 billion HUF Zalaegerszeg Science and Innovation Park.

The new 502-square-metre, two-storey facility will have a teaching and lecture hall with a capacity of 100 people on the ground floor and a teaching and research office unit on the first floor, along with service facilities.

7f5c56_73ec7f285a3540d9b406833658d58c6c~mv2.jpegDr. Zoltán Weltsch, Head of the Innovation Park of Széchenyi István University Zalaegerszeg, dr. András Háry, CEO of the ZalaZone Industrial Park Zrt., Prof. dr. Ferenc Friedler, Rector of the University and Vice President for Academic Affairs, dr. Eszter Lukács, Vice President for International Affairs and Strategic Relations of the University, Prof. dr. László Palkovics, President of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Széchenyi István University, Mihály Varga, Minister of Finance, Zoltán Balaicz, Mayor of Zalaegerszeg, dr. Rózsa Sifter, Archbishop of Zala County and dr. Bálint Filep, President of the University cut the national ribbon. (Photo: András Adorján)

"Széchenyi University has now been inscribed on six major world higher education rankings, in four of which it was included for the first time this year. We are ranked in the top ten percent of universities in Europe by QS and in the top five percent of universities in the world by Times Higher Education world ranking. In addition, our institution is also ranked among the best ones in the world in the field of engineering. We are also particularly proud that our university has been included in two sustainability rankings, as contributing to sustainability is our key objective.", dr. Eszter Lukács, Vice President for International Affairs and Strategic Relations of the University said during the inauguration ceremony on 30 November. She stated that the institution’s presence at ZalaZone is one of the important pillars of its international visibility.

"In addition to the continuous modernisation of our 21st century infrastructure and our research, development and innovation capacity, the high quality of our training is what we want to contribute to the competitiveness of the region.", she emphasized. Dr. Eszter Lukács added that the institution is offering more than two hundred Hungarian and forty English language training programmes, including professional post-graduate trainings and micro-certificate courses besides Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral programmes. She underlined that the new auditorium will also serve these educational purposes.

During the ceremony Mihály Varga, Minister of Finance said that in the year 2020 Hungary had to prove that it was capable of standing its ground, not only in production, but also in development.

"We are striving to ensure that regional centres like ZalaZone bring together as much talent, knowledge and innovative energy as possible in order to make this decade of the Hungarian economy truly about this.", he said. He highlighted that for universities the aim is not to carry out research and development for the drawers, but to have them directly integrated into the economy.

"We would like to achieve that it would be an important measure of higher education, of the scientific world to which extent a professor can get involved in the economy.", he noted. He added that opportunities provided by the model change play a major role in the fact that Széchenyi University could move up the world rankings.

In his speech, Mihály Varga, Minister of Finance congratulated Széchenyi István University on the investment. (Photo: András Adorján)

Zoltán Balaicz, Mayor of Zalaegerszeg, said that the partnership with Széchenyi University strengthens the city's development, which also has a positive impact on the economy. He recalled that in the early 2010s this area was arable land, but today it is one of Europe's most significant automotive test tracks, home not only to the university but also to a number of major international companies.

"In 2014, the unemployment rate in the city was 7.5 per cent, since then nearly five thousand new jobs have been created and the rate of jobseekers has fallen to 2.5 per cent. And business tax has increased from three billion forints to seven billion", he emphasized. He added that ZalaZone and Széchenyi University also played a major role in the results achieved.

It was said at the ceremony that the Zalaegerszeg Innovation Park is a key element of the innovation park network of Széchenyi István University. The most important aim of this structure is to further raise the quality of practice-oriented trainings and thus the value of the degree obtained here by the cooperation between large companies with significant added value and the institution.

The auditorium building of Széchenyi István University in Zalaegerszeg will serve high-quality training and research in the future. (Photo: András Adorján)


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