EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group Launches HUF 1 Billion Research Programme
The HUF 1 billion research programme that will run until mid-2014 involves developments in four broad areas that will have “everyday” applications for users. The consortium of EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group is formed by the Eötvös Loránd University and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, and Cisco Systems Hungary, its partners are Ericsson Hungary, GE Healthcare and NSN Hungary. The group is an associate partner of EIT ICT Labs, one of the first Knowledge and Innovation Communities set up by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology as an initiative of the European Union. EIT ICT Labs’ mission is to drive European leadership in ICT innovation for economic growth and quality of life. To mark the formation of the EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group and to celebrate the launching of new research projects, on 5 March 2013 the consortium partners hosted a high-profile international conference at the University ELTE.
The EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group takes its name after the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT): it is an associate member of the knowledge and innovation community that was set up by the EIT and is oriented towards ICT innovations. It integrates the representatives of research, industry and education into a community while enabling and encouraging a close cooperation between the partners. It also takes responsibility for the professional, financial and operational management of the entire project.
The EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group is a consortium of two local universities – namely, the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) – in cooperation with their leading industrial partners in informatics and telecommunications – namely, Cisco Systems Hungary, Nokia Siemens Networks, General Electric Healthcare and Ericsson Hungary. The consortium is led by the University ELTE.
With the Research and Technology Innovation Fund, in 2012 the National Development Agency issued a call for proposals on the promotion of Hungary’s participation in the EIT KICs and its cooperation with the EIT KICs partners. In the call for proposals, the EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group, with the University ELTE, the University BME and Cisco Systems Ltd. was granted HUF 1 billion funding by the State.
The EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group follows the EIT’s investment model in its structure of financing. EIT funding (the so-called catalyst) is allocated to the value-adding actions leading to a particular innovation, whereas the non-EIT funding (the so-called carrier) covers the complementary research, educational, or business programs. The non-EIT funding may be of different types, which in the case of the Budapest Associate Partner Group is the State funding awarded by the National Development Agency.
The research projects of the EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group run between January 2013 and the first half of 2014. The researchers work on four main research areas. By the completion date, they will have produced 10 new prototypes, one patent, one new start-up, and will have contributed to 10 international R&D projects.
Thanks to the project, the Budapest Associate Partner Group is building an innovation oriented ICT ecosystem in Budapest. According to Dr. Zoltán Horváth, the dean of the Faculty of Informatics of ELTE, and director of the EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group, the building of such an ecosystem has great significance, and not only in Hungary: “It brings world recognition to the partners, creates value-added jobs in Hungary and fosters growth and competitiveness on the markets in the entire region.”
“The newly formed knowledge community provides a cooperation model that the other Hungarian universities may want to set up, too. The model is based on the close collaboration of education, research and industry, and is governed by the principle of innovation. Although this approach is not entirely new at the University ELTE and University BME, due to its comprehensiveness and regional significance, it is a landmark in the history of Hungarian universities,” said Prof. István Klinghammer, State Secretary of the Ministry of Human Resources.
Prof. Martti Mäntylä, the Strategy Officer of EIT ICT Labs, has expressed the view that “combining R&D with a business perspective is key to fostering European competitiveness and sustainable economic growth. Due to its long-standing tradition in innovation and central role in the region, the Budapest Associate Partner Group has an important status and role in the EIT ICT Labs.”
In their talks, the speakers of the conference emphasized the role of the ICT sector in EU’s competitiveness. Jose Manuel Leceta, Director of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology pointed out that “the EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group plays an important role in the whole EIT ICT Labs network as it directly seeks to integrate the Central and Eastern European region in the innovation oriented European-wide network.”
„The ICT sector is a highly successful segment of the Hungarian industry. The big companies, which work in collaboration with the the Hungarian Development Agency, as well as the small Hungarian companies, which have gained, or are on the verge of gaining, world-wide reputation, are an example. The new EIT ICT Labs centre in Budapest combines both traditions in its approach, and plays an important strategic role in the development of small and medium size companies. We cooperate with the EIT as its success is our success, benefiting us all. This is particularly true for the EIT ICT Labs centre, which provides inernational ICT and Innovation education, leading to expansions and economic growth in the long run,” – noted Antal Nikodémus, Ministry of National Economy, head of the Innovation Department.
Dr. László Vajta, Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, noted that “drawing on the present professional and project management skills, the University BME has long been open to new research directions and project management systems, and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, with its active role and widely acknowledged results, has a role to play in this.”
“Ericsson Hungary is committed to the improvement of local education. Strengthening the international relations of science, international integration of domestic research and higher education, supporting the middle and high education are our distinguished focus” – said Charlott Karlsson VP, Head of R&D, Ericsson Hungary. “Themes of Ericsson have become part of the University curriculum. Our main objective is to further strengthen our presence in higher education and to find the way to the industrial implementation of university research results. I do believe that cooperation within the EIT ICT Labs provides an outstanding platform for this.”
Cisco Systems Hungary is another member of the Hungarian EIT ICT Labs consortium. László György, Managing Director of Cisco Systems Hungary, explained that “the partnership within the EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group is a unique opportunity for the Cisco Systems Hungary in that it opens up the possibility for research work with the university partners. Although the world wide web is part of our everyday life, 99% of the objects in our physical environment are not connected to the Internet. As part of the initiative, “Internet of Everything,” we wish to connect not only computers and users to the Internet, but also processes, data and objects, which has great innovative potential for Hungary.”
Róbert Ésik, the Managing Director of the Nokia Siemens Network Hungary, pointed out that, “As the world’s (renowned) leading expert of the mobile wide area network, our company prizes innovation above all; for this reason, we expect universities to train highly qualified researchers who are capable of thinking innovatively.”
The projects with a total budget of HUF 1 billion funding make developments directly aimed at improving quality of life. They build around four main areas. Firstly, the thematic area “Solutions for Complex Infocommunication networks” deals, among other things, with improving mobile content sharing. Secondly, the thematic area “Mobility and Digital Cities of the Future” concerns itself with mobile applications, which seek to make transportation in urban areas more acceptable and optimal. Thirdly, the thematic area “Human and computer Cooperation” offers new solutions in teaching and learning methods, life-long learning, on-the-job training, and in the integration of marginal social groups. Its other target group is children with disabilities, for whom it develops playful teaching and learning programs. Finally, the thematic area “The Security of Critical Systems” combines old safety technologies to bring about a new, highly effective protection system sensitive to the needs of the critical infrastructures.
Apart from coordinating research, the Budapest Associate Partner Group runs Master and Doctoral Programs as part of the EIT ICT Labs Master and Doctoral Schools. ELTE and BME are part of a network of universities across Europe, where to they send, and where from they receive, students for joint programmes. A unique feature of these programmes is that they complement their high level technical education with business knowledge and entrepreneurial skills gained mainly in the partner companies. As the ultimate goal of both master and doctoral programmes is to turn ideas into wealth-generating products or services on the market, the Budapest Associate Partner Group offers consulting service and mentoring support to its students who are becoming entrepreneurs.
EIT ICT Labs:
- It was established by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology to reinforce the innovation capacity of the EU. Its mission is to drive European leadership in ICT innovation for economic growth and quality of life.
- It is a network of national consortiums, which in their national centres (nodes) bring together education, research and industry. Out of the total 8 consortiums, 6 – namely, Berlin, Eindhoven Helsinki, Paris, Stockholm and Trento – are full members of the network, while 2 consortiums – namely, London and Budapest – hold an associate partner group status.
- In the area of research, the EIT ICT Labs aims to integrate researchers and top ICT talents into multidisciplinary research groups, which, equipped with skills for creativity, risk-taking and entrepreneurial capacity, may successfully proceed towards transforming their ideas into breakthrough innovations on the markets.
- Within the Europe-wide network, the EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group is a consortium of two local universities – namely, the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) – cooperating with their leading industrial partners in informatics and telecommunications – namely, Cisco Systems Hungary, Nokia Siemens Networks, General Electric Healthcare and Ericsson Hungary.
- An integral part of the knowledge and innovation communities is the so-called co-location centres (CLCs), which imply a co-located cooperation of the academia and industry. The CLCs are home to the local management team and are a meeting place for the representatives of the consortium partners.
- With the Research and Technology Innovation Fund, in 2012 the National Development Agency issued a call for proposals on the promotion of Hungary’s participation in the EIT KICs and its cooperation with the EIT KICs partners.
- In the call for proposals, the EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group, with the University ELTE, the University BME and Cisco Systems Ltd as its members, has been granted HUF 1 billion funding by the State. The funding is used to set up the local CLC and serves as a catalyst for the research projects carried out between January 2013 and the first half of 2014.
Last modified: June 10, 2016