István Széchenyi University hosted the ambassadors of the European Union member states at ZalaZONE – technocrat

At the event, the institution presented how the modern infrastructure contributes to forward-looking research and development.

This semester, Sweden holds the consecutive presidency of the Council of the European Union. On this occasion, the Hungarian embassy of the Scandinavian state organized a meeting for the ambassadors of the member states in Budapest. The program took place at ZalaZONE on the initiative of István Széchenyi University.

At the event – at which twenty embassies were represented – Dag Hartelius, the ambassador of Sweden, emphasized: at ZalaZONE, you can witness the leading examples in the field of innovation, green transportation, digitalization and smart cities. He added: all of this fits extremely well with the priorities of the Swedish presidency, thus increasing the flexibility of the EU in order to strengthen the global competitiveness of the community. He noted: the green transition of the economy also contributes to this.

“In the period of industrial and technological transition, those who move and act sooner gain a competitive advantage”

– he stated, emphasizing that European companies offering green solutions can help in the transition to a circular economy.

The vehicle industry test track and the related innovation ecosystem owned by the István Széchenyi Foundation for the University of Győr, located on the border of Zalaegerszeg, and the associated innovation ecosystem, were developed by prof. dr. László Palkovics, chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees, presented it to the guests. He explained: there has never been an example in world history of such rapid technological changes as today, and one of the driving forces behind them is the vehicle industry. Based on this, Europe’s most modern vehicle industry test track was built, which provides a complete validation environment for both classic and self-driving vehicles, and even provides a background for research and development of communication with drones. The chairman of the board of trustees added: the multiplier effect is already evident, since such large companies as AVL, Bosch or Rheinmetall have appeared in the immediate vicinity of the test track. In connection with the selection of the location, he said that the proximity to large vehicle industry companies and the provision of new opportunities for a less developed region were both considerations.

A group photo of the participants in the reception building of ZalaZONE and in front of the racing car of the Arrabona Racing Team of Széchenyi István University. (Photo: József Csaba Májer)

Prof. dr. László Palkovics also spoke about the fact that István Széchenyi University operates laboratories and has an incubator and accommodation building next to the test track, and the construction of an educational building is underway. He added: as the most dynamically developing higher education institution in Hungary, the institution will implement further significant infrastructural investments, such as the Science and Innovation Park in Győr, the first phase of which will be completed this year.

As the final program of the meeting, the ambassadors got acquainted with the modules of the test track, and then with the technological developments of the István Széchenyi University’s Digital Development Center and Automotive Research Center. They could see that “precursor drone”, the essence of which is to accompany the standby unit in the air to warn the driver of dangers that cannot be seen from the driver’s cab in good time, making it safe for the ambulance, fire brigade or police car to arrive at the scene. University researchers presented the spraying drone, designed for domestic and European agricultural conditions, offering safe and easy-to-use drone technology to farmers. The guests were also able to get to know the Arrabona Racing Team, a student racing team belonging to the top ranks of Formula Student, as well as the Automotive Research Center’s innovations related to self-driving vehicle functions and e-mobility.

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