Establishment of knowledge centre at the University of Debrecen

Project information

Index: 0523R2
Priority:1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Sub Theme:Employment, human capital and education
Location MAGYARORSZAG ALFOLD ES ESZAK Debrecen Eszak-Alfold Start/End date of the practice
Start: 01/01/2004
End: 01/01/2008

Topic of the practice

Creation of Regional Knowledge Centre (RKC) to provide a regional gravitational centre having excellent research, development and technological innovation activities, co-operating intensively with the business sector and encouraging the region’s technological and economic development.

Good Practice Information

The so-called ‘Pazmany Peter’ Programme resulted in the establishment of 19 Regional Knowledge Centres (RKCs) in Hungary. The Regional University-Based Knowledge Center of Debrecen aims to launch R&D activities centering around the University; transfer University knowledge to the technology market; raise awareness of the University among citizens and ensure protection of intellectual property. A call for proposals was published by the National Office for Research and Technology (NKTH) in 2004. In 2005 a consortium agreement was signed to set up the joint activities of the University of Debrecen and 16 contributing firms and industrial partners. The project activities were successfully implemented by the end of the project in 2008.

Stakeholders: University of Debrecen (UD); 7 entrepreneurial businesses located in Debrecen; 4 partners located in the regional gravity zone of the knowledge centre; and 4 enterprises bringing operation and technology from the country or other countries.
The Municipality of Debrecen, Hajdu-Bihar County Council and the North Great Plain Regional Development Committee supported the implementation of the project. The centre’s research activities are characterised by a high degree of inter- and transdisciplinarity, where university departments work together in targeted research programmes. The Private Sector participants have an important role in setting the research agenda and take an active role in research activities, as a ‘client’ or as a user of facilities. 5 research programmes started: diagnosis and therapy of metabolic syndrome covering the highest morbidity diseases; agro-biotechnology; Industrial level development of drug candidates and functional foods and safety pharmacology services; Biomedical measurement methods and nanotechnology; Technology transfer, utilization of research results.

Financial resources required for implementation: 6,3 million EUR national co-financing and 3,7 million own source were required

Evidence of success

10 new technologies; 38 new IPs; 6 spin-off companies; 459 international publications; 55% annual average growth of net income per industrial partner company. Qualitative results: innovation management system installed at UD; Knowledge and Technology Transfer Office set up at UD & became a significant player in the Hungarian innovation system; enhanced R&D intensive investments in the region with Innova; Pharmapolis cluster set up; Richter Gedeon Plc set up new biotechnology plant creating 110 new jobs in Debrecen.

Conditions for transfer: the RKC must offer attractive research and innovation opportunities with access to regional research potential (both large/multinational actors and SMEs); consortia should be ready for new collaborators with own research potential; university prepared for advanced research (collaboration between departments, new working methods, etc.); critical mass of academic research potential and of technology-oriented enterprises; supportive policy framework.

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice

Dr. Zoltan Karacsonyi

University of Debrecen

Annex completed on: 09-07-2011

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