The university, as a key and active player in the innovation chain/knowledge triangle, is devoted to focusing on new basic research in its educational and research portfolio that can act as a driving force for research and development, serve as the foundation for original R&D activities utilizing new knowledge, and can thus contribute to establishing new opportunities for collaboration. The university’s RDI strategy focuses not only on basic research but also on the effective matching of applied research and commercially profitable development projects this way providing an incentive for research that creates value for society and the economy.
Building on a solid basis in basic research, the institution strives to further strengthen the background and effectiveness of its RDI activities in the region in the fields of the health industry, the pharma industry, agriculture and food industry, as well as in information technology and electronics.
- The goal of the University of Debrecen is to become the main supplier of research, development and innovation for the pharma industry within the business collaboration system built around the university, primarily the Pharmapolis Innovative Pharma Industry Cluster. The focus area of the cluster includes the development of drug candidates for diseases of the central nervous system as well as inflammatory and metabolic diseases. These fields are characterized by predictive safety pharmacology, pharmacological, and original drug research supported by the development of biomarkers, as well as experimental and clinical research and development regarding biogenerics and “specialty pharma.”
- One of the biggest challenges we face today in agriculture revolves around the question of how we can produce safe and traceable foodstuff in an adequate quality and quantity. In the current situation of the food industry, the introduction and development of modern processing technologies is of primary importance along with the utilization of R&D results, so that the population can be supplied with food made from locally produced ingredients processed in a sustainable way.
- Research and development is carried out in numerous fields of electronics at the university. Some of the projects are closely connected to metrology: our research groups have excellent results and references in the development of computer-controlled, intelligent, and remote-controlled measurement systems. The narrower research profile of the research group involved in electronic technology is made up by the research and development of functional materials, including photosensitive materials used in optoelectronics and photonics, the technology of nanocomposites, and the production and study of integrated photonic components with photo electron beam lithography.
- One of the new fields of technical research focuses on the development of flight safety tools, with special regard to the medical, physiological, and mental health of the air transport staff. The major aim is to measure, understand, and optimize the pilots’ performance and this way contribute to growing safety in air travel. At the same time, the research also affects the training system, curriculum, and methodology with the infrastructure created in the Pharma-flight Center providing an excellent basis for this. The training programs cover all groups of the air transport staff ranging from pilots, through those in ground handling services, to the senior management professionals and the drivers of pilotless planes representing the most dynamically developing industry today. Research has been carried out also in the areas of engineering related to alternative energy, sustainable water use, sustainable buildings and environment, as well as in connection with the study of the effects of production work processes on health and performance, mechatronics systems, architecture, automotive industry, sports engineering, materials science (smart materials), and the development of industrial processes.
- The University of Debrecen is involved in world-class research in the field of biotechnology.
Recognizing this, the world’s largest genomic business, the Chinese Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) has concluded an agreement with the university. In line with this, the parties collaborate in various fields, including proposals for joint scientific and innovation research projects, starting R+D projects, development of national and international research and innovation projects, joint applications, and the training of specialists. The foundation of a sequencing center is also one of the objectives of the collaboration. BGI provides the instruments for the laboratory used for the examinations of the local populace and for diagnostic tests, while the university provides the necessary human resources.
- Our position has been strengthened further in the area of engineering and information technology. The strategic agreements signed with Roszatom and General Electric do not only facilitate teaching and research in nuclear and digital energetics, but also contribute to the development of the University of Debrecen as a whole. Our university will also play a key role in the largest Hungarian investment of the next few years, the Paks II Project.
As part of the Hungarian Smart Specialization Strategy, the intellectual products of the university can appear in the economy with the help of the clusters and can thus create jobs. The achievements of research and innovation can be integrated by the knowledge-intensive businesses of the region which can, in turn, attract new investors. This can result in growth in the future number of clients of RDI activities bringing additional income to the university. It is a priority for the University of Debrecen for the upcoming strategic planning period to place the technologies and innovative solutions into a market environment, to organize and provide the missing elements of the innovation chain and it has already planned the steps needed to provide the necessary infrastructure and the adequate human resources.
The Pharma-Flight Center built in Debrecen is a unique facility in the world in the sense that it combines university-level pilot training, laboratory research catering to special health-related needs, and small-scale pharmaceutical production.
The facility won a HUF 3.5 billion EU grant with an innovative concept that created an institution unequaled in its complexity in Europe. The fast development of air transportation necessitates the training of highly-qualified aviation specialists. The international pilot training program started here in the collaboration of Pharma-Flight Kft. and the University of Debrecen addresses this need. Pharma-Flight operates as an off-site department of the university.
The new academic and service center started its operation in one of the neglected areas of research and development, creating jobs and further strengthening the influential role of Hungary’s second largest city in the national economy. The realization of the project required the cooperation of the city, the university, and the industry.
Pharma-Flight Kft., in collaboration with the University of Debrecen, set such research objectives and training program directions which can make the academic workshop in Debrecen one of the most interesting research centers in the entire country. Pharmaceutical research carried out at the center jointly with the University of Debrecen can promote Hungarian scientific findings in terms of understanding the effects of active substances on the flight crew, while the production capacity can make it possible in the future to supply pilots with special medication. The world-class medical equipment and instruments of Pharma-Flight will help the better assessment of the suitability of employees in all branches of transportation and can also help in providing adequate medical and professional rehabilitation services for employees if necessary.