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Challenges of Entrepreneurship in a Less Developed Region of Hungary: the ELI-ALPS Laser Research Centre in Szeged

Miklós Lukovics, Imre Lengyel, Szabolcs Imreh


The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project was initiated by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). The ELI research project is conducted in 3 countries; different facilities are constructed in the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary. The ELI Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ELI-ALPS) laser research centre with its equipment unique in the world is established in Szeged, Hungary, in the less developed Southern Great Plain region at a value of approximately EUR 200 million and is expected to start operation in 2016. The buildings to be constructed will not only house the laser equipment, but also provide space for offices and laboratories for the 220-250 researchers and administrative staff and a science park shall also be established for enterprises. The investment shall provide an opportunity for Szeged to attract knowledge-intensive enterprises and promote start-ups.

In our study[1] we undertake to attempt to systemise the possible local economic and enterprise development effects of the ELI-ALPS based upon international scientific findings and experiences. We have developed a proposal on a development strategy based on the fundamental concepts of smart specialization that outlines realistic connection points and opportunities for cooperation between the local knowledge-intensive business sector and the ELI-ALPS, with a special role of the University of Szeged in economic end enterprise development.

[1] The research was supported by the project ‟Extending the knowledge base of the Research University Centre of Excellence of the University of Szeged and establishing its long-term professional sustainability by means of providing an excellent next academic generation”, identification number TÁMOP-4.2.2/B-10/1-2010-0012.


Knowledge-intensive enterprises; Science park; Local economic development ; Geographical and technological proximity ; Smart specialisation strategy

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