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Knowledge-based local economic development in the less developed region: ELI Science Park in Hungary

Lengyel, Imre
Lukovics, Miklós
Imreh, Szabolcs
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
54th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regional development & globalisation: Best practices", 26-29 August 2014, St. Petersburg, Russia
The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project is an integral part of a certain generation of planned and currently constructed research facilities that are held together by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). The ELI is the world's first establishment that will enable the examination of the reactions between light and matter on a far more intense level including the so-called ultra-relativistic range. The research project will be carried out in 3 countries, facilities will be built in the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary independently. The ELI Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ELI-ALPS) laser facility will be built in Szeged, Hungary in the less-developed Southern Great Plain region, from a budget of 200 million euros. The future buildings will not only give place to laser devices, but they also ensure an adequate amount of area for offices, seminar and conference rooms, a library and social places for about 150 researchers and administrative personnel. This investment will give Hungary and also Szeged the chance to strengthen their local scientific capacities and to trigger the initiation of knowledge-based economic development projects. The ELI-ALPS laser facility will require 10 acres and will built on the 110 acre property of one of Hungary's most noted universities, the University of Szeged, which currently educates 30 000 students. The main concepts indicate that around the ELI-ALPS a science park will emerge and will be focused on knowledge-based activities. The planned ELI Science Park will be quite specific and unique compared to other territorial concentrations (industrial parks, industrial areas, other science parks, etc.) and will closely relate to the high-quality IT, medical imaging, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and materials science activities of the University of Szeged. In this study we attempt to summarize the characteristics of a local area that is able to accommodate the ELI-ALPS and the ELI Science Park based on international scientific results and experiences. After analysing the current situations, we propose a development concept that will mark out realistic connections between the local economy and R&D infrastructures. An important element of this is local embedment. Within the confines of this - among other things - we suggest economic and entrepreneurial development projects that are able to create the opportunity of collaboration between the world class R&D infrastructure and local enterprises and measure up to our expectations.
science park
local economic development
knowledge-based facilities
Document Type: 
Conference Paper

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