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Together for small and medium-sized enterprises

To support industrial development, the University of Debrecen has established the Institute of Engineering and Business Development Innovation, announced Zoltán Bács, Chancellor of the University of Debrecen, at the GE Suppliers’ Forum last Friday.

In Hungary small and medium-sized enterprises employ 70 % of employees while their contribution to GDP is low, only 56%. In order to increase competitiveness of the economic actors of the segment, the University of the Debrecen has established a new institute to add to the development of the cooperations between the industry and education as well as of dual trainings.

- The university leadership made a decision at the March Senate meeting to establish this this Institue so that our students  can also gain access to the entrepreneurial approach, the professional social capital and the attitude that can mostly be mastered from experienced professionals. In the new Insitute master teacher with decade-long experience of leadership and ample professional experience in the field of industrial and economic life will help our students enter the job market armed with the most up-to-date pratical knowledge – said Zoltán Bács, Chancellor at the GE Suppliers’ Forum on the Böszörményi út campus on May 11.

Endre Ascsillán, vice president of GE Hungary, was appointed leader of the Institute of Engineering and Business Development Innovation. Last year the University of Debrecen entered into an agreement of cooperation with this company with a view to renewing its technical and IT training.  Attending the nationwide forums, the Institute’s strategic partner tries to help Hungarian small and medium-sized enterprises in becoming suppliers for similar global enterprises.

- GE buys products and services directly from over 30.000 suppliers globally, and the value of its purchases amounts to 70 billion USD, of which 1,7 billion comes from Central- and East Europe, with Hungary only accounting for 100 millio dollars. To increase competitiveness of the Hungarian  small and medium-sized enterprise sector,  cooperation is needed between industrial actors and higher education – an area where the University of Debrecen excells. This is borne out by the establishment of the Institute of Engineering and Business Development Innovation, where students can gain practical experience in  the fields of the technology of this day and age, especially industry 4.0 technology, digilatization, artificial intelligence and robotics, Endre Ascsillán stressed.

Development of the sector’s competitiveness and digital abilities is a shared interest of the government and international large companies  - Zoltán Marczinkó István, deputy state secretary for priority enterprise relations, stressed in his lecture, laying out the government’s programme to support the small and medium-sized enterprise sector. 

- The small and medium-sized enterprise sector accounts for 99,8% of all Hungarian companies. However, their contribution to the GDP is low, and a siginicant part of the domestic research and development costs are also covered by large companies. We expect the role of small and medium-sized enterprises in research and development and innovation to strengthen in the future, for which the active contribution of Hungarian institutions of hhiger education is indispensable. It is important that  companies should be able to employ well-trained professionals who can speak languages. The newly established Institute of the University of Debrecen serves well the objective that would-be job-seekers should be able to enter the job market in a more efficient and productive way - Zoltán Marczinkó István said.

Company leaders who attended the event were also informed abou the international and local projects they could join. One of these is the Paks II. Project, for which GE supplies steam turbines, turbo generators and auxiliary machinery.

- According to plans, Paks II. will have to be completed by 2027, hence in the next 9 years the town will have to realise investments suitable for the reception and service of 8500 people who will be working on building the power station. In addition, we are counting on Hungarian  entrepreneurs’ participation in further related infrastructural developments. Our aim is that the proportion of  domestic suppliers should reach 40% - said Bálint Radványi, of  the State Secretariat Responsible for Infrastructure Development, Innovation, and Localization for the Paks Nuclear Power Station Capacity.

According to the vice president of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the productivity of the Hungarian small and medium-sized enterprise sector could be increased using the Scandinavian model.

- There is a need to build long-term partnership between multinational and small and middle-sized enterprises. It is also important to build a knowledge bridge between large enterprises and suppliers, to help each other in mastering new technologies, e.g. – Ferenc  Miklóssy stressed.

The Debrecen event was the second station of the GE Suppliers’ Forum, organized jointly by the company and the National Investment Agency and the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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