“Despite the extraordinary economic circumstances, the University of Debrecen is on a continuous path of development. We are now able to invest significant resources in knowledge in order to make sure that the students graduating from here should receive a degree and diploma recognized everywhere else in the world,” said György Kossa, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Gróf Tisza István Foundation for the University of Debrecen, at the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the building of the National Manufacturing-Research-Education Plant and the Faculty of Pharmacy on Friday.
According to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, through the research, development and innovation implemented in the new building complex, the researchers and students of the university may also become acquainted with the industrial processes. He underlined that this expectation would correspond to UD's ambition to create a unique ecosystem in Central and Eastern Europe, where education, research, development and the associated industrial infrastructures are all available. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees added that, in recent years, the central government had developed an environment that would supports the achievement of these goals.
Chancellor of the University of Debrecen Zoltán Bács, mentioned that serious and effective preparatory work had preceded the construction of the complex providing an infrastructural background suitable for the theoretical and practical trainings of the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Institute of Health Industry, as well as for the pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, which is scheduled to be completed by October. The Chancellor thanked the architectural firm that prepared the plans and the construction company that undertook the work despite the extremely short deadline.
“The construction of the new faculty building and the central plant represents huge milestones in the life of the Faculty of Pharmacy. This is the realization of a dream that we have only cherished in our hearts until now. Thank you for believing that we can turn from being small to grow bigger and stronger,” said the Deputy Dean of DE GYTK [Faculty of Pharmacy, UD], who is also the Director of the Institute of Health Industry.
Ildikó Bácskay explained that the new facility would provide students with the opportunity to get to know the entire pharmaceutical production sector in one place. While they could test what they have learned in class in the pharmaceutical technology labs, they could then also produce the results of the research and development activities in the plant,” said the Deputy Dean.
“I am sure that such cooperation between higher education and the pharmaceutical industry will generate success not only to the University of Debrecen, but also to the entire region and the whole nation,” emphasized the State Secretary for Innovation and Higher Education of the Ministry of Culture and Innovation. Balázs Hankó said that the central government had achieved significant results during recent years in the field of transforming higher education by making it more dynamic.
“Today, we have 21 model-shifting universities, which operate in a free and more competitive structure, where two-thirds of the overall number of students are enrolled. They represent autonomy, predictability, transparency and competitiveness,” he said. The Secretary of State also underlined the fact that, despite the inflation and the sanctions caused by the war, a 25-year framework agreement and a 6-year public task financing contract were concluded with these universities and, in 2022, a thousand billion Hungarian forints were spent on developing higher education, which was double the amount available a year earlier.
Balázs Hankó noted that the number of Hungarian universities ranked in the top 5 percent of the elite league of institutions of higher education in the world had grown from 7 (four years ago) to 9 (two years ago) and 11 (last year), including the one in Debrecen. At the same time, their international performance had also become stronger, indicated by a 26 percent increase in scientific and scholarly publications in the most cited academic journals. Last year, as many as 76 patents were registered by universities in Hungary. The current investment in Debrecen is also expected to contribute to further increase of these indicators.
The construction of the building of the National Manufacturing-Research-Education Plant and Faculty of Pharmacy, which will cost about HUF 9 billion, is planned to be completed by October. The complex will consist of two major parts. The 4400-square-meter educational wing will house the Dean's Office and the departments of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Debrecen (DE GYTK). The two large-size lecture halls and the four seminar rooms are to be surrounded by offices and student-friendly spaces. The laboratories required for practical training as well as for teaching and research activities will also located there, together with the Institute of Health Industry.
In the plant section/wing of the building, the operating plant will be located on almost 2300 square meters, which will be a production site for functional foods and dietary supplements, but health industry research will also be carried out there. In the research and development laboratory, it is expected to be possible to create registered medicinal products. The center will be responsible not only for the implementation of the university's own projects but also for providing research and production opportunities for industrial partners who have joined the health industry cluster, a result of unique cooperation in our country.
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