A three-party research centre for petroleum and the development of renewable fuels has been established with funding of 4 billion forints (EUR 11.3m) in the Szeged Science Park, the innovation and technology minister said at the site over the weekend. Set up by the University of Szeged, Hungarian oil and gas company MOL and Audi Hungária, the Sustainable Green Chemical and Mobility Competence Centre will be tasked with providing the industry partners a state-of-the-art facility for basic and applied research and experimental development, László Palkovics told reporters. Hungary aims to become a major player in innovation by 2030 and the government has decided to gradually increase spending on R&D to achieve this goal, he said. The EU will have over 80 billion euros available for R&D projects in its next seven-year budgetary period in which Palkovics said Hungarian universities had to have an increased share.
László Rovó, the rector of Szeged University, said the main focus of the centre’s research will be on developing new technologies for the extraction of oil from already explored fields. Zsolt Hernádi, the CEO of MOL, said that the centre would be unique in exploring ways to develop new types of fuel with a team of some 30 researchers. Zoltán Les, a board member of Audi Hungária, said that as a third party signing a cooperation agreement with Szeged University and MOL in 2018, Audi will test MOL’s low emission petrol and diesel fuels on the engines it is producing. The Competence Centre is scheduled to be fully operational by late 2022.