ELKH’s statement on the situation in Ukraine

We at the Eötvös Loránd Research Network are deeply shocked and saddened by the situation unfolding in Ukraine and our deepest sympathy goes to everyone affected. We are closely monitoring the events and exploring possibilities to assist our fellow researchers from Ukraine during this very difficult time.

One of the most important IT cloud systems in Hungary, the ELKH Cloud is now available to Hungarian researchers

The enhanced IT cloud system of the Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH), the ELKH Cloud, has been officially commissioned and is now available to users as one of the largest general-purpose research infrastructures in Hungary. For the operation of the ELKH Cloud, the ELKH Institute for Computer Science and Control (SZTAKI) and the Data Center of the ELKH Wigner Research Centre for Physics (Wigner FK) provide computing and data services to more than 150 research projects, supported by the ELKH Secretariat. The aim of the infrastructure development is to provide Hungarian researchers with increased cloud computing and data storage capacity, as well as state-of-the-art hardware and cloud software to support their participation in international projects. The development of the cloud system was initiated by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) in 2016. The ceremonial inauguration of the ELKH Cloud, the capacity of which was multiplied with the support of the ELKH Secretariat, took place on February 15, 2022 at an online event hosted by SZTAKI.

The effectiveness of new scientific research increasingly depends on efficient ways to store and process large amounts of data. The ELKH Cloud makes the work of users much easier by providing them with the highly capable hardware infrastructure and specialized software environments they need for data-driven research on a turnkey basis. In addition, staff from SZTAKI and Wigner FK also provide professional support to researchers using the ELKH Cloud for specific requests.

“With the ELKH Cloud, research laboratories that cannot afford to purchase, build and operate their own systems will have access to state-of-the-art IT platforms. Thanks to the cutting-edge technologies used, the ELKH Cloud is able to serve the diverse and ever-changing needs of its users, resulting in significant cost savings. Joint work will also provide Hungarian researchers with a European competitive cloud infrastructure, which can be also joined by projects initiated by universities and national laboratories”, József Bokor, Vice President of ELKH noted.

“The aim of this infrastructure development is to enable Hungarian researchers to participate in international projects, thus supporting the internationalization of Hungarian higher education and research communities. Hungarian universities have made significant progress in the world’s higher education rankings in recent years, thanks to developments such as these. With a change of model implemented, Hungarian higher education offers a wealth of career opportunities in almost all disciplines. The Hungarian Government is committed to the renewal of higher education and the support of science workshops,” said József Bódis, State Secretary for Higher Education, Innovation and Vocational Training at the Ministry for Innovation and Technology.

“In addition to providing access to computational resources, the ELKH Cloud offers researchers a tailored, on-demand professional consulting service. This enables users to deploy the Cloud in the most efficient way, thus increasing cloud utilization and efficiency”, emphasized Péter Kacsuk, the technical manager of the ELKH Cloud project.

“These days, it is very important to develop a new idea quickly. In many cases, the only way to provide the computer back-up that is inevitably needed is to have an optimum level of state-of-the-art equipment at our disposal. The development should then be followed by a rapid presentation and exploitation of the results. The Hungarian R&D and innovation sector can thus remain an important player on the international stage. The ELKH Cloud can provide this basic condition”, Péter Lévai, Director General of Wigner FK noted.

“The scientific cloud based on open solutions is developed by members of the research community and made available to the rest of the research community. Thus, the ELKH Cloud can make an important contribution to the wider dissemination of Open Science principles in Hungary”, added Róbert Lovas, Deputy Director of SZTAKI and ELKH Cloud Project Director.

ELKH aims to make the enhanced ELKH Cloud an integrated part of two major European programs, the European Open Science Cloud and the SLICES international project, which has been awarded funding from the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). This will allow Hungarian researchers to develop prestigious international collaborations in an even broader field under the Horizon Europe program. The importance of the development is also underscored by the fact that the ELKH Cloud was awarded the title of “TOP50 Excellent Research Infrastructure” in 2021.

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About the ELKH Cloud

Research often requires a complex platform based on the coordinated operation of many building blocks, which is why the ELKH Cloud provides users with adjustible, reliable and scalable templates – including methods known as cloud orchestration. Thanks to the open OpenStack-based architecture, in addition to the basic Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) services such as operating systems and the cloud, the system also supports Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) frameworks supporting the most popular artificial intelligence research and data collection procedures.

Based on the positive feedback of recent years and the growing demand for artificial intelligence applications, the ELKH Cloud capacity was significantly expanded in 2021 with the support of the ELKH Secretariat, with 5,900 vCPUs, 68 GPGPU cards, 28 TB of RAM, 338 TB of SSD storage, 1.25 PB of HDD storage and 100 Gbps network capacity now at the disposal of users.

HUNOR – Hungarian to Orbit Astronaut Program reaches new phase

The aim of the HUNOR – Hungarian to Orbit program launched by the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is to enable world-class Hungarian scientific experiments and tests to be carried out at the International Space Station through the participation of a Hungarian astronaut, scheduled for 2024.

The astronaut application phase has been completed and the complex selection process in cooperation with the European Space Agency has begun.

The backbone of the HUNOR program consists of scientific and technological content compiled during a comprehensive and careful consultation process. The Space Research Department of the ELKH Centre for Energy Research (EK-CER) is responsible for the elaboration and coordination of the implementation of this program.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the EK-CER will issue a joint call for project proposals for the exploitation of any remaining spare capacity in the mission, as well as potential opportunities for participation in other human spaceflight programs.

Space research today is more than a scientific activity driven by scientific curiosity or a desire to discover. The operation of the terrestrial technologies of our civilization depend to a large extent on systems installed in outer space and space infrastructures, and the development of the same. A significant proportion of the solutions to the global economic, social and environmental challenges of the 21st century must also be sought in outer space. Our civilization is on the verge of another leap forward in terms of its technological development. This will be supported by the most advanced Hungarian space research based on state-of-the-art technology.

“As one of the most important stakeholders in the Hungarian research and development and innovation sector, the strategic goal of the Eötvös Loránd Research Network is to participate in domestic and international space research as a center of knowledge, competence and infrastructure. Over the last few decades, world-class space exploration competencies have been developed at six ELKH research sites. Active participation in space activities, including the HUNOR program, will further strengthen cooperation between research institutes, higher education institutions and industry, thereby improving the quality of research and education and also supporting the supply of researchers. These are breakthroughs that will help put Hungary at the forefront of scientific innovation, while also maintaining its leading role in the region and preparing for the challenges of the approaching new space age,” commented Miklós Maróth, ELKH President.

“Since 2018, within the government structure, the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has overseen the area of space research, which the government treats as a priority. This special attention is demonstrated by the fact that the government adopted Hungary’s first space strategy in the summer of 2021. For the first time, the document set out the priorities for space exploration and space activities as an independent field, as well as government-sponsored flagship projects, including the astronaut program,” said Péter Sztáray, State Secretary for Security Policy.

“We will have the opportunity to witness the unfolding of a new space age, in which human spaceflight will gain a new meaning, and will gradually become part of the everyday life of mankind. For Hungary, it is a strategic matter to further develop the existing competencies in human spaceflight in line with international trends, and to acquire new skills such as the training potential of Hungarian astronauts and the maintenance of a national team of astronauts. These capabilities are expected to be established within the framework of the HUNOR program,” informed Orsolya Ferencz, Ministerial Commissioner for Space Research.

“The Centre for Energy Research is one of the oldest research sites in Hungary dealing with space research. Nearly a hundred Hungarian devices made at EK-CER and its predecessors have been launched into space aboard geophysical missiles, satellites, interplanetary probes, human spacecraft and space stations. It is a huge recognition for both the research centre and the entire Hungarian space activity that the HUNOR – Hungarian to Orbit program is under the leadership of the EK-CER Space Research Laboratory,” emphasized Ákos Horváth, Director General at EK-CER.

“The HUNOR research and technology sub-program includes research areas that are at the forefront of today’s human spaceflight, as well as the use of key technologies that are essential for the implementation of future long-term human spaceflight. The sub-program includes dosimetry studies of cosmic radiation and the development of the necessary technological equipment, materials science and material technology developments, space science and space medicine research, space analytical research, and the further development of domestic telecommunications technologies. All this is complemented by marketing activities aimed at promoting space research and educational activities involving future Hungarian astronauts,” said Balázs Zábori, EK-CER space research engineer and project manager at the HUNOR –Hungarian to Orbit program.

More efficient and internationally competitive R&D and innovation in Hungary through cooperation between the ELKH Secretariat and the NKFI Office

The Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH) Secretariat and the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFI Office) have signed a cooperation agreement to support internationally competitive research, development and innovation activities at ELKH research centers. Through professional partnerships, in addition to basic research, more emphasis can be placed on promoting the development of market products or services. The agreement was signed by Dr Miklós Maróth, President of ELKH and Dr Zoltán Birkner, President of the NKFI Office on January 27, 2022. At the same time, the ELKH Secretariat joined the Network of Regional Innovation Platforms established by the NKFI Office in 2019.

As a prominent stakeholder in Hungarian research and development, ELKH has a significant impact on the development of both society and the economy. The aim of the close professional and strategic partnership between the ELKH Secretariat and the NKFI Office is to further strengthen the development of Hungary, as well as to reinforce the professional activities and international recognition of the research network as a center for excellence. In addition to the contribution of experienced ELKH researchers with outstanding expertise to the evaluation of the funding programs managed by the NKFI Office, the partnership will bring further benefits to both parties.

“Encouraging effective and long-term cooperation between the stakeholders in the RDI ecosystem is of utmost importance to us, as this will enhance the knowledge-based, sustainable competitiveness of the Hungarian economy. The agreement we have just signed is another step towards NKFIH and ELKH finding synergies that will enable the expansion of successful research collaborations, and the development and implementation of joint international partnerships. With ELKH joining the Regional Innovation Platform, and through the regional networks of research institutions and market players, there is another opportunity to promote the socio-economic exploitation of research results,” said Dr Zoltán Birkner, President of the NKFI Office.

“The mutual exchange of information can help to expand the research community’s toolbkit and to make better use of both Hungarian and international funding opportunities, which can increase not only the quantity of excellent scientific results, but also their economic and social exploitation. In the course of the cooperation, special attention will be paid to the promotion of knowledge and technology transfer activities between the actors of the national innovation system, so that ELKH’s research sites, alongside universities, will also serve as more active links – as knowledge bases and research service providers – in the economy and society. This is one of the reasons why we are joining the Network of Regional Innovation Platforms established by the NKFI Office,” said ELKH President Dr Miklós Maróth.

Within the framework of the Regional Innovation Platforms, the participants establish regional organizations and knowledge centers which, in addition to giving information on direct innovation policy directions, will also provide further opportunities to create and strengthen cooperation between researchers and the business sector, and to develop and expand international relations.

The joint aim of the NKFI Office and the ELKH Secretariat is to strengthen Hungarian research, development and innovation in order to increase the effectiveness of activities and to provide the conditions for the efficient use of resources. The collaboration will provide the research community with even more opportunities to learn directly about and access information on different fundraising opportunities, including through trainings, events and workshops.

In order to support the above objectives, the ELKH Secretariat joined the Network of Regional Innovation Platforms, as did the five national professional organizations that had already joined the system, including the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, the Hungarian Association for Innovation, the Bay Zoltan Nonprofit Ltd. for Applied Research, the National Union of Students in Hungary and the Association of the Digital Economy.

Photos: MTI

Support for access to international research infrastructures: development of the ELKH Data Repository launched

A large-scale project to establish the ELKH Data Repository has been launched in collaboration with experts from three research centers in the Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH): the Institute for Computer Science & Control (SZTAKI), the Centre for Social Sciences (TK) and the Wigner Research Centre for Physics (Wigner FK), supported by the ELKH Secretariat. The new digital infrastructure will create unique conditions for the long-term secure storage, management and sharing of research data in Hungary, thus ensuring access to international research infrastructures.

At institutional, technological and direct data connectivity level, the ELKH Data Repository will facilitate the integration of Hungary into European initiatives with similar objectives, the most important of which is the EOSC (European Open Science Cloud) pan-European research infrastructure.

“With the development of the ELKH Data Repository, our aim is to provide a solution for the secure storage, management and sharing of large volumes of data generated during research, thus preventing valuable data sets from being lost. This infrastructure, based on the latest digital technology of our time, will make the data available not only to the Hungarian and international research community, but also to higher education and the commercial sector, and even to the general public interested in science,” emphasized Miklós Maróth, President of ELKH. The development is in line with the Position Statement on Open Science issued by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office and funding organizations, including ELKH, in October 2021, as well as with the European Commission’s recommendations and international professional trends. “The leadership of ELKH is pleased to support the implementation of the project for the establishment and operation of the ELKH Data Repository,” added Miklós Maróth.

The ELKH Data Repository is planned to be made available to users from the second half of 2023, and will ensure the implementation of the internationally agreed FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable – principles for research data, under excellent technical and staffing conditions. The project will also ensure the dissemination of knowledge on the use of data repositories, the establishment of the policies and regulations on data management necessary at ELKH and institutional level, and the dissemination of national and international standards and recommendations for data and metadata management and storage, including best practices.

The establishment of the ELKH Data Repository will contribute to the achievement of the objectives set out in Hungary’s Research, Development and Innovation Strategy (2021-2030), which include better exploitation of research results produced by public research institutions, the expansion of knowledge flows and knowledge production capacity.

Carbon isotope studies confirm 11th century origin of some of bones excavated in Royal Crypt at Tihany Abbey

The bones that the researchers of the Research Centre for the Humanities reported on in the first stage of their scientific research may belong to the close family of King Andrew I of Hungary, who founded the Benedictine monastery in Tihany, and perhaps even the ruler himself. After the exploratory archeological excavation, the experts examined the human bone remains excavated in the Royal Crypt in collaboration with several internationally recognized laboratories. The results of studies based on carbon atomization have demonstrated that some of the excavated anthropological material can be traced back to the very first period of use of the crypt in the 11th century.

The project, entitled Multidisciplinary Research into the Royal Crypt of Tihany, was launched a year ago under the coordination of the ELKH Research Centre for the Humanities (BTK), led by Professor Kornél Szovák. The program is funded by the Eötvös Loránd Research Network Secretariat, with the support of the Benedictine Abbey of Tihany, and with the participation of experts from several institutions, including Eötvös Loránd University and the Dezső Laczkó Museum. The main goal of the project was to perform an exploratory archaeological excavation of the Royal Crypt of the Benedictine Abbey of Tihany, a goal that has already been completed. The excavation provided an opportunity to use new, non-destructive technologies. The tools of traditional archeological and monumental research methods were supplemented with complex, multi-phase photogrammetric and geophysical measurements and material tests. BTK also established a Scientific Advisory Board in order to achieve the research objectives as fully and credibly as possible. Its president is Balázs Balogh, the director general of BTK, and its honorary president is Jeromos Mihályi, the governor of the Benedictine Abbey of Tihany. Renowned archaeologists and art historians have also been invited to be members.

Extensive archaeological work in the area of the crypt was last carried out in 1953. Based on the relevant documentation, it was expected that it would not be possible to find the untouched burial in its original position on the site. As a result of the verification excavations conducted in May and June under the direction of the archaeologist Ágoston Takács, it became clear that four tombs were placed here in the early burial phase of the royal crypt. Archaeological observations suggest that no further people were buried here in the Middle Ages after the earliest phase in the 11th century. There is clear evidence of further burials from the modern period, including the Benedictine resettlement in the early 18th century, and it cannot be ruled out that the crypt served as a graveyard for the soldiers defending the castle when it was used as a border fort.

Of the four 11th-century tombs, three are located in a clear order, on the same part of the three naves, while the fourth – thought to be the tomb of a child based on its size – was built at the western end of the northern nave, not far from the other tombs. The burial sites established in the 11th century are undoubtedly aligned, but have become plain, empty tombs over time. Even so, their identification is one of the most exciting results of the research. The four tombs are not only a trace of the same era, but also an allegory for an early family branch of the Árpád dynasty.

Photo: Pazirik Kft.

In the charter of the Tihany abbey, the founding king, Andrew I, designated the monastery as the burial place for himself and his family. Historical science accepts the report of the chronicles, according to which King Andrew, who died in the manor house in Zirc, was buried in the Benedictine monastery in Tihany in 1060. His son, Prince David, also found his final resting place there around 1090.

As the first step of the verification excavation, three wooden chests of poor condition were excavated from the concrete sarcophagus of the tomb, opened in 1953 after a liturgy celebrated by the retired archbishop of Pannonhalma, Astrik Várszegi. These chests contained human remains held in inappropriately poor conditions and found during earlier alterations to the crypt.

Even the primary anthropological examination showed a significant difference between the contents of the second wooden crate to crates one and three in terms of the number, texture and retention status of the bones. Remains of some adults from poor condition, incomplete, and fragmented bones from box 2 could be inferred. The surface of these bones had been smeared with a lacquer-like material at a time unknown to the researchers, presumably in order to preserve them. It is also likely that the remains in box 2 included the bones that were recorded separately before the alterations that took place in the late 1890s. Accordingly, these were placed separately from the other bone remains in the stone-framed tomb of the south aisle, in front of the tombstone in what was then the south side wall. Gyula László remembered this special bone material as “patinated bones” when, in 1953, Professor Mihály Malán, an anthropologist, returned the excavated bone remains after the examinations.

Gusztáv Balázs Mende, a senior researcher at the Institute of Archeogenomics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, conducted an anthropological survey on the bone material, followed by the carbon-age dating of the bone remains. The proportion of carbon in the 14 isotopes in a given sample decreases over time, meaning this process makes it possible to determine the absolute age of organic samples. The tests were first performed in the ATOMKI-Isotoptech Zrt. radiocarbon laboratory in Debrecen, and then in two other internationally listed laboratories (Poznan and Mannheim) based on the measurement results. Based on the aggregated data from laboratory studies, it can be stated with certainty that some of the excavated anthropological material, in particular the bone remains associated with the two adult men, represent the very first 11th century period of crypt use. The results of the study also confirmed that the crypt was not used for burial after the initial phase of use. The rest of the bone remains can be dated from the end of the 15th century, while based on the radiocarbon data, most of the bones were from the 17‒19th century.

Based on the charter sources, the results of historical research so far, the historical tradition of the abbey and the results of the newly conducted archaeological excavation, the experts consider it reasonable to state that the 11th century bone remains belong to King Andrew I and his close family.

Genetic research of bone remains dating back to the 11th century is still ongoing at the Institute of Archeogenomics of the BTK. Archaeogenetic experts are confident that, in addition to the radiocarbon results, they will be able to contribute new data to the interpretation of the remains related to the royal family of the Árpád House.

A series of short films have been made about the project under the auspices of the abbey, and a larger-scale documentary is being made.

Research will continue in the framework of a new project entitled Kings, Saints and Monasteries commencing at the beginning of December 2021 with the support of ELKH.

Illuminating medicines: ELKH researchers invented a new method that helps to understand the therapeutics effects of cariprazine, a medicine developed in Hungary

ELKH researchers led by István Katona and György Keserű at the Institute of Experimental Medicine and at the Institute of Natural Sciences, respectively, developed a novel method that enables the visualization of drug binding on the surface of neurons at nanoscale precision.

The tremendous complexity of the nervous system represents a major challenge for understanding and treating psychiatric disorders. Several hundred cell types in the brain produce about ~20,000 proteins. The spatial density of these proteins that are often important drug targets undergoes substantial reorganization in brain disorders. These molecular changes take place at the nanoscale level that renders their measurement difficult. Moreover, the magnitude and direction of the altered protein distribution is cell-type specific. Therefore, new approaches are required to detect the precise nanoscale distribution of drug binding sites to better understand the mechanisms of therapeutics actions and the potential side effects of medicines acting on the brain.

To accomplish this goal, researchers at ELKH developed a novel methodology to perform pharmacological measurements of receptors, ion channels and enzymes in a cell-type-specific manner at the nanoscale level with the help of fluorescent small molecules. They termed the new approach PharmacoSTORM that is based on STochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM) super-resolution imaging. By exploiting PharmacoSTORM, the ELKH researchers discovered that cariprazine, a new medicine developed by the Gedeon Richter pharmaceutical company in Hungary, primarily binds to granule cells located in the Islands of Calleja. The physiological and pathophysiological significance of this brain region is not well understood. Cariprazine is one of the most promising new drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and in major depression as an adjunctive therapy. Cariprazine reached blockbuster status and has a $1 billion market. Therefore, the discovery of the Hungarian researchers, besides the methodical innovation, will pave the way to understand the mechanisms of action of cariprazine as well as to gain insights into the neurobiological mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders.

Image was designed by Benjámin Barti.

The highest binding density of cariprazine is found on D3 dopamine receptors in the Islands of Calleja. The main cell type in this brain region is the granule cells. Their axon terminals are covered by fluorescent cariprazine binding sites. This discovery suggests that the Islands of Calleja granule cells play an important role in psychiatric disorders.

The co-first authors of the study are Susanne Prokop and Péter Ábrányi-Balogh and the study was published in the Open Access journal Nature Communications.

The research was supported by the National Brain Research Program and the Frontline Research Program of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office and the Semmelweis University grant EFOP-3.6.3-VEKOP-16-2017-00009.

Publication:

Prokop S., Ábrányi-Balogh P., Barti B., Vámosi M., Zöldi M., Barna L., Urbán G.M., Tóth D.A., Dudok B., Egyed A., Deng H., Leggio G.M., Hunyady L., van der Stelt M., Keserű G.M. and Katona I. (2021) PharmacoSTORM nanoscale pharmacology reveals cariprazine binding on Islands of Calleja granule cells. Nature Communications 12, 6505.

Ceremony to present the 2021 ELKH academic awards

The Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH) Secretariat has established the Eötvös Loránd Research Network Prize and the Róbert Bárány Prize applicable to young researchers to recognize outstanding academic performance within the network. In addition, it has also launched the distribution of the title of Research Professor Emeritus. The 2021 ELKH Award Ceremony was held at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on November 9 as part of the “Celebration of the Hungarian Science“ program of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

“It is important to identify the areas in which we have the capabilities, skills and resources to achieve outstanding results at an international level, while also contributing to the development of Hungarian science and the country. Dedicated, talented researchers play a vital role in helping us achieving our goals. We need to provide adequate research conditions, moral and financial recognition to retain them, and also to encourage those living abroad to return home. The establishment and distribution of the awards and titles presented today also serve this purpose,” emphasized Professor Miklós Maróth, President of ELKH.

Professor Tamás Freund, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and József Bódis, Secretary of State for Higher Education, Innovation and Vocational Training have also addressed the audience at the Award Ceremony.

After the Award Ceremony Professor José R. Calvo, Strategic Advisor at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, President of the Institute of International Relations of the Royal European Academy of Doctors, and Professor Pál Fodor, turkologist, historian, Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, winner of the 2021 ELKH Prize, gave presentations.

Eötvös Loránd Research Network Prize

The purpose of establishing and presenting the Eötvös Loránd Research Network Prize (ELKH Prize) is primarily to offer moral and financial recognition to researchers belonging to the network for their outstanding professional work. The award is presented annually to a researcher who enjoys widespread appreciation in the scientific community at home and abroad, has an exceptional professional career, has achieved outstanding scientific performance, notable research results or patents.

In 2021 the ELKH Prize was awarded to Professor Pál Fodor, turkologist, historian, Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Pál Fodor was the Director General of the ELKH Research Centre for the Humanities (BTK) from 2012 to 2021 and is currently the honorary Director General of BTK. He is also Scientific Advisor at the Institute of History of BTK and Head of the Institute’s Medieval Department. He has been an active participant and shaper of both Hungarian and international scientific life for more than four decades.

His publications on many topics are also diverse in genre, ranging from large monographs to analytical studies, large-scale essays and extensive source publications. The approximately 20 volumes edited by him, mostly published by international publishers, have been invaluable to the presence and recognition of Hungarian historical science on an international level. He has been the leader of several research projects, the most important of which are the projects related to the siege of Szigetvár and the grave of Sultan Suleiman, as well as the battle of Mohács and its aftermath. The publications released in connection with these topics are among the most significant results of research into early modern Hungarian history.

His research, which has also received international recognition, has reinvigorated the study of the history of the Ottoman Empire in several ways. His most-acclaimed work in the academic world is an English-language monograph exploring the 17th-century changes in the administration and financial administration of the Ottoman Empire and the background to these changes. The work is undoubtedly one of the most significant individual achievements in international Ottoman research in recent decades.

With his modest but always determined and purposeful approach, Pál Fodor personifies the model image of Hungarian science, in which the unwavering commitment to universal Hungarian culture and spiritual history is coupled with a genuinely deep humanity and humility towards human values.

Róbert Bárány Prize

The purpose of establishing and awarding the Róbert Bárány Prize is to recognize the outstanding scientific work of young researchers under the age of 35 working in the ELKH network. In order to win the prize, applicants are invited to submit a project of significant scientific merit with findings achieved through individual work, such as a patent, an invention, a book, an article or series of articles, independent research findings or partial findings, or a doctoral dissertation in the social sciences.

2021 winners of the Róbert Bárány Prize:

Márton Gáspár Bojtár – Research Centre for Natural Sciences

Title of his award application: “Conditionally Activatable Visible-Light Photocages”

In his dissertation, the researcher demonstrated the development and application of a new dual-control photochemical system on visible light-sensitive blocking groups. By using light-activatable substances, it may be possible to administer chemotherapeutic agents more efficiently and selectively to reduce side effects. This means the results achieved are also notable in terms of their social significance.

Marietta Kaskötő-Buka – Research Centre for the Humanities

Title of her award application: “Musica Sacra Hungariae: The History of Cecilianism in Hungary from 1897 to 1950”

In her doctoral dissertation submitted for the application, the researcher examines the history of music in Hungary in the first half of the last century from a new perspective. The work sheds light on the direct impact of the Cecilian Movement from Bavaria on Hungarian church music reform efforts, reconstructs the appearance and unfolding of reforms in Hungary, and examines church and press history and the stylistic and aesthetic aspects of the new church music repertoire.

Eszter Draskóczy – ELKH supported research group, MTA-SZTE Antiquity and Renaissance: Sources and Reception Research Group, BTK Institute for Literary Studies

Title of her award application: “Underworld Trials and Hellish Punishments. Antique and Medieval Sources of Dante’s Divine Comedy ”

Published this year, the researcher’s monograph has not only become the latest required reading in research on Dante in Hungary, it has also revealed new findings in several aspects of international studies of Dante. This is particularly significant as the world will commemorate the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death this year. The work, which is outstanding from both a theoretical and methodological point of view, can also be used in secondary and higher education.

Zoltán Elekes – Centre for Economics and Regional Studies

Title of his award application: “Foreign-owned firms as agents of structural change in regions”

The primary author’s study submitted in his application, is a unique presentation of the impact of the establishment of foreign-owned companies on the transformation of the local economic structure. Through the example of Hungary, it describes where and in what cases these companies create jobs in connection with economic activities that are new to a region. The study has already been incorporated into the literature on the subject and has been included in important and frequently cited writings.

Szilvia Anett Nagy Hajnal – ELKH supported research group: MTA-PTE Clinical Neuroscience MR Research Group

Title of her award application: “Investigation of brain abnormalities in the field of stress and depression with modern imaging methods”

In a series of articles submitted in her application, the researcher and her colleagues demonstrated in studies on a model animal that acute and chronic stress affect not only cognitive performance, but also microstructural brain abnormalities detectable by modern imaging. The results can also be applied to patients with major depression and other psychiatric disorders, something which also demonstrates the practical significance of the research.

Tímea Haszpra – ELKH supported research group: MTA-ELTE Theoretical Physics Research Group

Title of her award application: “Using a snapshot attractor approach in multidimensional climate simulations to investigate the effects of climate change”

In a series of articles submitted in her application, the researcher developed a new method for the analysis of atmospheric long-distance relationships based on an internationally recognized approach. The results obtained with the method describe the characteristics of a long-distance connection and their modifications due to climate change, which means the method is expected to be widely applicable.

Ágnes Kalivoda – Research Centre for Linguistics

Title of her award application: “Productive connection patterns of verbs”

The researcher’s award-winning study is a work of outstanding quality in terms of both its scientific significance and its modern technological background, which combines the professional curiosity of a linguist with the efficiency of today’s technical possibilities. The value of the fieldwork is enhanced by the fact that the mapping of productive connection patterns of verbs based on vast textual material is a hitherto little researched area. The enumeration of the ways of forming verbs, including the identification of sound schemes, is in itself a commendable achievement.

Réka Könyves-Tóth – Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences

Title of her award application: “In the wake of the brightest starbursts – the secrets of the supernovae”

The series of articles submitted as her application and published in a prestigious international journal during 2020–2021 consists of three publications of which she is the primary author. One notable aspect of the publications is that Professor Craig Wheeler, one of the most acclaimed figures in the field, is also one of the authors. In her work, the researcher revealed several hitherto unknown correlations for the physical properties of starbursts.

Kitti Mezei – Centre for Social Sciences

Title of her award application: “Current challenges of cybercrime in criminal law.”

In the niche-filling monograph submitted in her application, the researcher examines the extent to which the current regulatory environment is suitable for effective action against cybercrime in the domestic, EU and international contexts. The topic is extremely current and of outstanding scientific importance, as rapid technological development is bringing new challenges every day, something legal regulations and the application of the law must keep pace with.

Eszter Nagy – Research Centre for the Humanities

Title of her award application: “A World Chronicle for Philip the Fair”

In this commendable study, the researcher explores a complex creative process through a multifaceted analysis of the World Chronicle and convincingly reconstructs the collaboration between the author and the craftsman who decorated the codex. She also successfully proves that the same Flemish miniator had previously worked for King Matthias. Her research illustrates the value of studying minor craftsmen to explore medieval artistic relationships.

Gergő Nemes – Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics

Title of his award application: “Globally exact asymptotics for integrals with arbitrary order saddles”

In his dissertation, the researcher examines the long-term behavior of functions given by Laplace-type integrals, which are common in other fields of mathematics, physics, and science, using the tools of asymptotic analysis. He combines classical aspects of mathematics with modern techniques to answer the question raised in the paper. The results of the co-authored publication are well suited to the study of special functions, number theory, mathematical physics, and quantum mechanics.

Domonkos Pap – ELKH supported research group: MTA-SE Pediatric and Nephrological Research Group

Title of his award application: “Identification and use of new types of anti-inflammatory compounds”

This Junior Prima Award-winning research project is a European patent application identifying a new type of anti-inflammatory that the researcher helped to create. The patent application is based on the fact that, for the first time, a comprehensive anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring effect of an active ingredient has been demonstrated by extensive in vitro and in vivo experiments. Based on the results, the drug may be useful in the treatment of several currently unresolved therapeutic diseases, such as the reduction of severe inflammation and scarring in the lungs due to SARS-CoV-2 virus infection.

Beatrix Péter – Centre for Energy Research

Title of her award application: “Exploring the effects of epigallocatechin gallate on cell adhesion and cell motility and coatings by unlabeled techniques”

In her award-winning series of articles, the researcher examines the effect of green tea extract on the adhesion and movement of HeLa cancer cells, using groundbreaking techniques that can be considered pioneering. In her measurements, she found that the most significant antioxidant component of green tea reduces the movement and adhesion of cancer cells and that the drug adsorbs on the surfaces studied. The results of the research are also outstanding in an international context.

Zoltán Rádai – Centre for Ecological Research

Title of his award application: “Physiological and evolutionary background and costs of lifestyles with different rates of individual development”

The researcher’s application project is a series of articles published in high-profile journals between 2017 and 2020, consisting of six publications of which he is the primary author. In these, he and his colleagues examined the triggers and effects of increased individual developmental rate on individual condition and reproductive success within the framework of lifestyle theory. The project demonstrates the researcher’s systemic, precise mindset and scientific thoroughness.

Réka Spohn – Biological Research Centre

Title of her award application: “Integrated evolutionary analysis reveals antimicrobial peptides with limited resistance”

In an article published as shared primary author in a prestigious international journal, the researcher examines the potential, likelihood, and consequences of developing resistance to antimicrobial peptides at the system level. Researchers have successfully identified antimicrobial peptides for which the development of resistance is limited. Recognizable results can serve as a starting point for the development of new therapies.

Gábor Szatmári – Centre for Agricultural Research

Title of his award application: “Modeling, evaluation and communication of spatial uncertainty with modern statistical approaches in digital soil mapping”

The researcher’s application project is a series of articles published in prestigious international journals The research results presented in these, as well as the innovations in approach and methodology, are a significant contribution to the production of increasingly accurate and reliable digital soil maps. They also help understanding of the role of soils in relation to important societal goals, such as mitigating climate change and reducing landscape degradation.

Gergő Thiering – Wigner Research Centre for Physics

Title of his award application: “Combined impact of Jahn-Teller effect and spin-orbit interaction on quantum bits in diamonds”

In his research, which was presented as his prize-winning project, the researcher systematically examined the magneto-optical properties of the elements in the four columns and the diamond point defect complexes formed by the vacancy. To this end, he developed a spin-Hamilton operator in which both electron-phonon and spin-orbit coupling are strong. Much attention was paid to the result of the Jahn-Teller effect, which successfully explained the behavior of the optically excited state of the neutral silicon vacancy.

Anna Kis Varga – Research Centre for Natural Sciences

Title of her award application: “Use of non-invasive polysomnography to examine the socio-cognitive abilities of dogs”

The researcher’s project is a series of articles published in prestigious journals between 2017 and 2020, including 15 publications that have elicited a significant response from the academic community. The research findings presented in these, which can be considered as a milestone in both theoretical and methodological terms, bring us closer to understanding the evolution of sleep, and also provide a new opportunity for veterinary diagnostics. Her experimental studies have established a new, independent subfield of cognitive behavioral science.

Research Professor Emeritus title

The purpose of establishing and presenting the title of Research Professor Emeritus is to recognize the successful research careers of researchers from the ELKH network, as well as their significant involvement in scientific organization.

Awarded the title of Professor Emeritus in 2021:

Péter B. Barna – Centre for Energy Research

As an expert on the growth mechanism of polycrystalline layers, Péter B. Barna has become a world-renowned and internationally recognized researcher. As long ago as the 1960s and 1970s, his experiments performed with in-situ microscopy in collaboration with Árpád Barna received a lot of attention. These experiments saw the recording of the growth and stratification of nanoparticles that evaporated under the microscope, and even at this time he already attached great importance to the effect of contaminants. Later, based on his findings in this regard, he proposed a new zone in the growth zone model, which was accepted and adopted in the academic literature.

Beáta Barnabás – Centre for Agricultural Research

Beáta Barnabás’s research activities cover many areas of plant reproductive biology. She has achieved international recognition for her research on pollen. In the 1990s, she further developed her research into microspore-derived haploid induction, which laid the groundwork for the introduction of plant cell and tissue culture methods into plant breeding research.

Gábor Besenyei – Research Centre for Natural Sciences

Gábor Besenyei is a notable expert in complex and organometallic chemistry and air-exclusion preparative techniques. His research work carried out in the Chemical Crystallography Research Laboratory of the Structure Research Center has been key to the group’s small-molecule structure research. The construction and development of the chemical and crystallization laboratory is founded on his expertise, and his experience has been essential in both preparative and crystallization tasks.

Aladár Czitrovszky – Wigner Research Centre for Physics

His research interests include laser measurement technology and nonlinear optics. His international research and development results have contributed to the considerable strengthening of laser physics and optics research at the institute. He has played a prominent role in the applied research projects implemented at the institute. He has been involved in the development of a number of new optical instruments and measurement procedures that have been used in toxicology, health and environmental protection, biology, and the chemical industry.

Péter Csathó – Centre for Agricultural Research

Péter Csathó specializes in plant nutrition, soil fertility and agri-environment. He considers the maintenance of field experiments to be a matter close to his heart, as well as of social usefulness in the preservation of Hungarian traditions and the nurturing of Hungary’s professional heritage. His scientific achievements, new perspectives, unique system approach, and unique synthesizing ability have made him a widely known and recognized individual who has established a new school of thought.

László G.-Tóth – Balaton Limnological Research Institute

László G.-Tóth’s main areas of research are zooplankton population dynamics, nutritional biology, metabolism, and respiratory physiology and biochemistry. He has attracted the interest of the international limnological scientific community with dialysis bags used to test algae and bacteria. This was a significant innovation and an improvement on the hermetically sealed glass jars previously used for this purpose. In particular, he focuses on the protection of the environment and water quality.

Gábor Gyáni – Research Centre for the Humanities

Gábor Gyáni is an essential figure in modern Hungarian social history research, while his historical and historiographical works are also highly significant. As a university lecturer, he has played an important role in educating the talent of the future. He has always encouraged the younger generation to raise new questions and launch research to meet gaps in our knowledge at both the institute and the university.

Pál Ormos – Biological Research Centre

Pál Ormos has worked in a number of research fields, achieving notable success in all of them. These include the structure-to-function relationship of proteins, the function of energy-converting proteins, optical micromanipulation, laser fabrication, the operation of microrobots, and microfluidics. He has been involved with several professional innovations, and the results of his research have been included in general physics textbooks.

László Párkányi – Research Centre for Natural Sciences

He has been researching in the field of chemical crystallography for decades, and his findings have brought him international recognition. He has achieved particularly significant results in the structural exploration of organosilicon and organometallic compounds. His crystallographic measurements, and in particular computer programs to assist in their evaluation, are also highly valued internationally.

János Pintz – Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics

János Pintz was involved in solving the twin prime conjecture, the greatest mathematical sensation of the last decade. The question appears to be very simple: Is there an infinitely number of pairs where both numbers are prime and the difference between them is two? Similar questions have been studied since antiquity, and Professor Pintz made a significant breakthrough in this field for which he received the Cole Prize of the American Mathematical Society in 2014.

Béla Pukánszky – Research Centre for Natural Sciences

Béla Pukánszky achieved his most significant results in the study of interfacial interactions in heterogeneous polymer systems. He set up a model to describe the composition dependence of the yield stress of such materials. His research includes the study of the degradation of polyolefins, nanocomposites, and the study of biodegradable and medicinal polymers.

Kálmán Rajkai – Centre for Agricultural Research

Kálmán Rajkai is an internationally recognized researcher on one of today’s most pressing social problems, the soil moisture component of global water resources. He specializes in soil water management, soil physics and soil biophysics. He is the developer of measurement and estimation methods for soil water management. As part of his research, he has calculated the water use of plants and its spatial pattern from the measured soil moisture.

János Rechnitzer – Centre for Economics and Regional Studies

Though János Rechnitzer’s narrower specialization is regional science, his work is characterized by an interdisciplinary approach. His research and books are the defining literature base for university and doctoral courses, as well as for regional and settlement development practice. He is the developer of the first regional innovation strategy in Hungary and is the manager of dozens of domestic development programs.

Márton Szabó – Centre for Social Sciences

Márton Szabó is the Hungarian creator and most significant representative of interpretive discursive political science. On the one hand, his work is typically rooted in Central or Eastern Europe. It shapes into a scientifically systematized theoretical view what the citizens of this part of Europe lived through en masse in the 20th century. On the other hand, it is open to the future, because focusing on the interpretive attitude allows the often unexpected new phenomena of socio-political reality to be interpreted and even managed from the applied point of view.

Miklós Tóth – Centre for Agricultural Research

As a young researcher, Miklós Tóth began researching the chemical ecology of insects and in a short time became one of the most important authorities in the field. In addition to basic research, he also deals with applied research, in which area his name is also associated with independent institutional innovation.

Tibor Tóth – Centre for Agricultural Research

Tibor Tóth specializes in the formation, mapping and ecology of saline soils, as well as the mechanisms of salt accumulation in soils and risk assessment methods for soil degradation processes. His new scientific achievements, his wide international recognition, as well as his teaching, scientific organizing and scientific public activities make him someone who has created his own school.

Imre Vörös – Centre for Social Sciences

Imre Vörös’s work spans several distinct areas of law. At the beginning of his career, he dealt with civil law issues and later with significant works in the field of competition law, which also brought him recognition from the scientific community. It is worth mentioning that he also drafted and justified the first competition law in Hungary in the early 1980s. Subsequently, his scientific interest gradually turned to European Community law and European Union law. Through his scientific and organizational activities, he has played a major role in the domestication of research in this field in Hungary.

Galéria

Society, the new volume of the National Atlas of Hungary is now available

Társadalom, the new printed volume of the National Atlas of Hungary (MNA), as well as an English-language version, Society, were presented on 16 September 2021, alongside interactive digital versions of the same publications (e-MNA). The Geographical Institute of the ELKH Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences (CSFK) was the publisher and acted as project coordinator. The Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) contributed to the publications as a strategic partner, providing the data.

As in the previous volume of the atlas series, Natural Environment published in 2018, the new volume of the atlas extends beyond the current territory of Hungary, depending on the availability of data sources, to include Hungary, the Carpathian Basin and the neighboring areas. The authors present the current state and past roots of the structure of society and social processes in the main for 13 countries, more than 39,000 settlements, mainly with the help of maps.

The creation of this volume of the MNA saw the involvement of five volume and 13 chapter editors, 42 chapter authors and 85 map authors – working mainly in Hungarian universities, research institutes and government bodies – to help present the society of Hungary across 377 maps, figures, tables and 73 photographs on 196 pages, divided into 12 chapters.

The chapters of the volume can be divided into three major thematic areas – population, towns and cities and living conditions, and quality of life. By browsing the striking thematic maps of different sizes, readers learn about the characteristics of topics such as fertility, live births out of wedlock, life expectancy at birth, cancer deaths, suicide, foreigners and foreign-born citizens, domestic migration, aging, marriage, divorce, cohabitation, ethnic-linguistic and religious distribution, education, economic activity, unemployment, public employment and personal income. The topic of settlements mainly deals with the network of settlements, the types, dynamics and structure of towns and cities, creative cities, Budapest and its agglomeration, and the types, dynamics, distribution and farms of villages. As part of the quality of life topic, one can find information about inpatient specialist care, Covid-19, recipients of social assistance, disability benefits, English skills, internet subscription, housing characteristics and prices, vacancies for GP services, hospitals and grammar schools, as well as the territorial peculiarities of road accidents and crime.

At a ceremonial presentation at the headquarters of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Miklós Maróth, President of ELKH praised the significance of the volume: “The MNA Society volume contains a significant part of the graphically depictable knowledge about the Carpathian Basin, and within it about today’s Hungary. It is an important contemporary document that includes extremely wide and varied knowledge presented in an interesting form, which means that it can be of great benefit not only for geographers but also historians, economists, students and other interested parties.”

“At KSH, we did everything we could to make all the available statistics related to the areas, periods and themes planned to be published in the volume available to the editors, and this often posed a big challenge to our specialists. By combining the tools of statistics and cartography, there has been enormous value added, contributing to a deeper understanding of these processes and a better understanding of the relationships between the phenomena through the presentation of spatial diversity of demographic and social processes,” Gabriella Vukovich, President of KSH, a strategic partner in the publication of the volume, emphasized in her speech.

One novel feature of the Society volume is that its content is also available free of charge on the website www.emna.hu in the form of interactive maps (e-MNA), an innovation on a global scale. The online version, which has been published simultaneously in Hungarian and English, provides up-to-date information and communication with the general public. The dual goal is achieved by displaying the latest data as well as offering interactive features. The latter eliminates the static nature, formal constraints, and one-way communication of the traditional paper-based atlas. Here, the map reader (user) can make queries related to spatial data according to individual criteria (for example, content, conceptual search, geographical name index, generation of free categories according to better known statistical methods, filtering quantitative and qualitative categories, drawing diagrams, customizable token keys, interactive display of changes over time).

“The fact that a digital volume designed according to the requirements of the age is also capable of responding to interactive queries and data display tailored to individual needs can open new dimensions in the exploration of connections,” said László Kiss, Director General of CSFK.

The “non-stop e-MNA” is also one of the most advanced knowledge transfer technologies available in both public and higher education. As a national geoinformatics and Hungarian knowledge database, it seeks to provide up-to-date information for a broad social strata – in relation to both Hungary and the Carpathian Basin as whole – in an entertaining manner that also helps contribute to lifelong learning. In addition to scientific content, the online e-MNA also provides a place for the collection and spatial display of community information, local history data, memories of national importance.

Similarly to the previous volume of the MNA, the Publisher (CSFK) has now offered and distributed 3,000 copies in Hungarian through the Ministry of Human Resources (EMMI) to Hungarian-language secondary and higher education institutions in the Carpathian Basin (both inside and outside of Hungary). Half of the English-language volumes will be distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The current volume (similar to the last one, published in 2018) is available on the MNA website (www.nemzetiatlasz.hu) from the day of the presentation, from where anyone can download it free of charge. Those who want to buy their own copy in the form of a traditional book can purchase it at a relatively modest price at major bookstores or via the publisher.

The Government of Hungary contributed HUF 445.4 million to the implementation of the work, which was supported by the Eötvös Loránd Research Network Secretariat, and also the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM) and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Further information: nemzetiatlasz[at]csfk.org

The Eötvös Loránd Research Network has been expanding and developing over the last two years

Funding for the research network has more than doubled to nearly HUF 50 billion, researcher salaries have been increased by an average of 30 percent, budget allocation has been transformed to consider the institutions’ scientific performance, which promotes scientific excellence – these are some of the key achievements of the Eötvös Loránd Research Network during its first two years of operation. In addition to broadening and strengthening international relations, a new system aimed at providing comprehensive support for researchers in innovation management is being developed. Adding new areas and institutions to the network also features among future plans.

The Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH) celebrates the 2nd anniversary of its foundation. The ELKH Secretariat was established by the Hungarian Parliament effective August 1, 2019, with the aim of managing and operating Hungary’s publicly funded independent research network. It is led by a 13-member Governing Board, six members of which are nominated by the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and six members by the Minister for Technology and Innovation, and they jointly nominate the President. All nominees are appointed by the Prime Minister of Hungary. The President and most members of the Governing Board are members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

In the two years since our foundation, we have achieved forward-looking results in several areas, including the development of the research network, improving researcher salaries, significantly increasing the funds available to the research network, and the development and introduction of a three-pillar financing model for resource allocation. All these contribute to increase efficiency and transparency,” said ELKH President Miklós Maróth on the anniversary. He added: The establishment of a professional organization and management dedicated to the research network has enabled targeted, efficient and fast decision-making, and has allowed for the provision of more focused support to the institutions.

ELKH’s mission is to protect and advance academic freedom, to ensure more efficient and effective operation of the research network, and to promote scientific excellence in the areas of both basic and applied research. One of the most significant achievements is the increase in the funds allocated to the research network. As a result, the budget of ELKH has been more than doubled reaching close to HUF 50 billion annually. The increase in funding has allowed to commence the development of the research infrastructure, provide resources for research and begin the long-awaited pay rise. The salaries of the researchers and all employees of the research network have been increased by an average of 30 percent.

The replacement of the former civil servant status with employment contracts based on the Hungarian Labor Code has enhanced the freedom and flexibility of the institutions in determining salaries and also significantly reduced their administrative burden.

ELKH has developed and introduced a new three-pillar financing model to replace the former static system. Under the new model, the main scientific metrics and other measurable scientific achievements of the institutions over the past three years are also considered when allocating the resources for research. From 2021, the funds provided to the research sites fully cover their operating costs and the resources needed for specific, long-term research. Decisions on the use of resources dedicated to subtasks has been delegated to the institution heads, thus significantly increasing both the autonomy and the accountability of the institutions. As it is built on verified objective data, the process has become more transparent. The new system aims to encourage scientific excellence, which will also help increase the competitiveness of the research network.

ELKH is in the process of developing a new internal innovation system with the aim of improving scientific competitiveness, leveraging external research funding opportunities more effectively and ensuring more efficient use of the intellectual property portfolio of the research network. A two-tier advisory network is being built to effectively assist institutions and researchers in innovation management, in obtaining funding from tenders and other external resources, as well as in industrial property protection and utilization matters related to research results.

Recently, ELKH has joined four major international organizations. Science Europe is the most significant among these. Science Europe is an association of major European research funding and research performing organizations. Also notable is our International Science Council membership. In addition, ELKH has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) to strengthen and further develop scientific cooperation between the two institutions.

By developing the infrastructure, improving research conditions, and increasing salaries, we want to make it worthwhile for our researchers to stay and carry out research in Hungary, as well as encouraging those working abroad to return home. We need to stop the brain drain, which is only possible by continuing to improve salary conditions, which will however require an increase in budgetary support,” emphasized the President of ELKH. “An important factor in increasing efficiency is to identify the niche areas in each field of science where we can achieve world-leading results, while also considering the social and economic needs of Hungary. We are in the process of defining these areas in cooperation with the institution heads. In addition, new research areas that are not as yet covered are being identified, where, building on the skills and capabilities available in the country, we may be able to achieve considerable results. Our plans also include expanding the research network in these directions,” added Miklós Maróth.