Four National Laboratories and one Research Laboratory that are expected to largely contribute to Hungary’s economic development and increasing of its international competitiveness are being established under the leadership of one research center and two research institutes belonging to the Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH). 

The government supports the establishment and operation of 17 National Laboratories and a Research Laboratory in the five-year period from 2020 and 2025, with HUF 14 billion funding this year and a total of around HUF 90 billion in the coming years.

Four key research and development areas have been identified in the National Laboratories Program –  secure society and environment, health, industry and digitalization, and culture and family – where, building on our domestic strengths, project participants can provide answers to global challenges while making a significant contribution to the economic development of the country and increasing its international competitiveness. Several institutions belonging to the ELKH research network actively participated in the development of the program.

The main objective of the program is to bring together research institutes, universities and industry players in a given research topic, and to provide access to future-oriented technologies that can be used to implement world-class research and innovation programs by Hungarian research sites. In addition, the mission of the program is to develop the competencies that are essential for this, and to utilize the research results as widely as possible.

The ELKH research network is a key participant in the implementation of the National Laboratories Program. In the field of industry and digitalization, two projects led by ELKH’s Institute for Computer Science & Control (SZTAKI) were announced – the National Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence and the National Laboratory of Autonomous Systems – as well as the National Laboratory for Quantum Informatics led by the Wigner Research Centre for Physics (Wigner FK). The Institute of Experimental Medicine (KOKI), the Centre for Social Sciences (TK) and the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics (Rényi) are also consortium partners in the National Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence.

The National Laboratory of Biotechnology, implemented under the leadership of the Szeged Biological Research Centre (BRC) within the topic of health, and the Nanoplasmonic Laser Fusion Research Laboratory led by Wigner FK within the topic of safe society and environment will start operation in 2020.

In addition, the Multidisciplinary National Laboratory for Climate Change established under the topic of safe society and environment will be implemented with the participation of the Balaton Limnology Institute of the ELKH Centre for Ecological Research, with the leadership of Pannon University.


Brief presentation of the projects led by and with the participation of the ELKH research sites:

1. National Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence
– under the leadership of the ELKH Institute for Computer Science & Control

The aim of the National Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence (MILAB) is to promote Hungary’s role in the field of artificial intelligence. Key topics address industry research, including research into medical diagnostic and biometric applications, the agriculture and food industry, transport, manufacturing and processing industry, telecommunications, as well as the mathematical foundations of deep learning using artificial intelligence. In addition, the program covers the development of machine vision, natural language processing, and research into data processing technologies that ensure the protection of personal data. 

2. National Laboratory of Autonomous Systems
– under the leadership of the ELKH Institute for Computer Science & Control

The National Laboratory of Autonomous Systems aims to provide an efficient and innovative solution to mobility-related research tasks, focusing on road vehicles, aircraft and mobile robots. Its activities focus on research related to mobility, developments demonstrating functional and cooperative operation, the implementation of knowledge transfer, public tender and industrial projects, and education. The research results and know-how generated in connection with the project will not only help increase the added value of the domestic automotive industry, but also boost the social acceptance of autonomous vehicles by communicating the results.

In line with the European Union’s research and innovation objectives, the Laboratory defines its mission, vision and research and development tasks in accordance with the principles of open innovation, open science and knowledge transfer, and “opening up to the world”, i.e. the realization of international cooperation.

3. National Laboratory of Quantum Informatics
– under the leadership of the ELKH Wigner Research Centre for Physics

One of the strategic goals of the National Laboratory of Quantum Informatics is to create a regional quantum communication network that can be connected to the quantum Internet planned in the European Union. Its aim is to develop hardware components based on photons, atoms and artificial atoms for quantum IT operations, to maintain the necessary laboratory infrastructure at cutting-edge international level, as well as to develop domestic expertise with state-of-the-art knowledge able to operate quantum computers as users in a large infrastructure.

 4. Nanoplasmonic Laser Fusion Research Laboratory
– under the leadership of the ELKH Wigner Research Centre for Physics

The main goal of the Nanoplasmonic Laser Fusion Research Laboratory is to increase the efficiency of laser ignition fusion through the plasmon effect. Ensuring efficient and sustainable energy production is one of humanity’s greatest problems today. One of the most promising solutions to this problem is the implementation of fusion energy generation. The Nanoplasmonic Laser Fusion Research Laboratory is investigating the effects of plasmons (collective electron excitations) induced by ultrashort laser pulses in a pioneering way that has led to the development of inertial fusion techniques. Inertial fusion is a method of controlled nuclear fusion in which the fusion material is compressed with high energy, in this case, laser beams, thus creating the conditions for fusion. Based on the results gained so far, this method can make nuclear fusion ignition more efficient and economical, thus promising a new, innovative solution. 

5. National Laboratory of Biotechnology
– under the leadership of the ELKH Szeged Biological Research Centre

The goal of the National Biotechnology Laboratory is to develop unique, competitive technologies and therapeutic procedures in Hungary using the most modern biotechnology tools, focusing on drug-resistant bacteria, developing new types of vaccines, and identifying drug molecules suitable for the treatment of newly diagnosed rare diseases. The laboratory focuses on the study of global problems associated with pandemics caused by infectious diseases, especially in research areas related to antibiotic resistance, COVID-19 infection, and swine fever.

6. Multidisciplinary National Laboratory for Climate Change
– under the leadership of Pannon University, consortium partner: ELKH Centre for Ecological Research

Within the framework of this project, the researchers of the Balaton Limnology Institute are studying the effects of climate change on Lake Balaton, focusing their research in three areas in particular. On one hand, they are studying biodiversity, including the responses of invertebrates and vertebrates and macro-vegetation to climate change. Secondly, they are separately studying algae, microorganisms, and the chemical constituents of the lake. Thirdly, they are carrying out in vitro and in silico experiments in their mesocosm system, using computer models to better understand the processes. The main goal is to use a well-designed and smart integration of research to gain a better understanding of what is happening in the lake and how sensitive it is to climate change.