Pécs centre to strengthen the innovation organisation of NATO

12 April 2024

NATO’s defence innovation organisation is undergoing significant expansion in Hungary, supported by the University of Pécs with multiple labs and a competence centre in fields like medical simulation, virology, biotechnology, VR, AR and XR technologies, AI development and additive technologies

According to NATO DIANA’s latest announcement, they are significantly expanding their presence in Hungary: they are including technology development acceleration and test centres into the research and development network. The goal of the network is ensuring that innovation based on defence generates added value useable in a wider social area aside from the development and transfer of the latest technologies, and production of defence equipment.

Hungary joins the dynamically growing defence-industry innovation network of the military alliance with an accelerator and with test centres in order to both strengthen research and development cooperation both nationally and within NATO, and also to boost the application of new technologies.

The first Hungarian DIANA-accelerator system will start functioning under the name of VIKI-Nokia, as a result of the cooperation of the Defence Innovation Research Centre NZrt. (VIKI) and Nokia Solutions and Networks Kft. The centres were established by the University of Pécs, Óbuda University, BHE Bonn Hungary Electronics Kft., Alverad Technology Focus Kft., ITSec Area Kft., and Nokia Bell Labs.

The DIANA Test Centre of the University of Pécs contributes to the success of NATO’s defence innovation aspiration with numerous laboratories and competence centre. Relying on the capacities of the over 2150 square metres Center for Advanced Medical Technology’s (CAMTech) laboratories (3D Printing and Visualisation Centre; Medical Skills Development and Innovation Centre), the University of Pécs can cover the entire complex process of medical equipment and software development.

The UP 3D Printing and Visualisation Centre provides modern services as an outstanding innovation workshop in 3D technologies. Its innovation and service profile can satisfy healthcare and industry parties, allowing product development, prototype manufacture and small scale production.

The Virtual and Augmented Reality Research Group researches the feasibility of incorporating available VR, AR and XR technologies in the fields of education, medicine, biomedicine and 3D modelling, tailored to user needs. It is possible to evaluate medical diagnostic data with the support of artificial intelligence (AI), optimise processes, evaluate medical interventions and simulations.

The internationally prominent equipment of the Medical Skills Development and Innovation Centre of the University of Pécs Medical School allows outstanding simulation education on both the national and international level. The Human Patient Simulation Center of the University of Pécs Faculty of Health Sciences is similar to the skill lab of the Medical School. Here, the infrastructural, simulation and education methodology opportunities provided by the hyper realistic simulation spaces are also suitable for classic skill, demonstration and simulation education.

With the equipment of the simulation centre, we have the most complex tools available for selection and suitability testing. The competences and laboratory infrastructures of the Pécs DIANA Test Centre also cover virology and biotechnology research. In the BSL 4 rated laboratory of the UP János Szentágothai Research Centre, research is done on viral zoonoses; while the focus of biotechnology research is the in vitro modelling of various diseases on artificially grown tissue, with the goal of pharmaceutical and therapy method development.

Various technologies for improving human capabilities exist, and the biomechanical laboratory mainly deals with medical-engineering research and biomechanical prototype development (e.g. exoskeleton). Moreover, they provide a wide scale of material analyses for research and industry members as well.

CoreTechs Solutions Kft. is also a part of the Pécs DIANA Test Centre; as a spin-off company of the University of Pécs, they cooperate with the CAMTech Centre in many areas; application and web development, and development of visualisation frameworks based on VR and AR technologies useable in medical training.

The Centre is also supported by the National Laboratory for Cooperative Technologies, where the construction and development of multipurpose industry innovation capacitie4s and competences is underway. The main goal of this laboratory is the physical and content realisation of an innovation space that could play a key role in the digitalisation, research, and development of the industry on national and regional levels.

NATO’s Pécs DIANA centre is also supported by the UP Medical School Excellence Centre for Defence Healthcare, aiming to develop the best possible solutions to the consequences of emerging new types of health and health security problems for countries facing the challenges of current international conflicts and disasters.


Szabolcs Csortos (UnivPécs)

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