The Prague and the Szeged super laser centres will establish a joint international, so-called European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in order to better explore the capacity and opportunities in the field of scientific research of the two cutting-edge research centres.

On Monday in Prague, Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics had talks with Deputy Prime Minister-Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlicek. After the meetings, he told the Hungarian news agency MTI that “we have agreed to establish a European Research Infrastructure Centre (ERIC) which will – according to our plans – start its operation in January 2020. We expect other countries, too, to join the project later on.”

According to Mr Palkovics, they expect Italy to join the project first, while several other countries – including Germany, France and Britain – are also interested in ERIC. In addition to physicians and biochemists, the Prague and Szeged laser centres provide excellent facilities for the research projects of representatives of other fields of science as well, he highlighted.

After his Prague talks, the Hungarian Minister visited the ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) Beamlines international scientific centre located in Dolní Brezany not far from the Czech capital. ELI Beamlines forms part of the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences; the super laser system was made in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States. The rest of the elements of the ELI international research centre operate in Hungary (Szeged) and Romania (Bucharest).

Mr Palkovics and Mr Havlicek discussed, among others, the possibilities of Hungarian-Czech cooperation in the energy industry as well as in the field of innovations and modern technologies.

In answer to the question of the Hungarian news agency MTI as to whether at the talks the parties also spoke about Hungarian-Czech nuclear energy cooperation in connection with the planned enlargement of the Paks Nuclear Power Station and the two Czech nuclear power stations (Dukovany and Temelín), Mr Palkovics said the Hungarian and Czech plans are at different phases. While in Hungary there is already specific work under way, the Czechs are only at the stage of the initial preparations. “Naturally, we are happy to share our experience with our Czech partners,” the Hungarian Minister for Innovation and Technology pointed out.

(Ministry for Innovation and Technology/MTI)