Massachusets Institute of Technology Launches ‘Catalyst’ Program in Debrecen
Ábrahám Vass 2019.10.02.
One of the US’s most reputable higher education centers, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will launch a health research program at the University of Debrecen in 2020, GE Healthcare told wire service MTI on Wednesday.
Under the agreement concluded recently, the MIT Catalyst program, which has been operating successfully in the United States for seven years, will be launched in partnership with GE Healthcare starting from next year.
The agreement covers joint research and training development with a focus on digital medicine, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and sports medicine. The program brings together organisations of different profiles, with various universities, hospitals and companies involved.
In an interview with economic site Porfolio, MIT’s professor Martha Gray revealed that the Catalyst Program’s main aim was a paradigm shift in research, targeting and training future researchers in order for the final outcome of their research to be more likely applicable outside the realm of academics and to make a real impact on the world. Therefore, the Catalyst Program joins in at the very beginning of the research process, helping in the decision-making about research opportunities, asking the right questions to get the researcher going in the right direction.
The Catalyst’s program’s European coordinator Ernest Lara, said that the University of Debrecen will play a leading role in the European adoption and application of the MIT Catalyst methodology as MIT develops one of its European training centers in the city.
Although likewise to MIT, the global headquarters of GE Healthcare which is sponsoring the program, is based in Boston, it was the Hungarian headquarters that played a significant role in developing the venture. GE Hungary’s vice-president Endre Ascsillán, said that they had started to build up an innovation hub 5-6 years ago, having experienced that Hungary had the necessary environment, competency knowledge, and infrastructure for this purpose. For example, four excellent medical universities, among them Debrecen, being one of the best integrated vertically while its industrial side is also developed. In parallel, “we also see that the political decision-making environment is similarly supportive and the government has a vision too,” he added.
Last year, GE invested over 6 billion HUF (EUR 17.9m) in R and D projects in Hungary, GE Healthcare noted.