Pannon Business Network is the collaborative centre for applied research, training and advanced manufacturing to catalyse value creation by digitalization as active catalyst of the ecosystem. Linked to industry, academia and citizens, it is facilitating digital, human-centred, resilient and green transformation with focus on business and healthy ageing through its connected divisions.
A key distinguishing feature of the Hungarian PBN is its extensive international reach by having realized over 85 international applied research projects with 500+ European partners (60+ universities). Backed by a wealth of industrial experience and alone standing knowledge on Hungarian and regional SMEs, the committed team of 30 with engineering and economic background are motivated to foster the reorientation of the regional economy towards health manufacturing industry. To realize this ambition, PBN initiated a ten-year territorial strategic framework programme – Szombathely2030 -, approved by political leaders, stakeholders, companies, chamber of industry, universities, aiming at converting automotive industry-related manufacturing know-how to the health industry, with strong rehabilitation focus.
The 17-year consequent building resulted in three complementary organisation units:
The Advanced management, central unit, focuses on management of innovation, research-and-development projects. This unit coordinates the artificial intelligence working group of SMEs in the Danube region, based on a contract with the Ministry of Economy of Baden-Württemberg.
Advanced manufacturing (am-LAB unit, the most relevant in the AI REDGIO 5.0 project): A digital innovation hub and advanced manufacturing laboratory focuses on digital technologies, robotics, data science, extended reality and 3D technologies. A broad portfolio of connected technological devices is available in the laboratory, with in-house engineering staff. The technology transfer department cooperates with multinational technology suppliers from one side (SMC, UR, Formlabs, Keyence, etc) from the technology supplier side, and with a wide range of manufacturing companies from the customer side (Aptiv, IKEA, Ivy, TDK, MAM, Linde, etc.). The most recent technological development is a teaching and learning factory solution, an advanced demonstration and research-oriented production line with 5 stations, provided by SMC Corporation. It enables such in-house development like real-time data visualisation, augmented reality applications, predictive statistics, neural network-based image recognition. am-LAB was awarded the best digital innovation hub title of 2020, awarded at the first European Digital Innovation Hub conference.
Advanced treatment (at.home unit): the 3-star accredited Active and Healthy Ageing Reference Site (AHA-RS, awarded by the EU in 2022) is an inspirational, educational physical and digital division of PBN dedicated primarily for elderly people. It facilitates orientation towards the health sector in Western Hungary, as an integral element of a 10-year strategy. It hosts social care related trainings for formal and informal caregivers, enables research and prototype development actions. The facility works in strong cooperation with the local digital innovation hub. Equipped with the latest, smart interconnected devices, it is to inspire integrated service and device design and test to support mental health. Besides the elderly people, it acts as a prototype development environment as well - as organic part of local ecosystem. With its parameters - 200 m2 laboratory space 50 digital applications 3 dedicated avatars 500 private households – the key competencies are: telemetrical health monitoring, care service support, digital health twin, diagnostics, MDR. The spectrum ranges from specific types of engagement with businesses to the application of leading Industry 4.0 technologies to the development of a demonstration environment for smart senior care.