Budapest (MTI) – Corina Cretu, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, visited the EU-funded super laser centre in Szeged, in southern Hungary, on Friday.
Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania won a joint bid for the European Union’s Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project in October 2009. The project, known as Attosecond Light Pulse Source (ALPS) of the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), is hosted by the University of Szeged.
The EU’s large-scale project also hosted by Prague an Bucharest will create world-class research environment in central Europe, Cretu told a press conference.
Established in the three cities the centre will be the world’s largest scientific facility of its kind, she said.
The European Commission is committed to supporting the region to help its development and the expansion of employment, she said, adding that a large part of the super laser project’s cost of 850 million euros has been provided from the EU’s regional development fund.
Cretu said she held talks with Hungarian EU commissioner Tibor Navracsics about ways to prevent a “brain drain” in science and health care which has had a negative impact on central Europe.
Viktoria Tölgyesi, director of coordination at the ELI-HU Nonprofit Ltd, said that the process of recruiting staff is still ongoing with over 200 people hired already.
Cretu later in the day held talks with Mayor László Botka. She stated support for the completion of the infrastructure development project of a multipurpose bridge allowing vehicle, train, bicycle and pedestrian traffic over the Tisza river.
Botka gave the EU commissioner an outline of development projects planned by Szeged, highlighting the Tisza bridge as most important.
The local council has already prepared the project’s preliminary plans and calculated its cost to be over 110 million euros, the mayor told a press conference.
It is regarded a large-scale project to be implemented in cooperation with Brussels, the Hungarian government and the city of Szeged, he said.