17 goals for a better world – no. 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Our series of articles entitled “Sustainable Tuesday(s)”, will take a look over 17 weeks at the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN to make the world a better place.

This time, we will explore in more detail goal no. 9: industry, innovation and infrastructure, which is to:

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

Support projects to build infrastructure and innovation!

Sustainable Development Goal no. 9 (SDG 9) focuses on industry, innovation and infrastructure. The focus is on building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation, in line with UN guidelines. We will take a look at some of these, including but not limited to our research university programmes.

In 2017, the BME Center for University-Industry Cooperation (BME FIEK) was established, which was both an autonomous university unit and a model for research organization, managed by a common strategic partnership between the institution and companies. As a result of its operation, the cooperation of almost 120 researchers of 4 faculties was established in the first year. The center gears up the translation of scientific results into industrial practice, which has a positive impact on the quality of education as well. The name and responsibilities of BME FIEK changed at the end of 2023. Its new name, Centre for Innovation Management and Cooperation, shows that the focus has been shifted on innovation management, the university innovation ecosystem and a stronger, and unified application support than ever before. The center, by definition of innovation, is linked to industrial exploitation, so the industrial link has not disappeared from its name, but rather appears as a broad definition. As a result of developments in recent years, innovation management has become a core activity of the university.

The mission of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics includes to create as many modern, internationally competitive businesses as possible in our country, that can successfully apply a wide range of Industry 4.0 technologies. As a part of this mission, BME Industry 4.0 Technology Centre focuses on developing innovations and technologies related to the fourth industrial revolution. It shapes perceptions, engages in educational and support activities, and works to make more people aware of the potential of these technologies. The center aims to promote the digitalization of industrial processes, to develop and apply new solutions in Industry 4.0, in areas such as smart manufacturing, automation and artificial intelligence. And that is a strong focus for the present and near future of industrialization and SDG9 as well. In 2021, the BME was awarded the “Industry 4.0 Professional Medal” by the then Ministry of Innovation and Technology.

Biotechnology, health protection and environmental protection encompass innovation in chemistry, food and pharmaceuticals, the industrialization of health protection and engineering-based medicine, and any related environmental issues. The BME’s research groups in natural sciences, basic and applied research cover almost the entire spectrum of biotechnology, therefore, they could provide a good basis for a research network of universities for biotechnology, health and environmental research. The biotechnology research of the BME focuses on current and future-oriented research areas.

Several departments and research groups at BME's Faculty of Civil Engineering are involved in the design of resilient infrastructures resistant to earthquakes, corrosion, fire, water and explosions. These include flood control structures, bridges and their materials. We provide high accuracy geodetic services to the operators of critical infrastructures, such as power-plants. Master’s Programme in Infrastructure – Civil Engineering educates engineers who design state-of-the-art road and rail infrastructure, build new types of works to facilitate waterborne transport, test and develop modern runways for airports.

BME Research Center for Autonomous Road Vehicles has an impact on vehicles used in transport, infrastructure, road users and society in general, increasing the potential for innovation. By establishing Research Center for Autonomous Road Vehicles (RECAR), the partners have set up a comprehensive organization in which they can pool their competences and exploit synergies to achieve higher research results. The Center develops in cooperation with the BME, HUN-REN Institute for Computer Science and Control, and ELTE (Eötvös Loránd University), and with the involvement of its industrial partners, such as Bosch, Continental and Knorr-Bremse.

At the BME Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, numerous MTA Momentum research groups and OTKA tender are working on innovative materials and technologies (e.g. composite metal foams, biocomposites) a sustainable, more liveable urban planning strategy, renewable energy sources, and the design of advanced furnaces and combustion systems. In addition, within BME FIKP 2021-2025 program, research are being carried out on sustainable building services engineering, building energy systems, smart buildings and cities.

Since 2010, Department of Electronics Technology, BME’s Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics has been researching alternative, environmentally friendly circuit substrates that can offer a responsible alternative to the e-waste growing year by year as production innovation and for users. The technology developed together with Meshiln can be an alternative solution to the mass e-waste management, which causing major problems also currently. With the innovative substrate, even 70-90% by weight of WPCB (Waste PCB) can be replaced with sustainable, degradable feedstock from natural sources. Thus, that is a major step forward for electronic mass production. With the help of students, an Arduino-nano clone was also presented, which, in addition to the potential for innovation in manufacturing technology, also addresses the role of the development board in education in line with SDG 4 “Quality Education”. The research is currently being carried out through an M-ERA.NET grant and a HORIZON call is starting soon as well.

In addition to the above, 217 publications, 42 research projects, 161 student projects, 9 patents and 137 subjects delivered, all of them performed by almost all faculties of the BME are related to the subject of decent work and economic growth, which also indicates the outstanding work of BME in the field of industrial innovation.

The term SDG stands for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by world leaders at the 2015 UN summit to set new directions for global development. In a series of articles called “Sustainable Tuesday(s”, we will take a look at the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over 17 weeks and show what BME is doing to achieve them, within its own means. You can check out these development goals in a playful way with the help of boards placed at the entrances of the 3 busiest buildings (E, K, Q) on the BME campus. For more information on this topic, you can join the BME GreenHub Facebook group and visit BME’s main website to access our BME for Sustainability platform



GA, KK (BME Committee on Sustainability)