Title of the project: Establishing the HCEMM Core Groups and the 4th Advanced Core Facility
Grant nr.: TKP-2021-EGA-05
Start date: 1 November 2021
End date: 31 December 2025
Grant amount: € 5.000.000 (1.769.511.760 HUF)
The Hungarian Centre of Excellence for Molecular Medicine is expanding its activities in the context of the H2020 Teaming Grant through the addition of up to seven Core Research Groups and an Advanced Core Facility (ACF) for Scientific Computing. These groups will join the already established matching Research Groups and three ACFs, which are already operating at the host organizations of HCEMM Kft., the non-for-profit company, which was created to manage the HCEMM Program and conduct research and development at the HCEMM headquarters, which are located at the University of Szeged’s Incubator House at the Szeged Science Park.
The focus of the research and development activities of the Program of the Hungarian Centre of Excellence for Molecular Medicine (HCEMM) is centered on aspects of healthy ageing. Using molecular methods, the HCEMM researchers aim at the development of new approaches to diagnostics and treatment of the main disease complexes affecting the healthy ageing of the Hungarian population. Three research and development pillars have been established thus far for non-infectious disease complexes: (a) immuno-inflammatory diseases, (b) metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and (c) genomic instability and cancer. A fourth research pillar has also been created with topics related to infectious co-morbidities of the aforementioned non-infectious diseases, such as infections in immuno-compromised patients, sepsis or antibiotic resistance in bacteria and fungi.
The activities of the new groups, financed by the Thematic Excellence Program focus on the applied side of translational research, assisting the existing Matching Groups in their commercialization efforts, developing new molecular approaches for diagnostics of chronic and infectious diseases and eventually strategies for the treatment of the diseases, which affect the majority of Hungarian during the ageing process. The new HCEMM headquarters at the Incubator House will also be the site, where an ISO-certified PCR-based diagnostics unit will be established, which can generally function as a research laboratory while being used as an emergency testing site during pandemics. The new ACF will use the 47 m2 server room at the Incubator House in Szeged to set up a scientific computing infrastructure, which can be used by all HCEMM groups to analyze their experiments, integrate the resulting data, prepare database submissions to international repositories, and store the raw data, as required by funding agencies and common practice.
Together with our Advanced Partner EMBL, we are creating a strategy for joint applications to the Horizon Europe funding calls. Once recruited, the new HCEMM Core Groups will be included in this strategy to allow the HCEMM scientists to participate in Horizon Europe projects. With our Scientific Advisory Panel members, we are also exploring options for Twinning Grants. Equally important to soliciting additional large-scale funding is revenue generation through work with industrial partners. We are creating a framework, which will allow HCEMM Kft. to enter into service contracts, collaborative work and licensing agreements with industrial partners thus generating revenue, which will be used in part to offset the operating cost of HCEMM Kft. on the way to a self-sustaining entity. Over time, these activities can also lead to spin-off companies and co-settlements of branches of international companies at the Science Parks in Hungary.
The establishment of the HCEMM Core groups is a crucial step forward in the creation of a Hungary wide network for Translational Research on Molecular Medicine and a requirement for the successful delivery of all of the aspects of the HCEMM EU Teaming Grant. The new groups will be employed by HCEMM Kft. directly, thus putting them at the core of the research and development activities. The activities of these groups will be useful for the coordination of the overall research and development activities within HCEMM and the unique functionality of the ACF will be supporting the nearly 30 groups that are involved in the HCEMM program.
“Project no. TKP-2021-EGA-05 has been implemented with the support provided by the Ministry of Culture and Innovation of Hungary from the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund, financed under the TKP2021-EGA funding scheme.”