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EEA Grants supports the renewal of illustrious cave dwellings in Egerszalók

Bükkalja region’s rock layers are mainly made of easily tractable rhyolite tufa. Inhabitants of the 17-18th century were tending to utilize it by carving out caves and vaults. The centuries old cave homes are the neighborhood’s cultural heritage.

Nine Egerszalók based, local heritage protected cave homes are under refurbishment with a 142 million forint support of EEA Grants, Cultural Heritage Programme Area. Renewed homes are going to function as touristic sites, exhibition and community areas. The construction of a stage and the renovation of caves have already started within the project which is due to be implemented until the end of April 2017. A short documentary about the village’s specialties is already completed. The film will be played in one of the cave homes updated into a theatre.

Report of Eger Televízió

ALUHAB – Hungarian innovation with Norwegian support

Innovation prize winner Aluinvent Plc has built its environmentally friendly aluminium foam panel producing line with nearly 370 million Forint (~1.172.000 EUR) support of Norway Grants. The development was implemented within Green Industry Innovation Programme of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism.

 

 

Outstanding Hungarian patent

As the result of a decade long development process, in 2012 the revolutionary invention of the research team lead by Dr. Norbert Babcsán, international patent protected ALUHAB has been adapted for pilot production. The globally unique aluminium foaming technology has been elaborated in cooperation with European Space Agency (ESA), under the wing of Bay Zoltán Nonprofit Ltd. for Applied Researches, it was adapted for pilot producing and technical usage within space-technology spin-off company, Aluinvent Plc. With the financial support of Norway Grants, 1000 tons per year advanced volume production of ÉMI-certificated (Hungarian construction quality control institution) construction panel, DESIGNIUM has started during the last year in the company’s factory, based in Felsőzsolca Industrial Park.

It is the unique characteristics of ALUHAB that makes the substance demanded on international markets. The ultra light-weighted, foamed metal’s specialty is the controlled, homogeneous cell-size which makes it energy absorbent and maintains high tensile strength, and the basic metal’s easy workability. This is the first, reproducible quality aliminium foam, which is usable as structural material and its features are designable according to user requirements.

Aluinvent Plc’s products are made from reused aluminium and are also easy to recycle to production. Its features are making the substance competitive with light metals and engineering plastics as well.

 

Production as innovation progress

Norway Grants has supported the project implementation with a 369 781 208 Forint nonrepayable grant. The two main results of the development were the implementation of ALUHAB production and the elaboration of intermediate construction and casing material, DESIGNIUM.

We already had a pilot plant to base on the production facility. This step, the production process itself is the innovation. One part of the project was the procurement of engines and another was the research process – said Dr. Norbert Babcsán, vice chief executive and technology director of the company.

Aluinvent Plc’s innovation reached the highest, 9th international Technology Readiness Level – meaning it has evolved from pilot plant level to series manufacture.

Our production line is operating since April, we took possession of the technology. We have spent the last year with preparation to serial production and marketing, seeking customers. With the Norwegian grant aid we executed aluminium foam thinning as well – said Dr. Norbert Babcsán. Besides production technology, the company elaborated a new heat treatment technology, which duplicates the strength of aluminium foams.

 

Recycled aluminum, an environmentally friendly substance

One direct result of the project is the development of an environmentally friendly, industrial level standardized manufacturing technology, producing a green substitute material. The company is using recycled aluminium to create ALUHAB. This technology is able to recycle the products without loss, and to utilize aluminium waste that is unusable with other methods, for example iron or rust contaminated aluminium. Industrial production of ALUHAB reduces the emission of polluting substances and increases the efficiency of waste procession.

The corrosion resistance and recyclability of the material resulted in a thoroughly green product. We are an aluminium-converting company, not an aluminium-smelter. We consume considerably less energy whilst no toxic sludge is produced – Dr. Babcsán estimates, a vast quantity of 100 thousand tons of aluminium waste is produced in Hungary per year. Aluinvent Plc’s current recycling capacity is approximately one percent of the national amount. A long-term objective of the firm is to reuse the majority of national aluminium waste, or even import recyclable material.

From space industry to design

ALUHAB is an entirely new material-family developed according to market requirements, constantly improved in cooperation with end-product manufacturers. Aluinvent created three aluminium foam based prototypes for European Space Agency: a micrometeorite absorbent panel, a mirror holding sandwich panel and a determined heat-transfer panel. Although metal foams are widely used in everyday industry segments also, such as in explosives transportation container’s energy absorbent walls, in interior design as furniture material or as outdoor construction cases.

Basically we are aiming three industry segments determining the main characteristics of the products. Beauty and aesthetics serves construction industry and design. Energy absorbance benefits in security technology, from car bumpers to explosion security panels. The third feature, specific rigidity is utilized in vehicle and engineering industry – said Dr. Babcsán.

ALUHAB is both usable as raw material and component. Aluinvent has developed high rigidity packaging materials, sound-insulation materials of household equipments and automotive components. DESIGNIUM is used as building covering and design elements in construction industry. In the mechanical and engineering industry, aluminium foam has a breakthrough potential as cell phone cases, in the form of casting and foam sheets, as car components and security technology accessories like explosion security sheathes. The advanced technology of small-bubble foams should open up utilization possibilities in vehicle industry.

Future material

Certain panels of Aluinvent received Hungarian construction quality certificate in the year 2015. In this year the company is going to further develop its intermediate products considering customer demands, by creating light transmitting and flat panels, and also widening the panels.

Aluinvent’s main objective for the year 2017 is to equalize sales volume and industrial capacity. Dr. Norbert Babcsán thinks customer demands may increase to 10 thousand tons in the next three years, which induces the building of a newer and bigger production line. International market access of the product is a top priority, the next period’s target countries are Israel, Germany, Singapore and the USA.

Aluinvent Plc is cooperating with the University of Miskolc, Kecskemét College and a number of national higher education and research institutions. The company’s vision is to form a scientific and technological center within Borsod region, which may become the innovation and competence center of Hungarian aluminum industry.

International conference in Capacity building and international cooperation programme area

Prime Minister’s Office, Department for Implementation of International Co-operation Programmes, as Programme Operator of Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 Capacity building and international cooperation, organized an international conference on the 30 th of November with the participation of Donor Project Partners.

Mr. Olav Berstad, the Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy opened the conference, where the Donor Programme Partner, Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS), the Programme Operator; Project Promoters and their Norwegian Project Partners were also present in nearly full complement. The main objective of the event was to strengthen the bilateral relationships as well as to summarize the achieved results and to discuss the plans for the future.

The two overall aims of the Capacity building and institutional cooperation programme is to improve public service quality and to strengthen institutional capacity and human resource development in Hungarian public institutions, local and regional authorities through international, Norwegian-Hungarian transfer of knowledge. The programme puts strong emphasis on local initiatives and pilot projects. Collected best practices and sustainable models are to be implemented on national level, clearly contributing to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area even in the medium term.

Project Promoters are cooperating with Norwegian institutions and authorities with similar profiles, able to offer professional experience and practices to adapt. The conference strengthened bilateral relations and allowed mutual exchange of experience.

Prime Minister’s Office, Department for Implementation of International Co-operation Programmes as Programme Operator is responsible for the monitoring of implementation and coordination of the programme area, which includes three pre-defined projects and 8 projects selected by open call procedures with an estimated 12,7 million EUR support of the Norway Grants.

Presentations of the conference were covering project progress and results already achieved as well as the introduction of projects, and the professional relations evolved between Norwegian and Hungarian institutions. Working groups moderated by Norwegian Donor Programme Partner, KS allowed participants to share experience and learn about each other’s projects. As a conclusion to the event, the Programme Operator presented administration and management tasks due to the official project closure date of April, 2017.

National program to develop health visitor service in Hungary

The Hungarian Office of Chief Medical Officer (OCMA), with the support of Norway Grants has started a new program to improve the working conditions of health visitors. 1500 workers of primary care and school health visitors are receiving laptops in order to increase work efficiency, as well as yet missing special instruments, helping the communication with disadvantaged communities. A national information center is to be implemented to provide technical support for health visitors. The 12 month project is financed by Norway Grants with a support of 794.648.900 Ft (2.541.981 EUR).

Health visitors are supporting the health protection and health skills development of families. A main difficulty of their activity is proved to be the lack of health awareness especially at disadvantaged regions and small villages. During the last three years OCMA has started several national programs for the health protection of Hungarian population, where health visitors were able to learn and develop new competences.

The organization, with support of Norway Grants has started its latest project on the 1th of May, 2016, aiming to help health visitors in health maintenance and prevention among the most disadvantaged communities with region-specific pilot programs promoting healthy lifestyle. Everyday health visitor activity broadens with a complex, easy to introduce knowledge to strengthen or alter health practices where needed. Creating a preventive educational short film and health training materials are also part of the project.

The profession of health visitors includes special tasks and responsibilities leading to extreme stress levels, sometimes even psychosomatic symptoms. Introducing cervical cancer screening as a new service requires certain competencies and means a new challenge: practicing an intimate medical procedure has not been part of health visitor duties before. The project offers practical training, as well as answers to occurring questions in connection with the new medical intervention. One main mission of the program is to provide group meetings and case-study discussion trainings for health visitors in the three emphasized counties of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg and Heves, in order to support professional and personal development, and reducing stress level.
The project aims to identify successful health education-related initiatives contributing to the health protection of local communities among the three above mentioned counties. Best practices will be prized by OCMA and introduced on professional events and the project website.

Roma women's participation willingness in healthcare programs means a professional challenge as well. In order to improve participation rate, a research is planned to survey Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county Roma women's health-consciousness and participation willingness in breast and cervical cancer screenings. The research may support decision making related to national public health programs and screening strategy-making.

Besides, OCMA starts a health consciousness and health related life skills development community club for disadvantaged families, operated by a local health visitor and professionals in a chosen city of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county.

The Hungarian Office of Chief Medical Officer, with the support of Norway Grants provides long term professional and technical aid for the improvement of health visitor services.

Photo gallery

Improvement of the working conditions of health visitors active in Roma communities - HU12-0001-PP1-2016

Amendment of the call for proposal: "Capacity-building of local governments for enhancing quality of public services and for promoting local economic development"

Dear Applicants!

We herewith draw your attention to a technical modification of the call text entitled „Capacity-building of local governments for enhancing quality of public services and for promoting local economic development". According to the amendment, it is now clarified in what cases an audit certificate can be used as a proof of expenditure. besides, an English language template of the de minimis declaration is published.

The documents related to the amendment of the call are available here.

Please observe the content of the amendment when submitting your proposal.