Szent István Security Research Center - Magyar Agrár- és Élettudományi Egyetem
Szent István Security Research Center
Szent István Security Research Center
Last modified: 20. July 2022
The aim of the Szent István Security Research Center of the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences (hereinafter referred to as Security Research Center) is to establish an institute of interdisciplinary scientific capabilities, community, research workshop and network, which, in line with the main profile of the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the objectives of its institutes, contributes to the definition, organization and strengthening of security, to the creation of new scientific results and their application through high-quality specialized activities, the development of organizations, innovative research organization, the expansion of teaching capacity, the establishment of national and international contacts, project generation, the organization of professional events, high-quality publication activities, the publication of journals and the development of a quality assurance market presence. The Security Research Center conducts research in all areas that are related to or affect security from a professional or scientific point of view. In principle, all scientific results are assessed on the basis of security, regardless of the field of science in which the result in question is produced. Accordingly, in line with its research and teaching interests, the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences is involved in the following main areas, though not exclusively: economic security, industrial security, transport security, energy security, agricultural security, defense systems, technical security, critical systems security, infocommunications security, built environment security, physical security and access control systems, technology security, cyber security, information security, environmental security, water, air and soil security, climate security, food security, personal security, waste security, security policy and international relations. As new security risks emerge with the changes in international relations, further areas may be added to these, and the focus of the current security research may also shift.
Dr. Tibor Babos
founder and director
Government Decree No. 1163/2020 (21 April 2020) on Hungary’s National Security Strategy was published in the Hungarian Official Gazette on 21 April 2020. The 51 points of the last National Security Strategy (NSS), published in 2012, were expanded to 179 points in 2020. Perhaps its most important message is that the key to the future of Hungary lies in the complex strengthening of security. The NSS puts it this way:
“The nation’s vision in the context of security
A secure Hungary will have social and economic strength, committed citizens, and a governmental vision that enables it to project predictability, a willingness to cooperate, and, if necessary, the capacity for resilience and deterrence, even under conditions of increasing global uncertainty.
We are committed to ensuring that by 2030, Hungary will become one of the five safest countries in Europe and one of the ten safest countries in the world. This is to be achieved by maintaining high levels of public safety, as well as by creating a modern military of regional significance coupled with defense industry products that are in demand even outside Hungary.”
The Security Research Center plans, organizes and manages its security-related research in accordance with the National Security Strategy of Hungary and the relevant sectoral strategies in force, and builds up its professional and scientific relations both inside Hungary and internationally.
The foundation of the Security Research Center was inspired by the following circumstances:
• the growing importance and interdisciplinary nature of security, which implies that security requires a comprehensive, scientific approach and can hardly be classified into any of the currently defined and recognized ‘pure’ research fields;
• the need to analyze and assess the increasing security threats of our time (including the negative consequences of globalization, cultural, religious, and social divisions, wealth disparities, demographic imbalances, diminishing natural resources, global warming and climate change, the threat of terrorism, regional armed conflicts), and to formulate appropriate national policy and economic responses and implement improvements;
• changes in economic processes and natural resources, potentials in the biological and technological developments and their more immediate impact on security;
• the dynamic transformation of global and regional centers of power, the emergence of new power centers;
• complex physical, chemical, and biological (genetic) risks to living organisms;
• exploiting the potential of the dynamically evolving defense, military engineering, and military-industrial developments (security and defense complexes, network-based systems, IT and cyber defense, critical systems protection, logistics and other transport insurance, etc.), and to enter this market with know-how, papers or specific products, with a scientific focus;
• the drastically changing global and regional security situation in the wake of COVID-19;
• the tensions in Hungarian higher education, declining student numbers, the competitive situation of universities, the decline of traditional disciplines, but also the increasing market role of emerging interdisciplinary professional and research fields, especially in the field of security;
• another institute with a similar name (Security Research Institute) does not currently exist in Europe, despite the daily challenges (the only search result is for an organization of the same name at Edith Cowan University in Australia [Security Research Institute, Edith Cowan University]);
• the experience of national and EU projects to date;
• institutionalization of a security research community and education of the younger generations, the establishment of a research community at the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences, which conducts its research in its own discipline according to the aspects of security, and which is capable of defining the security context of the given discipline;
• by setting up and operating a quality assurance and exam center, the Security Research Center plans to enter the market and seeks to independently generate revenues.
The motto of the Security Research Center is a quote from Ferenc Kölcsey’s poem Huszt, written in Cseke on 29 December 1831: “Look to the future and measure the present with by what you wish to achieve.” The Center believes that this quote and motto embodies one of the most important theses of value-based strategic thinking, namely, in order to achieve your goals, you must objectively assess the current circumstances, take into account the available or accessible resources and capacities in a rational manner, so that they can be scientifically and artistically organized, scheduled and implemented in due time. The Security Research Center conducts its research, establishes its scientific community, generates its projects, and builds its relationships in line with this motto.
The aim of the Security Research Center is to become an indispensable part of national security research and the shaping of security perceptions in the natural and technical sciences. Accordingly, after an ambitious expansion of research capacity, projects, organizations and contacts, the Center is also undertaking to place national policy on an appropriate doctrinal basis in Hungary’s national interests, in the framework of the objectives of sovereignty, the territorial integrity of the Hungarian nation and by becoming a regional center of gravity. In this complex task system, the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences aims to synchronize its previous professional and scientific experience with the emerging innovation and technological needs in order to generate projects in the following areas: drone research, agricultural security, defense systems, industrial security, transport security, energy security, technical security, security of critical systems, infocommunications security, security of the built environment, physical security and access control systems, technology security, cyber security, information security, environmental security, water, air and soil security, climate security, food security, personal security, waste security, economic security, international relations and security policy.
The organization of the Security Research Center is being developed simultaneously in the fields of education, research, academia, research management, project generation and in the market segment. Specific capacity building has started, resulting in the creation of security-related departments and research centers, the establishment of the Doctoral School of Security and the College of Security Research, the setting up of a security research project office, and the launch of a quality assurance and exam center to generate market revenues. The Security Research Center will be developed into an institute. Accordingly, the Institute is made up of departments, research centers (which consist of research workshops), a college for advanced studies, a project office, and a quality assurance center, which carry out the professional activities of the organization, conduct scientific research, build community and participate in the educational work of the University.
The aim of the future Security Research College is to build a community at the University that will take a comprehensive approach to the security challenges of our time, in line with the profile of the University and its institutes, while showing particular sensitivity to the security aspects of nature, natural resources, agriculture, living beings and energy. In order to achieve this aim, the mission of the Security Research College is “to create a scientific community, a research workshop and network that contribute to the definition, organization and strengthening of security, the creation of new scientific results and their application through high-quality professional activities, innovative research organization, extension of the educational capacity, national and international networking, project generation, professional event organization, high quality research papers and the publication of journals”. In light of the above, the aim of the Security Research College is to provide and develop the relevant professional and scientific organizational and community base for the University’s institutes and centers. The College also aims to organize the community, professional and scientific activities of doctoral, postgraduate, and undergraduate students, to carry out independent research, to monitor tenders, to initiate projects, to organize events, to build professional, scientific and community relations, in line with the University’s needs.
The Security Research Center is therefore structured along the following lines:
• contacting and the planning of potential joint projects with higher education or research institutions whose activities are related to security;
• liaising with governmental organizations (Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Finance, the Government Commissioner for Defence Development and National Armament Director) and with the central administration’s back offices (Hungarian Defence Forces, Directorate General of Disaster Management, National Tax and Customs Office, National Food Chain Safety Office);
• establishing contacts with international organizations and foreign research and educational institutions active in the field (e.g. NATO, EU, The Global Round Table, Transatlantic Policy Consortium, Naval Postgraduate School, Galilee College, etc.) and preparing joint research projects;
• liaising with Hungarian and international diplomatic and business representations;
• liaising with companies operating in the security, defense, military and home affairs markets;
• independent generation of at least one major national security research project, inviting consortium members;
• at least one peer-reviewed publication per full-time researcher annually (in an indexed journal) and participation in two prestigious (preferably international) conferences per year;
• organizing events of interest to a wider audience (e.g. a series of lectures);
• to involve university citizens and other sectors of society by setting up a security research college for advanced studies;
• to generate revenue by providing a market service through the establishment of a Quality Assurance and Exam Center within three years.
The Security Research Center currently carries out the following interdisciplinary scientific research, educational capacity building, community building, research organization and project generation activities.
• As member of the board, it participates in the activities of the Transatlantic Policy Consortium.
• As member of the board, it participates in letsCROWD, an EU HORIZON 2020 project, which researches the human factors, safety, and security context of mass events with the participation of public (national security, law enforcement) and market actors;
• As member of the advisory board, it is part of ANITA, an EU HORIZON 2020 project, which aims to improve research and law enforcement capacities, techniques, and monitoring capabilities in the field of illicit trafficking of drugs, medicines, money, arms and other contraband;
• The Center is involved in the preparation and submission of an Unmanned vehicle research and development project, which will perform ground, airspace, water surface and underwater observation and specific data collection in the air with aircraft, in water with floating and underwater craft and on land with off-road vehicles. The project will develop transport characteristics; driver guidance, remote control, information technology, infocommunications, data connectivity, self-guiding, autonomous, monitoring, ‘self-healing’ systems and their safety; sensors, remote sensors, suspension systems and payload research.
• “Identification of threats of civilization origin and research into the protection of vital systems in agriculture”, a complex Thematic Program of Excellence, which, due to the progressive increase in threats of civilization origin and the development of Industry 4.0 in the agriculture, will launch interdisciplinary, technical, communication, IT, physical, biological and aeronautical research to identify and analyze the risks of threats in the agricultural economy and related sectors, to develop proposals for prevention and protection procedures, methods and rules, and to carry out technical developments with the production and test operation of new technical devices.
• “Launching Research into Critical Food Chain Safety in the Eastern flank of the European Union (Carpathian Basin)”, a complex research project to provide scientific and technical responses to the food chain safety challenges affecting the region as a whole. The aim of the project is to launch an interdisciplinary research project specialized in technical, IT and agricultural domains, which will address current problems in the protection of critical food- and food chain safety systems, and the development of technical and scientific solutions for the improvement of prevention and protection areas; to investigate procedures, study, create and develop databases to enhance the protection of critical food- and food chain safety systems; and to invite relevant government portfolios, background institutions, professional organizations, research institutes, and – in particular – market actors and representatives of other disciplines, both nationally and internationally.
• It also prepares revenue generation by providing a market service through the establishment of a Quality Assurance and Exam Center.
• The first of the professional research groups to be set up under the Security Research Center will be the National Tax and Customs Administration’s Criminal Investigation Group.
• In July 2020, the Security Research Center was invited to participate in an EU HORIZON 2020 Project on “Security and Intelligence Services” as a partner institution. Its preparation requires substantial collaboration as soon as possible with other relevant University departments, in particular in the areas of executive decisions and with the Applications Office.
In 2019, the Security Research Center successfully applied for the excellence programs announced by the Ministry of Technology and Innovation and was awarded HUF 200 000 000 research and organizational development funding in the same year. In the event of successful professional, research and organizational development activities, the above amount will be annually available for 2020 and 2021.
The following infrastructural conditions and approximate funding are required to start the activities of the Security Research Institute with its centers and departments, the College of Security Research, the Quality Assurance and Exam Center, which are included in the long-term development plans:
• the Institute’s permanent staff: director (1 person), deputy director (1 person), senior researchers (3 persons); researchers (5 persons), secretary (1 person), PhD students (10 persons);
• the initial infrastructure of the Institute will require at least 9 offices, 1 meeting room, 2 classrooms, 1 kitchenette (due to the high-level protocol related to security policy, the location and its design requires superior quality);
• an initial budget estimate shows that around HUF 150 000 000 is required for the launch and HUF 120 000 000 for operation costs in the initial years, mainly for salaries, utilities, equipment, professional program and event organization, publications, travel, protocol and other costs;
• the creation of security research departments, centers, the Security Doctoral School, the College of Security Research, the Security Research Project Office and the Quality Assurance and Exam Center may require additional funding;
• After the initial costs are covered, research and development at the Security Research Center and Institute is expected to become self-sustaining in its third year of operation.