Enterprise Training in Hungary

I am just back from a week as a guest of Semmelweis University working on their enterprise courses.

Semmelweis was founded in 1769 and is the oldest medical school in Hungary. Although originally part of the University of Nagyszombat it is now a stand alone institution named after the innovative 19th century obstetrician, Ignac Semmelweis, and has a student body of nearly 12,000, over 20% of whom come from outside Hungary. They run courses in Hungarian, German, and fortunately for me, English.

They are running a variety of different enterprise courses aimed at both their own students and faculty and entrepreneurs from outside the university and also work with some of the smaller Hungarian universities to share the cost of both training and other technology transfer activities. Entrepreneurial studies are valuable not just in supporting budding entrepreneurs with a current project to develop but metrics kept by the University of Pecs which also runs this type of course demonstrate very clearly that those who attend training of this kind can expect faster promotion and higher salaries than those who do not. A key factor in the Semmelweis training is getting teams together to work on a real project. On the current course the projects include a tool for ensuring hands are fully washed in hygeine sensitive areas, laboratory equipment that would assist more accurate cancer diagnosis, a toxicity assay using zebra fish, and an elegant imaging system that could be used for identifying mechanical failure in complex or hard to reach machinery.

Courses are spread out over several months to allow the projects to be pursued effectively in real time and cover knowledge based skills such as intellectual property and softer skills such as team structure and networking. I had the pleasure of leading some workshops in deal structuring and also one on building an effective network to support your commercial goals however for me the most enjoyable part was working directly with the project teams. It is always more interesting and of course stimulating to work with a real project with real issues than to merely discuss the hypothetical.

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