Szombathely2030: Future in design conference

Our conference on 12 October was a success, with more than 200 people attending to hear presentations on the interface between design, artificial intelligence and the healthcare industry. 3 universities, 2 large companies and representatives from several business support institutions presented the role of design in relation to legal protection, education, manufacturing and the arts.

The event was opened by Dr. András Nemény,Mayor of Szombathely, who said that the essential characteristic of design is uniqueness, and this is also a major feature of the Szombathely2030 program, which is how the program is linked to Design Week. Adrienn Bokányi, Councillor, also gave a detailed presentation of the launch of the Szombathely2030 program and its objectives for the future. The city government underlined that the development of our city requires the implementation of special and unique things, such as the health test network and the smart home environment for the elderly, which is one of the key elements of the Szombathely2030 program. The smart senior room will be an opportunity for those working in the social care system, the elderly and their relatives to learn about modern options to address the social and societal challenges of ageing.

Balázs Barta,Managing Director of PBN, illustrated the complex process that starts with the birth of a product idea and ends with production, while going through a very exciting development process, including the steps of discussing and brainstorming with the customer about the product, creating a 3D model and a prototype of the product in physical form, followed by market research and launch, up to the level of mass production. Advanced custom mass production can be achieved on a highly automated or digitized production line, where the product is manufactured virtually autonomously, without human intervention. Within the Szombathely2030 program, an integral part of the PBN's activities will be this educational and research-based smart teaching factory to enable the people of Szombathely to bring more exciting and unique products to the market.

In connection with design, the conference also dealt with the field of legal protection, with Dr. Lilla Fanni Szakács of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office presenting the importance of design protection, the process, conditions and financial implications of design protection.
András Végh,the co-founder of StartITup, spoke about the phenomenon of start-ups and the uniqueness of businesses in design. He also gave an insight into the activities of the Győr Incubator House, which aims to build the startup ecosystem in Győr and the region, and to provide startup actors with programs, training and incubation, as well as community-building events.
In addition, Tamás Molontay,Investment Director of Széchenyi Funds Zrt., spoke about venture capital financing, how they support SMEs, financial institutions and large corporations at a more mature stage, whether innovative or in traditional industries, with their network of contacts beyond money, and how they support the growth and competitiveness of early-stage startups.

The conference also featured speakers from three universities. Dr. György Eigner,Director of the Institute of Biomatics and Applied Artificial Intelligence at the University of Óbuda, introduced the participants to the topic of artificial intelligence, including the main topic of AI in product design and development, as well as in the health industry.
Ágnes Szabó Eszter and Dr. Andrea Bordács,lecturers at the Department of Visual Arts at the ELTE Savaria University Centre, gave presentations on design thinking, recycling and sustainability, and on "abject art", i.e. the aesthetics of ugliness.
László Szabó,a lecturer at the Szombathely Training Centre of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Szeged, presented a wide range of university courses, including student identity and innovation in the context of health science professions.

Two major health companies from County Vas were also represented at the event. László Pungor,Quality Manager of MAM-Hungária Ltd., presented the variety of colours, motifs and shapes used in the company's products, and what they do to ensure that their products are not only colourful and beautiful, but also strive for safety and quality through various tests, as the employees of the company work for the future generation.
Csaba Szlávich,Quality Manager at SCHOTT Hungary Ltd., presented the company's wide range of products and gave an interesting presentation on the role of design in glass manufacturing, emphasizing that the company's aim is to develop solutions that make the use of medicines safe and easy for everyone.

Following the lecture session, there were several stands with exhibitions and interactive workshops. Through its exhibition of modern digitalization tools, am-LABshowed how technology can contribute to the realization of design and unique ideas. During the exhibition, participants can learn about 3D scanning, watch the 3D printing process, and in the workshop, they can try out AR glasses, AR apps and see how autonomous mobile robots works.
A faiparban meghatározó szerepet játszó FALCO Zrt., a company that plays a key role in the wood industry, presented the company's product structure and the process from the initial secondary raw materials (wood waste recycling) to the final products, as well as natural chipboard and laminated board. In the Entrepreneurs' Corner, the EIT Manufacturing Hub Hungary's national representative presented EIT calls for proposals and national funding opportunities. SZOVA Nonprofit Zrt. staff deployed a waste collection truck for the event. At their stand, visitors were given an awareness-raising talk on how the selective waste collected by the public is recycled and how they can contribute to sustainable waste management.

Thanks to the presentations on various topics, it became clear how diverse design is and how important the role it plays in making a product, service or business unique, special and therefore successful. According to Ferenc Kassai, graphic artist and head of the SZIE Design Campus, "design permeates every part of our lives, and the misconception that design is merely a culture of form needs to be dispelled, design is everything that relates to us, to people." The Szombathely2030 program also wants to actively contribute with its plans and objectives to the increasing use of unique ideas and solutions in our city as one of the keys to the development of Szombathely.