Sopron is the urban center in the northeast corner of Hungary, which borders four other nations and transits 60% of the nation’s cross-border trade. The country’s most industrialized region, it has felt the cold winds of recession blow, leaving it with an unemployment rate above 8%. Sopron is strong in manufacturing heavy goods, chemicals, automotive, wood and agricultural products but produces less than 1% of GDP from research & development. The community is on a mission to build a more diverse, knowledge-based economy. Broadband deployment is well advanced and is providing a platform for the creation of a knowledge-based workforce. Collaboration between local government and the University of Sopron have led to creation of the Sopron Innovation Park, which features Cisco’s latest IP infrastructure. An Environmental Knowledge and Competence Center founded in 2004 is expanding the community’s research base in sustainability, while a Regional Innovation Agency conducts a major benchmarking exercise every 2 years to assess progress in R&D, innovation and higher education.

Population: 59,000


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