Press release

Companies' trust and commitment are the keys to TECNALIA's 2020 results

14 July 2021
La confianza y el compromiso de las empresas son las claves de los resultados de TECNALIA en 2020
  • The number of clients has increased by 5%, proving the trust of many companies in TECNALIA to face this crisis.
  • The research and technological development centre has registered a turnover of 113.6 million euros, thanks to the effort of the team and the companies’ commitment to R&D and innovation.
  • These results endorse TECNALIA’s strategy, which is based on the transfer of R&D to companies. This strategy has led us to collaborate with over 750 companies just in 2020, 75% of which were SMEs.
  • The goals for 2021 are to achieve a 30% growth in projects with companies, maintaining the Sale of Intellectual Property, and strengthening their leadership in Europe.
  • TECNALIA’s commitment to companies is to anticipate future challenges and generate business opportunities in the fields of Digital Transformation, Smart Manufacturing, Energy Transition, Sustainable Mobility, Urban Ecosystem, and Precision Health.

Donostia- San Sebastián, on 6 July 2021. The effort of the team and the trust and commitment of companies to R&D and innovation are essential for the TECNALIA research and technological development centre to face the pandemic and meet its expected objectives and management plans. Thus, despite the difficulties generated by the pandemic, TECNALIA has managed to achieve revenues of 113.6 million euros in 2020. These results stem from the R&D transfer strategy to companies that TECNALIA had carried out since its creation ten years ago.

This was announced this morning in Donostia-San Sebastián by its Chairman Alex Belaustegui, and the Managing Director of TECNALIA, Jesús Valero. They explained that “we have practically maintained the turnover compared to the previous year, which is a very positive result considering the complexity of the situation. Furthermore, the number of customers has increased by 5%, a sign of the confidence they have in TECNALIA as a critical key instrument of innovation to emerge more competitive from the crisis., and thus wWe have thus managed to exceed collaboration levels with more than 750 companies in 2020, 75% of them being SMEs”.

They have ensured that these outcomes are the result of TECNALIA’s effort and commitment, made up of more than 1,472 experts -44 % of them are women-, of 31 nationalities, who envision and develop comprehensive technology solutions to improve the competitiveness of each of company. “Thanks to them, it has been possible to maintain production, there have been no delays in projects, and we have generated new technological solutions adapted to the needs of companies in these times of crisis”, they stated. “All the laboratories remained operational during the most challenging phases of the pandemic, thanks to the effort and commitment of the people who work in them. Some of these laboratories, including the Vitoria drug manufacturing plant, were declared essential activities for maintaining the country’s activity”.

This team is further completed with the skills of each of the global strategic alliances with TECNALIA’s research centres and leading companies, thus creating a growing network of more than 25 alliances. And it is that in the field of collaboration,In fact, 2020 has been a particularly fruitful year in terms of collaborations. TECNALIA, and has consolidated agreements with the CTAG Galician Automotive Technology Centre of GaliciaCTAG, Ibercaja Foundation, the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Testing Centre (CNH2), the UPV/EHU, Euskampus, the Advanced and Digital Manufacturing Campus IMH, Laztan, UN-Habitat, and Reachlaw.

According to the Chairman, “In 2020 TECNALIA has approached the end of a strategic cycle intending to maximise the impact of our R&D and innovation activity aligned with our mission: ‘Transforming technology into GDP’. During this cycle we have been able to observe the increased positive impact of our activity on different scopes: economic, scientific-technological, social, and environmental. In 2020, despite the difficulties that the COVID crisis has brought on, we have managed to comply withmeet the management plan, with a great level of flexibility thanks to our capacity for resilience and capacity for adaptation.” It should be noted that, of the 113.6 million in income, half corresponds to projects with companies, and the other half is related to TENALIA’s own competitive investment.

The Managing Director of the centre stated that “last year, our role has been, once again, to collaborate with companies when they needed it most, and we have participated in around thirty projects aimed at combating COVID-19. We have been proactive in using our technological capabilities in the fight against the pandemic, but we have clearly known where we needed to focus in order to be truly efficient, useful, and especially close to SMEs. Currently, we collaborate with two out of three Basque companies involved in R&D and innovation&I activities and with 25 out of the 35 IBEX-listed companies”.

Projects for 2021

Both highlighted that in 2021, the goal is to grow by 30% in projects with companies. Regarding the future, they have statedadded that “the challenges for the next year will be: to increase collaboration with companies, maintain and -if possible- increase the number of Intellectual Property Sales and reinforce our positioning and leadership in Europe”.

Among the projects for this year, in the area of Sustainable Mobility and Advanced Manufacturing, it is worth highlighting that TECNALIA works in the field of unmanned air vehicles. We are already pioneers in the said fields thanks to the development of the first air taxi in Spain to cover short journeys in cities autonomously, which TECNALIA will continue to develop for their subsequent industrialisation.

In the field of Energy, TECNALIA participates in the first strategic advanced research project to safely inject hydrogen in the natural gas network through research on advanced technological solutions.
The H2Loop research platform, led by Nortegas, will enable research on the performance of materials and components in contact with hydrogen and hydrogen-natural gas mixtures.

Regarding Health, TECNALIA will focus on the Additive Manufacturing of Biomaterials for Biomedical Products. Thus, TECNALIA will research and develop new biomaterials for additive manufacturing processes; new bioprinters adapted to these biomaterials, and unique 3D printed biomedical products to collaborate in the diversification of the additive manufacturing industry and improve the competitiveness of the industrial fabric in the biomedical sector.

With regards to Digitisation, TECNALIA has promoted and collaborates in the research of a new generation of cybersecurity technologies to protect industries against the complex cyberattacks they must face, thus improving their resilience against such attacks, and consequently its sustainability, competitiveness, and efficiency.

In addition, this year, TECNALIA has become the first centre to digitally connect its laboratories and experts with companies, taking a step further in its digitisation and connectivity strategy by launching the first 4.0 laboratories, which allow 360º communication with customers.

On the other hand, for 2021, TECNALIA faces the challenge of kicking off the first cooperative corridor in Bizkaia, together with the Provincial Council of Bizkaia. This will allow TECNALIA to increase the information and safety of the users of the Biscayan roads, while contributing to the technological development of companies that are innovating in the field of road safety, making a full-scale test bench available.

Finally, in order to promote the advancement of SmartCities, TECNALIA is working with Inkolan on implementing digital twins in city infrastructures, which allows smart use of data to improve decision-making in an increasingly digitised and efficient urban planning.

Committed to digitisation, manufacturing, energy and health

Throughout 2020, 65.6% of revenues have been related to manufacturing projects, 22.4% to energy, and 9.2% to health. At the same time, digitisation is gaining prominence in a cross-cutting way, representing 27.5% of the centre’s income through projects in this area and currently being the key growth sector at the time being. However, Valero has assured that “every day it is more challenging to attribute companies to a single sector. All companies are incorporating digital transformation into their businesses. This is a paradigm shift that will increase in the future, thanks to artificial intelligence or cybersecurity. The other great transformative challenge is the energy transition, which affects companies in the sector and in all other manufacturing sectors. Together with these two essential processes, we will have great opportunities in the field of the urban environment, sustainable mobility, intelligent manufacturing, and precision health”.

In addition, in the last three years, 13 million euros have been invested in the conditioning of facilities and the start-up of new laboratories and technological systems to promote excellence in research and services offered by the centre to companies. The following should be highlighted: the conditioning of the infrastructure for fire tests; the launch of the Harslab floating laboratory; the design and validation of the advanced interaction laboratory with state-of-the-art systems such as an optical system for motion capture or a robotic system for audiovisual applications.

In the Intellectual Property Sales section, last year the centre obtained revenues of 4.4 million euros, which represents almost 4% of TECNALIA’s income, with 777 patents in its portfolio. According to the 2020 Report of the European Patent Office, TECNALIA is the third private organisation in Spain in European patent applications. “We have applied for 2.5 patents for every 100 researchers, which is the highest ratio compared to other organisations with similar characteristics”, according to Valero.

Currently, the centre maintains its participation in 13 New Technology-Based Companies (NTBC). Still, up to 20 active NTBCs that TECNALIA has promoted generated a total of 213 jobs and a turnover of 28.4 million euro in 2020.

In the field of projects with the European Commission, TECNALIA has established itself as the first state-private organisation in contracting, participating, and leading projects framed within the European Commission Horizon 2020 Programme and is ranked 13th among 2,900 European research organisations. In the seven years of the Programme, it has obtained 451 projects, of which it has led 68. In these projects, TECNALIA has accompanied 524 companies, directing their most strategic developments to the needs and challenges of the companies.


As part of the BRTA (Basque Research and Technology Alliance), TECNALIA is a benchmark Research and Technological Development Centre for Europe, with 1,400 professionals representing 30 different nationalities, focusing on transforming technology into GDP to improve people’s quality of life, by creating business opportunities for companies. Its main areas of action are: Digital Transformation, Smart Manufacturing, Energy Transition, Sustainable Mobility, Urban Ecosystem, and Precision Health.

For further information:

Itziar Blanco (681 273 464)