Press release

European innovation meta-cluster for the built environment

2 October 2023
Meta-clúster europeo de innovación para el entorno construido

Eraikune and Odéys launch the first European innovation meta-cluster for the built environment

  • Eraikune and Odéys, together with TECNALIA and NOBATEK/ INEF4, have launched the first transnational meta-cluster to accelerate the evolution towards a sustainable and people-centred European built environment.
  • The companies in this new cluster will benefit from the development of innovative solutions and access to new markets through collaboration and knowledge transfer in the areas of accessibility, user-centred design, sustainability or energy efficiency.

Hendaya, 27 September. ERAIKUNE (Basque Construction Cluster) and Odéys (New Aquitaine Construction Cluster), with the support of TECNALIA and NOBATEK/INEF4, have jointly launched the first European meta-cluster for the construction sector.

The initiative was presented at the offices of the EGTC Euroregion Nouvelle-Aquitaine Euskadi Navarra in Hendaya, in the presence of representatives of each institution: Jon Ansoleaga, Managing Director of Eraikune; Frank Soccio, Director of Odéys; Julien Szabla, Managing Director of NOBATEK/INEF4 and Jesús Valero, Managing Director of TECNALIA. Furthermore, the Navarre Construction Industrialisation Cluster, iCONS, signed the expression of interest to join this meta-cluster, given its interest in aligning its strategy with the objectives of the Built4People partnership and the New European Bauhaus (NEB) and establishing collaboration mechanisms with other European clusters, which will lead to collaborative projects in the future.

The new meta-cluster will address the holistic transformation of the built environment, enabling the involvement of all stakeholders along the value chain, as well as the life cycle of buildings. More than 250 companies are currently being impacted and developers are working to integrate new stakeholders in the built environment ecosystem in order to increase the network’s coverage. The aim is to enable companies to generate innovative solutions and take them to new markets through collaboration and knowledge transfer in the fields of accessibility, sustainability, health and energy efficiency.

Some of the key aims are to promote the development of innovative solutions with high impact potential and their scaling up to reach the market; to intensify multisectoral and multidisciplinary collaboration with the most advanced stakeholders; to reinforce cross-border collaboration and collaborative networks at regional, national and European level, and to establish relationships between them.

According to Managing Director of ERAIKUNE, Jon Ansoleaga, “sustainability, addressed from social, environmental and economic aspects, is one of the main pillars on which we must build the transformation of Europe in the coming years. The construction sector plays a key role in the shift towards green transformation and is considered by the EU to be a key element in the new well-being and health model for European citizens.

Key players in the construction industry have a responsibility to mobilise the market, public administrations and businesses around these common goals, while promoting the competitiveness of our sector. In order to achieve this, it is essential to promote transnational and multi-sectoral reference projects, always underpinned by innovation.

The NEBULA PROJECT offers us a unique opportunity to spearhead change. Together with our partners Odéys, Tecnalia and Nobatek/INEF4, we will reinforce learning from leading stakeholders in other sectors and disciplines, as well as our networking and cross-border collaboration capabilities.”

Odéys Director Frank Soccio said that “we are very pleased and proud that Odéys is part of this meta-cluster. This recognises the work carried out by our team since 2019.

We see this project as a chance to strengthen our relationships with Eraikune, Nobatek/INEF4 and Tecnalia. Our missions are aligned many respects and formalising this common commitment will allow us to become more relevant and therefore be able to have a greater impact on our daily mission. Together we will go further.

There are multiple benefits. The meta-cluster resulting from the collaboration between two bordering countries is the first in Europe. We are the pioneers. This obviously has a positive impact on our mission and the recognition of our organisations at a European, national and regional level.

Regarding construction and sustainable development, sharing resources and experiences is at the heart of our activity. Being able to do this on a European scale is an opportunity for us to move faster in the transition of all players in the sector in a more efficient way. We have a big challenge ahead of us and tackling it as a united team is, in our view, the right way forward.”

The construction ecosystem employs 24.9 million people and contributes an added value of EUR 1.158 trillion (9.6% of the EU total), making it one of the key sectors for achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Given that 99% of companies in the European construction sector are SMEs and that these organisations are usually integrated in regional clusters, this new initiative is essential to involve the innovation value chain.

This initiative is part of NEBULA, a Horizon Europe project that has selected Eraikune and Odéys as the first two clusters in the European construction sector to become a benchmark for the deployment of the New European Bauhaus. TECNALIA, as a standard-bearer of the European Green Pact, will offer its experience and knowledge of heritage, circular economy and friendly and accessible environments in the adaptation of the principles of sustainability, aesthetics and social inclusion to the construction sector in the Basque Country. NOBATEK/INEF4 will coordinate support to B4PIC members in research and innovation issues, including expert advice on multidisciplinary expertise and knowledge.

About Eraikune

Eraikune, the Basque Construction Cluster, represents the Basque construction ecosystem, including both public and private agents. The aim of the cluster is to boost the competitiveness of companies in the construction industry value chain through collaboration, innovation and internationalisation.

Its 145 members include public administrations, financial institutions, insurance companies, business and professional associations, technology providers, companies from the sectors of development, design, manufacturing, construction, infrastructure and building operators, utilities and consultancy. Eraikune’s main areas of activity include sustainable construction, industrialisation and digitalisation.

About Odéys

Odéys is a regional cluster for construction and sustainable development in New Aquitaine. It is present with five delegations: Anglet, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Limoges and Poitiers.

The cluster’s ambition is to be the catalyst, facilitator and accelerator of environmental, energy, digital, social and behavioural change in the construction sector. The mission of Odéys is to develop competitiveness, facilitate business innovation and improve the treatment of sustainability in businesses and projects. Specifically, it offers support, motivation, awareness-raising, training and communication in the three pillars: networking, innovation and construction and sustainable development.

Odéys has a network of more than 400 members, integrating all stakeholders in construction and sustainable development in New Aquitaine.

About iCONS

iCONS, the Navarre Construction Industrialisation Cluster, is part of Navarre’s commitment to leading the construction industrialisation process. It was recently established and now has more than 50 members. Its main goal is to bring together public and private agents in the construction sector, mainly in Navarre.

In this context of public-private collaboration, the cluster is working to position Navarre as a benchmark in the industrialisation of construction, both at a national and European level, and to facilitate dialogue between companies and the administrations responsible for developing policies around this goal.

iCONS has developed a comprehensive strategic plan covering areas such as sustainability and industrialisation, and has already started to implement it.


TECNALIA is the largest applied research and technological development centre in Spain, a European benchmark and member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance. TECNALIA works with companies and institutions to improve their competitiveness, people's quality of life and achieve sustainable growth, thanks to a team of more than 1,500 people committed to building a better world through technological research and innovation. This is why TECNALIA's research has a real impact on society and generates benefits in the form of quality of life and progress.

Its main areas of action are: smart manufacturing, digital transformation, energy transition, sustainable mobility, health and food, urban ecosystem and circular economy.

In the latest brand awareness and positioning study carried out by the European Research Survey (ERS) in 2022, TECNALIA tops the list regarding R&D&I brand awareness.


NOBATEK/INEF4, the French Institute for Energy and Climate Transition in Construction, is a private technology centre that co-develops innovative solutions to support the entire construction sector (architects, companies, public and private contractors, developers, engineers and communities) to achieve more energy-efficient and sustainable designs, leading to an Energy and Environmental Transition in the sector. NOBATEK/INEF4 boosts innovation from ideas to operational solutions in the market. Teams of researchers and engineers conceptualise innovative products and solutions that improve the energy efficiency and environmental quality of buildings and districts, and make them a reality.

The NEBULA project has received funding from the EU’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 101079859.