Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

TECNALIA and the UPV/EHU have worked together on more than 50 research projects in industry 4.0, energy and health


They have strengthened their collaboration agreement in order to foster training and research through cooperation spaces around the challenges aligned with the Basque Smart Specialisation Strategy

15 April 2019. The University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and the research and technological development centre TECNALIA have gone a step further in their collaboration relationship and face 2019 full of projects, such as the creation of new laboratories, the opening of technological classrooms or the activation of a tool to foster collaboration in international projects. This plan represents the continuation of the activity carried out in 2018, which was a "highly productive year and the results obtained from the joint work are improving significantly year by year", assured Nekane Balluerka, Dean of the UPV/EHU, and Iñaki San Sebastián, CEO of TECNALIA, this morning during the presentation of the balance of their joint activity, along with the future challenges.

Over the past year, they worked together on more than 50 research projects, representing a budget of approximately 9 million euros for both entities. Furthermore, they have applied for 6 patents, made 116 joint publications and are co-directing 86 PhD theses, which represents an increase of 10% (compared with the 2017) in TECNALIA's scientific production through collaboration with the UPV/EHU. The challenge for 2019 is to increase a further 10%.

These results are the outcome of the collaboration between both entities which has been in place for years and has strengthened and increased through the development of the Euskampus International Campus of Excellence. In 2018, they sealed this collaboration with a strategic agreement, the aim of which is to foster an open and integrative relationship that benefits the whole Basque Science, Technology and Innovation System to maximise the impact on society. Jointly, they foster activities related to training, research, transfer, innovation and knowledge dissemination through cooperation spaces, known as poles of knowledge, in relation to the great challenges faced by society and aligned with the Basque Smart Specialisation Strategy: marine renewable energies, industry 4.0, health and ageing, digitalisation and development of sustainable and multi-functional materials.

The Dean, Nekane Balluerka, wished to highlight that “the transfer of knowledge to society through companies or other social organisations is one of the University of the Basque Country’s crucial objectives, but our strategic relationship with TECNALIA also covers other work fronts, such as collaboration in the teaching environment through internships, end of year projects, end of master’s projects, and in the research field with PhD theses or the creation of mixed collaboration teams. For this reason, we consider that TECNALIA, one of the most important technology centres in Europe, is a key ally for the university in the development of our mission."

Iñaki San Sebastián added that “our collaboration agreement with the UPV/EHU is strategic in nature and enables us to continue moving forward in the creation of knowledge ecosystems - education, research and innovation- that favour the economic, social and cultural development of the environment and with international projection. Thanks to it we are creating R&D and innovation value chains with greater impact and durability from totally complementary positions, strengthening the synergies of both entities”.


The collaboration between both entities contemplates the performance of educational internships in TECNALIA for UPV/EHU students in order to boost employment, as well as collaboration in training activities. It also seeks to promote new educational spaces, such as the Cross-border Campus with the University of Bordeaux, the TECNALIA Technology Classrooms or the joint research laboratories.

TECNALIA Technology Classrooms are spaces to foster collaboration in the Scientific-Technical field, through joint participation in R&D and innovation activities and the shared and continued training of researchers. They currently have three TECNALIA Technology Classrooms dedicated to Engineering, Economy and Business, and Science and Technology and they plan to open new classrooms at the Gipuzkoa and Araba campuses in 2019.

The joint research laboratories are a collaboration formula that enables long term research and transfer programmes to be developed, which are endorsed by researchers from both entities and are open to the inclusion of other research centres. There are currently three laboratories of these characteristics focusing on Data Analytics, Renewable Energies in the Marine Environment and, since last year, Applied Mathematics. For this year, the aim is to promote a new laboratory in sustainable nanomaterials, in conjunction with the University of Bordeaux.

It is also worth highlighting the joint setting up of the first laboratory 4.0 in the Basque Country in 2018 for the pharmaceutical industry, known as Basque PharmaLabs 4.0, which is located on the Alava Technology Park and is the result of more than 20 years work in this field by TECNALIA and the UPV/EHU.

As for the challenges faced in 2019, the implementation of the EUSKAMPUS Joint Research Unit, an instrument for collaboration in international projects, can be highlighted. It is a collaborative figure, recognised in the European Union research programmes, which enables its members to participate as a single entity.


The University of the Basque Country is ranked among the Top 400 universities in the world, according to the Shanghai ranking. It has over 43,000 graduate and post-graduate students, and employs more than 7,400 people in higher education, research and transfer. It is the main research agent in the Basque Country. 


TECNALIA is a leading Research and Technological Development Centre in Europe, with 1,400 experts representing 30 different nationalities, focusing on transforming technology into GDP to improve people's quality of life, by creating business opportunities for companies.

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Antonio Bardasco

T. 902 760 000

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