Press release

Strategic collaboration agreement between the Regional Council and TECNALIA to strengthen the competitiveness of Nouvelle-Aquitaine smes

12 April 2019

Alain Rousset, President of the Regional Council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, and Emiliano López Atxurra, Chairman of TECNALIA, have signed a strategic collaboration framework agreement between the Regional Council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and TECNALIA this Monday 8 April 2019, at the Regional Council office in Bordeaux.

Monday 08 April 2019. The signing was attended by Arantxa Tapia, Minister for Economic Development and Infrastructures of the Basque Government, and Gérard Blanchard, Vice-President of the Regional Council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and head of higher education and research, as well as Iñaki San Sebastián, CEO of TECNALIA and Vice-Chairman of EARTO. 

This collaboration between the Regional Council and TECNALIA, a benchmark research and technological development centre in Europe, has resulted in a framework agreement that will enable Nouvelle-Aquitaine to strengthen the competitiveness of its business and research fabric through TECNALIA's scientific-technological capabilities.

TECNALIA's geographical, cultural and political proximity and solid trajectory in France, specifically in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, have made it possible to strengthen the relationship with the Regional Council and the research and technological development centre, and the design of a shared strategy tailored to the needs of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. This gradual approach, reinforced over the last few years, has resulted in this framework agreement which sets out the lines of joint action for the coming years.

The agreement, which began in 2019, will initially be valid for three years.

It six scientific and technological areas: renewable energy, offshore (wave energy and offshore wind); robotics; advanced material shaping processes and advanced surface treatment; 4.0 maintenance; cybersecurity; health technologies and the so-called silver economy.

Industry 4.0, renewable energies, cybersecurity and health-ageing are four of the fields of action where individual projects will be developed to solve some of the technological challenges faced by Aquitaine companies. In other cases, collaboration partnerships will be established between TECNALIA and local technology centres. It is therefore an agreement within which public-private initiatives may be developed among different stakeholders, with the support of the Basque Government and the Regional Council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine when it comes to areas of common interest for both regions.

TECNALIA will open a new office in Bordeaux in the coming months for the deployment of the commitments reflected in the Framework Agreement. This collaboration is an opportunity to carry out joint actions that allow for closer relations between companies in strategic and complementary sectors on both sides of the border. In addition, this agreement will also serve to increase cross-border cooperation and, therefore, the integration of the Euroregion.

The relationship between the Regional Council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and TECNALIA has been strengthened over time through initiatives such as the creation of the Nobatek centre or collaboration with the University of Bordeaux within the Euroregional Euskampus-Bordeaux campus. This context has contributed to establishing a permanent dialogue that has made evident the great potential for collaboration between the two entities.

This morning's meeting, at which the framework collaboration agreement was presented and its priority lines of action explained, enabled Alain Rousset, President of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, to recall that ‘this cooperation aims to strengthen innovation ecosystems, which are of great interest to all agents in the territory of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and, in particular, to small and medium-sized enterprises and industries, in order to create favourable conditions for improving their competitiveness. It also provides an opportunity to bring the advantages offered by TECNALIA to all regional innovation players (companies, technological interface structures, laboratories, etc.) in order to obtain funding for European programmes’.

Arantxa Tapia, Minister for Economic Development and Infrastructures of the Basque Government wanted to point out that ‘collaboration between regions is essential to build a stronger and more competitive Europe. Euskadi, classified as a region of high innovation, aspires to take a qualitative leap and position itself among the leaders, and today's agreement will surely contribute to this’.

Emiliano López Atxurra, Chairman of TECNALIA, stressed that ‘TECNALIA is a technology centre that is adapting its capacities to the fourth industrial revolution in which we find ourselves. Our technological excellence is based on the capacity to integrate basic research with applied research in the same value chain and transform it into technological value at the service of industrial competitiveness. The agreement with a region as significant as Nouvelle-Aquitaine offers us a historic opportunity to cooperate in the development of the region's technological and industrial strengths’.