Press release

TECNALIA and UPV/EHU launch program of researchers with dual affiliation

12 November 2020
Jesús María Blanco y Estibaliz Garrote

The University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and the research and technological development centre TECNALIA have taken a further step in their strategic partnership, launching a new formula which allows for dual affiliation of researchers, as a mechanism to foster cooperation, and strengthen activity and positioning in matters of shared interest.

Each organisation has its own dual affiliation formulas: TECNALIA research associate for researchers from the university, and UPV/EHU academic research partners for researchers from TECNALIA.

The first two people with dual affiliation are Jesús María Blanco, as TECNALIA research associate, and Estibaliz Garrote, as UPV/EHU academic research partner.

Jesús María Blanco, Professor with the UPV/EHU Energy Engineering, was chosen as a TECNALIA research partner for his outstanding work in the Renewable Energies Joint Research Lab (JRL-ORE) and in the field of energy in buildings.

Dr Blanco has been visiting professor at Cranfield University since 2009, and is the lead investigator in the research group into Minimising Climate Change Effects in Buildings and their Environment: from Energy Use Efficiency to Generation using Renewable ECLEDER sources.

He is also coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus master Renewable Energy in the Marine Environment since 2018, and will head the new REM+ from 2021 onwards. In 2023 he is scheduled to be co-organiser of the European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC) in Bilbao, alongside TECNALIA researcher Jose Luis Villate.

For Dr Blanco, “Being a TECNALIA research associate means being able to build greater research links between my ECLEDER research group and TECNALIA, both in the area of sustainable construction and in the application of renewable energies and, more importantly, in renewable marine energies. It is the culmination of what has always been a close partnership, which has already resulted in several co-authored publications and conferences”.

Estibaliz Garrote Contreras, has an international PhD Cum Laude from the University of the Basque Country, a degree in Physical Sciences with specialisation in Electronics and Automation and a degree in Electronic Engineering. She was appointed academic research partner for UPV/EHU by the Cell Biology and Histology Department for her outstanding activity in the field of image processing for biomedical applications.

Dr Garrote has more than 20 years’ experience in research into image processing, focussing on developing new bio-inspired image processing algorithms, converging with Deep Learning techniques. She has formed part of research groups at MIT, Cambridge University and the University of Montreal, among others, and currently heads research into Computer Vision & Visual Interaction technology at TECNALIA.

According to Dr Garrote, “Being UPV/EHU academic research partner is a great opportunity to strengthen and broaden the existing partnership with María Dolores Boyano's UPV/EHU research group into biomedical image processing to support research into cancer and other pathologies.”

Education, Training and Research collaboration

In 2018, UPV/EHU and TECNALIA signed a new framework collaboration agreement to foster open, comprehensive relations, to benefit the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation System as a whole, maximising the effect of their actions on society.

Jointly, they promote 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.

This dual affiliation programme for researchers is a further step in the ongoing partnership between the two organisations, which has been additionally strengthened and increased by the new Euskampus Campus of International Excellence.