Press release

TECNALIA increases its work with companies by 15%

13 July 2022
TECNALIA incrementa la competitividad de las empresas

TECNALIA increases its work with companies by 15%, resulting in greater economic and social impact

  • The research and technological development centre closed last year with turnover of €120 million, up 5.63 % on the previous year.
  • These results stem from TECNALIA’s R&D transfer strategy to companies, which aims to have a dual impact: economic and social, leading TECNALIA to collaborate with 1,200 companies throughout 2021, making a total of 9,000 in its 10-year history, 73% of which are SMEs.
  • It is also worth highlighting the increase in indicators of the impact of the centre’s activity, included in the study carried out by Deloitte: for every euro that a company invested in R&D with TECNALIA in 2021, its turnover increased by €12 (revenue in its income statement) and for every job at the centre, another 6 are kept in the Basque Country. Furthermore, for every euro invested in TECNALIA by Basque Public Institutions, GDP of €24.32 is generated and a fiscal return of €2.96.
  • A few months ago, TECNALIA launched its new Strategic Plan with which it aims to obtain income of €140 million over the coming three years and build up a team of 1,525 people.
  • The aim of this new Plan is to boost economic and social impact through technological research and innovation, as agents in the transformation of companies and society to adapt to the challenges of the future, including smart manufacturing, digital transformation, energy transition, sustainable mobility, personalised health and the urban ecosystem.

6 July 2022. The TECNALIA research and technological development centre obtained turnover of €120 million in 2021, up almost 5.63% on the previous year, resulting in a stabilisation of post-pandemic activity. IN this way, TECNALIA has increased its activity with companies by 15 % over the past financial year.

This data was announced this morning in Donostia- San Sebastián by its Chairman, Alex Belaustegui, and the Managing Director of TECNALIA, Jesús Valero, wanted to emphasize the social impact of the centre's activity: “we are a tool at the service of companies and society. Our leadership and our strengths undoubtedly belong to this area, that of collaboration and trust. Proof of this is that we are with the industrial and business fabric in all the major challenges it faces. We have collaborated with over 1,200 companies in 2021, 73% of which are SMEs.

In this context, according to Deloitte’s study on the impact of the TECNALIA’s activity, for every euro a company has invested in R&D with TECNALIA in 2021, income of €11.89 is generated in its income statement, up 15 % on the previous year. For every job in the centre, 6.3 other jobs are kept in the Basque Country. Furthermore, for every euro that Basque public institutions invest in TECNALIA, GDP of €24.32 is generated, up 50% compared to the previous year and up 55% in the case of tax return, which reaches €2.96. The increase in these activity indicators is considerable and confirms the success of the TECNALIA model.

This data is the result of the work of TECNALIA’s human team, made up of 1,464 experts who develop and create technological solutions in response to sectoral challenges or specific company situations; with the aim of generating high impact opportunities through the development of R&D projects; advanced technology services; technology transfer and commitment to results thanks to technological excellence. In addition to this team, there is a growing network of more than 25 strategic alliances all over the world with research centres and leading companies.

According to Álex Belaustegui, Chairman of TECNALIA: “The relationship and client approach model proposed by TECNALIA is clearly differentiated, adapted to the needs of each company, covering the array of innovation readiness levels, and with a strong focus on the development of strategic relationships models which are tailor-made to fit large companies as well as highly innovative SMES. In this context, at the close of 2021, TECNALIA had accumulated 9,000 client companies with which it has collaborated over its ten years of life”.

In the area of Intellectual Property Sales, VPI, in 2021 the centre obtained revenues of €5 million, which represents an increase of 13.6% with respect to 2020. It also holds 827 patents in its portfolio and participates in 14 New Technology-Based Companies (NEBT), two of which were created in 2021. In 2021, the portfolio of 14 invested companies achieved an increase of 23 % in direct jobs generated and 40 % in turnover.

For the fifth consecutive year, TECNALIA is once again one of the top organisations in Spain in terms of the number of European patent applications. More specifically, it is the third private Spanish organisation in European patent applications.

It is precisely in the European field that TECNALIA has established itself as the first state-private organisation in contracting, participating, and leading projects within the European Commission’s HORIZON 2020 Programme and it is ranked 13th among 3,600 European research organisations. Over the Programme’s 7 years of life, it has obtained a total of 472 projects, of which it has led 76. In these projects, TECNALIA collaborates with 660 companies from all over Spain.

Growth objectives

A few months ago, TECNALIA presented its Strategic Plan detailing its growth objectives for the coming years. The aim is to grow intelligently to reach €140 million by 2024, build up a team of 1,525 people, create an average of 5 start-ups per year and generate income from the sale of intellectual property of up to €8 million. To make this possible, the centre will launch new initiatives such as an action plan for SMEs and micro-SMEs, creating an intellectual property transfer fund and implementing a new model of alliances that make an impact.

In this context and with these objectives, investment for 2022 is set at €11.6 million.

Taking advantage of the presentation of the Strategic Plan, the centre is also revamping its image and launching a strong brand that reflects its leadership and which, through the two dots that make up the “i”, graphically represents the two spheres in which TECNALIA has an impact: the economic and social spheres.

Initiatives in 2021

Among the initiatives developed by TECNALIA in 2021, success stories in the fields of sustainable mobility and smart manufacturing, energy transition and personalised health can be highlighted, which continue to be particularly important and strategic projects for TECNALIA and are among its main pillars of excellence and growth for the coming year.

In the case of Sustainable Mobility, TECNALIA has been a pioneer in the development of new concepts of urban, sustainable and unmanned air and land vehicles. An example of this is the first air taxi, to cover short journeys in cities autonomously, and which is currently being developed for its industrialisation with UMILES Next. In addition, the development of new clean propulsion systems (hydrogen and electricity) for different vehicle segments, as well as unmanned vehicles, even for large passenger capacity transport, have been prominent activities throughout the year.

In terms of smart manufacturing, long-term structural collaborations with leading manufacturers in their sectors, such as Ibarmia, Zayer or MTorres, stand out to optimise their competitiveness from TECNALIA's experience in the development of solutions aimed at making the new industrial company a reality. It is worth noting the presence in key projects of the Science Industry, in collaboration with companies like AVS for the development of the plasma heating system for the ITER experimental fusion reactor. Finally, the deployment of solutions based on artificial intelligence in industrial environments can be highlighted, from the sphere of the manufacturer of machines and production resources in their evolution towards the service of their businesses, as well as in the development of solutions for the optimisation of processes and factories.

In relation to the energy transition, in response to the challenge of generating hydrogen sustainably on a large scale, the H2SITE start-up was created a year ago, as a result of the collaboration of the TECNALIA research and technological development centre, through its deep tech venture builder, TECNALIA Ventures, with the French company, ENGIE, and the UNIVERSITY OF EINDHOVEN. Its goal is to market a more efficient and cost-effective technology for the production of high purity, low cost hydrogen using advanced membrane reactors. In recent weeks, H2SITE has also announced the initiative in which it will develop the world's first decentralised plant to convert ammonia into hydrogen. The project, supported by the UK Government, will power the city of Birmingham's bus fleet.

In the case of Urban Ecosystem, TECNALIA is committed to smart data management to create sustainable cities. The technology centre has collaborated with companies like Viuda de Sainz, Uxama, Inkolan and Lezama Demoliciones, and entities like Eraikune or Ihobe to improve energy efficiency, the circular economy, adaptation to climate change and the development of healthy and inclusive cities.

In this context, the digital twin technology implemented in the Euskalduna Conference Centre in Bilbao; the transformation of buildings into power generators by installing a smart thermal network, in collaboration with Viuda de Sainz, or providing artificial intelligence to different infrastructures to optimise their life cycle and maintenance can be highlighted. The Bizkaia Connected Corridor project, in conjunction with the Provincial Council of Bizkaia and the creation of its smart roads can be highlighted.

In the field of personalised health, thanks to the joint work with the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), TECNALIA has set up the first 4.0 laboratory in the Basque Country for the pharmaceutical industry, located in the Alava Technology Park. Furthermore, the application of FES technology to exoskeletons to significantly improve the rehabilitation of patients in collaboration with Gogoa and IHS stands out in this area. An important chapter is that of developments in healthy eating: polyphenol infusions, biscuits enriched in ingredients with anti-inflammatory effects, or sugar-free jams sweetened with micro-encapsulated probiotics are some of the examples the centre has worked on with local companies, such as Bizkarra, Egia Foods or Delafruit.

The main focus of digital transformation is the digitalisation of the value proposal of companies, redesigning processes and, above all, their business models. To foster this change in companies, TECNALIA develops digital technologies that can drive new business directly related to the new skills they bring, or generate transformations in initially low digital value proposals, but with the potential to scale up or diversify. This commitment has led it to collaborate with companies like CAF, SENER, Gestamp, Maser or Norbolsa in 2021, to redesign their processes and foster their increased competitiveness through digitalisation.


TECNALIA is the largest applied research and technological development centre in Spain, a European benchmark and member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance. We work with companies and institutions to increase their competitiveness, quality of life of people and achieve sustainable growth. We do so thanks to people who are passionate about technology and committed to building a better society. The main areas of action are: smart manufacturing, digital transformation, energy transition, sustainable mobility, personalised health and the urban ecosystem.