• First quarter figures indicate that this improvement is expected to be consolidated in 2016
  • The Centre’s CEO Marcelino Caballero also stressed the challenges of the new Ikerlan2020 stategic plan that aims to turn the centre into a key element in the improvement of the competitiveness of Basque industry

Last year the income of the IK4-IKERLAN R&D centre was 19.4 million euros, 9 % more than during the previous corporate year. Of the total income for the year, 56 % (i.e. 10.9 million) came from R&D&i activities with companies, while 39 % (7.6 million) corresponded to in-house research projects that received funding from the various administrations.

The company presented these data during its Annual General Meeting held in Thursday afternoon at the Garaia Innovation Park in Arrasate-Mondragon and which was attended by representatives of institutions, companies and members of the Basque Network of Science, Technology and Innovation.

IKERLAN regards the increase in income from contracts with companies as particulary significant: “it is a chapter whose growth gives us a great sense of pride because it reflects the capacity we have had to maintain the loyalty of our customers even in the most complex of times,” said the Centre’s CEO Marcelino Caballero.

The balance for 2015 also showed a positive result in the chapter on income from the various public administrations (mainly from the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community, European Union and the Spanish Government). “These projects enable us to capture and generate cutting-edge knowledge that we turn into high added-value innovations for the industrial sector,” said Caballero.

Going by the results for the first quarter, the Centre expects this improvement in its economic activity to be consolidated all through 2016.

Research

Throughout the last corporate year, IKERLAN participated in 44 research projects (six more than the previous year), including three European projects being led by the Centre (Multipartes, Batteries 2020 and Angelab). What is more, the researchers published 36 scientific articles and delivered 52 papers at conferences. And during the course of last year 38 PhD theses were up an running; three were submitted and another seven new ones were started.

The Centre also expanded its extensive international network of collaborators when it signed three new agreements with the University of Oviedo, ETH Zürich (Switzerland) and KU Leuven (Belgium).

New strategic plan

During this event the centre presented the main lines of its new strategic plan Ikerlan2020, which will be guiding its activity over the coming four years. To consolidate its position and establish itself as a key element in improving the competitiveness of Basque industry, IKERLAN will be investing 10 million euros in improving its infrastructure and equipment and in reinforcing its staff.

To tackle the challenges that the Centre will have to face in the future, the plan provides for the reinforcing of its capacities through the specialisation of its researchers and the capture of the best talent. So by 2020 IKERLAN is expected to have consolidated a staff of 300 people, which means a 20 % increase with respect to the number for 2015.

The centre is aspiring to make a decisive impact on improving the competitiveness of its business environment, and for this the Centre’s areas of activity have been reorganised in accordance with the guidelines set out by the Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation of the Basque Autonomous Community (PCTI 2020) being driven forward by the Government of the Basque Autonomous Communty, by devoting particular attention to the strategic priorities of smart specialisation (RIS3). So a decision has been made to focus efforts on three lines of expertise: Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (EICTs), Energy and Power Electronics, and Advanced Manufacturing.

These technological domains in which IKERLAN already has a prominent trajectory are regarded as critical for the development of the Basque business base because of the impact they will be having on economic growth and on the competitiveness of industry.

About IK4-IKERLAN

IK4-IKERLAN is a leading centre in technology transfer, and in providing companies with competitive value, owing, among other things, to the expertise of its researchers. It offers comprehensive solutions by combining various technological domains. This is possible owing to its high degree of expertise in three major areas: Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (EICTs), Energy and Power Electronics, and Advanced Manufacturing. Right now, it has a staff of approximately 280 people.

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The R&D Centre presented its balance sheet at the AGM held in Arrasate-Mondragon 
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