• Executives from Orona, CAF, and Fagor Arrasate participated in a roundtable discussion on R&D
  • Throughout its history, the centre has carried out over 2,000 R&D&i projects together worth over €500M

On 18 June, IK4-IKERLAN celebrated its 40th anniversary with a ceremony at the Garaia Innovation Centre in Arrasate-Mondragon, which was presided over by the Lehendakari [President of the Basque Autonomous Community] Iñigo Urkullu. The event was attended by prominent figures like the Head of the Chartered Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa Martin Garitano, the Basque Autonomous Community Minister for Economic Development and Competitiveness Arantza Tapia, plus representatives of the Basque business base, the universities and the whole Basque Network of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The event reviewed the history of the centre, founded in 1974, and there was a roundtable discussion entitled "R&D as the driving force of competitiveness" in which executives from companies like Orona Group, Grupo CAF and Fagor Arrasate participated.

Ever since it was set up, the centre has been collaborating with hundreds of companies in their innovations and it has also devoted a considerable portion of its own resources to in-house research to ensure that it remains at the cutting edge of knowledge.

With premises in two locations in Arrasate-Mondragon and one in Vitoria-Gasteiz, it has a high degree of expertise in six major domains: embedded systems, power electronics, microtechnologies, energy, mechatronics and advanced manufacturing.

Over 2,000 projects with companies

Throughout its history, IK4-IKERLAN has produced 1,086 publications and papers, 30 patents, 55 PhD theses, 516 research projects and over 2,000 projects for industrial application and development. In terms of today’s euros, the accumulated value of the R&D&i carried out amounts to 500 million euros.

Right now, 60% of IK4-IKERLAN's revenue comes from direct contracts with companies thanks to its work with them.

200 projects in European Union Programmes

IK4-IKERLAN is also the protagonist in the main European initiatives supporting R&D&i, having participated in over 200 projects. Recently, it has begun to participate in seven new projects in the strategic research areas of Green Car (which IK4-IKERLAN is leading), Factories of the Future, ARTEMIS and Information and Communication Technologies.

This prominent role endorses the Basque centre so that it can go on being a benchmark in the European ambit with the new programme recently implemented by the European Union, Horizon 2020.

IK4-IKERLAN's international profile is reflected in a broad network of collaboration that includes thirty or so research centres and universities worldwide. The network has been expanded recently with a new collaboration agreement with the University of Lulea (Sweden) on Condition Monitoring within the line of research into Structural Dependability and Mechatronics.

Success stories

Within the R&D projects carried out by IK4-IKERLAN for companies feature collaboration with Orona, Acciona, Alstom, CAF and Fagor Arrasate and other leaders in their sectors ranging from energy to transport and including industrial capital goods, among others.

“Sustainable wealth”

During his speech, the Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu declared: “Confidence in the future is what this meeting inspires in me. What I find here is a solid trajectory, accredited experience, fresh challenges and projects and also a spirit of consensus. The economic future depends on our capacity to co-operate at the service of the aim we share: sustainable growth and job creation.

IK4-IKERLAN’s Chairman Iñaki Aranburu referred to the Chinese proverb that says “when drinking water, remember its source” to illustrate the centre’s history. “If we are celebrating this anniversary today it is because the trust of companies and the support received from the MONDRAGON Corporation, the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community, the Chartered Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, the Spanish Government and the European Union have been added to the effort of the people who work at IK4-IKERLAN,” he pointed out.

The centre celebrated its anniversary in Arrasate-Mondragon in a ceremony presided over by the Lehendakari