• The two organisations will be collaborating on the undertaking of PhD theses, they will be encouraging the mobility of researchers and will be driving forward R&D projects
  • Today, they ran a workshop on 'The Major Challenges facing Power Electronics', which was attended by companies that are leaders in this technology

IK4-IKERLAN has today signed an agreement with ETH Zurich University to conduct research together in the field of power electronics. The Basque centre has considerable experience in this discipline devoted to developing devices that allow electrical power to be adapted and transformed for a range of purposes. This agreement will enable IK4-IKERLAN to reinforce its links with one of the world’s most prestigious organisations in the field of power electronics.

By virtue of this agreement, the two organisations will be collaborating on the joint undertaking of PhD theses, they will be encouraging the mobility of researchers, and together they will be driving forward R&D projects.

The agreement between the two organisations was signed this morning by the CEO of IK4-IKERLAN Marcelino Caballero, and the Head of the Power Electronics Systems Laboratory at ETH University, Prof Johann W. Kolar.

The ETH is a world benchmark in engineering in general, and in power electronics in particular. It stands out for its work in innovative technologies, its multidisciplinary approach and the excellent quality of its developments.

They feature ultra compact, efficient power converters, medium frequency/medium voltage converters (solid-state transformers), wireless power transmission devices (high and low power), power supply sources for chips, ultra-high speed actuators and bearing-free actuators.

Collaboration with this organisation will help to strengthen the network of collaborating centres that IK4-IKERLAN has across the European continent. This agreement will also help to drive forward the centre’s commitment in the field of power electronics thanks to which it is developing cutting-edge technology and applications for companies in key sectors in the Basque economy, such as transport and energy.

“This agreement is yet another indication of the significant commitment that IK4-IKERLAN is making to power electronics technologies and our wish to support the training of the people who make up the centre,” said Caballero. “We believe in a system of open innovation based on collaboration with other organisations, and we are convinced that collaborating with one of the leading centres in power electronics will help us to drive forward the development of this technology in a significant way,” he added.

A stay already in progress

Right now, these organisations are already collaborating in the field of wireless power transmission through the period of time being spent at the Swiss centre by the IK4-IKERLAN researcher Ugaitz Iruretagoyena. The aim of this stay is to conduct research into contact-free methods for transmitting energy, in other words, without any need for leads, and which can be applied in a whole host of fields, in particular in those relating to the recharging of devices or domestic and industrial induction heating.

The great challenges facing power electronics

Today, 13 July, the two organisations that signed the agreement have organised a workshop entitled The Major Challenges facing Power Electronics and hosted by the IDEO Innovation City of Orona (located in the Science and Technology Park of Gipuzkoa, in Hernani); it was attended by over a dozen companies (including ORONA, CAF, INGETEAM, ARTECHE and AIRBUS), in addition to representatives of the universities and institutions.

At this event Prof Kolar gave a paper on '2.0 Power Electronics', while IK4-IKERLAN representatives gave a talk on 'New Power Semiconductors and their Applications'.

About ETH Zurich University

ETH Zurich University is one of the most important ones in Switzerland and enjoys a prominent position in the rankings of the best in the world. With over 18,000 students it is one of the most important German-speaking academic bodies and has great prestige in the field of teaching and in research, in particular in the fields of technology and natural sciences. 21 Nobel Laureates have been through its classrooms and laboratories.


IK4-IKERLAN is a leading centre in technology transfer and in the contribution of competitive value to companies, thanks to its capacity to offer comprehensive solutions by combining various technological domains. This is possible due to its high degree of expertise in six major areas: embedded systems, power electronics, microtechnologies, energy efficiency and storage, structural dependability and advanced manufacturing and the fact that it has a significant network of national and international collaboration that complements its offer so that it can provide its customers with the best solution.

The Swiss centre is a world benchmark in this field
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