• These awards endorse the history of IK4-IKERLAN related to the technology transfer to enterprises
  • The Gipuzkoan company shall collaborate with the most important manufacturers and suppliers in the energy and electric transportation industry

The technological centre IK4-IKERLAN shall have a significant involvement within the commitment of the European Union to look for new solutions for the main challenges of the energy management and storage field. This support from the European Union guarantees the capacity of technological transfer to the most prestigious enterprises of our environment, such as Caf, Vectia, Orona, Fagor Ederlan, Iberdrola Renovables and Cegasa.

Thus, the awarding of these projects will enable IK4-IKERLAN to keep building its top-quality knowledge and to continue in the leading-edge technology in the energy and electric mobility field.

Specifically, Arrasate-Mondragón enterprise shall be the technological ally of the Ghost and Assured Projects that aim to develop new electric mobility systems for the transportation industry. In parallel, IK4-IKERLAN leads the improvement initiative of energy efficiency in the industry, called ETEKINA.

The three projects shall be carried out within the H2020 Programme of the European Commission and, to this effect, they shall have a total budget of more than 30 million euros.

Improving the Energy Performance in Industrial Process

The first challenge that IK4-IKERLAN will have to face is aimed at improving energy performance in the production processes through the recovery and reutilization of heat that currently dissipates therein. Thus, the technological centre seeks to promote competitiveness of the industrial network.

Under the project ETEKINA, which started in 2017 and will have a duration of four years, the technological centre is working in the development and validation of heat exchangers based on heat pipes technology for the steel, ceramic and non-ferrous metals industry. The recovered heat shall be used in industrial processes improving its energy efficiency, reducing operational costs and minimizing CO2 emissions.

The project is expected to end with the installation of devices in real environments, such as the factory of Fagor Ederlan in Arrasate-Mondragón (aluminium industry), in the facilities of SIJ Metal Ravne in Slovenia (steel industry), and in the plant of Ceramiche Atlas Concorde Spa, in Italy (ceramic industry).

“ETEKINA will enable us to implement new solutions that will improve thermal efficiency in industrial applications for different industries,” explains Igor Villarreal, Head of Energy Storage and Management Area of IK4-IKERLAN.

The initiative is being coordinated by the Basque Centre and has a budget of 5.5 million euros. Besides IK4-IKERLAN, the consortium consists of enterprises, centres and universities related to the industry, such as Fagor Ederlan, Insertec, Econotherm, Brunel University London, Sij Metal Ravne, Jozef Stefan Institute, Ceramiche Atlas Concorde Spa, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and European Science Communication Institute.

New Electric Solutions for Transportation

IK4-IKERLAN, in turn, shall play a key role within Projects Assured and Ghost, which are aimed at promoting a progressive electrification of the transportation industry, one of the global challenges of the future.

On the one hand, the initiative Assured, led by Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), will bring together entities of the standing of Vectia, Iveco, Volvo, MAN, Irizar, Siemens or Alstom, among others, that will work together to contribute to the development of a new generation of high power chargers for buses and lorries.

The project, starting this October with a duration of four years, shall have a budget of 18.7 million euros and looks for developing energy storage and management technologies in order to reduce the charging time of vehicles, increase their autonomy and meet the cities demand.

Under Assured, IK4-IKERLAN will focus on the analysis and assessment of the main factors that affect the proper function of storage systems, such as the wear and tear affecting batteries in the course of their useful life or their performance reported in high power operating regimes.

For that purpose, the centre will work together with Vectia, the electric bus manufacturer (Grupo CAF) and the ABB engineering company, in one of the work groups which will show the operation of the 100% electric buses, through super-fast in-service charging solutions (less than 5 minutes). This will allow continuous operation of said buses without limitations to their autonomy and the interoperability of such solutions with the rest of the manufacturers that comprise the Assured consortium.

“This collaboration represents a key step forward in our commitment to progress in technologies that allow us to offer global solutions for a more sustainable urban transportation,” claims Javier Ramos, Technical Director of Vectia Mobility, SL.

In addition, it is about an area in which the technological centre has considerable experience and a high level of expertise. “We have been investigating the different challenges raised within the Assured Project for years, such as enhanced management strategies, operating costs minimization or useful life extension of storage systems,” assures Luis Mir, Head of the Power Electronics Area of IK4-IKERLAN.

On its behalf, within the Ghost Project that will develop battery systems for smaller, more competitive and reliable electric vehicles, the technological centre shall lead the development of advanced devices of hybrid storage. These developments shall be validated in the facilities of the technological centre, in Arrasate-Mondragón.

For this purpose, researchers of IK4-IKERLAN work in the design of the system architecture and the integration of a new battery control device, called BMS (Battery Management System).

Project Ghost shall have a budget of 7.1 million euros and it will be led by the vehicle manufacturer FIAT. In addition to the Italian brand, the initiative brings together a great deal of the main electric vehicle manufacturers, such as Toyota and Iveco, as well as important suppliers like Infineon and Valeo.

It is expected that the solutions developed in the project be integrated in both pilot projects that will be implemented in an electric vehicle of FIAT company and in an electric bus of Iveco company.

“These initiatives allow us to keep building knowledge in the storage systems, power electronics and energy management environments together with the main manufacturers and suppliers of the sector in Europe, to implement them afterwards in projects with our clients,” concludes Mir.


IK4-IKERLAN is a leading centre for technology transfer and for providing competitive value to companies due, among other things, to the expertise of its researchers. It offers comprehensive solutions by combining different fields of technology in three main areas: Electronics, information and communication technology (EICT), Energy and power electronics and Advanced manufacturing. In 2017, AENOR, has certified IK4-IKERLAN’s comprehensive management system (UNE-EN ISO 9001:2015 and UNE 166002:2014), which is a acknowledging of the excellence of the centre in the R&D&I area. It currently has a staff of approximately 300 people.

The European Union, under the H2020 Programme, will assign 30 million euros to three projects in which the technological centre of Arrasate-Mondragón is involved
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