IKERLAN, as a leading technology centre in Smart Systems Integration technologies, was in charge of organising and energising the Annual Forum of the European Technology Platform, EPoSS, which on previous occasions was held in Greece, Austria and Italy. At the Orona Ideo premises in Hernani, around a hundred international experts, research centres, universities, start-ups and leading companies gathered together to support the digitisation of products and their production processes in a sustainable manner using technologies related to intelligent systems. This Annual Forum, which took place on 16 and 17 October under the theme of MiSSIon Smart Systems, was attended by speakers from more than ten European countries, representatives of leading companies such as SIEMENS, BOSCH and AVL, and researchers from centres such as Fraunhofer, CSIC, CEA and RISE.
During the meeting, the regional councillor for the Promotion of the Economy, Tourism and Rural Affairs of Gipuzkoa, Imanol Lasa, emphasised the importance of the role played by intelligent system technologies in developing strategic priorities and facing the challenges of our area, especially in matters such as digitisation in industry, sustainable mobility, an ageing population and the creation of quality employment. Objectives that require the creation and retention of talent, a requirement also shared by the EPoSS platform.
Meanwhile, Rikardo Bueno, director of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA), an organisation taking part in an international conference for the first time, highlighted the leading role that the Basque Country has acquired in the field of intelligent systems as a result of its ability to promote and participate in R&D projects.
Eduardo Beltrán de Nanclares, Director of Innovation and Technology at MONDRAGON, also stressed the need for digitisation and the adoption of smart technologies in the products and services of industrial businesses in order to maintain competitiveness.
First competition for start-ups in intelligent system technologies
At this same forum, four Basque start-up companies participated in the first competition organised to select the most outstanding company in technologies related to intelligent systems, with the support of Enpresagintza (Mondragon Unibertsitatea). The participating start-ups were Imatek, dedicated to the design of cloud solutions for smart cities and Industry 4.0; Noismart, which devises technology and services for noise control; Purple Blob, which specialises in tailor-made solutions for companies looking to make a digital transformation of their business and Asimob, which uses artificial intelligence and IoT solutions to design intelligent roads.
The jury, made up of representatives from the MONDRAGON Promotion Centre, BOSCH and Fraunhofer-ENAS and EPSI (the European Platform for Sports Innovation), awarded the prize to Imatek for an innovative system that makes it possible to check the pipework that runs underneath manholes, without the need to open them and without the risk of accidental breakage, using IoT technologies and a Smart Cities tool, helping to create more sustainable cities. All the participants also had the opportunity to request the use of the EPoSS Trademark, thereby recognising the content of Smart Systems in their projects.
The EPoSS European Technology Platform is a non-profit initiative, involving organisations from 20 European countries, which seeks to define the needs for research, development and innovation in the industrial sector, and to identify the legal requirements for technologies related to Smart Systems Integration. The importance of these technologies for the digitisation of strategic sectors in the Basque Country, such as advanced manufacturing, transport, energy and biomedicine, has led IKERLAN to actively participate in this platform, of which it is a founding member alongside the IK4 Alliance.
IKERLAN is a leading centre in technology transfer and in the contribution of competitive value to the company due, among other things, to the specialisation of its researchers. It offers comprehensive solutions that combine different technological fields into three large areas: Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (EICT), Energy and Power Electronics and Advanced Manufacturing. In 2017, IKERLAN obtained the certification, via AENOR, for the integrated management system (UNE-EN ISO 9001:2015 and UNE 166002:2014), which recognises the excellence of the centre in the field of R&D&I. Currently, it has a workforce of around 300 employees.