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IKERLAN joins the BRTA, a key project for the future of Basque technology


The technology centre has joined the consortium as a key player in its creation, to foster collaboration between the Basque Country’s innovation centres and agents and encourage companies’ competitiveness

  • The Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA) was founded with the aim of improving coordination between the network of centres and agents in the Basque Country and strengthening its international positioning as an innovative region.
  • IKERLAN joins this new alliance at a time of transformation of its organisational model and strategic talent development system and renewal of its research infrastructures.

The IKERLAN technology centre is thus one of the founder members of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA) Science and Technology Consortium.

The new consortium, based in Mendaro in Guipúzcoa province, aims to guarantee collaborative dynamics between its members, with the aim of improving the external projection of the Basque Country as a land of innovation and meeting future technology challenges.

“We’ve joined this exciting project and will put all our energy and enthusiasm into it, as we’re convinced that cooperation between all the Basque Country’s technology agents is the key to competitiveness in our region”, says IKERLAN’s Managing Director, Marcelino Caballero.

The BRTA aspires to goals that include improving coordination between entities and strengthening the Basque Country’s international positioning as a highly innovative region and an R&D hub, among other aspects.

Its creation coincides with IKERLAN’s strategic renewal process, which has involved transformation of its organisational model, renewal of its facilities and laboratories and the launch of its new corporate image, among other improvements.

Similarly, a strategic commitment to the development and specialisation of IKERLAN’s staff (also one of the BRTA’s main focal points) has led to the launch of an innovative professional development system called Garatzen, which will enable design of a roadmap for each professional’s specific development, in line with the centre’s strategy.

Apart from joining the BRTA, IKERLAN has adhered to other strategic collaboration initiatives such as the Basque Cybersecurity Centre (BCSC), which fosters the cybersecurity culture in the Basque Country, catalyses economic activity linked to this field and aspires to strengthen the professional sector.

16 players with a high science and technology capacity

The BRTA was created as a public-law entity by means of a collaboration agreement between the Basque Government, the SPRI group, Álava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa Provincial Councils and a total of 16 science and technology players belonging to the Basque Network of Science and Technology and Innovation (RVCTI).

The Basque Country is now among the EU’s group of highly innovative regions, and although it is not a large region from a geographical and population standpoint, the high science and technology capacities of the research centres in the BRTA alliance together enable this newly-formed group to position itself as an agent comparable in size to global benchmark corporations such as RISOE in Sweden or SINTEF in Norway.

The consortium, which will be managed by Rikardo Bueno Zabala, coordinates capacities that together implement almost 22 % of R&D spending in the Basque Country, mobilising around 3700 people.

The new consortium will work in several scopes of action. It will bring together its members’ scientific and technological capacities and coordinate the players’ human resources development in accordance with common guidelines for the research staff’s career plans, recruiting key researchers and identifying and exchanging good practice.

Another of its functions will concern knowledge transfer, and it will support and encourage the consortium members with regard to exploring and opening up new markets, science and technology coordination in the European Research Area and fostering and developing technology transfer to the business sector.

With regard to economic and financial activity, it will encourage joint action for management of the corporate structure and monitoring of the indicators that define the consortium members as RVCTI players. Finally, it will offer support services for its members’ RDI, integrated within the consortium’s areas of action and in any other field of common interest.

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