IKERLAN achieves the same turnover in 2020 as in 2019 with a total income of 23.8 million euros
In 2020, income from in our own research activities reached a record 12.3 million euros and income from R&D projects with companies reached 10.8 million euros.
- IKERLAN has approved its new Strategic Plan 2021-2024 designed to continue being the reference centre in technology transfer to companies.
- The centre aims to raise more than 40 million euros for its own research over the next four years.
IKERLAN has held its annual Assembly telematically, at which it approved the accounts for the 2020 financial year. It was a very complicated year for the economy, but the technology centre has managed to save it remarkably well, with a total income of 23.8 million euros and has presented its roadmap for the next four years, in which it aspires to raise more than 40 million euros, which it will invest in its own research projects in strategic areas.
In an extremely difficult and complex year, IKERLAN has managed to practically maintain the turnover of the previous year, a result which, in the opinion of the general manager Marcelino Caballero, is due to "the commitment of all the people at IKERLAN and that, despite a highly complex context, companies and institutions have largely maintained their commitment to R&D".
In this result, the record figure of 12.3 million euros earned from its own research activities (54.4 % of its overall turnover and representing an increase of 22 % compared to 2019) in cutting-edge fields such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and electrical energy storage has had a special impact on this result. 26.8 % of this income came from programmes promoted by the Basque Government, 20.4 % corresponded to initiatives promoted by different European institutions and the rest of the funding, 7.3 %, came from projects financed by the General State Administration, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and the MONDRAGON Corporation.
In 2020, the turnover obtained from contracts with companies reached 10.8 million euros, 16 % less than the previous year, and came mainly from the field of capital goods (47 %), followed by transport (18 %) and energy (22 %), with a portfolio made up of clients as important as ORONA, CAF, FAGOR ARRASATE or LAULAGUN. This activity with companies, which is the hallmark and most differentiating aspect of IKERLAN, is the one that has been most affected in 2020 and, although it has been compensated to a large extent by the increase in income from in-house research, its recovery is one of the main objectives of the new strategic period.
The cornerstones of the Strategic Plan
Caballero underlined the strength of the technological specialisation area, not only for the record turnover -with a cumulative average annual growth rate of 7 %, above the target established in the IK2020 plan- and for the high success rate in competitive calls -IKERLAN obtained funding for 23 % of the proposals submitted in Europe, well above the ratios of the environment -, but also because it is one of the main cornerstones on which the technology centre has based its action plan for the next four years.
“In order to continue to be a reference and leader in transfer to companies, we have four years ahead of us in which we intend to strengthen our position at the scientific-technological forefront in our areas of expertise. To do this, we need to consolidate our own research activities, to which we expect to allocate more than 40 million in the period 2021-2024, a figure that would represent between 45 and 50 % of IKERLAN's annual turnover", Caballero explained at the Assembly, which was chaired by José Miguel Lazkanotegi, who became president of Ikerlan last year, in the middle of the pandemic.
In this regard, IKERLAN aims to promote multi-technological research with market orientation and is committed to continuing to focus on those areas of specialisation in which the centre already has an important recognition and positioning, such as power electronics, energy storage, mechatronics and TEIC (electronics, information and communication technologies).
With regard to the technology transfer cornerstone, which would account for between 50 and 55 % of annual income, the centre will focus on accompanying companies in "the country's great challenges", such as energy sustainability or digitalisation, for which IKERLAN believes it is necessary to move towards a multi-technological approach to tackle "the full complexity of these challenges that are radically transforming our economy and society as a whole". Furthermore, IKERLAN will implement a new strategy to strengthen its transfer of technologies to the company, combining the loyalty of its current customers with diversification towards emerging sectors and the attraction of new customers.
So as to achieve its transfer and research objectives, the next four years IKERLAN will work to strengthen its collaboration with different agents, universities and companies, and especially with the BRTA (Basque Research and Technology Alliance) and Mondragon Goi Eskola Politeknikoa of Mondragon Unibertsitatea MGEP-MU.
In addition, the cornerstone of People will continue to be fundamental to the centre, which aims to remain a social reference for its cooperative and people management model and a pole of attraction and development for the best professionals. In this area, the centre seeks to consolidate its professional structure with a total dimension of between 350 and 400 people, all maintaining its important commitment to its student training pool (composed of more than 100 undergraduate, master's and doctoral students).
"With all these elements, we want to continue building a sustainable technology centre, capable of responding optimally to the technological needs and challenges of companies; competitive as a result of a culture of continuous improvement; in permanent transformation, capable of anticipating an ever-changing environment; and a reference for companies, public administrations and society", stressed the president of IKERLAN, José Miguel Lazkanotegi, during the presentation of the plan.
IKERLAN, a member of BRTA and the MONDRAGON Corporation, 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 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. It currently has a workforce of around 350 people.