TECNALIA develops more than 4,200 technological solutions with 2,000 companies by 2022
The research and technological development centre achieved a turnover of 128 million euros last year, 6.7% more than in 2021.
These figures are the result of TECNALIA’s strategy of transferring R&D&I to companies, with the aim of having an impact on both economic and social aspects, which has led it to collaborate with 9,500 companies in its 12 years of history, 73% of which are SMEs, and its activity has generated 678 million euros of GDP in the Basque Country in 2022.
With these results, it reaffirms its leadership in R&D&I and faces the second stage of the Strategic Plan, whose challenge is to boost the economic and social impact through technological research and innovation, being agents of transformation of companies and society to adapt to the challenges of the future, such as smart manufacturing, digital transformation, energy transition, sustainable mobility, personalised health, urban ecosystem and circular economy.
To this end, it will allocate 13 million euros to new developments, equipment and infrastructures, and will increase investment by 11.2%.
By 2023, the following are set as the main technological commitments with growth potential: quantum computing, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, sustainable mobility and hydrogen, with decarbonisation as a cross-cutting theme.
The TECNALIA research and technological development centre achieved a turnover of 128 million euros in 2022, which is 6.7% more than the previous year and consolidates its leadership as a benchmark centre in R&D&I for companies. In this way, TECNALIA has increased its activity with industry over the last year, developing more than 4,200 technological solutions with 2,000 companies.
This was presented this morning by the president of TECNALIA, Alex Belaustegui, and the director general of the centre, Jesús Valero, who stressed that “these figures are the result of the strategy of transferring R&D&I to companies that TECNALIA carries out, with the aim of having an impact on both economic and social aspects, and which has led us to collaborate with 9,500 companies in our 12 years of history, 73% of which are SMEs”. Thus, its activity has generated 678 million euros of GDP in the Basque Country in 2022.
For his part, the president recalled that “we are a tool at the service of companies and society and 2022 has been a challenge for us and for the companies, which have shown resilience, adaptation and effort to face this new reality and one of the keys has undoubtedly been their innovative attitude”.
Employment, wealth and value for the environment
These results are the fruit of the work of TECNALIA’s human team, made up of 1,500 experts, which in 2022 has meant a growth of 2.5% compared to the previous year, who through technological excellence have developed a total of 4,235 R&D&I technological solutions, 1.4% more than in 2021. This team is complemented by the 35 strategic alliances it maintains around the world with research centres and benchmark companies, a network that has increased by 40% compared to 2021.
To this figure must be added a team of 90 people working in TECNALIA’s investee companies, which have achieved a 29% increase in direct jobs generated in 2022. TECNALIA has positioned itself as one of the main creators of quality employment in its environment. It should also be noted that, for every job in the centre, another 6.88 jobs are maintained in the Basque Country, which represents a 9% increase over the previous year and a total of 9,706 jobs maintained on average.
In the area of Intellectual Property Sales, VPI, the centre obtained revenues of 8.1 million euros, which represents an increase of 62% compared to the 2021 financial year. It also has 740 patents in its portfolio and participates in 14 New Technology-Based Companies (NTBC), which represents a 20% increase in turnover, up to almost 8 million euros. These figures place TECNALIA among the best European technology centres in terms of return on Intellectual Property Sales. Likewise, for the fifth consecutive year, it has once again been among the Spanish organisations that apply for the most European patents. Specifically, it is the fourth private Spanish organisation in terms of applications for European patents.
Precisely in the European sphere, TECNALIA has consolidated its leadership as the leading private state organisation in contracting, participation and project leadership in the European Commission’s Horizon Europe programme and is ranked 15th out of 1,822 European research organisations. In the 2 years that the programme has been running, it has obtained a total of 94 projects, of which it has led 16. In these projects, it collaborates with 118 national companies.
Challenges for 2023
TECNALIA is facing the second stage of its Strategic Plan, whose challenge is to boost economic and social impact through technological research and innovation, being agents of transformation of companies and society for their adaptation to the challenges of the future, such as smart manufacturing, digital transformation, energy transition, sustainable mobility, personalised health, urban ecosystem and circular economy. In addition, it will allocate 13 million euros for the current financial year to new investments, equipment and infrastructures, which represents an 11.2% increase in investment.
Among these challenges of the future, the following are set as the main technological challenges with growth potential for 2023: quantum computing, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, sustainable mobility and hydrogen, with decarbonisation as a transversal axis.
Thus, in the industrial field, the collaboration with companies such as Sidenor, Tubos Reunidos, Arcelor-Mittal, Ibarmia or Furesa stands out, to advance towards the decarbonisation of industry through more intelligent, efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly processes.
Another of the major trends of the future is increasingly sustainable mobility, with a profound transformation of the urban environment, which TECNALIA is tackling through: the Aerotaxi Concept Integrity, currently in the industrialisation phase with Umiles Next, which in 2022 has carried out its first open field tests in France and Spain; the smart, connected, zero-emission bus that is being developed with Irizar and is currently undergoing tests in Zaragoza; vehicle automation with companies such as Renault and Alsa; and the MUBIL mobility hub in Gipuzkoa, where TECNALIA will have a building dedicated to sustainable mobility and energy transition.
In energy, 2022 has been the year of the start-up of the new version of HarshLab, the largest floating test laboratory in Europe for the offshore industry, where companies can test materials and solutions in a real environment to improve their competitiveness.
As regards hydrogen, a pioneering laboratory for the testing and evaluation of components and materials for the generation and storage of this energy vector is scheduled to start up this year in Donostia-San Sebastian.
The new great emerging technology is quantum computing, in which TECNALIA is creating new technical developments to take advantage of the properties of quantum mechanics and implement hybrid classical-quantum Artificial Intelligence models, with emphasis on quantum optimisation algorithms and machine-learning, collaborating with companies such as Quantum Mads or Ibermática.
In the field of the urban ecosystem, it has taken its commitment to additive manufacturing in construction, digital twins for buildings, circularity of resources for the construction of buildings, and energy efficiency in building to initiatives such as the one developed with Inkolan, creating an intelligent data model to contribute to the development of Smart City services and initiatives.
In the field of health, its commitment to precision medicine stands out and, together with the University of the Basque Country, it has launched the first multifunctional 3D bioprinter in the Basque Country for the pharmaceutical industry, which will enable the development of personalised therapies in the paediatric field, in healthy ageing and in the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering by means of additive manufacturing technologies.
At the same time, TECNALIA has launched its own business acceleration programme, DeepTech4Impact, which will give technological impetus to new companies through thematic calls. It is distinguished by its focus on startups based on sophisticated technologies (deeptech) and by offering them all the centre’s technological development capacity, as well as a long-standing relationship with partners, sharing risks and benefits.
In addition to the economic impact of all these initiatives, there is also their social impact, as revealed in the report “Tecnalia’s social impact: contribution to transformations beyond R&D&I”, drawn up by the Belgian consultancy firm IDEA in 2022. It concludes that TECNALIA, in addition to its R&D&I activity, contributes to the transformations needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, through activities that, together with administrations, companies and society, help to guide the future, as well as to stimulate and accelerate the changes needed to achieve them.