The President of the Basque Government has presented the balance for the project, which forms part of the Etorgai R+D support programme, financed with 42 million euros this year and which will mobilise a further 80 million euros of private investment. Each euro of public money invested in the E-Vito project has resulted in mobilisation of 2.26 euros of private funding. Ten Basque companies and five agents from the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Network, headed by Mercedes, have taken part in the development. The project has led to eight patents being registered by the companies forming part of the consortium.
Basque Government, 09/03/2012
Basque President Patxi López today presented the balance of the Etorgai E-Vito project at Álava Technology Park. The project, which has mobilised 13.5 million euros (9.5 million euros of private funding and 4.1 million from the Basque Government), has succeeded in boosting the Basque automotive sector’s development and adaptation to the requirements of the international electronic vehicle market.
A total of 10 Basque companies took part in the scheme, headed by Mercedes, together with five agents from the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Network. The end result is the Vito E-Cell electric van, the first of its kind to be mass produced and which has been on the market since February 2011. More than a thousand vans have already been manufactured.
The budget earmarked by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism for furthering this strategic project, which was led, coordinated and implemented by Mercedes, is 4.1 million euros. This means that 2.26 euros of private financing has been mobilised for each euro of public money invested.
The Basque President stressed the importance of public/private collaboration and the firm commitment to R+D, emphasising that the companies undertaking the most innovation and international expansion are those with the greatest growth.
He emphasised the importance of the new Science, Technology and Innovation Plan, which plans to move 8,946 million euros in the period 2011-2015. This plan, approved in December, sets the goal of spending more than 3% of the GDP on R+D in the Basque Country. This year it has passed the 2% mark for the first time, equalling the UE-15 average.
He clarified that this challenge can only be met through involvement by the Basque companies themselves, producing a leverage factor whereby each euro of public money invested in R+D is able to mobilise a further 2 euros of private investment, as has been the case for this project.
The e-VITO (Etorgai) Project
The Etorgai initiative is a business R+D support programme run by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism with a view to boosting collaboration on integrated industrial research projects of a strategic nature.
The Etorgai E-Vito project, led by the company Mercedes, has integrated the knowledge and technological capabilities developed by ten Basque automation sector companies: CIE Automotive, CIE Inyectametal, Cikautxo, GKN Driveline, Maser, Estampaciones Vizcaya, Inauxa, P4Q Electronics, GAT Staf and of course Mercedes, together with five agents from the Basque Network of Science and Technology: Fundación Robotiker, Autotech Engineering AIE, Fundación CIE I+D+i, Edai Technical Unit AIE and Fundación AIC Automotive Intelligence Center.