The Basque Government’s strategic investment in machine tools reaches 43.7 million euros

The machine tool sector’s most important technology innovation conference was officially opened by the Basque Government’s Technology Director, Edorta Larrauri Basque Government investment in R+D+I will produce an increase in the gross added value per capita of around 83,307 euros by 2015, 4% higher than in 2010 Public investment in R+D is set to grow by 55% by the year 2015, the GDP by 18% and the Strategic Innovation Fund from 40 million euros in 2011 to 180 million in 2015

Basque Government, 07/03/2012

Spain’s premier congress for innovation and technology applied to the machine tool sector began today (Wednesday) at the Kursaal Palace in Donostia-San Sebastián. The event was officially opened by Edorta Larrauri, the Basque Government’s Technology Director, who stressed the great significance of the recently approved Science, Technology and Innovation Plan for 2015, which aims to encourage the generation of wealth and wellbeing, of particular importance in times of economic slowdown.

The Basque Government has earmarked 43.7 million euros for machine tool sector R+D programmes. It has provided 24 million euros of aid for 15 Strategic Business Research projects in the manufacturing area, representing 18% of the total subsidies within the framework of the ETORGAI programme. As regards strategic capacity generation in the Basque Science and Technology Network, 9 projects have been backed with subsidies of over 19.7 million euros, representing 8% of the total funds for the ETORTEK programme.

This is one of the most important sectors in the Basque Country, which heads the national ranking with 80% of the total production in this sector in Spain. Machine tool companies have a long-standing tradition in the Basque Country, and 75% of their production is now exported as a result of the extraordinary efforts made in the region towards technical development and qualification. It is one of the Basque industrial fabric’s most globalised sectors.

The inter-institutional Science, Innovation and Technology Plan aims to be a driving force in both the financial/business and social fields. Some of its most relevant activities encourage and create greater added value through applications associated with Science, Technology and Innovation, including those of the machine tool sector, for revitalisation and growth of employment.

The Technology Director announced that one of the Plan’s priority goals is to increase the Gross Added Value per capita, reaching 83,307 euros by 2015 (from 72,136 euros per capita in 2010). This will mean the employment rate will rise to 72%, from 68% in 2010, favoured by the generation of emerging activities connected with Science, Technology and Innovation.

The basic cornerstones of the future economy established in the Science and Technology Plan are knowledge generation, enhancement of the country’s capacities and public-private collaboration to maximise the efficiency of Science and Technology investment.

According to the Science and Technology Plan, the new challenges being faced by Basque companies will mean a need for evolution of their competitive models, based on innovation and new knowledge generation within the sector. Operational efficiency, innovation and knowledge are the key to determining the growth of the business fabric, and a new competitive economy should be based on the knowledge economy.

High Speed Machining Congress 2012

The ninth Congress on High Speed Machining/Machine Tool Innovation, organised by IK4 Tekniker, has brought together eminent scientists, engineers and industrialists from different countries in Donostia-San Sebastián. The event will begin with a series of plenary sessions and will end with working parties and parallel sessions where experiences connected with the different production processes will be debated. The general issues are centred on promoting new production areas and innovative technologies: productivity improvement, sustainable machinery and equipment, high-performance machines, product quality, advanced production materials, etc.

The High Speed Machining 2012 conference will last two days – Wednesday and Thursday – and speakers will include representatives from different Technology Institutes and Technological Universities and prominent companies from Mexico, Germany, the Czech Republic, Brazil, France and China. IK4-Ideco, Tecnalial-Sistemas Industriales, Tekniker and Mondragón University are some of the Basque entities that will be sharing their knowledge and experience at the event.