Major new private research institution created in Basque country

May 23, 2002

Brussels, 22 May 2002

A new grouping of research centres in the Basque country, Spain, has created what it claims to be the fifth largest private technological institution in Europe.

The new institution, TECNALIA, is made up of four existing Basque research centres: Inasmet, Labein, Robotiker and Azti. Collectively, the centres already have 2,000 clients and work with a number of SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) as well as larger organisations such as the European space agency.

'We see this creation as being part of the ERA [European research area],' said a spokesperson. 'The grouping will make the institution big enough to compete in Europe, by unifying the centres resources and being able to offer a more global service.'

Until now, a lot of the research that has been carried out has benefited the region that it has been carried out in, the Basque country. But the spokesperson pointed out that the new TECNALIA grouping was open to new members, from other parts of Spain or even Europe and the focus of the research could change accordingly.

While the Azti centre focuses largely on environmental and marine research, the other three centres have a wide remit taking in electronics, telecommunications, robotics and aerospace, among others.

TECNALIA aims to have a turnover of more than 72 million euro by 2006, which could rise according to the number of new members it gains. Present estimates by TECNALIA put it behind the four main private research institutions in Europe; Fraunhofer (Germany), TNO (the Netherlands), VTT (Finland) and Sintef (Norway).

For further information, please contact:
Andres Margallo
Tel: +34 944 356330

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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