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IDEKO is making artificial intelligence and precision its main research priorities for the next 4 years

IDEKO is making artificial intelligence and precision its main research priorities for the next 4 years
  • Within the framework of its new strategic plan, the research centre has defined the research challenges that it will be addressing in the next four-year period.
  • Digital twins, additive manufacture, robotics, active and intelligent components and the manufacturing processes for strategic sectors complete the list of priority areas.
  • All these areas will be guided by the principles of environmental sustainability and circular economy.

With the aim of moving forward to manufacturing transformations and responding to the needs of industry, the IDEKO research centre has defined the strategic lines that will be part of its new research plan for the next four years.

Specifically, the entity specialising in Advanced Manufacture and member of the BRTA alliance has placed artificial intelligence applied to manufacturing, precision machines and processes, simulation and digital twins, active and intelligent components, processes for strategic parts and sectors, robotics and additive manufacture as the seven research challenges to be addressed as a priority in the next four-year period. In a cross-cutting way, all these challenges will incorporate an environmental sustainability perspective and the principles of the circular economy.

“The environmental impact of our sector is lower than that of other fields, such as the chemical or steel industry, but we must take care of the environment and in each one of these seven challenges, objectives associated with sustainability and the circular economy will be defined. If we are capable of developing a machining process that consumes less raw material, we will reduce our customers' costs as well as the carbon footprint”, explained the IDEKO research director, Rafa Lizarralde.

Developed within the framework of IDEKO's new Strategic Plan, the entity's research plan seeks to generate solutions that increase the competitiveness of its customers, technologies that give rise to new business lines and products that make it possible to get closer to new actors in the value chain.

“Fundamentally, this is about developing technologies that are integrated into the machines and systems of our customers that will allow them to manufacture more and better. Secondly, we are seeking to generate technologies that can give rise to new businesses and, finally, we want to get closer to our customers. Everything that we develop is to make our customers more competitive through technologically differential elements”, said Lizarralde.

New opportunities, human capital and focus on specialisation

IDEKO's new research plan makes further inroads into IDEKO's specialisation in advanced manufacture, and also presents innovations that respond to the challenges of the future and offer efficient solutions.

“This plan furthers our vocation of developing advanced technologies for industrial manufacture, as one of the reasons for our success is that we have been constant in our specialisation in manufacturing. However, it presents an important innovation that consists of defining the cross-cutting challenges for which we are creating multidisciplinary teams, in order to get professionals from different areas thinking and working with a common focus. Our mission with this new approach is to be more efficient in the generation of knowledge and in the development of solutions transferable to the market in order to achieve excellence in research”, said Lizarralde.

The choice of priority areas is aligned with the technological strategy of public administrations and very especially the Basque Government: “We have taken the Basque Administration into account in our research plan. The technologies that we select help us to evolve and grow as a centre, but also look at the reality of the Basque country and seek to make a contribution to industry”, added Lizarralde.

Furthermore, with this research plan, IDEKO not only has its own development tool but also contributes to the training of human capital and its transfer to industry.

“Our plan also tries to train professionals with an industry and market vision and facilitate their transfer to the company. An evolution is occurring in the perception of professionals in training with respect to machine tools and industrial manufacture, thanks to digitalisation and the introduction of information and communication technologies, artificial vision, robotics and data analysis. We are recovering ground in the perception of what is technically attractive and interesting for new generations. The technologies that we are going to develop are attractive to young people that are being trained at this time”, said the research director.

IDEKO's new research plan will also involve more investments such as in test benches and laboratories in order to strengthen operational capacity.

“Single investments are not going to be necessary, but we are making strengthening investments in order to make a leap forward in what we already are. These efforts will be mainly geared towards Artificial Intelligence, in which area the team will be completed with specific new experts such as data analysts and mathematicians. We will also establish alliances and collaborations with benchmark organisations in order to complement our capacity”, concluded the expert.

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