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IDEKO ended 2020 with total revenue of 9.6 million euros and consolidates its technology transfer model

IDEKO ended 2020 with total revenue of 9.6 million euros and consolidates its technology transfer model

54% of the revenues recorded last year came from contracts with the private sector, while the remaining 46% results from own research.

The year closed with important milestones for the company, such as the awarding of the Taylor medal to researcher Xavier Beudaert by the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP).

The research centre approved its 2020 accounts at its General Assembly, held on 7 May.

The research centre specialising in advanced manufacturing recorded income of 9.6 million euros in 2020, of which 54% came from contracts with companies, 1% more than in the previous financial year. These figures reflect the consolidation of the entity's client portfolio and underpin the solidity of its model for technology transfer to the industry in a particularly difficult year, marked by the crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, IDEKO, a member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA), invoiced 5.2 million euros through R&D projects with companies in 2020, while the remaining 4.4 million euros (46% of the total) accounted for its own research. During the past year, the high success rate in calls for funded programmes at local, state and international level was also noteworthy, a milestone that supports the entity's commitment to specialisation.

In terms of contracts with companies, the turnover stems for a large part from the aeronautics, iron and steel, oil&gas, power generation and machine tool sectors.

As regards its own research projects, 29% of the centre's overall income came from programmes launched by the Basque Government, 15% came from initiatives instigated by different European institutions and 2% resulted from projects financed by the General Spanish Administration and the Mondragon Corporation.

All this went on without neglecting scientific production and upholding dissemination with 32 indexed publications, of which 11 were Q1.

The results obtained by IDEKO last year were approved during the General Assembly of the research centre, held on 7th May. The meeting was chaired by the president of IDEKO, Xabier Alzaga, and was held by a face to face and livestreaming formula. The event brought together workers, users and collaborators of the centre.

During the Assembly, Alzaga described the results recorded by the research centre in 2020 as "excellent", despite the exceptional situation resulting from the pandemic and thanked "all the people who make up IDEKO for their contribution, for adapting to changing needs and for managing to continue with the business activity, providing an adequate response and contributing value to clients to help them recover from the crisis".

For her part, the general manager of the research centre, Nerea Aranguren, pointed out that the year 2020 was "positive from the point of view of both research and technology transfer projects to companies" and added that the data obtained last year represent "the consolidation of the transfer model conceived by IDEKO and the stability of its client portfolio".

A commitment to human capital and infrastructure

In terms of personnel, the research centre closed the 2020 financial year with a workforce of 122 people, including employees and trainees, 29% of whom hold PhDs. Thus, the number of workers in the entity is slightly up from 2019.

In terms of infrastructures, in 2020 IDEKO made investments to adapt its facilities in order to implement the safety protocols to deal with COVID-19. In this sense, as part of our technological infrastructure, we implemented Teleservice to provide remote technical support, as well as technological solutions for the start-up of production equipment, limiting on-site presence and facilitating remote interaction with customers.

As far as innovation and new developments are concerned, IDEKO continued research in the field of composite materials and committed to work with the automation of the manufacture of large parts with dry fibre. To facilitate this, the new facilities in Bergara were adapted with a demonstrator of the automation process aimed at the manufacture of structural parts for the aeronautics sector.

New steps in specialisation and international recognition

The 2020 results also support the company's commitment to technological specialisation in the industrial field. The research centre obtained excellent results in local, national and international calls for proposals.

At the end of last year, IDEKO finalised the FAR project, the main objective of which is to develop technologies that generate products (machines, components and processes) with high added value in the different areas of grinding applications, responding to and anticipating the high demands of strategic parts in the driving sectors of the aeronautics, automotive, railways and energy generation.

“The progress made within the framework of this initiative enables Basque companies to respond adequately to new challenges in precision, productivity, versatility, reliability, integrity and stability typical of these sectors of utmost strategic importance for the economy", Aranguren assures.

The FAR project revealed the effective operation of the Digital Grinding Innovation Hub, a state-of-the-art facility located on IDEKO's premises, which has recently received recognition in the form of an award from the European Commission for its work in the digital transformation of Basque SMEs.

At the European level, the entity obtained funding for four new projects within the framework of the H2020 Programme and EIT-Manufacturing, which represents a success rate of 28.5% of the presented projects.

One of the new European projects that the centre added to its portfolio last year was INTERQ. This is the largest European project led by IDEKO to date, with the participation of 25 partners from 11 countries, and extensive participation of Basque companies such as ITP, Gamesa Energy Transmission, Danobat, Aeromec, Tekniker and the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU.

The initiative seeks to construct a new generation of digital twins and use artificial intelligence sensors and algorithms to increase the efficiency of key sectors such as aeronautics, energy and automotive.

Last year also saw the completion of projects aimed at the digitalisation of industry, resulting in the development of customised solutions for the digitalisation and automation of machines, processes and installations, a field in which IDEKO has become a benchmark player.

Regarding recognition, the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP) awarded researcher Xavier Beudaert the Taylor Medal, the most prestigious international award given to work directed by researchers under the age of 35. This award was an important milestone for IDEKO, as it was the first time that a researcher from Spain obtained this recognition since its inception in 1958.

Strategic collaborations

IDEKO pursued an active policy of alliances and collaborations in 2020 in order to continue advancing in its specialisation areas.

IDEKO's main partners are the centres that form part of the BRTA Alliance. In addition, in recent years the four research groups of the research centre have also entered into partnerships. The last one signing this collaboration has been the Software Competence Center of Hagenberg (Austria) in the field of ICT and automation.

“In addition to these alliances, the research centre also signs agreements to seek synergies between industrial companies and IDEKO's research objectives, as well as to promote specialisation and technology transfer, innovation, industrial competitiveness and vocational training", adds Aranguren.

The agreements signed by IDEKO also tackle the areas of talent and human capital, whereby the beneficiary companies have preferential information with regard to hiring research personnel trained at the research centre. Throughout 2020, six new companies joined IDEKO's network of Collaborating Companies.

Commitment to diversification and equal opportunities

Last year was also an exercise aimed at diversifying IDEKO's technological value proposition, exploring new market opportunities and generating qualified employment. In this context, the research centre, together with the industrial group Danobatrgroup, created Endity Solutions, a new company specialising in the development of non-destructive inspection solutions.

Also, in recent years IDEKO has taken firm steps in its commitment to equality. In this sense, in 2019 IDEKO started drawing up an Equality Plan, which aims to guide the research centre in this area. This plan was completed last year.