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Basque consortium to launch innovation network to boost manufacturing in south-west Europe


The manufacturing sector is one of the key drivers in Europe, with more than two million companies and almost 30 million people directly employed by it. However, new market and societal needs, fast technological advances and environmental and sustainability requirements are driving a deep change in the sector. The EIT Manufacturing initiative was created in order to contribute to making it more competitive, sustainable and productive. With the support of the European Commission, more than 50 companies and technology centres from all over the continent will work together to make Europe a world leading benchmark for manufacturing innovation and encourage companies to adopt new technologies more quickly and efficiently.

This initiative will have a specific innovation network in the Basque Country to promote and finance advanced manufacturing projects, training and dynamisation of production activity in south-western Europe. The Basque companies Aernnova, Mondragon Corporation, IK4 Research Alliance, ITP Aero and Tecnalia will be in charge of its launch expected during 2019. This project will have a budget of more than 15 million euros a year to support companies both in the creation and development of new products and in the application of existing technologies, and it is expected that more than half of the industrial companies in the Basque Country may benefit from this.

Main objectives

The challenges the Basque Country network faces are: to encourage the industrial digitalisation and contribute to a more agile and flexible production, environmentally and socially sustainable. Hence, it will contribute to generating quality jobs, training students and attracting talented people, and creating "innovation ecosystems" in which companies, technology centres, universities and investors interact.

To do this, during the first 7 years of EIT Manufacturing, the Basque network will implement new mechanisms to foster relations between agents to accelerate the arrival of more than 100 new innovative products on the market, the creation of more than 200 new companies and the training of more than 10,000 people.

EIT Manufacturing is the result of the collaborative work of more than 50 companies during more than 7 years, during which the contribution of the Basque consortium has been decisive for its success. The network is promoted and supported by the EIT, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, an entity that promotes the creation of innovation networks, which include training activities, R&D&I and the creation of new businesses. To date, the EIT has already generated other similar alliances for sectors such as energy, environment, digital, health, raw materials, food and urban mobility.

Notes to the editor

ITP Aero is currently the ninth largest aircraft engine and components company in the world by revenue. Ranking among the top one hundred companies in the aerospace industry (Top 100 Aerospace Companies, PwC and Flight International). The company employs over 3,800 people at its production centres in Spain, United Kingdom, Mexico, the United States, Malta and India.

Among its activities, ITP Aero includes the design, research and development, manufacturing and casting, assembly and testing of aeronautical modules and engines. It also provides MRO services for a wide range of engines for regional airlines, business aviation, helicopters, industrial and defense applications. ITP Aero operates as a corporate entity within the Rolls-Royce group.

Louis Trollope
Communication Specialist
M: (+34) 610 267 334

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