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Arantxa Tapia: “The 2019 budgets envisage €205 million in funding for R&D&I and digitalisation”

2018 November 26
  • Basque Industry 4.0 today brought together 2,500 participants, 96 speakers in lectures, panels and workshops and there are 131 companies showcased in the exhibition areas, from 14 countries and 12 autonomous communities
  • The event has been organised by the Basque Government’s Ministry for Economic Development, through the SPRI Group, and is the meeting point for companies, clusters, technology centres and universities
  • The importance of the event brings to the Basque Country the first joint meeting of the three smart specialisation platforms of the European Commission

The Minister for Economic Development and Infrastructures, Arantxa Tapia, today announced that the 2019 budget for the Basque Autonomous Community envisages a 6% increase in R&D&I funding and digitalisation programmes for companies, up to €205 million.  Tapia stressed that this provision is subject to the public accounts having sufficient backing in the Basque Parliament, as if the budget is extended, that amount would be limited to €192 million.

Arantxa Tapia made these statements during the opening of the 5th Basque Industry 4.0-The Meeting Point, the event on Industry 4.0 in the Basque Country in which over 2,000 business and industrial stakeholders, technology centres, clusters and universities are taking part.

Basque Industry 4.0, organised by the SPRI Group, is being held in Bilbao’s Euskalduna Conference Centre this year. In total, 96 speakers are taking part and 131 companies and startups are showcased in the exhibition area. Representatives from 14 countries and 12 autonomous communities have come to Bilbao to discuss the fourth industrial revolution and the integration of the new information technologies in the production processes. There will be over 31 papers, round tables, demonstrations and experimental workshops on all the technologies that will shape the future.

The Minister for Economic Development and Infrastructures stressed that “the Basque Industry 4.0 strategy was implemented six years ago and is progressing at an unstoppable speed", and she is convinced that the cooperation between institutions, industrial sectors and companies of different sizes will ensure that the companies facing the greatest difficulties to join this Fourth Industrial Revolution are not left behind.

As regards the specific initiatives to strengthen Industry 4.0 in the Basque Country regarding the coming year, Arantxa Tapia mentioned a new Renove (Scrappage) Programme to buy new assets, increase funding for Cybersecurity and digitalisation, an innovative strategy assessment programme aimed at SMEs and called Haziinova, along with the BIND 4.0 accelerator call for new sectors such as food and gastronomy sectors.

The visitors from other countries include the presence of Marco Taisch, a professor from the Polytechnic University of Milan, who addressed the way of capitalizing on the technological innovations of Industry 4.0.  Since 2002, Taisch has belonged to the European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA), for which he has produced technological maps and technological foresight analysis of production systems.

Given the international prestige achieved by the event, the European Commission has arranged for it to coincide with its first joint meeting of the three smart specialisation platforms (S3Platforms), which will be held at the same venue tomorrow (Tuesday 27th) and the following day (28th).  One of the highest European authorities in Industry 4.0, the Director for Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing (DG GROW), Slawomir Tokarsi, will be one of the headliners at the Congress, and the Commission published a link inviting people to sign up to Basque Industry 4.0. on its website.

Four Directors General of the European Commission are in Bilbao ex profeso, along with 200 representatives from over 120 regions who are taking part in the platforms on agri-food, energy and industrial modernisation. Senior officials from the different Directorates General from the European Commission involved in developing smart specialisation strategies (DG GROW, DG REGIO, DG RTD, DG ENER, DG AGRI and JRC) and thematic experts are also there.

As in previous years, the Congress has a packed programme of plenary sessions, panels, papers, parallel sessions, an exhibition area showcasing technology 4.0 suppliers, along with a workshop and experimentation zone, with a special focus on the gamification of solutions for Industry 4.0 and Bind 4.0, the start-up accelerator.  Companies in the Exhibition

The Basque entrepreneurs are exhibiting in Bilbao their cases of applying Industry 4.0 in 8 key sectors: Aeronautics, Food, Automotive Sector, Construction, Energy, Machine-Tools, Mobility and Logistics, EICT and Advanced Service.  There will also be, in other sectors, 12 presentations on 12 technological solutions for Industry 4.0 which will consider Big Data, industrial Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, Additive Manufacturing, Man-Machine Advanced Interfaces, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Collaborative Robotics, Sensorics and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS).

Technological entrepreneurship also has its own spot in Basque Industry 4.0 dedicated to presentations of the advances in collaboration projects between industries and startups of the BIND 4.0. programme.

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Politicians attending the event