The Basque consortium is implementing an innovation network to promote manufacturing in south-west Europe

MONDRAGON, IK4, Tecnalia, ITP Aero and Aernnova will lead this initiative located in the Basque Country, which will be launched in 2019
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Jan 08, 2019

The manufacturing sector is one of the main drivers of Europe, and there are more than 2 million companies employing nearly 30 million people. However, changing needs on the market and in society, as well as rapid technological advances and environmental and sustainability requirements are driving a profound change in the sector. To contribute to the sector being more competitive, sustainable and productive, the EIT manufacturing has recently decided to found, in which, with the support of the European Commission, more than 50 companies and technology centres throughout the continent will collaborate in making Europe a global benchmark in manufacturing innovation, and in companies adopting the new technologies more quickly and efficiently.

This initiative will have a specific innovation network in the Basque Country to drive and finance advanced manufacturing projects, training and the boosting of production activity in the south-west of Europe. Involved in its implementation are the Basque entities: MONDRAGON, IK4 Research Alliance, Tecnalia, Aernnova and ITP Aero, its launch is planned for 2019.

Objectives of the alliance

The challenges that the Basque network will address are: promoting digitalisation of industry and contributing to a more streamlined and flexible, environmentally friendly and socially sustainable production. Thus, it will contribute to creating quality jobs, training students and attracting people with talent, and creating "innovation ecosystems" in which companies, technology centres and universities and investors interact.

During the first 7 years of existence of EIT Manufacturing, the Basque network will implement new mechanisms for promoting the relationships between agents in order to accelerate the arrival of 100 new innovative products to the market, to create more than 200 new companies and train more than 10,000 people.

EIT Manufacturing is the result of the joint work of more than 50 entities over more than 7 years, in which the differentiating contribution of the Basque Consortium has been decisive for the success of the initiative. The network is driven 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 facilitate EIT Manufacturing establishment, the EIT will provide it with a start-up grant of up to EUR 4 million to ensure they become fully operational as soon as possible. Under Horizon2020, the EIT’s current annual funding gradually increases. In the meantime, EIT Innovation Communities are also expected to attract significant investments from private and public sources, multiplying the investment made by the EIT and progressively replacing it to reach financial sustainability in the long-term. Up until now, the EIT has already generated other communities of this type for sectors such as energy, the environmental, digital, health, raw materials, food and urban mobility sectors.

About Aernnova

Aernnova is a leading specialist company in the design and manufacture of aircraft structures and is a major supplier to the main aircraft manufacturers at a global level. With a turnover of more than 680 million euros in 2017 and 4500 employees, Aernnova is present in Spain, Mexico, the United States, Brazil and Romania and maintains collaboration agreements in India and China.


MONDRAGON is made up of more than 250 companies that carry out their activity in the areas of finance, industry, distribution and knowledge. The corporation has an extensive international presence, as well as an innovation ecosystem in which the member business units, research centres and university interact.

About IK4

IK4 is an alliance of leading private and independent technology centres in the European technology area. It is made up of 6 entities from the Basque Country: AZTERLAN, CEIT, IDEKO, IKERLAN, LORTEK and TEKNIKER. The aim of the IK4 Research Alliance is to facilitate the generation, capture and transfer of the scientific-technological knowledge of its partners, with the aim of contributing to the improvement of the competitiveness of the companies and progress of society.

About ITP Aero

ITP Aero is the ninth largest aircraft component and engine company in the world. With more than 3600 employees in 6 countries, among ITP Aero's activities are the design, research and development, manufacture and casting, assembly and testing of aircraft engines. ITP Aero operates as a corporate entity within the Rolls-Royce group.


TECNALIA as a leading Technology Research and Development Centre in Europe, it has 1400 experts of 30 nationalities focused on transforming technology into GDP, in order to improve the quality of life of people by creating business opportunities in the companies.