BTEK set up with the aim of “making the Basque Country a reference model of innovation” abroad
The Lehendakari points out that "knowledge is the soundest basis for equality and progress"
The Basque Country's Technology Interpretation Centre was inaugurated today. Situated on the Zamudio Technology Park, its mission is to attract young people to the world of science and technology. Following a visit to the facility, the Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, pointed out that "both the container and the contents are impressive". He expressed his confidence that the centre will meet its aim of "recovering the enterprising spirit that has always characterised Basque society".
The Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, linked the success of the innovation policy of the Basque government to the development of the first Technology Interpretation Centre of the Basque Country BTEK, as its growth "will be the most tangible proof of the success of our policy". "It will demonstrate that we have succeeded in creating talent in our country and in making the Basque Country a reference model of innovation beyond our boundaries", he added.
This afternoon, the Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, inaugurated BTEK, the Technology Interpretation Centre, on the Bizkaia Technology Park. The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Minister of Industry, Innovation, Commerce and Tourism, Bernabe Unda, the Secretary of State for Education, Eva Almunia, the President of the Network of Technology Parks of the Basque Country, Francisco Berjon, the Director of the Bizkaia Technology Park, Txaber Ouro, the Director of BTEK, Xabier Díaz Silvestre, and representatives of SPRI, UPV/EHU, as well as companies based on the Park and entities that have taken part in the construction of the building and in the development of its contents.
In his speech, the Lehendakari remarked on the importance of knowledge in modern societies as it is "the soundest basis of equality and progress" and argued in favour of a proactive policy in the field of innovation. "An innovation policy must set out to create future generators of knowledge that contribute to the growth of the Basque Country", Lopez explained.
In this sense, the Lehendakari recalled that although the Basque Country "is still a long way from reaching its objective of dedicating 3% to research and innovation", the budgets of the Basque Country envisage increasing R&D&I funding to + 9.35%, in spite of the economic crisis. Lopez also referred to the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Plan and Competitiveness Plan whereby the government hopes to "construct an innovation policy for the future of the Basque Country" in which "internationalisation is especially important, not as a mere slogan, but to encourage companies to do business abroad, to be competitive on foreign markets and, at the same time, to attract foreign investment to the Basque Country".
With regard to the new centre situated on Zamudio Technology Park, the Lehendakari stated that it must "awaken the intellectual curiosity of our young people, our students, so that they may become creators of knowledge in our country, thus contributing to our progress and well-being" and "to recover the enterprising spirit that has always characterised Basque society".
Another relevant characteristic of this centre is its composition, in which a number of public administrations, technology centres, education and social centres of the Basque Country have taken part. Lopez explained that, "this is proof that only by joining forces can we advance in such a complex and competitive area as science and research". "It is a mountain too high to climb alone", he commented.
Two buildings, one meeting place
The Technology Interpretation Centre is made up of two, apparently separate buildings but which are joined internally. An outstanding feature of BTEK is that it can be controlled completely from an IPAD or IPHONE. In other words, by pressing a button, one can "switch on" the building and all its infrastructures from anywhere in the world. The aim is to introduce young people to the world of technology by giving them an insight into the most advanced technologies in an "attractive and original" way, through an exciting and play-oriented interactive exhibition divided into theme areas.
The Innovation kiosk - in which information will be provided on the latest scientific-technological advances in our environment.
The network and the digital world - a new era, digital world, black boxes, digital technology in every corner, the wires of the network, uses of the network and "alone or with others?" as some of the modules that form part of this theme area.
Your home today and tomorrow - in this area, experiments will be made on sustainability in the home and on the new and innovative technologies present in the home. Technology for the home, new materials, slow cooking technology, BTEK making sparks fly.... these are the modules that make up this part of the exhibition.
Other worlds in our environment - this corner consists of modules relating to nanotechnology and biotechnology. Moreover, it has another area which analyses sustainability from the technological viewpoint. Smaller than small, nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics and sustainability are the main modules.
L@btek - the laboratory-workshop will deal with subjects relating to the themes dealt with at the BTEK. These include robotics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, materials ..... those activities that cannot be carried out in teaching centres and complement normal school activities.
Following the inauguration, the modules will be adjusted and adapted so that they are ready for the coming school year. Although the aim is to attract secondary school students, education centres will be contacted to organise guided visits. In the future, the aim is to also attract other members of society to the centre, including students from primary school, vocational training, visitors to the park, families, teachers and so on, and to open its doors to society at large.