News Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism

Eight technological centres in Álava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa have decided to merge and form a part of the takeover instigated by Tecnalia Research & Innovation (TRI)

2010 July 19

The act was chaired by the Basque Minister Bernabé Unda before the eight presidents in the Kursaal Congress Hall

The Basque Minister for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, Bernabé Unda, has presided over the act in the Kursaal Congress Hall wherein the presidents of the eight technological centres that will form Tecnalia Research & Innovation (TRI) have presented the agreement via which they have decided to merge over the course of the next few weeks. The definitive signing of the agreement now depends exclusively on the remaining centres' ratification of the merger agreed upon today by the board of Labein.

The legal formula employed involves a takeover, whereby one of the eight centres will acquire the others. This required the completion of an initial step: Labein, the centre instigating the takeover of the remaining centres, had to approve its change of name, becoming Tecnalia Research & Innovation (TRI). This decision has been adopted this morning.

The respective boards of the other seven centres had already approved the merger. However, Labein has introduced nuances that diverge from the terms agreed upon up to this point, whereby the remaining seven centres will have to ratify the new text of the agreement. The document, which today was unanimously approved by the members of Labein, established that the headquarters will remain in Labein-TRI up until the 30th of June 2011, whilst initially the 31st of December was set as the deadline.

In any event, a committee will be appointed to reach a decision in relation to the headquarters. Where they fail to reach an agreement, assignation of the headquarters will operate on a rota system, changing every 18 months, falling to Donostia-San Sebastián on the 1st of July 2011.

The eight centres today expressed their willingness to approve the new terms of the agreement when the respective presidents collectively appeared along with the Basque Minister for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, Bernabé Unda. It is hoped that by the end of July, the TRI merger will have become a reality. As soon as this occurs, a new board will be formed and the president, Javier Ormazabal, will be appointed.

Via its presence, the Government of the Basque Country affirms its support for the merger. Indeed, Basque Minister Bernabé Unda has presented a collaboration agreement that he has already signed, which now only needs to be ratified by the new president, once he has been appointed. The agreement is extremely similar to the agreement signed last week with Alianza IK4.

The agreement presented to TRI lays out grounds for mutual collaboration. The Government of the Basque Country affords Tecnalia the status of reference Technological Agent within the Basque Network for Science, Technology and Innovation, providing it with a stable framework for collaboration, in such a way that the centre obtains basic stable financing of 25% of the consolidated R&D and innovation of Tecnalia Research & Innovation. The agreement will remain operative whilst the Government's Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation remains in force.

Furthermore, a corporate Governance Model has been established to maintain the private nature of Tecnalia, whilst enabling public Administrations to participate in the design and development of the new organisation. Institutional representation in the governing bodies of the Foundation will amount to no less than 25%, of which the Government of the Basque Country will hold an absolute majority. In addition, Tecnalia will submit the most important decisions relating to its organisation to the Department for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism for consideration, such as the appointment of its executives or modification of its articles of association.

Thus, of the 44 members who form the board, 11 will be institutional representatives: 6 from the Government of the Basque Country, 3 from the provincial councils, 1 from the university and 1 from the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation.

During his intervention, the minister stated that all mergers entail difficult stages. However, we are on the verge of forging an extremely important technological corporation." Bernabé Unda has reaffirmed his intention to ensure that the Basque Country boasts two important technological centres, "which will collaborate and compete with each other".

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Politicians attending the event
  • Bernabé Unda
    Consejero de Industria, Innovación, Comercio y Turismo (IX term)