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Google and Amazon sign up to BIND 4.0, the Basque start-up acceleration private-public programme for the industrial sector

2017 July 5

The success of the first call has encouraged these two giants to take part in BIND 4.0, along with Microsoft and Siemens that already took part in 2016

The new BIND 4.0 call was internationally launched today (5 July), after the meeting that Arantxa Tapia, the Basque Government's Minister for Economic Development and Infrastructures, held with 27 leading industrial companies based in the Basque Country involved in this innovative programme

From today until 15 September, start-ups from around the world may enter this Basque innovative programme, which guarantees access to these emerging companies to top-tier industrial customers

 The 2nd BIND 4.0 programme, the Basque private-public start-up accelerator in the Industry 4.0 sphere, was launched today.  It seeks to attract the talent and innovation of emerging companies from around the world to benefit the Basque industrial fabric. The international launch of the new call took place at the Gipuzkoa Science and Technology Park today, and after the meeting that the Basque Government's Minister for Economic Development and Infrastructures, Arantxa Tapia, held with the 27 leading industrial companies taking part in BIND 4.0.  In total, there are 12 new top-tier companies that have decided to be part of the latest BIND, motivated by the success of the 1st call of the Basque start-up public private accelerator.

AERNNOVA, Alegria Activity, Arcelor Mittal, BATZ, Bridgestone, Cikautxo, Elay, Elecnor Group,  Gestamp, RPK, SENER and Sidenor are the new drivers that have committed to BIND 4.0. ABB, CAF, CIE Automotive, Danobat Group, Euskaltel, Fagor Ederlan,  Maier Group, Alcor Group, ULMA Group, Iberdrola, ITP, Mercedes-Benz Vitoria, Michelin, NEM Solutions and  Repsol-Petronor took part in the first call of the advanced industrial entrepreneurship initiative. A further 12 are also involved which brings the number to 27.

Yet this is not BIND 4.0's only achievement.  In 2016, the first year it was up and running, this advanced entrepreneurship programme led to such good results that it managed to attract the attention of Google and Amazon, two giants from the 4.0 sector, which will take part as technological partners in this second call, along with a further two leading companies and which already took part in BIND 4.0 last year:  Microsoft and Siemens. As technological partners, these four top-tier companies will strengthen the mentor team and will enrich the BIND 4.0 training programme, along with offering subsidised products and services and provide technological support for the selected start-ups.

Estíbaliz Hernáez, Deputy Minister for Technology, Innovation and Competitiveness, Álex Arriola, General Manager of the SPRI Group, and Aitor Urzelai, the Basque Government's Information Society, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director, also represented the Basque Government at the meeting.

New features

The new features of the second call of the programme were unveiled at the meeting with the 27 leading companies taking part in BIND 4.0. The support services for the participating companies will be strengthened, offering them free access to a work space in the BICs (Basque Innovation Centres), mentoring by professionals worldwide, a comprehensive training programme to develop the skills and abilities need to triumph in the industrial sphere, access to financial support and networking activities with the participating companies and the public stakeholders to facilitate the immersion of the start-ups in the Basque industrial eco-system.

Furthermore, the selected start-ups will benefit from new support services: expert technical advice on the matching process, to help them to define and negotiate the specific project to be developed for the industrial companies, attending the Basque Industry 4.0 event, where the start-ups will be able to showcase their technological projects and be in contact with potential customers of the industrial sector and funding to host start-ups outside the Basque Country.

Another new initiative is the Alumni project to set up a hub for Industry 4.0 start-ups, a contact channel between the start-ups selected in BIND 4.0, which will have access to exclusive events and discounts on the technological services, along with being a permanent form of contact with the Basque industrial fabric.

Contacts with the Embassies

During this new call, BIND 4.0 will deploy a stronger sign-up strategy in order to attract the talent and innovation of the best industrial start-ups worldwide. The emphasis will thus be on the strategic market and on the technological fields that are priorities for the 27 top-tier industrial companies involved with the Basque Government in this start-up accelerator in the area of Industry 4.0, the so-called industrial revolution.

The Basque Country is looking to the work to attract the best talent and advance as a country. These objectives include the meeting to showcase the BIND 4.0 programme held on 4 July between representatives of the Basque Country and a large group of members of the diplomatic corps at the Basque Government delegation in Madrid.

Estíbaliz Hernáez, Deputy Minister for Technology, Innovation and Competitiveness, Aitor Urzelai, Information Society, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director, and Leyre Madariaga, the Basque Government's Foreign Affairs Director yesterday presented the industrial start-up private-public accelerator to representatives of the embassies of Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Sweden. This July, a meeting will also be held for the same purpose with diplomats from the US and Israeli embassies.

A strategic commitment

BIND 4.0 is a nation-building strategic commitment that seeks to place the Basque Country on the world map of advanced entrepreneurship. The  Basque Business Agency (SPRI) is coordinating this programme, with the cooperation of the BIC-Innovation and Companies Centres and the Provincial Councils. BIND 4.0 stands out from other start-up accelerators due to its private-public nature and is, furthermore, the first accelerator worldwide that guarantees the start-ups access to top-tier industrial customers.

Apart from the standard financing, mentoring and training services, BIND 4.0 provides the selected start-ups with the opportunity to develop their projects in line with the demands of the partner companies. A supplier-customer relationship is thus established, which provides these emerging companies with a first-rate reference and access to new markets and distribution channels, along with actually invoicing a major customer.    

Last year, a total of 257 companies, from 41 countries of Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia, entered the 1st BIND 4.0.  Eleven start-ups were finally selected and they developed ad hoc innovative solution for the leading industrial companies based in the Basque Country. In total, there were 16 technological projects that posted an average turnover of EUR 50,000.

The timeline of the 2nd call 

The international launch of the 2nd BIND 4.0 to attract the best start-ups will run from 5 July to 15 September. The start-ups can enter online at the programme's website, www.bind40.com. BIND 4.0 is open to start-ups from the five continents that has products and services based on new technologies and which can be applied in the field of industry. They also need to have a service or product that is already on the market or in the last stage of configuring their product or service.

At the end of the entry deadline for the start-ups on 15 September, the following key date on the timeline for the 2nd BIND 4.0 will be 5 January 2018, when the start-ups will be selected., On 26 January,  an induction day will be held to present the participating start-ups. The acceleration programme will start on that day and will end in July. Finally, the Demo Day will be held on 20 July next year.  The results of the 2nd BIND 4.0 call will be showcased then, as was the case on the 5 May with the start-ups of the first call of this advanced entrepreneurship programme at the Álava Technology Park.

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Politicians attending the event