News Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism

Over 200 Mondragon Corporación cooperative are taking part in a pilot project with the Basque technology network

2012 March 28

The initiative, organised with the Basque Government's Department for Industry, received 153 projects, 39 of which were selected due to their great interest and potential to reach the market.

After five months of endeavour, three working groups were organised today to contact companies and the stakeholders of the Basque Network of Science, Technology and Innovation. The Basque Government will extend the project to all Basque companies, with an emphasis on SMEs. Minister Bernabé Unda stressed the importance of this pilot project which involves "applying market-orientated technological innovation", one of the core areas underpinning the policy of the Basque Government's Department for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism.

The Basque Government's Department for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism together with Corporación Mondragon today held the "Mondragon Open Innovation" seminar to further progress regarding the need for innovation in the Basque business fabric.

The main objective of this Open Innovation groundbreaking initiative is to drive innovative business projects combining the know-how of the Basque Network for Science, Technology and Innovation (RVCTI) and the needs of the companies.

This pilot project with the Corporación Mondragon cooperatives has involved an internal process to search for and select technological-scientific needs and opportunities. These needs have been made available to the Basque technology and science stakeholders, which have provided their know-how and experience to provide specific solutions to those needs.

The process has lasted five months and involved over 200 Corporación Mondragon cooperatives, the 8 centres in the Alianza IK4, Tecnalia, the three Basque universities, along with 7 Cooperative Research Centres (CIC), and a further 10 innovation centres.

This active participation has led to 153 specific contributions, a total of 39 of which have been selected due to their great interest and potential for reaching the market, and which will be showcased in three specialised forums.

During those forums, which will be held in today's session which is being held at the Garaia Innovation Park, the RVCTI stakeholders will discuss the proposals with the companies in order to implement business diversification and develop collaborative projects, which will result in new companies, new business concepts or substantial improvements to the products and processes of the companies.

In 2012, the Basque Government will extend this Open Innovation initiative to the whole Basque business fabric and particularly to the SMEs, by using the know-how and experience and potential shown in this pilot project.

The most important aspect of this project is that it is a ground-breaking open innovation action that will have tangible results: new business lines, new products and services and new markets, and will generate skilled employments, as the outcome of applying the innovation. This project will have a measurable impact on the performance of our companies.

The opening session was attended by Bernabé Unda, the Basque Government Minister for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism; José Mari Aldecoa, Chairman of the General Council of the Corporación; Javier Sotil, Mondragon General Manager for Innovation, Promotion and Knowledge; Xabier Sabalza, the Basque Government's Director for Innovation and the Information Society; <nx Mikel Orobengoa, Director of the Mondragon BAC (Business Aceleration Center).

During the opening session, José Mari Aldecoa stressed that the event "is yet another expression of our desire for inter-cooperation with all the business and institutional stakeholders of the Basque Country" and added that "we must be more pro-active towards cooperation to generate active policies aimed at intensifying the promotion of new business initiatives".

The convention will be based around 40 parallel work sessions where as many other speakers from the Basque Science and Technology System will submit their proposals to the Mondragon companies. There is a broad programme of presentations and ranges from "Nutrigenetics+Nutrigenomics" to "Electric Power-train", and including "Software for Computer-Assisted Surgery" or "Towards a Generation of Smart Sports Products".

Nearly a hundred people from the Mondragon cooperatives and the Basque Network of Technology Centres were at this event.


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Politicians attending the event
(IX term 2009 - 2012)
  • Bernabé Unda
    Consejero de Industria, Innovación, Comercio y Turismo (IX term)