vision-de-futuro_0The process of merging eight of the main Basque technology centers around a single legal form is practically nearing completion. If the tribal and provincial struggles derived from the complex institutional framework of the Basque Country do not end up ruining it, in a few weeks we will see staged in a solemn act the greatest exercise of political responsibility and public-private agreement that has been seen in the Basque Country in recent years.
The formation of Tecnalia Research & Innovation as a single technology corporation made up of the people, resources, capabilities and business fund of eight of the main technology centers in the Basque Country (Labein, Fatronik, Inasmet, ESI, Cidemco, Robotiker, Leia and Euve ) is one of the most anticipated events in the Basque business and technological world.
After several years of progress, negotiations and tug-of-war between the many business and institutional agents involved in these foundations, the new Basque Government (the main agent financing the activities of these organizations) gave a soft but decisive blow to the table and with a leadership without equivalence in other spheres compelled the agents involved in the process to speed up the merger process without consideration or delay.
This impulse has allowed the eight technology centers (whose boards of trustees include several hundred Basque companies) to reach a consensus around the merger model (ultimately, it will be the largest of the eight centers, Labein, which absorbs the other seven). and the deadlines (July 2010, to ratify the protocol signature and 1/1/11 as the date to operate under the same entity).
The Government has asserted its position as the main promoter of the current Basque technological framework. The significant public funding that these organizations receive means that not only the business sector, but also the whole of Basque society is aware of the evolution of the process.
The configuration of the Basque technology centers was one of the great contributions of the previous governments to the competitiveness of the Basque company. The current government, far from breaking with the previous trajectory, has wanted to give it a new impetus and in a show of responsibility, generosity and high vision has only accelerated the corporate integration processes that were being forged (both in around Tecnaliaas well as the alliance Ik4, which includes the rest of the technology centers in the country).
The appointments of the new board of trustees that were announced yesterday in Donostia could not be more encouraging. On the one hand, Javier Ormazabal (a young businessman, representative of unot one of the most competitive Basque business groups internationally) will be the President of the new Corporation. On the other, Pedro Hernández ( ex – Vice-counsejro of Technology and Innovation of the executive of Patxi López) will be Vice-president of the Corporation. An example of the Government’s commitment and leadership with Basque technology. Thirdly, one of the most stimulating announcements was the confirmation at the head of the General Management of the new Tecnalia Research & Innovation of Joseba Jauregizar, former director of Technology in the previous cabinets of Ibarretxe and Ardanza and for a couple of years architect of the merger process. The appointment of Jauregizar is a recognition of his distinguished work as a promoter of the Basque Network of Science and Technology and the approval by the current Government of his confirmation in the post is commendable generosity.
In short, this is one of the most stimulating processes that we have witnessed in a long time in the Basque technological world. I think that it is being conducted in an exemplary and absolutely responsible manner for our country.
In all processes there is always a stain. In this case, the long shadow of the provincial councils (now converted into authentic extemporaneous lobbies at the service of stale localist interests, totally oblivious in any case to the technological policy and boost to the competitiveness of the Basque company) has managed to enter through the windows of this stimulating country-building project that is Tecnalia. Last Friday, July 15, these provincial pressures managed to spoil the Basque technology festival that was going to entail the solemn staging of the signing of the process. However, the localist tantrum of the most immobile and narrow-minded sectors of the country is far from preventing the culmination of an unstoppable process and that generates so many expectations for some of us.
Congratulations to all those who are part of the Tecnalia project. It only remains for me to invite them to use with the utmost responsibility the financial effort that the entire Basque society is making on them and hopefully they will never frustrate the expectations that many companies have of them.