Asociación de fabricantes de maquina herramienta.
Asociación de fabricantes de maquina herramienta.

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10 July, 2023

The Innobideak de Innokonexio programme focuses on the current needs of the Basque business fabric and the capabilities of SMEs. The programme offers over €250,000 in non-repayable grants to fund a wide range of innovation-related actions, European projects, intellectual-industrial property protection and the implementation of processes for advanced management.

As announced at the turoting session of the Innobideak Innokonexio grant scheme, it is already bearing fruits and one of the success stories is NIASA.

NIASA was founded in 1984, is based in Lasarte-Oria (Gipuzkoa) and has a workforce of 35 employees. Focused on development and manufacturing, this entity offers linear movement electro-mechanical technical solutions for industrial and renewable energy companies around the world.

The project presented to Innobideak in the previous edition of the programme is entitled ‘Patent for single row PV solar tracker with multi-point activation for Spain, China and the US’ and falls within the scope of R&D&i protection and recovery.

Need detected

The project arose from an incident that happened to one of NIASA's top customers. A strong wind storm in the Monegros region knocked part of the photovoltaic panel structure off the surface of one of their premises where they were installed. As a result, NIASA identified and developed a solution.

NIASA's solution to the problem

The Basque company's solution was to develop sturdier solar trackers capable of withstanding adverse climate conditions. At the same time, NIASA deemed it essential to protect the intellectual property pertaining to the solution developed from external competitors. Hence, it applied for the corresponding European and US and Chinese national patents for the single row PV solar tracker with multi-point activation.

The project consisted of two phases. In the first phase, the invention report for the international application was adapted. The second phase consisted of advisory work, preparing the necessary documentation, processing and monitoring. This was done with the help of a patent agent.

Project results and looking to the future

Despite its innovative capacity, in recent years NIASA has lost a large portion of its market share in the photovoltaic sector to Asian suppliers who have begun to fit solar trackers.

To turn this situation around, the Basque company has decided to resume the path towards being a key player by focusing its activities on more technically demanding clients with whom it can build long-term projects. With these developments, NIASA's strategic plan for the coming years is for the solar power business to account for 30% of its turnover and employ between 20 and 40 staff.

In conclusion, the company is very happy with the grant received through the Innobideak Innokonexio programme since it enabled it to tackle protecting its developments, thereby better positioning itself in terms of potential clients.

The INNOBIDEAK-INNOKONEXIO programme, promoted by the European Commission, is geared towards industrial companies or industry-adjacent companies in the Basque Country that want to enhance their protection, showcase their R&D&i achievements and boost internationalisation.

Companies with this profile can access this funding and develop research, development and innovation projects on an individual basis or in cooperation between different companies. All information regarding this programme can be found on the website and the deadline for presenting projects is 19 October 2023.

 Source: Spri.




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