The energy sector in the Basque Country is strategic and highly dynamic throughout the value chain, such as the manufacture of goods or services for the installation and maintenance of energy infrastructure. Trailblazing companies from the Basque Country that are international leaders are worth mentioning: (Iberdrola, Gamesa, Petronor/Repsol, Sener Energía), and which are open to international collaboration. Along with EVE (Basque Energy Board), the Basque Government Agency responsible for developing projects and initiatives in line with the policies defined by the Government.
Enterprises have a strong scientific-technological support infrastructure in the strategic commitment of the Basque Country to offshore wind power (Wind Box advanced manufacturing centre), marine energy (with Bimep: offshore platform for testing prototypes), smart grids (testing and high power laboratories: Bidelek and Ingrid), energy storage Research Centre Energigune) and electrification of transport (IBIL/REPSOL).
- Automotive: The automotive sector in the Basque Country is innovative, competitive and comprehensive. The entire automotive value chain is well represented with two manufacturers (OEMs) such as Mercedes Benz (Daimler) and Irizar (bus manufacturer) and a large number of component companies working with leading international manufacturers. Over 45% of the production volume of the car industry in Spain is performed in the Basque Country. The Automotive Intelligence Centre (AIC) offers international companies a centre of global competition as supporting infrastructure.
- Aeronautics: The aeronautics industry is one of the strategic sectors of the Basque Country, both due to the development of high value-added products and to the generation of skilled employment. Thanks to its great experience in the sector, the concentration of suppliers, as well as the big technology plans and R&D projects, its level of internationalization and foreign affairs, Euskadi is a centre of excellence in aeronautics. Companies like ITP/Rolls Royce, Aernova or Sener and the Advanced Manufacturing Centre Aeronautics support investment attraction.
- Maritime Industry The maritime sector has great weight in overall economic activity in the Basque Country, an area of customs and traditions closely linked to the sea. The most representative companies in this sector, a leader in the international market, are Sener Naval, Vicinay Cadenas, world leader in moorings for marine applications. Some of the leading shipyards are La Naval, Balenciaga, Murueta and Zamakona, all technologically positioned and competitive internationally.
- The Basque railway industry is one of the pioneers of the market, with solutions and services tailored to the specific needs of each operator and project. In this highly internationalized sector, the constant commitment in recent years to innovation and technological developments has been a key. The headquarters of the Association of Spanish railway industry MAFEX is in the Basque Country, and large companies such as CAF-Construcción y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, the greatest exponent and one of the leaders of the international railway industry, Bombardier or Talgo…
Two characteristics define the machine-tool sector in the Basque Country: firstly the degree of internationalization, and secondly, its innovative character. One of the mainstays of the development of this sector is its strong commitment to innovation and technological development centres IMH – Instituto de Formación e Innovación en Máquina Herramienta (Institute of Training and Innovation in Machine-Tools), Invema (Research Institute) and the AFM Cluster. Companies working in this sector produce all kinds of components for aeronautics, automotive companies, etc. They produce more than 2,000 models of machines with a wide range of highly competitive products. Products exhibited in BIEMH – Machine Tool Biennial, one of the most important fairs of its kind in Europe.
The electronics and information technology and communications sector has pioneering companies that place great value on the transformation of companies, with the aim of increasing and promoting competitiveness through the application of technology, innovation and knowledge. It is a sector with a turnover of around EUR 3,000 million in the Basque Country. Projects integrating electronic, computing and telecommunications solutions, focused on enabling the optimized management of business processes in industrial, commercial and services organizations. Worthy of mention are Ibermática, ICT services company with over 3,000 employees and Euskaltel, Basque Country telecom operator.
The Basque bioregion, called BioBasque, is characterized by collaboration between the academic world, the health system and industry, supported by an extensive network of infrastructures and a public administration that favours business activity. In the bioregion, the business sector, with more than 70 companies, benefits from the empowerment of different areas of knowledge and technological convergence. Thus, biological know-how is complemented with a long tradition in engineering, manufacturing, microtechnology, electronics, robotics and automation, and the new possibilities of nanotechnology. Worthy of mention are FAES FARMA and BIAL, the biotechnology of the Grifols Group, Progenika Biofarma, and the Noray Biosciences Group (Noray BG). Among R&D infrastructures of great interest to attract international investment is the CIC bioGUNE, a reference research centre in Cell, Molecular and Structural Biology, a unique facility in the State and a leader in Europe, in addition to the Cic BiomaGUNE.
Euskadi has experienced in the last decade significant progress in improving environmental quality, and is now a European benchmark in developing and implementing environmental policies. This significant improvement in environmental quality standards would not have been possible without the Basque Environmental Industry, a mature and dynamic sector, which has consolidated supporting the evolution of the main industries of our country towards cleaner production models, managing to reduce consumption of raw materials and resources (energy, materials and water) and minimizing their environmental impact; implementing processes and clean technologies that have enabled these sectors to converge towards European standards, improving their competitiveness. In addition, companies in this sector have contributed to the comprehensive transformation of territories and cities, participating in joint strategies and implementing solutions to reconvert areas affected by environmental liabilities (soil and water) into new areas of opportunity for socio-economic development, and one of its greatest exponents is the recovery of the Fluvial channel in metropolitan Bilbao.