Innovation in the Industrial Value ChainInnovation in the Industrial Value Chain

“Collaboration is the key to be good at everything”

About 70 representatives of the Basque Industrial Ecosystem gathered in Bilbao under the title “Innovation in the Industrial Value Chain” to discuss opportunities and challenges. The event, co-organised by B Acclerator Tower and EIT Manufacturing West, offered a wide range of insights into the evolving European industrial landscape.

In his welcome speech Antoni Pijoan, Managing Director at EIT Manufacturing West, described the Basque Country as “the land of manufacturers”, and drew his vision to gather all the agents under an unique umbrella to foster collaboration. Keynote speaker Marlos Silva, R+D Director at Sonae MC & Advisory Board of EIT Manufacturing, took up this idea and pointed out: “collaboration is the key to be good at everything”.

Antoni Pijoan, Managing Director at EIT Manufacturing West, welcomed the audience at B Acclerator Tower in Bilbao

René González, CEO at Alhona (Gestamp group) agreed on this point but stressed the importance of trusting in third parties before involving them in tackling challenges: “It takes time to build a trustworthy ecosystem.” Along with Fernando Sáenz, CEO at Savvy (Mondragon Corporation), Leire Aguirre, Co-Manager at CAF Startup Station and Alex García, Director at Prosertek he exchanged his expertise during a roundtable on “Ready to innovate: towards new services for the value chain”. Moderator Javier González, Business Creation Manager at EIT Manufacturing, summarised the experience “innovation still is a risk, but at least you will be learning”.

Engaging use cases and inspiring startup pitches

Inspired by history, Jordán Guardo, BAT Manager at B Accelerator Tower, wondered about what might have happened “if Goliath would have taken advantage of Davids youth and flexibility”. Probably it would have been a cooperation success story like the use cases he presented during the event. Together the local startup Birziplastik and the experienced company Walter Pack are already recycling tons of excessive plastic material to be reused within the own product cycle.

Bardia Rafieian, Data Team Lead at BeChained, during his pitch.

The stage opened for a pitching round before the attendees finally mingled during a networking coffee and encountered fruitful matchmaking meetings. The startup Linq proudly presented their advanced inspection tool, able to bring a payback within 12 to 24 month. Bardia Rafieian, Data Team Lead at BeChained, offered his smart-energy mangement to companies interested in reducing their carbon emissions.