TECNALIA Research & Innovation (TRI)


Fundación TECNALIA Research & Innovation is a private, non‐profit‐making technological research centre, resulting from the merger of eight private research organisations located in the Basque country. TECNALIA employs 1,500 people (164 PhDs) and is the leading private research and technology entity in Spain and the fifth largest in Europe.

TECNALIA operates in all fields of industry. TECNALIA is a member of JIIP (Joint Institute for Innovation Policy), a member of the Executive Committee of EARTO (European Association of Research and Technology Organisations) and a member of EUROTECH.

TECNALIA’s Health Division is focused on developing ICT‐based solutions for autonomy, safety, independence and quality of life for disabled and elderly people: e‐health, rehabilitation, compensation for motor and cognitive impairments, assistive robotics, prevention of physical and cognitive deterioration, solutions for caregiver support are all part of the portfolio.

TECNALIA’s Information Strategies Division is focused on Social Innovation and reducing the digital gap by bringing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) closer to citizens and small enterprises. The division possesses long standing experience in research dealing with Regional Knowledge Management (Science, Technology and Innovation), policy impact assessment, policy recommendations, industrial area management and sustainability.

Michael ObachDr Michael Obach is a senior research scientist and project leader at TECNALIA Research & Innovation. He holds a diploma from the mathematics and computer sciences department of the University Kassel (Germany). In 2003, he obtained a PhD from the same university for his research on the Application of Artificial Neural Networks in Ecology at the Max-Planck Institute for Limnology (Schlitz, Germany). From 2003 to 2004, he was leader of several R&D projects at the Technology Centre IDEKO (Elgoibar, Spain). From 2005 to 2007, Dr Obach was coordinator of R&D projects on Speech technology, Biometrical systems, Pervasive Computing and Pattern Recognition at the applied research centre VICOMTech (San Sebastián, Spain). Since 2007, he is working with TECNALIA Research & Innovation (before 2011: FATRONIK-Tecnalia; San Sebastián, Spain) in European, Spanish, Basque and internal projects related to health and gerontology.

Jesus-Valero-CongilDr Jesús Valero Congil holds an MSc in Biology and a PhD in Biology by the Chemistry Faculty of the University of the Basque Country (2000), a Master in Water Technology by the Polytechnic University of Cataluña (1992) and a Master in Marketing and Commercial Management by ESIC Marketing and Business School (2009). In 1994 he started his research career in TECNALIA in the field of microbiology (environmental, food and materials microbiology). His research has focused on the modification of materials surfaces to obtain bioactive materials for different applications. From 2005 to 2008 he was Head of the Biotechnology Department of TECNALIA where 15 researchers develop their research in the interphase between materials and biology. In 2008 he created a start‐up company called Biofinder S.L. in the field of rapid microbiology. From 2008 to 2010 he was Market Director of the Health Division of TECNALIA. In 2011 he was appointed as Unit Director of Health Technologies in the Health Division where currently he is R&D Director and responsible for commercialisation of the FIK project. He has negotiated several licenses at national and international level.

AntoniaBierwirthDr Antonia Bierwirth earned her PhD in Innovation Management at the Autonomous University of Madrid, furthermore she holds degrees in Business Administration (University of Sofia) and Political Sciences (University of Frankfurt am Main), with postgraduate studies in Marketing and Economic Management of R&D Projects. Antonia possesses more than ten years of professional experience across a variety of innovation and research areas, such as business forecast & trends analysis, innovation in ICT and financial services, development of new business models. In Tecnalia she is working in the Technology and Society area, as an EU R&D Project Manager. Antonia also serves at the European Commission as a scientific and ethics evaluator of H2020 proposals. Her research interests include Social Innovation and Social inclusion initiatives, Responsible Research and Innovation, creation of sustainable business models and industrial design for personal, social and societal transformation. Antonia is fluent in four languages (English, German, Spanish and Bulgarian).