MOU with Tecnalia

Designing Smarter Technologies

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Deakin University and Spain’s Tecnalia research organisation is set to offer cutting edge collaborative opportunities for staff and students, particularly in the areas of electromaterials and corrosion science.

Tecnalia is an applied research centre focussed on the scientific and technological development of its collaborating companies, particularly small to medium enterprises.

It is the largest private R&D entity in Spain and the fifth in Europe, with a staff of over 1,400 employees and a turnover of nearly EUR 125 million.

According to Deakin’s Director of International Research Training, Associate Professor Luis Afonso, Tecnalia is providing a successful model in Europe, acting as a bridge between academia and industry that is open to other organisations and networks, and achieving innovative solutions for industry and the broader community.

“Tecnalia was the first privately funded applied research and technology organisation in Spain and has become a leader in Europe,” he said.

“In the energy sector, for instance, it is involved in highly experimental research in areas such as smart grids, floating wind technologies, electric systems for renewable energy, and energy efficient architectural envelopes for building facades, amongst many other projects.”
Associate Professor Luis Afonso
Associate Professor Luis Afonso
Collaboration with Tecnalia has already begun, with a group of 12 Deakin researchers attending a three-day workshop at Tecnalia in 2014 and Tecnalia hosting an in-country PhD student, Laura Sánchez, supervised by Professor Maria Forsyth from Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials.

Professor Forsyth also noted that Tecnalia has hosted, for two months, a PhD student from the Institute for Frontier Materials, in the area of membrane separation technologies (supervised by Professor Lingue Kong). A further student, working with the IFM’s Associate Professor Jenny Pringle, is also set to visit Tecnalia later this year.

Dr Cristina Pozo-Gonzalo, a Deakin Research Fellow in Electromaterials, who worked with Spain’s Centre for Electrochemical Technologies for several years, has been collaborating with Tecnalia for over two years.

“There is strong research synergy between Tecnalia and Deakin, particularly in the areas of corrosion, energy storage, and membrane filtration technology,” said Dr Pozo-Gonzalo.

“We are very excited about the opportunities this MOU will provide. Tecnalia combines industry language with a strong focus on fundamental knowledge that underpins its research.”

Tecnalia was established in 2001 through the strategic alliance of AZTI-Tecnalia, NEIKER-Tecnalia and TECNALIA Research and Innovation.

Its research areas include sustainable construction, energy and environment, ICT, agri-food, marine and foodstuff research, health, environment and natural resources.