The Network of Strategic Alliances developed by Euskadi has been formed with leading regions on the international scene with which to identify and promote projects of common interest. To this end, Wales and the Basque Country have maintained an important institutional, business and social relationship for years; a relationship that has been strengthened since 2018 with the signing in Cardiff of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which aims primarily to strengthen this relationship and, as a result, to develop collaboration and cooperation activities that favour the development and well-being of both regions.
Industry, innovation and infrastructures in areas such as mobility and transport, agri-foodstuffs and marine energies, together with climate change, training, social policies and family reconciliation, were some of the main areas of work established at that time, which the Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu himself, together with the Prime Minister, Mark Drakeford, have followed up on.
A couple of years ago, Urkullu and Drakeford made a very positive assessment of the different actions undertaken until then; they had highlighted the spirit of understanding and collaboration between Wales and the Basque Country, a circumstance that has greater significance and interest in the new ‘post-Brexit’ scenario in which we find ourselves.
Reverse mission to the Basque Country by the Welsh Government
At the end of September, we received a visit from the Welsh Government to the Basque Country, represented by Mr Andrew Gwatkin, International Director of ‘Trade for Wales’ (Welsh Development Agency) and Laura Norris, Director for Europe of this agency.
For several days, they had the opportunity to get to know the Basque institutional and business reality; public matters related to External Action and Internationalisation, Culture and Language Policies, as well as fiscal, tax and financial matters that generate frequent contacts between both administrations.
Focusing on the business world, opportunities and challenges linked to microelectronics, renewable energies, electric vehicles and aeronautics, among others, are all sectors in which practical possibilities for collaboration will be analysed.
In its agenda of visits, the delegation held meetings in Lehendakaritza of the Basque Government, External Action, BasqueTrade and Investment and Department of Culture, Technology Parks,… complementing its programme with visits and business meetings attended by representatives of the GAIA cluster, Basque Microelectronics Hub, Energy Cluster, Basquevolt, Haizea Wind, Ingeteam, Aernnova, Tekniker, Ikerlan, CEIT, Basquevolt…
Euskadi and Wales share opportunities for collaboration in microelectronics
Representatives of the Basque Microelectronics Hub (BMH), Euskadi’s microelectronics and semiconductor strategy, have visited the Wales TechWeek summit, held in Newport (South Wales), to share collaboration opportunities with public-private agents from that British region.
The Basque delegation, made up of representatives from the SPRI Group, CEIT, GAIA, Ikerlan, Tecnalia and UPV-EHU, visited the headquarters of some of the public and private agents with the greatest technological capacity in the microelectronics and semiconductor ecosystem in Wales as part of an agenda organised by the Wales Development Agency (Trade for Wales).
This contact has been very useful for exchanging experiences and to learn more about the existing business and institutional environment in both ecosystems, “in order to identify new challenges and common opportunities, to collaborate in the development of cutting-edge technological activities related to design, architecture, or use of materials, among other areas”.
The Wales TechWeek summit is aimed at connecting and creating opportunities between companies and players in the semiconductor and microelectronics sectors. Its 2023 edition featured numerous exhibitions and presentations of products and services, talks, debates and sharing of innovative projects, investment instruments, etc. as part of a full programme aimed at boosting new activity in the region.
Basque participation was therefore an unbeatable opportunity for networking and the establishment of alliances between microelectronics and semiconductor organisations keen to expand their presence abroad.
Wales and the Basque Country share a very parallel industrial, technological and innovative history and present, together with other similarities that unite them, such as the important commitment to Sustainable Human Development, the emphasis on their Cultural Identity and the promotion of their own Languages.