Advanced manufacturing applied to the biomedical sector, an opportunity niche in the Basque Country

29 September, 2016
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At Biospain, the Basque Bioregion has exhibited four Basque experiences of medical devices that have made the successful transition into manufacturing. The technological level, industrial specialisation and innovative spirit have been the key. SPRI has aid and support programmes available to develop such projects


The high technological level of Basque industry is driving the biomedical sector in the Basque Country. Four examples of companies, some purely industrial, which have diversified and adapted their businesses to enter the biomedical sector, have explained their experiences during the Biospain Biotechnology Meeting. The companies are KIRO ROBOTICS, CIKAUTXO MEDICAL, I-LINE MicroSystems and BTI Biotechnology Institute.

Yesterday, 28 September, the four companies took part in the session entitled “Medtech, an opportunity for a manufacturing region”. The meeting began with an explanation of how the EU has recommended that regions achieve competitiveness based on building on their strengths and turning them into smart specialisation. In the Basque Country, the Basque Government is leading this strategy, called RIS3, and has focused efforts on three pillars on which to work: advanced manufacturing, bio-health and energy. The synergies between the first two have led to the selection of medical devices and digital health as areas to be developed in this new period, example of which are the successful experiences the companies presented at the Meeting.

KIRO ROBOTICS, Borja Lizari: The experience of machine automation taken to the hospital sector. Mondragon Corporation spin-off developed by Kiro Oncology, entailing a robot that automates the preparation of intravenous chemotherapy medication while also minimising the health risk for professionals in contact with these products.


CIKAUTXO MEDICAL, Gonzalo Martin: Division of the Cikautxo Group, specialising in development and production of rubber and plastic components that operates in the health market by offering silicone tubing and components, as well as catheters for different medical specialities.


I-LINE MicroSystems, Iñaki Sadaba: Technology-based firm founded in 2007 with the support of BIC Gipuzkoa, which designs and manufactures innovative Point of Care medical devices in the haemostasis field by exploiting the advantages of both microfluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip technological concepts.


BTI Biotechnology Institute, Xabier Landaluce: Benchmark company in the field of implantology and oral rehabilitation, as well as an international scientific reference in the application of regenerative therapies thanks to its intense research work on plasma rich in growth factors.

The bio business sector in the Basque Country

At present, more than 80 institutions are conducting biotechnology research in the Basque Autonomous Community, of which 71 are biotech companies. Turnover for the sector is in excess of 304 million euros per year, with exports accounting for 18%.

The Basque business biotechnology sector is made up mainly of small and medium-sized companies, intensive in highly qualified personnel, developing products and services mainly applied to human health, the agri-food sector and industry.

The biotech sector employs 1,183 people full-time, representing 6.4% of the total workforce dedicated to R&D in the Basque Country, in which the presence of women stands out, as they represent over 60% of the total number of persons working in biotechnology. Employment in the sector has increased by more than 28% since 2009.

Basque Biotechnological Enterprises. Biobasque Company Directory 2016

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