History

Its firm commitment to innovative technology specialisation has produced very satisfactory results, and there is every indication that it will continue on this path and that it has a long road ahead of it working to benefit business and society.

Vicomtech started out in April 2001 as an initiative of a German research development network and the local administrations support. This network or centres specialising in visual computing technologies, wished to create a technology centre outside Germany The initiative received backing from the Basque Government and the local authorities and the result was the founding of Vicomtech, at San Sebastián Technology Park.

Vicomtech’s mission was to develop this model of applied research in the local environment and to provide technology transfer to companies, and it has done this from the start, benefiting from membership of international alliances and forums and always assuring the scientific excellence of its researchers.

At the outset the centre had a staff of 6, and this figure has progressively increased to the hundred or so employees who work for Vicomtech today. Its turnover has also risen steadily, largely due to the loyalty and commitment of all the workers and the acknowledge of the enterprises it works for.

Vicomtech was awarded the ISO 9001:2000 certification in 2004 and the UNE 166002:2006 in 2006, making it one of the few technology centres to hold both these internationally-renowned certificates and placing it at the leading edge in research quality.This early bid to standardise its day-to-day work was undoubtedly the base for the constant growth that Vicomtech has undergone in its first decade of existence. Besides, it has been the first entity in updating the AENOR innovation management system to the new version of the UNE 166002 rule, published in 2014. UNE 166002:2014.

From 2006 to 2017 formed part of the IK4 Technology Alliance, made up of 9 cutting-edge Basque technology centres. On a global level, it was a founder member of Graphicsmedia.net, an international network of prestigious applied research centres created in 2011 and specialising in Computer Graphics and Multimedia technologies. This gives its research activity an active, strategic international profile and facilitates both researcher mobility and knowledge exchange.

Other important landmarks were:

  • In 2007 the purchase of the building in which it is based
  • In 2008 and 2010 its classification as a Technology Centre by the Basque Government and Central Government respectively.
  • In 2012, due to the dimension of the centre, the legal name was changed from Association to Foundation.

Since its origins, Vicomtech has focused on technologies for television and interactive digital services, digital medicine, tourism and heritage, interfaces and virtual presenters, smart transport systems and industry. This model and the technologies the centre has developed since it started out have proved to remain a key factor over time in product and market innovation. Its firm commitment to innovative technology specialisation has produced very satisfactory results, and there is every indication that it will continue on this path and that it has a long road ahead of it working to benefit business and society.

As the centre has grown, Vicomtech has changed its methods and developed a flexible department-based organisation enabling work teams to be formed for each particular project, according to client requirements.The centre's technologies are horizontal, and collaboration between all members of the organisation is therefore vital.