The achieved results have meant a return of 29 million euros for Spanish entities and 6.5 million for organizations from Aragon that collaborate with the technology center
The CIRCE technology center maintains its positive trend and closes the 2022 financial year with revenues of 15 million euros, of which 5.7 million (+19%) come from projects with companies, and 9.4 million (+13.5%) are returns obtained from competitive financing funds to develop R+D+i projects.
Thus, CIRCE grew by 16% compared to the previous year, the result of a greater impact in technology transfer to the business fabric in the field of energy and sustainability. In this regard, the technology center has incorporated 122 new clients throughout 2022, which represents an increase of 54.7% compared to 2021. Of these, 55% are national clients, 29% are from Aragon, and 16% are international.
The financing obtained from competitive R+D+i funds, of which more than 85% corresponded to the prestigious Horizon Europe program, has enabled a return for Spanish entities collaborating with CIRCE of almost 29 million euros and more than 15 million euros for organizations from Aragon. Thus, achieving the main objective of transferring the results of these projects to companies in order to improve their competitiveness.
In total, there have been 13 European research projects awarded to CIRCE during 2022, of which 3 are coordinated by the technology center, representing 8.51 million euros of funding. To these, it must be added the national and regional projects, although they represent a minor item in the total.
Hydrogen, artificial vision, smart grids and recycling technologies
Among the developments carried out within the framework of these projects, stand out the sizing tools for systems that generate and use hydrogen, as well as the preparation of safety procedures for its integration into the industry; the development of artificial vision models for waste separation and the improvement of plastic and textile recycling techniques with microwave technology; the development of a bidirectional charger with silicon carbide technology for electric vehicles; and the tool for calculating flexibility needs for electricity distributors. In order to protect CIRCE’s R&D developments, during 2022 4 utility models, 3 software and algorithm protections and 1 industrial design have been approved.
The positive balance can also be observed in the growth of the CIRCE workforce, that closed 2022 with 282 professionals, which represents an increase of 6.8% compared to the previous year. This growth has been accompanied by a professional and personal development plan through which CIRCE’s people have benefited from more than 11,377 hours of training. Furthermore, it has been promoted the second edition of the CIRCE Academy talent program where 24 young people have joined the organization while they are allowed to continue training with a specialized postgraduate course. In addition, the technology center continues with its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and has renewed the RSA and RSA+ Seals issued by the Government of Aragon and obtained for the third consecutive year the GTPW seal that positions CIRCE as a great place to work.
CIRCE turns 30 with great challenges ahead
CIRCE celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2023 with great challenges to achieve. This year, the technology center aims to maintain sustained growth that allows it to increase technology sales and licensing of innovative solutions developed within the framework of the R+D+i project. In this way, the technology center will fulfill its mission of continuing to accompany companies in their energy and sustainability challenges so that they can continue to compete in increasingly demanding international markets and in a current energy situation of volatile prices.
In the field of financing programs, CIRCE expects to exceed 9 million euros in return this year in the Horizon Europe program and reach 10 million in achievement taking into account all public calls. The ultimate goal is to obtain funds that allow it to promote projects focused on carrying out innovative developments, among others, in the fields of operation and maintenance of photovoltaic parks, the development of protections for the integration of renewables in low voltage networks, the development of hardware and software for the integration and management of assets in energy communities as a source of flexibility services and artificial intelligence tools for the energy-intensive industry.