The STARTNOW conference brought the latest in electric vehicle technology and power storage to Donostia


Organised by CIDETEC and the Regional Council of Gipuzkoa, STARTNOW provided an integrated view of the possibilities that the new mobility model offers Gipuzkoan industry and society at the installations of the Technological Park of Miramon.

A smarter technology, a cleaner future and a more sustainable society: these were the three promises propounded on 4 and 5 July, in the framework of the Etorkizuna Eraikiz Programme. “The world, Euskadi and, of course, Gipuzkoa, are immersed in the transition to sustainable mobility. It is a challenge of the future visible in the present, in our companies, organisations and streets”, the delegate for Economic Promotion, the Rural Environment and Territorial Balance, Ainhoa Aizpuru, affirmed. “We at the Regional Council of Gipuzkoa are working and bringing the future challenges of our territory to the present, with two objectives: to strengthen our economic fabric and promote welfare in society. The stake we place in electrical mobility reflects both purposes. It offers us the chance to promote a new industry and continue advancing in sustainable mobility”. “This is not just about enjoying the advantages electrical mobility provides us with as users, which are many, but also exploiting the economic opportunities that the implementation and management of these new technologies offer our productive fabric”, Óscar Miguel, director of CIDETEC Energy Storage, pointed out. “Different Guipuzcoan companies have assumed positions of leadership in activity sectors with direct influence on the imminent deployment of an economy based on electric vehicles and smart energy storage”, Dr Óscar Miguel affirmed. “This places Gipuzkoa at a privileged point of departure that we cannot afford to waste”, he concluded.

The first day of the conference saw the participation of representatives from leading companies in different industrial spheres. Nissan, Leclanchè, Acciona Energía, Atotech and Vicomteche shared their proposals and experiences from many diverse points of view, supplementing the more general vision provided by Shmuel de Leon, the world-famous expert in energy storage, and Michael Krausa, from the German platform of advanced batteries, KLIB.

On Thursday the 5th, the conference dealt with a subject focusing more on the social impact of the new technological mobility model, with a greater attendance from public entities such as the Regional Council, the CDTI or IBIL, as well as companies offering services and products for facilitating the implementation of this new model, such as Irizar and IBM. This concluded with a round table moderated by the journalist, Julio Díaz de Alda, in which representatives from the academic world, research, and public administration participated, dealing with the impending changes from a citizen-based perspective.

Throughout the morning of the 5th, an exhibit of electric vehicles covering a broad range of models, from Renault and Nissan vans and passenger cars to the Irizar’s novel ieTram bus – currently managed by Dbus in Donostia – and high-range vehicles from brands such as Tesla or BMW took place outside the auditorium where the conference was held. Apart from admiring the vehicles, conference attendees enjoyed the possibility of travelling in them and living the experience of what it is like to move in quiet, clean and efficient cars.