The presentation of Room4Steel, the study centre-laboratory promoted by the Steel Cluster SIDEREX and the School of Engineering of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), with the support of SPRI, took place on Tuesday, 16 March.
Under the title Steel Future, this Steel Study Centre will enable companies and students to develop and promote research and innovation activities regarding the steel sector.
The presentation took place in the Conference Hall of the School of Engineering of Bilbao. Asier San Millán, SIDEREX Director, took the floor to address an onsite audience made up of a large group of students as well as collaborating companies.
After recalling that SIDEREX is the Steel Cluster Association, an organization that was founded in 2006 and comprises companies from the entire value chain of the sector, San Millán pointed out that the aim is to increase competitiveness in spheres such as internationalization, sustainability and technological and business innovation and, in order to achieve this, it is necessary to create teams with highly qualified personnel.
The Steel Study Centre will be “a space where training, recycling, projects linked to business internships or challenges will come together. There will be a training itinerary, divided into different subject areas, after which a certificate attesting the training of the students will be issued. Moreover, Final Undergraduate or Master Projects linked to work placements will be offered as well as challenges aimed at obtaining economic recognition awards. The aim is to retain talent, improve students’ skills and help them with their incorporation into the labour market”, San Millán said.
Following his intervention, there was a round table with the participation of Javier Cabezas, Director of the Steel Division of Tubos Reunidos; Alain Laucirica, Engineering Manager at ACERALAVA, Tubacex Group; Asier Vicente Rojo, Research Engineer at ArcelorMittal; José Miguel Ulibarri, People Development Director at SIDENOR and Marta García, Human Resources Manager of the Sarralle Group.
The conversation dealt with topics such as the adaptation of companies to Industry 4.0, where it was acknowledged that the sector has had to assume considerable innovations to achieve a digitalized production, for example, with hyper-connected processes based on Big Data and IoT. In a section dealing with the circular economy and the environment, it was pointed out that the continuity of the steel business is related to its performance in the environmental sphere. A concern that is already reflected in the daily practices of companies. And finally, a chapter devoted to employment, where it was stressed that this sector provides extraordinary opportunities to develop an outstanding professional career.
At the end of the meeting, after the interesting question time session by the attendees, they visited the area that will house the Steel Study Centre that SIDEREX and the School of Engineering of Bilbao will launch the next academic year with the support of SPRI and together with Sidenor, Aceros Inoxidables Olarra, Tubos Reunidos Group, ArcelorMittal, Tubacex Group, Sarralle Group, Idom and Fives Steel Spain.