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Innovation for sustainability development

During 2012, Abengoa continued to develop new technologies with a view to generating new lines of business, while also improving upon existing technologies. It remains committed to R&D+i as the ideal vehicle for accomplishing this and generating considerable value-added in its products and processes.

R&D+i investment in 2012 amounted to 91.3 M€, up 0.6 % year-on-year and accounting for approximately 1.17 % of its revenues, thus positioning annual growth of R&D+i investment at 20 % with respect to 2007 levels.



R&D+i at Abengoa is directly aligned with the company’s strategy and is therefore constantly reviewed and updated. The main tools the company relies on for its R&D+i management include: 

  • Assessment of R&D+i: A key tool enabling the company to analyze and evaluate the different projects it undertakes through economic projections. It therefore allows us to ascertain the scope and possibilities of a given project, not only from a technological standpoint, but also from a strategic and market-oriented perspective, thus contributing value and mitigating asociated risks when reaching project-related decisions.

  • Stage-gate methodology to monitor and track R&D projects.
  • Abengoa’s Patents and Technology Watch Office (PTWO).

These mechanisms enable Abengoa to improve decision-making processes as they allow projects to be tailored when needs arise.

Abengoa Research

Abengoa Research (AR), founded in 2010, marks a turning point in the way private enterprises approach research as AR is a benchmark center in technological research. Although its main objectives are akin to those of a research center, they are also aligned with the company’s own strategy.

AR is also faced with the challenge of generating knowledge to enable continuous improvements to be made to technologies, thus allowing it to maintain its competitive edge as a company while increasing its international leadership.

The human team at Abengoa Research brings together highly-qualified researchers specializing in a range of different scientific fields:

  • Solid mechanics and structures.
  • Fluid mechanics.
  • Materials and nanotechnology.
  • Thermal engineering.
  • Chemical process engineering.
  • Electrical engineering and biotechnology.

In addition, Abengoa Research collaborates strategically with prominent research groups belonging to public, private and public-private universities and research centers, both domestic and international. We would single out in this regard the creation of the Loyola-Abengoa Research (LAR) research center in collaboration with the Foundation of Universidad Loyola Andalucía, bringing together researchers from both institutions.

Abengoa Research is committed to training highly-qualified individuals in the scientific and technical areas associated with Abengoa’s different business. With this in mind, the company recruited twenty doctorate students in 2012 to form part of its ranks.

In the coming two years, Abengoa expects to recruit a further ten students per year with the aim of training the next generation of researchers, who also offer the value-added of having earned their doctorate with renowned researchers working within a top-tier business environment.


Abengoa remains committed to R&D+i, ramping up its investment year after yerar.

Decision-making criteria in order to assess R&D+i.

Water R&D+i center. Photograph taken by Juan Rayos.