IACTEC: The new technological and business collaboration space promoted by the IAC

Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC)

IACTEC is a technological and business collaboration space set up by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) to promote collaboration between the public and private sectors by boosting the creation of quality employment and the generation of high added-value technological products with a high commercialization potential, both nationally and internationally.

IACTEC has been created as a key strategic environment for the development of talent and dynamic and innovative production practices in the Canary Islands and Spain, providing an accessible environment and abundant human, scientific, technological, and financial resources.

Strategic value

For decades now, the IAC has played a leading role in the development of advanced astrophysical instrumentation in Spain. That experience has further expanded in recent years with the construction of the Gran Telescopio de Canarias (GTC). The GTC was built and designed mainly by Spanish companies, which have become highly skilled in the development of space and astrophysics technologies. In collaboration with national and international businesses, the IAC has designed and built instruments for the biggest, most advanced and complex telescopes in the world.

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IACTec building. Credit: Daniel López / IAC.

Thanks to the technological skills acquired and the participation of Spain in the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the European Space Agency (ESA), the IAC now has access to leading projects in the areas of astrophysics, both ground- and space-based, and a wide experience in the building of cooperative consortia. The climate of confidence generated in the technological and business sector is of great strategic value and provides direct access to contracts, opening up the possibility of competing for tenders with a high guarantee of success.

Lines of action

IACTEC, which in 2018 will have its definitive location in the Science and Technology Park of Tenerife (PCTT), in La Laguna, commences its activities advocating three lines of action for which the IAC already possesses key skills in strategic disciplines, such as optics, electronics, specialized software development, and precision mechanics. These three "first light" programs are: a) Microsatellites, which in its first phase will be designed for taking images of the Earth surface; b) Medical Technology, that will study applications for Biomedicine derived from the knowledge of the instrumentation for the capture and processing of the light; and c) Large Telescopes, which in turn consists of three projects related to the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), the European Solar Telescope (EST) and the robotic Liverpool Telescope 2 (LT2).

The IACTEC team

IACTEC has a highly qualified team of professionals in the fields of engineering and science integrated within the structure of the IAC. It has the technical support of the Institute, particularly of the Instrumentation Division, which has 30 years' technical knowledge in developing cutting-edge technology.

The Cabildo de Tenerife, through the "Agustín de Betancourt" - Fostering Knowledge and Technology Transfer Programme, has financed the recruitment of the first eight IACTEC engineers through the "IACTEC Technological Training" project. This programme plans to increase annually the number of people hired to reach, in 2020, the figure of 32 engineers at IACTEC.

More information:

IACTEC website

Press release: IACTEC a step nearer