The circular industry, working area of the ACEDE Cluster

The circular industry, working area of the ACEDE Cluster

Refabrication or remanufacturing
The refabrication or remanufacturing process is the returning of a product to a state of equivalent or superior quality to the original product, with a guarantee that is equivalent or better than the original product. It requires a high industrial mastery and knowledge of industrial parts. ACEDE began to investigate the possibilities offered by remanufacturing in the Gipuzkoa region in 2015. Since then we have carried out activities related to analysis work and company action, plus advisory and training activities in this field.

Research work:

In 2015, Remanufacturing Gipuzkoa was introduced. This is a project funded by the Department of Economic Promotion of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa whose aim was to raise awareness of this activity among industrial companies and entities in Gipuzkoa. A commission from IHOBE for a study called Remanufacturing Euskadi in 2016 was a direct result of the project. The aim was to carry out an initial diagnosis of the reality of Basque Country reconditioning and remanufacturing activities in industry. Subsequently, GUREAK Industrial commissioned us to explore business options in remanufacturing. In 2017, Recup-Reman began with an initial exploration of remanufacturing options for household appliances for the Emaús Social Foundation.


Renode was a 2017 initiative in which the companies Emaus Gipuzkoa, Indumetal, Motorlan, Talleres Arrano and Sareteknika took part. Its aim was to learn from other REMAN experiences, utilising achievements and mistakes to dynamise new processes in collaboration to generate new experiences and fresh knowledge.


Aitor San Francisco PhD Thesis. “Framework For The Analysis Of The Life Cycle Of Remanufactured Products. Application To The Environmental Impact Of Servomotors”.

Dynamisation for the creation of a new company: Circular REPLAY

In view of its track record in remanufacturing, the Mondragón Promotion Centre came to ACEDE with a possible business opportunity for diversification in the field of remanufacturing and the circular industrial economy. A dynamic for exploration of the possibilities for Mondragon companies and a dynamic for collaboration between interested companies in the cluster were carried out. This involved Mondragon Components and Sareteknika, and the company providing the technology and knowledge in the new field of application, Exxita Be Circular. This intensive dynamic identified the potential common interests of the parties, the resources available and the willingness to create a new joint venture: CIRCULAR REPLAY. This new company was created on 3 February 2023 with the participation of Mondragon Componentes, Mondragon and Exxita Be Circular.

Circular Replay

Circular and social economy applied to household appliances

ACEDE began its activity with the analysis of Circular Economy Business Models for induction cookers. In 2017, the Emmaus Gipuzkoa Foundation and ACEDE began a mutual collaboration, with a study to build an alliance to develop a pilot project for the creation of a “Preparation Centre for the Reuse of Domestic Appliances in Gipuzkoa”.

A domestic appliance recovery centre is a complex circular economy activity involving innovations across different areas. These include the process of rethinking the value chain of second-hand household appliances, the generation of a protocol for the diagnosis and reconditioning of household appliances and the study of business models for second-hand household appliances, among other processes. None of this could have happened without the creation of new legislation for the recovery of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment in 2016. The idea is that reconditioned appliances will be sold at affordable prices, generating new jobs and thus making it possible to reintegrate people who are currently excluded from this labor market. (laboral)

Over the years, the Department of Economic Promotion of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa has financed different projects related to this initiative. This has also involved the Gipuzkoa cooperative Sareteknika, a national benchmark in the repair of household appliances.

The current status of the project is as follows. The pilot project for the Recovery Centre is currently underway. Used washing machines are diagnosed and functional tests are carried out. Several additional tests with users provided analysis for the potential positioning of the reconditioned washing machines on the market through funding from the European C-SERVEES project.


Sustainability in the ACEDE home Cluster, work area: energy and efficiency

Sustainability in the ACEDE home Cluster, work area: energy and efficiency

Sustainability is still one of the cluster’s focal points for two reasons: energy efficiency and comfort are strategic areas for the development of value propositions in the market. On the other hand, circularity is becoming a priority in the industry. This blog specifies the most recent actions related to energy and energy efficiency in the home.

Several initiatives have been developed to raise public awareness in this area. All of these activities have been carried out in collaboration with H-ENEA, ACEDE’s Living Lab. The most recent are listed below:

Smartencity, ran from 2016 to 2022 with the mission of designing a common strategy for the creation of CO₂-free smart cities within the framework of the Horizon 2020 R&D&I Programme. ACEDE, through its Living Lab was challenged with creating a framework for co-designing neighbourhood involvement strategies in the 3 lighthouse cities and co-designing, from its initial concept, proposals for neighbourhood involvement in the refurbishment of their buildings and installation of a district boiler in the Coronación neighbourhood of Vitoria.

In 2019, we embarked on the Science and Technology Plan of the Basque Government’s Housing Department. Led by Alokabide, it was focused on digital, sustainable and social pillars. The role of ACEDE, together with H-ENEA Living Lab is to facilitate the conceptual alignment of the project throughout its execution of these different actions.

In 2017 the Birgaitzen inititaive was launched. Designed for energetically vulnerable households in which economic and/or free insulation solutions are proposed (depending on household income), its aim was to reduce energy consumption and increase the thermal comfort of homes with deficient insulation systems. To date, more than 50 households in the “Debagoiena area” have been involved in the process.

FV Etxean, is a social participation project to encourage households in Debagoiena to produce their own energy through the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roofs of neighbourhood communities in the Alto Deba region. By the end of 2022, 724 homes had been installed or were in the process of installing PV on community rooftops.

In 2020, the Orkli Living Lab began to be set up in our innovation garage. This space is used to interact with specifiers and installers, in order to show them in situ the benefits of the comfort solutions in its catalogue, and train them to make their installation effective and efficient. In addition to this Living Lab of the latest comfort solutions from Orkl, ACEDE has been incorporating these solutions in operation at its facilities: OKSol solar thermal water heating system, underfloor heating, cross-air renewal system with recovery of heat, photovoltaic installation, with Ekitermik. All this experience allows us to learn from experience in order to raise awareness about sustainability and comfort with full knowledge of the facts.

The kitchen, a key area of the ACEDE Cluster

The kitchen, a key area of the ACEDE Cluster

The domestic kitchen is a key area of the ACEDE Cluster. Among the roles that ACEDE plays in this area, 3 are highlighted in order of importance:

  • Exploring markets, products and technologies and developing new solutions.
  • Articulate knowledge of cooking companies to generate collective knowledge.
  • Transfer knowledge of domestic cooking to related sectors such as gastronomy.

Explore markets, products, technologies and develop new solutions.

Under the LABE initiative, a strategy for the development of digital gastronomy promoted by the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, in 2018 we deployed SZukaldatzen Lab, a platform for innovation in domestic cooking, exploring and developing new digital solutions in collaboration with different companies in the cluster. This has given rise to different solutions such as the Accessible Connected Kitchen and the Accessible Connected Oven, worktop and oven solutions respectively that allow people with visual impairments to cook safely and autonomously.

There are other developments that are not yet publishable because they are undergoing intellectual protection, but are gradually contrasted with the commercial departments of companies in our innovation garage. Here we gradually adapt them to the market and stimulate fresh ideas for possible further advances. In some cases, we have also taken the concept of testing to the clients’ own facilities.

Articulating the knowledge of the kitchen sector companies to generate collective knowledge

Manufacturing industries treasure technological, industrial and market knowledge. In 2017, the WHIGO CIR (White Goods Collective Intelligence Radar) initiative was created with the aim of bringing together knowledge from different industries to obtain a global picture of the market and its trends, and be able to anticipate decisions in the face of market changes. This Radar is complemented by the vision of other cross-sector emerging futures captured from H-Enea’s antenna, CIR Futures. This same exercise is carried out in the field of companies in the domestic laundry sub-sector.

Transfer knowledge of domestic cooking to related sectors such as gastronomy.

In 2019, SutanTEK was launched, a collaboration to detect unmet needs within the hospitality sector together with AEHG and Labe Digital Gastronomy Lab. On this basis, more sessions and contrasts have been carried out, which have turned into functional prototypes highly valued by all the parties involved. The objective was to create new solutions based on demand. In view of the good results and the synergies achieved, this initiative is still open today.

We will continue to share our progress in our Blog!

Welcome to the new ACEDE Cluster website.

Welcome to the new ACEDE Cluster website.

ACEDE is an agent and innovation driver oriented to explore future solutions for households by being a node of innovation for the industry developing components systems and solutions related to the home sector. Xplora is ACEDE’s support service and favorize open innovation experiences that activate internal and external, new alliances. This is achieved by promoting collaboration spaces that encourage project development from the most embryonic phases, in exchange for an inversion of contained investment of resources and the minimisation of risk.

The company’s Cluster ACEDE works in 3 areas: cooking, sustainability and health and longevity.

The most prominent of the three is the kitchen. This sector incorporates component manufacturers such as Copreci, Eika and Orkli. It is estimated that 500 million of the world’s kitchen products have components manufactured by these cooperatives. In this sector there is a substantial concentration process, driven and dominated by new actors coming from emerging markets. In this “commodity” race, we are fighting with companies from countries with a different type of competitiveness. Not only because of labour, which is much cheaper and increasingly skilled, but also because of state aid and other aspects such as taxation, inflation, energy costs, etc. Consequently, we must aim to offer more productive, comprehensive solutions providing technological value based on the knowledge of function, and planning ways to make things differently. If we focus solely on components we will compete on price and this path is clearly limited.

The sustainability area is represented by different companies, among them we have Orkli, specialist in household comfort and international leader in gas security systems. Or others such as Ekitermik that offers services and facilities on energy efficiency for households and businesses. In the field of sustainability there is also Sareteknika and Emaus Foundation, both of them focused on projects built around the management of circularity of components.

Lastly, we present the area where we have been collaboratively researching and investigating in through multiple initiatives for more than a decade, the area of health and longevity. In-depth knowledge of services needed for the household of the future will help us define different solutions adapted for this demographic.

Another distinctive aspect of the Cluster is H-ENEA Living Lab, ACEDE’s laboratory. A valuable space for dialogue with users, associations, foundations and public entities, H-ENEA is a facility where innovations generated within ACEDE are contrasted, and the experimentation and learning for all team members continuously enabled.

We hope you find it interesting!

H-Enea designing tests and pilots

H-Enea designing tests and pilots

What is fundamental for H-Enea when designing tests and pilots? What is the objective of these tests and pilots? What does the experience depend on to be good? Who is interested in the results of the tests?

Fundamentals of defining the value proposition:

The most important thing for us is that users evaluate concise proposals, especially when they are conceptual. Our job is to describe them in a way that is understandable. Sometimes proposals come from the collaboration of several entities and companies. In this case, a joint proposal is worked on before being shown to the people who are selected for the test.

In the case of a pilot, the contrasting experience is longer and the interaction with the participants takes place over several stages. There must be a clear idea of the process: when?, how? what? The user experience starts from the moment we contact the user until we close this process.