Enrique de Sendagorta Aramburu, founder and Honorary President of SENER, awarded the National Lifetime Innovation Award
Enrique de Sendagorta Aramburu, founder and Honorary President of the SENER engineering and technology group was awarded the National Lifetime Innovation Award on Thursday morning March 22 as part of the 2011 National Innovation and Design Awards, Spain’s highest honor for recognizing companies and professionals notable for their exemplary careers in the field of design and innovation.
H.R.H. Queen Sofía presented him with the award in a ceremony held in the Alhóndiga Bilbao and attended by Carmen Vela, the Secretary of State for R&D&i; the President of the Biscay Council, José Luis Bilbao; the Mayor of Bilbao, Iñaki Azkuna; and the Regional Minister of Education, Universities and Research of the Basque Country, Isabel Celaá, together with numerous personalities from the design and business worlds.
The National Lifetime Innovation Award was given to Enrique de Sendagorta Aramburu in recognition of “his emblematic and unique position in the panorama of Spanish corporate innovation… And for the impetus that his career, which began in the mid-twentieth century, and was solidified in the next generation, has represented for other business people seeking to follow in his footsteps; and finally, for his companies, which have shown their capacity to reapply technology developed in one sector to current technological goals, transferring marine technology to the aerospace industry then to renewable energy, all the while remaining at the forefront of fields destined to be the protagonists of Spanish technological development.”
Enrique de Sendagorta Aramburu founded SENER in 1956 in Bilbao as an engineering company focused on marine projects. For this marine engineer, it was vital that innovation be one of SENER’S fundamental values in order to take on complex, technologically innovative projects that would not only meet customer needs, but would also be capable of providing added value.
The same innovative spirit in which the company was conceived also pushed it to diversify its activity; a space division was soon added to the marine division. SENER soon began designing industrial processing plants in the petrochemical, civil engineering and aeronautics sectors. From there, SENER continued to grow in professionals, disciplines and technological objectives, becoming a technology and engineering group that would triumph globally in the fields of engineering and construction, the environment and aeronautics. SENER has a staff of over 5000 professionals in offices on four continents.
In recent years SENER has participated in the most innovative projects in each of its areas of activity: from Line 9 for the Barcelona Metro, Europe’s longest driverless line, to space missions as complex as the Solar Orbiter, BepiColombo and Proba 3; the FORAN naval design and construction system, which won the 2008 Prince Felipe Award for Excellence, and the Gemasolar thermosolar power plant, which earned SENER the 2011 European Business Award for Innovation and is a finalist in the European Business Award for the Environment, to be announced in May.
SENER is the result of the intuition and willpower of a man who yearned since childhood to explore new worlds while at the same time keeping up with the latest technological advances. A man who, in addition to his work with SENER, was a founding member of the Basque companies Itasa and Indonaval; who founded and led Construnaves, the pan-Spanish ship builder association; who was the Director of Commercial Expansion for the Ministry of Commerce; President of the Capital Goods Committee for the Spanish Development Plan; a member of the Nuclear Energy Board; a Board Member of the Mid- and Long-Term Credit Institute of the Banco de Crédito Industrial, of the official Export Credit Insurance companies and various state bodies; Chief Executive and General Director of the Sociedad Española de Construcción Naval; on the board of Ybarra y CIA., Naviera Artola, and Marítima del Norte; Executive President of Petronor; Chairman of the Board of Banco de Vizcaya and Vice-President of its Board of Directors; President of the Banco de Financiación Industrial (INDUBAN) and a Board Member of the BBV.
Currently, Enrique de Sendagorta Aramburu is Honorary President of SENER, President of the Fundación SENER, Honorary President of the Enterprise and Humanism Institute of the University of Navarra and Honorary President of the Fundación IEISA.
The numerous distinctions he has been awarded over his illustrious career include the Gran Cruz del Mérito Naval from Spain, the Verdienst Kreutz mit Stern from Germany and the Cruzeiro do Sul from Brazil.