Gamesa to open five new R&D offices

SPAIN: Gamesa is planning to open five new research and development (R&D) centres across the globe while simultaneously closing one in Denmark.

Gamesa said the centres, which include the two recently announced R&D facilities planned for the US and UK, would be opened over the next six months. 

The other centres will be in Brazil (March 2011), India (January 2011) and Singapore (December 2010).

The declaration was made in response to reports regarding the recent closure of Gamesa’s R&D centre in Århus, Denmark. The staff number at the Danish centre had dwindled to just seven people. However, Gamesa denies claims it was failing to compete with the Danish offices of other countries to attract talent.

A Gamesa spokesman said: "We are simply contracting and placing engineers close to our markets."  The company already has three technology centres in Spain and one in China employing 600 people.

Specifically, the company’s strategic plan 2011-2013 earmarks average investments in R&D of €50 million a year 2011-2013, up from €40 million in 2009 and an estimated €43 million in 2010. That amounts to one-fifth of total group investment, marked at €750 million over the period.

R&D investment includes the development of two new offshore turbines: the G11, at 5MW and the G14 at 6-7MW. The G11 and G14 prototypes are scheduled for spring 2012 and spring 2014, respectively, with serial production expected in 2013 and 2015.

Apart from R&D, Gamesa will also invest an additional €55 million / year, 2011-2013, into setting up offshore bases, partnerships and infrastructures, mainly in UK and US. Gamesa recently announced a €150 million investment to 2014, to establish a British offshore base. That will complement its UK R&D centre, scheduled to start developing the G14 in June 2011.

In September, Gamesa formed a partnership with US shipbuilder Northrop Grumman to develop and install the G11 prototype. Gamesa’s offshore R&D centre in Hampton Roads, Virginia, will open before end-2010, employing 40 engineers.

Overall, the R&D efforts aim at reducing the cost of energy of Gamesa machines by 20% by 2013 and 30% by 2015.