Like the Basque people, with whom he shares his roots, David Elizalde is resolutely outward-looking and driven by a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
Director of New Programmes and International Development for the ACTIA Group, he has gained extensive experience in the international industrial sector. Just like ACTIA, an international company that is very closely involved in the local economic fabric, he has taken on other roles and also supports local companies with their strategies for international expansion, while helping to enhance the appeal of our region.
This is the profile of a man whose agility bears witness to a global vision of innovation: business-oriented innovation that enables the Group to pursue sustainable development on an international scale while remaining faithful to its local regions.
ACTIA’s head of new programmes and innovation
His background, like that of ACTIA, attests to a strong entrepreneurial spirit and well-established innovative mindset.
An entrepreneurial background that inspires him to innovate
After starting out in a variety of different industrial sectors—IT, aeronautics, and defence, in particular—it was at ACTIA that David made his mark, firstly as a key account manager. He then became marketing and sales manager, particularly for the “Multi-Diag multi-brand diagnostic” product range; the group’s “flagship” product through a disruptive market approach: with its “garage business” oriented software. David then headed to Spain and took over the management of a subsidiary specialised in the automotive aftermarket. The subsidiary became the Group’s leading region for export in this activity. When he returned to the head office in France, he was appointed Director of the Automotive Aftermarket Business Unit with the objective of renewing the ranges and expanding the market. Today, he puts all his experience in business development to good use as Director of New Programmes and International Development with the aim of incubating and accelerating new ideas to boost ACTIA’s growth.
“My current role is to open up new perspectives for ACTIA, to conduct analyses and to establish partnerships in order to conquer new markets, especially internationally.”says David Elizalde.
Innovation as a means of developing business and enhancing the appeal of the company
The culture of innovation has firmly taken root at ACTIA. Since its creation in 1986, ACTIA’s spirit and policy of innovation have enabled the Group to stay one step ahead in its activity sectors. As a pioneer of electronic diagnostics and multiplexed embedded architectures in particular, ACTIA is leading innovation in its business lines in order to meet the technological and industrial challenges of innovative, value-creating, and sustainable electronics, with each of its customers.
In a world where disruption and change have become the norm, ACTIA boasts a complete innovation ecosystem with six R&D centres, its suppliers, customers, research laboratories and its knowledge of the market that is conducive to a forward-looking approach.
“ACTIA’s process of incubating new projects consists in building an efficient innovation ecosystem at regional, national and international levels: obtaining financial aid (Regional, National and European Innovation Funds), diversifying the activity with new markets and protecting intellectual and industrial property. The innovation process remains customer-oriented and responds to the company’s economic imperatives and long-term sustainability objectives. This innovation not only benefits the markets, it also reinforces our social and environmental interests and our appeal as an employer.”adds David Elizalde.
David Elizalde draws on his background and experience in business development to foster a business-oriented approach to innovation.
“ACTIA designs, develops and produces smart and connected embedded systems. The company focuses on the challenges faced by its customers and therefore positions itself as a strategic partner, capable of guiding their technological and industrial decision-making process, leading to innovative, value-creating and sustainable electronics.”David Elizalde explains.
There are many challenges in this highly competitive and constantly evolving environment. ACTIA’s task is to continue to:
- – Ensure the safety of equipment, vehicles and users,
- – Guarantee that equipment and vehicles are securely connected,
- – Improve the availability rate and economic performance of equipment and vehicles,
- – Extend the life span of equipment and vehicles, to improve their energy performance and to reduce their ecological footprint,
- – Contribute to the sovereignty of the national electronics industry, by continuously transforming our industrial facilities in accordance with the recommendations of the “Alliance Usine du Futur” [Factory of the Future Alliance] Platform.
“Innovation at ACTIA is an integral part of the Group’s business development. It is fuelled by our know-how and technological excellence in multiple areas. It is sustained by our proximity to our major suppliers and also to our customers around the world: by our knowledge of their current and future needs.”states David Elizalde.
Bolstered by its subsidiaries, the Group integrates the needs and challenges of its customers. It thus shapes its policies, products, and objectives to provide the best fit possible for its customers all around the world. This process provides the business development opportunities that are essential to the Group’s growth.
“Perfect knowledge of our customers and their issues is essential input for ACTIA’s innovation process. The detailed analysis of our markets, and in particular that of mobility, allows us to anticipate the needs and solutions of tomorrow.”David Elizalde underlines.
Business coach: innovate and development to stay competitive
David Elizalde took on the role of French Foreign Trade Advisor (CCEF) in 2020. He is currently in charge of the Toulouse branch (with a headcount of almost 50) and is a member of the Bureau Régional [Regional Office] (with a headcount of 100). In 2022, he joined the Team France Export programme as an Ambassador. This programme brings together the Occitanie Region, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Business France, and BPI France.
French Foreign Trade Advisor (CCEF)
“CCEFs are appointed by a decree of the Prime Minister. Their main mission is to support international development among local companies. This mission is carried out with support from TFE (Team France Export): BPI, Business France, the CCI and the regional authorities.
The CCEFs’ other major mission is to contribute to developing the appeal of their region, again in coordination with local institutions. I am in contact with the embassy services of many countries that are considering setting up in the Toulouse region.” states David Elizalde.
“My mission as a TFE Ambassador is to share ACTIA’s international successes with the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. This mission reinforces my role as CCEF. I was appointed TFE Ambassador in order to attest to ACTIA’s strong international positioning as an intermediate-sized company.”David Elizalde explains.
In both cases, these missions strengthen both ACTIA’s impact on local, national, and international institutional decision-makers and also allow it to share the Group’s international experience.
“We can say, without any pretence, that ACTIA, as an intermediate-sized company with a large international presence, sets an example for the local and national ecosystem. Innovation is the key to competitiveness within demanding international markets, and it mobilises significant investments for companies. It is therefore quite natural that I help French companies to aim their development strategy beyond our borders: by giving them the benefit of my experience and by supporting them in this expansion process, which is essential to their long-term future and their development.”concludes David Elizalde.