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ISTOBAL Open Innovation Program © ISTOBAL



ISTOBAL, a Spanish leader in vehicle wash and care solutions for the automotive industry, introduces ISTOBAL Open Innovation. This international initiative, aimed at start-ups, spin-offs, universities and other companies, has been launched to promote pioneering new car wash solutions in response to new market challenges.


The Spanish group is promoting innovation in the car wash and care sector by opening up this fast-track program to companies and teams from all over the world. In cooperation with ISTOBAL, the objective is to create out-of-the-box solutions capable of vacuum cleaning, disinfecting and/or washing all manner of complex surfaces using chemical products and all kinds of cutting-edge technology, such as robotics, standalone applications, machine learning or artificial intelligence.


Benjamín Lorente, Director of Product and Innovation at ISTOBAL and the man in charge of ISTOBAL Open Innovation, says that the “automotive industry is evolving, moving towards more complex scenarios where we see mobility, connectivity and electric vehicles playing an important role. The interiors and exteriors of the future cars will be very different to the ones we know today, so we want to start a revolution in the car wash sector right now and with this open innovation initiative. We are looking for other start-ups and groups that want to help us face this challenge and transform the way we think about car wash services for the vehicles of the future.”


The program, which will take place over 17 weeks at the ISTOBAL headquarters, offers support, guidance and up to 10,000 euros per team to fund the process of developing, adapting, validating and implementing their project. ISTOBAL also offers the possibility to continue with product deployment and scalability. For the duration of the initiative, ISTOBAL will also provide access to its recently opened Innovation Lab and manufacturing and prototyping workshops, as well as sharing all the relevant expertise and resources of the ISTOBAL R+D department, offering a series of mentoring sessions with experts from ISTOBAL and specialists in specific subjects.


Open registration period

Applications are now open online at and will close on 30 November. The submissions will be assessed during December, followed by a Selection Day for pre-selected proposals on 16 January 2020. The fast-track program will run from 3 February to 31 May 2020 at the ISTOBAL headquarters in l’Alcúdia (Valencia).


Fresh impetus for innovation

The first-ever ISTOBAL Open Innovation program aims to promote innovation in the vehicle wash and care sector, boosting the development of innovative solutions in the sector through collaborations with entrepreneurial companies. With this initiative, ISTOBAL is taking its commitment to innovation to the next level. “Our innovation strategy permeates the whole company while also looking to the outside world. We are promoting innovation both inside and outside the company by employing an open model that allows us take full advantage of all the opportunities available, as well as helping us to identify the latest trends and use the most cutting-edge technologies and methods so that we can keep creating innovative products and services,” says Benjamin Lorente.


The Spanish group is a pioneer in the development of innovative, comprehensive solutions that create real added value and profitability for the car wash sector. With its own Research & Development department consisting of over 45 professionals, and with more than 30 international patents registered, ISTOBAL increased its investment in R&D by 21% in 2019 from the previous year, and by 34% compared to 2017.  The group also collaborates with prestigious technological institutes, universities, and organizations in the scientific and technological sector.


ISTOBAL, a car wash leader

ISTOBAL is a multinational group, based in Spain. It’s a market leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of car wash and car care solutions. With over 65 years’ experience, ISTOBAL harnesses innovation and the latest technology to provide products and services that generate high returns for the car wash business and great added value for users.


The Group exports its products to more than 75 countries thanks to a worldwide network of distributors. It has ten subsidiaries and three manufacturing plants across Europe and the US. International sales currently account for 78% of its production


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