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The Barcelona Knowledge Campus reviews its first two years as a Campus of International Excellence

The Barcelona Knowledge Campus (BKC), has presented a report on the first two years of its activity, in an event held at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid. Since it was launched, the BKC project has been joined by the Barcelona City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Barcelona and the Spanish National Research Council.

The 2009-2010 progress report highlights that Barcelona Knowledge Campus (BKC) - a strategic collaboration between Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and the  Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. BarcelonaTech (UPC), that has the recognition of International Excelence Campus (CEI) - have brought improvements in key areas such as teaching quality and internationalization and the incorporation into degree curricula of new competences linked to entrepreneurship and innovation. The BKC’s scientific programme has also been strengthened through collaborative work to integrate new activities such as scientific-technical services, the acquisition of new equipment and the general modernization of facilities, as well as talent attraction and improved training for researchers and technologists.

Efforts have also been made to improve campus accessibility and sustainability, including a number of changes to meet the requirements of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) such as the adaptation of classrooms and the provision of learning resource centres and innovation support services.

Work is ongoing to improve research facilities and to continue to attract and retain talented staff, and a shared technology portfolio is being created that will be open to all campus researchers regardless of their affiliation. BKC initiatives have also been launched in fields such as cosmos science and technology, nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Two of the research centres based at the BKC, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), have been recognized as world-class centres by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology in the first edition of the Severo Ochoa Programme.

The BKC has also become one of the foremost institutions in Spain in the area of knowledge and technology transfer. Over the two-year period covered by the report, more patent-protected R+D projects have been launched, the number of patent applications and international valorization initiatives has increased, and creation of technology-based spin-offs has accelerated.

Another area in which considerable progress has been made is the improvement of BKC infrastructures, in particular with the opening of the new Til•lers Building and the expansion of the Barcelona Science Park. The use of space has been rationalized to make the campus more accessible, and the focus on sustainability has been strengthened through the installation of charging points for electric vehicles and a selective waste management programme. Mobility initiatives include the campus pedestrianization plan and the Bicicampus project, which will make bicycles available to members of the university community for periods of one year.

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