Fractus Unveils New Talent Support Initiative at Fractus-UPC Deep Tech Hub

Students from the ETSETB-UPC Applied Engineering Project (PAE) subject, presenting solutions to the challenge posed by Fractus
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Students from the ETSETB-UPC Applied Engineering Project (PAE) subject, presenting solutions to the challenge posed by Fractus

Carmen Borja, CTO of Fractus, presenting the Award for the best academic record to ESEIAAT-upc master's student, Laia Martínez Capella, with the director of the School, Xavier Roca
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Carmen Borja, CTO of Fractus, presenting the Award for the best academic record to ESEIAAT-upc master's student, Laia Martínez Capella, with the director of the School, Xavier Roca

The initiative includes scholarships, prizes and challenges for hundreds of students in various engineering fields. Fractus is also committed to promoting female talent in STEM disciplines and supports the Top Rosies Talent programme, which focuses on incorporating women into the AI sector.

Jun 10, 2024

Fractus, a pioneer in antenna technology development, has launched a programme this year to support students at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech (UPC). This initiative, part of the Fractus-UPC Deep Tech Hub, aligns with the company's strategy to promote higher education, specialisation and the academic and research careers of future professionals in technological fields whose skills are increasingly in demand. According to a study by the Spanish Engineering Observatory, Spain will need to incorporate at least 200,000 engineering professionals over the next decade to meet the demands of companies in both industrial and service sectors.

According to Ruben Bonet, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Fractus, “It is an honour for Fractus to support the talent of young students and give them the opportunity to create new projects that bring innovation to society, addressing new challenges and needs that may arise.” Bonet adds that “the promotion of university talent is a very important part of the mission of the Fractus-UPC Deep Tech Hub.”

Anna Mujal, vice-rector for Teaching and Students at the UPC, says that “the student body of our university has a transformative potential in the society around us, and it is essential to maintain it, encourage it and, above all, reward it. Initiatives like this allow us to give visibility and recognition to all this potential, expressed in the form of talent, while generating social models for the younger generations who have yet to decide their future.”

The programme includes scholarships for the best academic records, for which hundreds of students of certain degrees and master's degrees will be eligible, prizes for master’s theses (TFM) and technological challenges to be solved within the framework of the Applied Engineering Project (PAE).

Scholarships for the best academic records and awards for the best TFM
Fractus will award scholarships to the best undergraduate and master's degree students at the Barcelona School of Telecommunications Engineering (ETSETB) and the Barcelona School of Informatics (FIB).

The first of these scholarships, called the Fractus PARS Excellence Scholarship in Telecommunications Engineering, will soon be awarded to Ignacio Martínez Bañeres, a student taking the sequential academic programme (PARS) in Telecommunications Engineering at the UPC. This scholarship is given to the student with the best academic record in semester 1A of the PARS in Telecommunications Engineering. It partially covers the expenses of semesters 2A, 2B and 3A. The scholarship will be awarded during the ceremony for new undergraduate students on Wednesday 18 September 2024.

ETSETB student Ignacio Martínez Bañeres is proud to have achieved this recognition and affirms that “the most important thing to achieve good academic results in a demanding degree like Telecommunications Engineering is to work every day.” Regarding his vision of the future, he states that “today's world is undergoing significant technological advances, and companies will experience profound transformations in the way they work, for which we will need to be well-trained and prepared.”

Another line of action of the Fractus programme to support UPC talent are the awards for the best master’s theses (TFM) by students of the ETSETB, the FIB, the Castelldefels School of Telecommunications and Aerospace Engineering (EETAC)  and the Terrassa School of Industrial, Aerospace and Audiovisual Engineering (ESEIAAT). Last February, Fractus awarded the prize for the best academic record of the master’s degree in Technology and Engineering Management to student Laia Martínez Capella. The award ceremony took place during the graduation of over 850 students of the ESEIAAT-UPC.

The scholarships and awards, which will be available to hundreds of students studying various bachelor’s and master's degrees at the UPC, will be translated into financial aid of different amounts for those who stand out in their academic career. 

Training based on the challenges
A third line of action of the programme launched within the framework of the Fractus-UPC Deep Tech Hub is dedicated to training based on the challenges posed in the subject Applied Engineering Project (PAE), which is taught at the ETSETB and the FIB, on the degrees in electronic engineering and telecommunications and computer engineering. Within the framework of this subject, students must propose innovative solutions to the challenges.

For electronic engineering and telecommunications students at the ETSETB, the challenge is to develop a solution enabling users to measure health-related parameters easily and independently, without the assistance of health professionals. The data collected must be transmitted wirelessly to a monitoring centre where health professionals interpret it. For computer engineering students at the FIB, the challenge is to create a start-up offering a solution based on artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse public patent databases and identify those with the greatest potential for commercialisation.

In the case of electronic engineering and telecommunications students at the ETSETB, two challenges have been set: the first consists in providing a medical device that allows users to measure parameters related to their health in a simple way, without the assistance of health professionals, and the second consists in providing a wireless communication and power supply device that allows the data collected by the medical device in the first challenge to be sent to a monitoring centre, where they are interpreted by health professionals, and that can also ensure operation in situations of lack of power supply. For the FIB's computer engineering students, the challenge consists in creating a solution based on artificial intelligence (AI) that will help analyse public patent databases and select those with the greatest potential for commercialisation in the market.

Female talent in STEM disciplines
Finally, to boost female talent in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines, Fractus will financially support Top Rosies Talent, a programme aimed at promoting the incorporation of women in artificial intelligence (AI) through training and connection with the professional world, aimed at women who are studying or have recently graduated in STEM. During the final phase of the programme, participants will have to respond to challenges proposed by relevant companies in the sector. They are also eligible for scholarships to study the official interuniversity master's degree in AI, taught jointly by the UPC, the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV).

Participation in the gala of the European CBI programme
During this academic year, as part of the Fractus-UPC Deep Tech Hub, Fractus participated in the gala celebrating the tenth anniversary of Challenge Based Innovation (CBI), a European programme where students from various disciplines create innovative solutions to address social challenges. In the tenth edition, held during the 2023-2024 academic year, eight university teams composed of 43 students from the UPC, Esade and IED Barcelona worked for three months to develop innovative solutions to combat the effects of environmental pollution. These solutions were presented last winter in Geneva, Switzerland.