The UPC and the BSC-CNS on the first Spanish map of technological capacities in artificial intelligence


Map of Capacities with information on entities that research, develop, use or provide services with artificial intelligence (IA) technologies in Spain

The Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities has drawn the first map of artificial intelligence capacities in Spain, with public and private institutions that work and conduct research on this area. The map features both the UPC and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS).

Nov 08, 2019

The Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities has drawn the first map of capacities that features organisations that conduct research, develop, use or provide services related to artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in Spain. This map aims to encourage national synergies and open the door to European and international collaboration by identifying and showing the strengths of Spanish institutions in this area.

The map, which features the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS), is an in-depth view of the state of the art in the Spanish AI ecosystem.

The map is key to designing the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, which will be presented by January 2020 and aims to align national policies for promoting the development and use of AI in Spain. The map provides information about the organisations that develop or provide AI services, the technologies developed within the ecosystem and data relevant to other governmental policies, such as the proportion of women in these organisations. The map is part of the commitments of the member states to the European Union’s Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence.

Drawing the map
The map is built upon over 200 contributions from public and private organisations, such as universities, public research bodies, technology centres, SMEs, large companies, banks, consulting and insurance companies, city councils and associations. The final result is a map with 154 legal associations that provides a first detailed picture of the development and use of artificial intelligence in Spain and reveals priority areas for public investment and the private sector.

Longstanding experience in AI training and research
The UPC has longstanding experience in training and research in artificial intelligence, especially within the framework of robotics, image processing and speech recognition, e-health, urban mobility and self-driving vehicles. In addition to being part of the BSC-CNS, which is equipped with the supercomputer MareNostrum, the UPC has two AI research centres: the Intelligent Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (IDEAI-UPC) research centre and the Institute of Robotics and Industrial Computing (IRI), a joint research centre with the Spanish National Research Council. The IDEAI has over 50 full-time researchers and 150 doctoral students. The IRI houses 35 full-time researchers, a researcher with an European Research Council (ERC) grant and 45 doctoral students, and is a María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence since 2017.

The BSC-CNS has over 500 researchers and applies artificial intelligence to research in life sciences and computer science, smart healthcare systems and innovation in industry and business. It also has a group specialised in exploring the high potential of supercomputers to boost the performance of AI-based technologies. In June 2018, it implemented the MareNostrum CTE-POWER9 cluster, which is the first European supercomputer with POWER9-Volta GPUs—today’s most advanced technology—, to combine supercomputing performance and the expectations for artificial intelligence.