The UPC is still the top Spanish university in obtaining funds from the H2020 programme

Excellent Science with UPC participation

Since the beginning of the programme in 2014 up to now, the UPC has participated or is still participating in 173 H2020 projects, and is the leader of 47 of them. These projects add up to more than 61 million euros in funding.

The highest European funding since the beginning of H2020 raised by the UPC has been for Excellent Science projects. ERC grants have contributed more than 12 million euros to projects in this pillar, while the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), which are devoted to developing skills and innovation from research talent, have had a return of more than 11 million euros for the University. The third highest source of funding was the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) subprogramme, with a return of more than 9 million euros.

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) continues to be the first Spanish university in raising funds from the European framework programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020 (H2020), according to the provisional results of the latest reports by the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) for the period 2014–2018.

Jul 25, 2019

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) cements its position as Spain’s top university in raising funds for projects carried out during the first five years of the H2020 programme and ranks fifth in the list by entity, behind the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Tecnalia Research & Innovation Foundation, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center–Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) and Atos Spain, according to the report published in May by the CDTI’s Division of European Union Programmes that details the results of Spanish participation.

According to this report, the UPC participated in 125 research projects, of which it coordinated 39, during the period 2014–2018. (The report does not include the EURATOM programme or projects in which the UPC has collaborated as a third party.)

The BSC-CNS, which participates in 111 projects funded by the H2020 programme and coordinates 30 of them, and the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), which participates in 66 projects and coordinates 36, continue to stand out among the 20 Spanish entities with the highest return on investment. These two centres, which are linked to the UPC, rank third and tenth, respectively.

The UPC, the BSC-CNS and the ICFO stand out in the report
These three entities stand out in the rankings of universities, public research centres and research associations that receive funds from the EU funding programme for research and innovation. In fact, the UPC ranks first among universities, the ICFO ranks first among research associations and the BSC-CNS ranks second among public research centres, just behind the CSIC.

With regard to Excellent Science, the first pillar of the H2020 programme, the ICFO is one of the ten entities that have raised the most funds for projects in this area thanks to the European Research Council (ERC) through Advanced, Consolidator and Starting grants. In one of the research subprogrammes of this pillar, namely Future and Emerging Technologies, both the BSC-CNS and the ICFO are among the five entities that raised the most funds, the other three being the CSIC, the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. As for the Research Infrastructures subprogramme, the BSC-CNS is again one of the highest fundraising entities, together with the CSIC, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, the Centre for Genomic Regulation, the Energy, Environment and Technology Research Centre and Atos Spain.

With regard to Industrial Leadership, the second pillar of H2020, the BSC-CNS is among the six entities with the highest return in the Information and Communication Technologies subprogramme, together with Atos, Telefónica I+D, Tecnalia, the Universitat Politècnica de València and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Regarding Societal Challenges, the third pillar, the UPC is among the five Spanish entities that has raised the most funds in the Security subprogramme, together with Atos, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Tecnalia and Vicomtech. The BSC-CNS also stands out in the Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials subprogramme, in which it is one of the four highest fundraisers, along with Tecnalia, Cobre Las Cruces and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).

As for the results by autonomous community, the CDTI report shows excellent results for Catalonia, which is still the autonomous community that raises the most funds from the H2020 programme, having raised one million euros, which means 29.7% of the funds raised in Spain.

Three projects underway
One of the H2020 projects led by the UPC is the ANYWHERE project (Enhancing Emergency Management and Response to Extreme Weather and Climate Events), coordinated by the researcher Daniel Sempere, the director of the Centre of Applied Research in Hydrometeorology (CRAHI), and aimed at establishing a pan-European multi-hazard platform for faster analysis and anticipation of weather-induced risks prior to event occurrence. The platform should also improve response management in emergency situations and help exposed populations avert loss of life, damage to infrastructure and economic losses related to these events. The project, which received 12 million euros in funding from the European research and innovation programme, began in 2016 and is scheduled to end in 2019.

Researching the design of new intelligent computing systems inspired by the human brain is the goal of the “CoCoUnit: An Energy-Efficient Processing Unit for Cognitive Computing” project, led by Antonio González, a researcher from the Department of Computer Architecture at the UPC. The project has received an Advanced Grant, the highest award granted by the European Research Council to groundbreaking, high-risk projects. It is scheduled to start in September and will go on for five years with 2.5 million euros in funding.

Xavier Escaler, from the Centre for Industrial Diagnostics and Fluid Dynamics (CDIF) of the UPC, is leading the project 'AFC4Hydro', which focuses on developing new technology to improve hydroelectricity production and, thus, promote the growth of renewable energies in the European integrated electricity generation system. The project partners estimate the market value of their future implementation to be around €1.5 billion and that it will mainly benefit small and medium-sized enterprises.