Research news

List of news published in the Press Room on research and innovation

  • EAR to the WILD, a groundbreaking smartphone application for the real-time monitoring of marine biodiversity

    On 8 June 2020, the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) launched EAR to the WILD, an innovative application that monitors ocean biodiversity from any mobile platform. The app listens to marine life from any smartphone, anywhere in the world. EAR to the WILD detects and warns of potential threats to the ocean by transmitting information in real time to dedicated cloud servers, where artificial intelligence techniques are used to continuously analyse the data received. The first vessel to take EAR to the WILD on board, the Swiss sailboat Mauritius from Fondation Pacifique, left Brittany, in France, for the Arctic on 9 June.

  • A computational model to understand the dynamics of tuberculosis lesions within the lungs

    Researchers from the UPC and the Institut Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP) have developed a virtual lung model using computational modelling techniques to study the dynamics of tuberculosis lesions within the lungs. These are the first results to be published by the 3Rs Programme at the Centre for Comparative Medicine and Bioimaging (CMCiB), which aims to minimize the use of animals in preclinical research. The results of the study have been published in the journal Plos Computational Biology.

  • The UPC leads a project to develop faster, lower-power processors for artificial intelligence

    The European Commission grants three million euros in funding to the WiPLASH project within the framework of the FET-Open call. It aims to prototype miniaturised wireless graphene antennas in the terahertz band to provide future computing platforms with plasticity and reconfigurability. The project involves seven European universities and companies, under the supervision of Sergi Abadal, a researcher at the UPC’s Department of Computer Architecture.

  • UPC researchers participate in the transformation of the European energy system to adapt to renewables

    Within the framework of the European project FEVER, the UPC’s Centre for Technological Innovation in Static Converters and Drives (CITCEA-UPC) will develop bidirectional EV chargers and solutions for leveraging the flexibility of energy storage resources and meeting the demand for specific services for the electricity grid to make it safe, efficient and resilient.

  • The UPC joins the Planetary Health Alliance

    The UPC, through its Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB), is a new member of the Planetary Health Alliance (PHA), a consortium that promotes the planet’s health. The LAB will contribute technology to monitor biodiversity and alert of potential threats from climate change and human pressure on natural habitats.

  • 16 novel compounds of cannabis identified

    Researchers from the Smart Sustainable Resources research group at the UPC Campus in Manresa have characterised 16 novel compounds of cannabis that had not been identified so far. The discovery has been published in the journal Planta Medica. Characterising novel compounds of cannabis opens the door to discovering new medicinal uses of the plant’s active ingredients.

  • Patient successfully implanted with the world’s first antitumour biomembrane, created by Cebiotex, the UPC’s INTEXTER and the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital

    For the first time ever, an antitumour biomembrane made up of nanofibres, biocompatible and biodegradable has been implanted into a patient and has proved safe. This medical and technological milestone is the result of the collaboration between the biotech company Cebiotex, the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital, the UPC’s INTEXTER and the Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona. Cebiotex is now going to launch a funding round to raise 1.6 million euros to continue clinical trials.

  • The Agricultural Machinery Unit studies the sustainable use of plant protection products in two European projects

    The UPC’s Agricultural Machinery Unit (UMA) coordinates the INNOSETA European project, which aims to establish an innovative thematic network on crop protection and the sustainable use of plant protection products. It also participates in the OPTIMA project for developing intelligent equipment for the safe application of plant protection products. Both are European research projects funded by the H2020 programme.

  • UPC, Esade and IED students join forces with CERN to create innovative solutions to the challenges of the pandemic

    Eight university teams consisting of 42 students from the UPC, Esade and the IED Barcelona present their prototypes after months of work with CERN scientists researching new solutions for the future of humanity.

  • Scientists sink dead dolphin to study effects on marine ecosystem

    The UPC’s OBSEA Underwater Observatory in Vilanova i la Geltrú sunk a dolphin that was found dead a few days ago on a beach in Blanes to study the effect of the carcass on benthic ecosystems and fish communities in the area. It is an experiment by the UPC, the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).

  • UPC study demonstrates the effectiveness of raloxifene in treating inflammatory processes associated with COVID-19

    Researchers from the UPC’s Molecular Biotechnology Centre show that a drug for osteoporosis called raloxifene may inhibit molecules involved in the inflammatory processes associated with COVID-19.

  • The UPC among the world’s best universities in Architecture, Civil Engineering and Telecommunications, Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the QSWUR by Subject

    In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject (QSWUR by Subject), which was published on 3 March, the UPC is ranked the world’s 20th best university in Architecture and Built Environment, 29th in Civil and Structural Engineering and 46th in Telecommunications, Electrical and Electronic Engineering. In the subject area Engineering and Technology, the University climbs from the world’s 76th best university in 2020 to the 67th this year and remains the top university in Spain.

  • The UPC has developed a payload for a United Arab Emirates satellite

    The NanoSat Lab at the UPC has developed one of the payloads for a United Arab Emirates satellite that is being developed by the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC), at the UAE University (UAEU) in Al Ain, to explore new GNSS reflectometry and RF monitoring techniques for the measurement of soil moisture and ionospheric scintillation.

  • Molecular mechanism causing severe cardiac arrhythmia identified

    Researchers from the UPC’s Computational Biology and Complex Systems Group (BIOCOM-SC) and the Heart Rhythm Analysis and Control Group (ANCORA) and other international scientists have identified one of the molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac alternans. It is an alteration of heart rhythm that is critical to the induction of ventricular fibrillation, a potentially fatal arrhythmia. The discovery was published in the journal Circulation Research (AHA Journals) and paves the way for new pharmacological treatments.

  • UPC researchers reveal why modernist stained glass deteriorates using ALBA synchrotron light

    A team of UPC researchers has studied the materials and methods for producing the enamels used in Catalan modernist stained glass windows, with special regards to their degradation mechanisms. The data obtained at the MSPD beamline of the ALBA synchrotron was key to deciphering the structure and composition of the enamels and assessing their state of conservation with the aim of improving the preservation of this cultural heritage.

  • Studying how to reduce the impact of maritime transport noise on marine species

    The UPC’s Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB) participates in the European project SATURN, an initiative that brings together partners from ten countries to develop innovative solutions to reduce the negative effects of underwater noise on the ecosystem and move towards a cleaner and quieter maritime sector.

  • More investment for the UPC spin-off Cebiotex to advance its oncology treatment

    A 2.2 million euros investment will allow the biotech Cebiotex - a spin-off from the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital and the UPC - to continue clinical trials with CEB-01 in adult patients and initiate trials in pediatric oncology patients.

  • A UPC study shows that human-generated noise can contribute to deplete seagrass posidonia populations

    When exposed to human noise, specimens of the seagrass Posidonia reveal permanent and severe lesions in their sensory organs—whose function is to sense gravity—that threaten their survival. This is the main conclusion of a recent study by the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC), entitled “Seagrass Posidonia is impaired by human-generated noise”, which was published in Nature Communications Biology. These new findings demonstrate not only that plants have the physiological ability to perceive sounds, but also, and just as importantly, that commonly encountered sources of noise in the ocean can contribute to depleting their populations.

  • BIOCOM-SC: keeping a close eye on COVID-19

    For over a year now, the UPC’s Computational Biology and Complex Systems Group (BIOCOM-SC) has been working steadily, studying the data and making forecasts about the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Catalonia and Europe. A key task that has highlighted the value of science and technology and the need to make knowledge available to society.

  • UPC researchers obtain for the first time solutions for a fluid capable of simulating any Turing machine

    Researchers from the UPC’s Geometry of Manifolds and Applications (GEOMVAP) research group and the CSIC’s Institute of Mathematical Sciences have managed, for the first time, to construct solutions for a fluid capable of simulating any Turing machine. The result of the study was published in the journal 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)'.

  • For the first time in Barcelona, Sónar, the UPC and betevé will organise the AI and Music Festival

    Sónar, the UPC and betevé will host the AI and Music Festival on site in Barcelona and online on 27 and 28 October. Within the framework of the S+T+ARTS programme of the European Commission, the festival will focus on the applications and challenges of artificial intelligence in creating music. Since the end of April, the UPC is leading an applied research laboratory to explore this relationship.

  • Extrasolar flares detected by using the GPS

    Manuel Hernández-Pajares, a researcher from the Department of Mathematics at the UPC, and David Moreno-Borràs, an alumnus of the Barcelona School of Informatics (FIB), have developed a system that detects stellar flares - sudden increases in star radiation - by using the signals emitted by satellite navigation systems, popularly known as GPS.

  • UPC, Vall d’Hebron and UAB researchers design an app to help assess the severity of symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome

    The technology uses a chest strap connected to a mobile app that measures heart rate variability. Researchers have shown that heart rate variability is related to the severity of fatigue in women with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis.

  • The UPC, leader in patent filing

    The UPC is the leading Spanish university in filing patent applications, according to data from the European Patent Office.

  • App based on intangible cultural heritage to prevent memory loss in the elderly

    The UPC’s Soft Computing research group is leading the LONG-REMI project for designing an app for reminiscence therapy. The project is being developed jointly by researchers from the UPC, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra (Portugal).

  • Three CREB UPC projects receive awards in the 2021 CaixaResearch Validate call

    A 3D game-based platform for virtual training in surgical techniques, new software that aids the mechanical ventilation of patients and a certification for artificial intelligence systems in health are the three proposals of the CREB UPC that have been selected in the “la Caixa” Foundation’s 2021 CaixaResearch Validate call

  • The UPC’s NanoSat Lab demonstrates the feasibility of using nanosatellites to observe the Earth and monitor climate change

    The FSSCat is ESA’s first mission that relies on CubeSats to support the Copernicus monitoring services for land and marine environment of the European Earth Observation programme. The mission won the Sentinel Small Satellite (S^3) Challenge Award of ESA and was honoured as the Copernicus Masters Overall Winner in 2017.

  • Sónar, the UPC and betevé present, for the first time in Barcelona, the AI and Music S+T+ARTS Festival

    Sónar, the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) and betevé are partnering to present the AI and Music S+T+ARTS Festival on 27 and 28 October. The festival will be held live in Barcelona and online and will feature nearly 30 activities, including shows, presentations, talks and roundtables with artists, scientists and other professionals who incorporate artificial intelligence as an essential element in musical projects. UPC students can get a discount (ticket price of 15 euros) by presenting their student card.

  • The UPC confers an honorary doctoral degree on engineer and MIT researcher Antonio Torralba

    Engineer Antonio Torralba is a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, and head of the Artificial Intelligence and Decision-Making (AI+D) Faculty at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. On 11 March, he has been awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the UPC at an event that has been broadcasted live on YouTube. Torralba is a graduate from the Barcelona School of Telecommunications Engineering (ETSETB). He is a pioneer in the research on computer vision and the application of artificial intelligence in this field.

  • A UPC-led project to restore European coasts with natural solutions and blue carbon underway

    The Maritime Engineering Laboratory (LIM) of the UPC is leading a European project to restore the coast and adapt it to climate change. It is a shock plan for the next four years funded by the European Union under the European Green Deal. Pilot projects will be carried out on the Ebro Delta and other locations in the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the Black Sea and the North Sea.