Research news

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

  • Researchers from UPC, Brazil and Australia get the first images and sounds of an observatory installed in the Amazon

    The Applied Bioacoustics Laboratory (LAB) of UPC and scientists from Brazil and Australia have installed in the Brazilian reserves of Mamirauá and Amanã the first two sensors for real-time monitoring of biodiversity in the Amazon. In the framework of the Providence project, this action will help fight the extinction of species in the rainforest.

  • The UPC leads a European project to study the behaviour of complex geometric networks

    The aim of the European project Combinatorics of Networks and Computation (CONNECT) is to understand complex geometric networks such as those that model the internet and the spread of infections. Coordinated by the UPC, the project connects researchers from 14 universities in Europe and the American continent.

  • Researchers from the UPC and the IAC discover one of the most massive neutron stars

    Using a pioneering method, researchers from the Astronomy and Astrophysics Group of the UPC and the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics (IAC) have found a neutron star of about 2.3 Solar masses—one of the most massive ever detected. The study was published on the 23rd of May in The Astrophysical Journal and opens a new path of knowledge in many fields of astrophysics and nuclear physics.

  • A microchip designed at the UPC is on its way to Mars

    Researchers from the UPC’s Micro and Nanotechnology Research Group participated in the design of a wind sensor that has been installed in NASA's InSight spacecraft to study the interior of the planet Mars.

  • Launch of CYBERCAT, an interuniversity research centre for cybersecurity and data privacy

    The Cybersecurity Research Centre of Catalonia (CYBERCAT) was presented in Barcelona on 8 May. It was set up by seven research groups from six Catalan universities, among them the UPC’s Information Security Group (ISG) and Mathematics Applied to Cryptography (MAK) group. CYBERCAT is intended to become a reference centre that combines the knowledge of all the research groups working in cybersecurity in Catalonia, with over a hundred researchers. The other participating universities are the UAB, the UdL, the UOC, the UPF and the URV, which is the coordinator.

  • Creation of the AMES Group-UPC Chair in design and innovation in the field of new biomaterials

    The AMES Group-UPC Chair, which was created at the Diagonal-Besòs Campus in Barcelona, will work in the field of additive manufacturing of porous metallic biomaterials for use in traumatology.

  • The UPC builds a plant to produce bio-products and bioenergy from wastewater using microalgae

    The Environmental Engineering and Microbiology Group (GEMMA) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) has built a 30-m3 pilot plant for the production of bioproducts and bioenergy from microalgae grown in wastewater. The plant has been installed in the Agròpolis, an experimental site located in Viladecans and forming part of the UPC’s Baix Llobregat Campus.

  • A European project led by the UPC involves citizens in the control of air quality

    The UPC is leading the H2020 CAPTOR project, through which a network of low-cost sensors has been installed to measure tropospheric ozone (a contaminant that mainly affects rural areas) in private homes of volunteers from Spain, Italy and Austria. The programme also encourages collaboration between local communities, citizens, NGOs and scientists to stimulate environmental awareness and social and political responsibility in this area.

  • Computer scientist Margaret Hamilton to be awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the UPC

    On Thursday 18 October, the UPC will award an honorary doctoral degree to the American computer scientist, mathematician and engineer Margaret Hamilton, who coined the term ‘software engineering’ 50 years ago, during the NASA’s first Apollo missions. The nomination was approved by the Governing Council and promoted by the Barcelona School of Informatics (FIB), as part of the School’s 40th anniversary celebrations. The event coincides with the first Barcelona Grad Cohort Workshop.

  • Inauguration of Thinx | 5GBarcelona, an open laboratory for testing 5G technologies

    The initiative 5GBarcelona and Telefónica have inaugurated their Thinx | 5GBarcelona laboratory, a facility at startups, SMEs and corporations and designed to test and validate new services and applications with 5G technology.

  • CARNET, a National Research Award for public-private partnership in R&I

    The Future Mobility Research Hub (CARNET) promoted by SEAT, the UPC and Volkswagen Group Research, which focuses on future automotive and urban mobility, has received the 2017 National Award for Public-Private Partnership in Research and Innovation on 15 October.

  • Europe pilots cutting-edge technology to prevent natural disasters in a project coordinated by the UPC

    The Centre of Applied Research in Hydrometeorology (CRAHI) of the UPC is coordinating the ANYWHERE project, aimed at establishing a pan-European multi-hazard platform for faster analysis and anticipation of weather-induced risks prior to event occurrence. It will 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. For the first time in Europe, the first outcomes of the tools developed within the project will be presented this week in Barcelona.

  • The UPC celebrates 20 years of entrepreneurial spirit

    The UPC is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Innova Programme, a pioneering initiative in Catalonia and Spain focused on promoting the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the university community and fostering the creation of knowledge- and technology-based companies. As a result of this initiative, more than 300 companies have created 4,500 jobs, more than 500 patents have been applied for, and more than 200 technologies have been licensed as a result of research.

  • The ANYWHERE project will showcase their major achievements in Brussels

    The Centre of Applied Research in Hydrometeorology (CRAHI) of the UPC is coordinating the ANYWHERE project, aimed at establishing a pan-European multi-hazard platform for faster analysis and anticipation of weather-induced risks prior to event occurrence. It will 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 will showcase their major achievements in the Security Research Event 2018 to be held in Brussels this week.

  • A nanosatellite developed at the NanoSat Lab of the UPC has been placed in orbit with six experiments on board

    The launch, funded by the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), took place at 5:28 a.m. from the Sriharikota space base (India)

  • NASA’s InSight probe with UPC technology on board lands successfully on Mars

    On 26 November, NASA’s InSight probe landed successfully on Mars with UPC technology on board. Researchers from the UPC’s Micro and Nanotechnologies Research Group participated in the design of the wind sensor that travelled on the probe, which will be the first to record seismic vibrations and measure the flow of heat emitted by the planet’s surface. This information will help determine the planet’s internal composition and how it was formed.

  • The UPC, a major player in the development of Industry 4.0

    Of students now attending primary school, 63% will end up working in a job that does not yet exist. This disturbing fact is closely related to what is known as the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, which is transforming industry through a combination of production methods and advanced information technologies to make manufacturing adaptive and flexible. The main challenge is to make all the information available in real time by integrating the entities that make up the value chain.

  • European artificial intelligence leaders meet at the UPC in Barcelona to promote the use of this technology in the EU

    This meeting marks the starting point of the AI4EU project, which receives €20 million euros in funding from the European Commission and has 79 partners from 21 countries, among them 60 leading research centres. The objective is to provide users with artificial intelligence resources that favour scientific research and technological innovation. The AI4EU Ethics Observatory will also be created to guarantee a human-centred AI.

  • The UPC participates in a European trial of a treatment to reduce mortality of cardiogenic shock

    The EURO SHOCK trial includes the main cardiovascular hospitals in nine European countries. The UPC is participating in the project with CardioSense, a device that provides an early cardiovascular diagnosis in less than 60 seconds. Over 400 patients will participate in the trial, which will begin on 1 February and continue for 34 months.

  • The UPC continues promoting technology-based companies by backing six new spin-offs

    In the last few months, the UPC has launched and partnered with six new spin-offs, namely: Elem Biotech, Mitiga Solutions, NearbyComputing (these three with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación as a shareholder), e-Health Technical Solutions, Icaria Medical and ARD.

  • The motility of a unicellular aquatic organism could inspire new robotic crawlers

    A team of researchers led by professor and researcher Marino Arroyo, from the UPC and the IBEC, discovered Euglena cells’ ability to crawl remarkably fast in narrow spaces. These unicellular organisms live in water and perform harmoniously coordinated, large-amplitude cell body deformations, in a behaviour known as metaboly. The results of the research, published in Nature Physics, could inspire new applications in the field of medical robotics.

  • The UPC once again at the Mobile World Congress

    Several biotechnology and 5G projects backed by the UPC, as well as a number of spin-offs from the University, were presented at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) and the 4 Years From Now (4YFN) event, which took place in Barcelona between 25 and 28 February.

  • The UPC in Terrassa is leading the creation of new technologies for industrial wastewater treatment and reuse

    INTEXTER and the MCIA research group, both of which belong to the UPC and are located on the Terrassa Campus, launched the ELDE project with the aim of creating new technologies for wastewater treatment and reuse in the paper, chemical and leather tanning industries. INTEXTER also participates in the REGIREU project to evaluate the combination of two technologies for the reuse of effluents in new dyeing processes on a pilot scale. Two technology centres and six SMEs are also involved in these projects, which have a budget of over 4 million euros.

  • Researchers from BASF, the ALBA Synchrotron and the UPC propose a methodology to increase the strength of concrete

    Researchers from the UPC, the ALBA Synchrotron and the chemical company BASF have established how clays and superplasticisers interact in cement pastes using synchrotron light. These results pave the way for improving the design of new superplasticisers with enhanced tolerance to the clays contained in the sand used for concrete production.

  • Some piezoelectric materials may be ‘fakes’

    A team of researchers has discovered that the most widespread technique for characterising piezoelectric properties—the ability of some materials to generate electricity when subjected to mechanical stress—can yield ‘false positives’ due to flexoelectricity. The study, which is the result of the collaboration between the Numerical Methods Laboratory (LaCàN) at the UPC and the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), will facilitate research of the application of these materials in pressure sensors and electric nanogenerators.

  • A study led by the UPC and the IEEC has determined the mass and radius of one of the oldest stars in our galaxy for the first time

    A study led by the researcher Alberto Rebassa-Mansergas, from the UPC and the IEEC, has determined the mass and radius of one of the oldest stars in our galaxy for the first time and validated the theoretical mass-radius relations for such stars. The results of this study are published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

  • A thesis on Paulista Avenue in the Brazilian city of São Paulo was awarded the Manuel de Solà-Morales European Prize in the field of urbanism

    The architect Renata Priore Lima, a professor at the Architecture and Urbanism College of São Paulo (Brazil), received the Manuel de Solà-Morales European Prize in urbanism in its second edition for her doctoral thesis “Plugin: interfaces urbanas en los nuevos centros lineales: el caso de la Avenida Paulista”, defended at the UPC. Three additional awards were also given to finalist projects at the award ceremony, which took place on 19 March at the UPC’s Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB).

  • A new study shows that chimpanzee gestural communication and human language follow the same linguistic patterns

    The researcher Ramon Ferrer, from the Relational Algorithmics, Complexity and Learnability Laboratory (LARCA) at the UPC, participated with foreign researchers in a study on linguistic laws in chimpanzees’ gestural communication. The study revealed that data compression underpins animal gestural communication.

  • Researchers have identified a plastic crystal that could be used as an eco-friendly coolant in refrigerators and air conditioners

    In a joint research project, researchers from the UPC’s Department of Physics, the University of Cambridge and the University of Barcelona have identified an eco-friendly solid that could replace hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrocarbons (HCs), which are highly toxic and flammable. These two types of gases are currently used in the vast majority of refrigerators, air conditioners and cooling systems. The research was recently published in Nature Communications.

  • The analysis of a meteorite reveals secrets about the birth of the solar system

    The study has been carried out by an international team of cosmochemists and astrophysicists, including researcher Jordi José, from the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC) and the Department of Physics of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech (UPC). Encapsulated in a meteorite collected in Antarctica, the tiny grain – only a few microns in size – has shed new light on the terminal phases of the star’s life and how stars sow the Universe with the building blocks for new stars, planets and life.