Research news

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

  • A UPC team listens to endangered river dolphins in the Amazon

    Echolocating animals, such as cetaceans, use sound as a form of navigation. Echolocation clicks can be used to track the movements of two endangered freshwater dolphin species in the Amazon, contributing to conservation strategies for their natural habitat. This is demonstrated by a study published in Scientific Reports featuring researchers from the UPC’s Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB).

  • First nanoscale direct observation of how glass transforms into liquid at increasing temperature

    A group of researchers featuring professor Jorge Alcalá, from the UPC’s Barcelona School of Industrial Engineering (ETSEIB), have developed a methodology that makes it possible for the first time to observe under the microscope, in real time, what happens when glass is heated and changes to a supercooled liquid phase, known as the “glass transition”. Published in Nature Physics, the research is of great importance for the cryopreservation of living tissues and for the manufacture of drugs and new materials.

  • New findings about stellar explosions

    International research involving UPC professor and researcher Jordi José, from the EEBE, has made it possible to precisely quantify the possible detection of gamma rays from stellar nova explosions.

  • Awards to a new generation of surgical meshes, a program for designing buildings and the Process Talks spin-off

    The jury of the 14th UPC Research Valorisation Award, promoted by the Board of Trustees, has recognised 4DPolysense as the best technology transfer project, the NECADA program as the best invention or work for its application in the market and the Process Talks spin-off as the best technology-based company. The Nimble Diagnostics spin-off has also received a special acknowledgement.

  • Semiconductors, at the heart of technology

    The semiconductor ecosystem in Catalonia, a sector that is in a phase of development, comprises around a hundred companies and research entities and some 4,400 professionals. Companies such as Cisco, Monolithic Power Systems (MPS) and Intel have chosen Barcelona as the location for their microchip design centres, and another twenty or so foreign investment projects are expected to follow in the next few years.

  • Photonic snakes, a new instrument for revealing the secrets of light

    Researcher Salim B. Ivars, a doctoral student at the UPC’s Department of Physics, has collaborated with researchers from the Institute of Photonic Sciences and the Universitat Politècnica de València in the discovery of the so-called photonic snake states, a novel instrument that can greatly assist in unravelling the mysteries of light. The results of this research, led by the UPV, have been published in the scientific journal Nature Photonics.

  • The UPC is on the way to winning a global competition to protect rainforest biodiversity

    A team of researchers from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech (UPC), developing a cutting-edge technology to protect biodiversity in rainforests, is a finalist in the XPRIZE Rainforest, a ten-million-dollar international competition to transform our understanding of the complexity of rainforests. The final will take place in July 2024.

  • The UPC is among the world’s top 50 in the SDG Climate Action, according to the THE Impact Rankings

    In the latest edition of the THE Impact Rankings—which assess the impact of universities in achieving the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—the UPC is ranked the world’s 38th in Climate Action (SDG 13), climbing 33 positions from the previous edition.

  • New generation of antibacterial materials for medical implants developed

    The UPC’s Biomaterials, Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering Group (BBT) leads the international project Bio-TUNE, which aims to develop multifunctional materials with high antibacterial potential and efficient tissue integration. The consortium is made up of ten research teams from Europe, America and Asia, and is funded through the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

  • The UPC is one of the universities with the highest graduate employment rate in Spain according to the U-Ranking

    Developed by the BBVA Foundation and the Valencian Institute of Economic Research, the U-Ranking project published an analysis of graduate employment in the Spanish university system by degree subject area and by university on 16 May. The UPC is ranked 2nd-4th among 67 universities analysed.

  • A total of 117 UPC researchers in the CSIC ranking of the most outstanding female scientists

    117 UPC researchers are listed in the second edition of the CSIC ranking of Spanish and foreign female scientists who conduct research in Spain. The ranking classifies female scientists with an h-index equal to or greater than 18.

  • The BSC and the UPC develop an AI tool to improve deaf people’s accessibility to technology

    It is an AI tool to convert sign language sentences recorded on video into spoken language in text format. To this end, the researchers have combined computer vision, natural language processing and machine learning techniques.

  • The UPC, leader in Knowledge Transfer and Regional Engagement in the latest edition of the CYD Ranking

    In the 2023 edition of the CYD Ranking, the UPC is once again the top Spanish university in Knowledge Transfer. It also shares the top position in Regional Engagement and achieves outstanding results in International Orientation. In the ranking by field, the UPC stands out in Earth Sciences, in which it is ranked among the top 3 universities.

  • A low-cost robotic arm created by students as an alternative to conventional prostheses

    The ARM2u biomedical engineering team, from the UPC’s Barcelona School of Industrial Engineering (ETSEIB), is working on new functions for their low-cost 3D-printed transradial prosthesis. In addition to developing technology to control the prosthesis using AI techniques, they are working to create a hand with fingers and add it to the robotic arm. The team is looking for funding to start marketing the prosthesis and for new carriers to test the prototype.

  • Urgent International Call for Action to Reduce Human Noise in the Ocean

    Today, 8 June, on the occasion of World Oceans Day, international scientists are making an urgent call to reduce noise pollution at sea and safeguard marine ecosystems. In the following communication, they entreat governments around the world to act immediately. The experts call for actions that include fostering international collaboration, enforcing and strengthening regulations on acoustic pollution and investing in research and innovation.

  • The UPC steps on the accelerator

    On 11 and 12 November, the six teams of UPC students who have designed and built electric vehicles to participate in university competitions attended Expoelectric, a meeting point to encourage energy saving and efficient driving.

  • New light shed on the development of quantum technologies

    Using quantum gas as a coolant sheds new light on the development of future quantum technologies. This is demonstrated by a team of international scientists—including researcher Grigori Astrakharchik, from the UPC’s Department of Physics—who have used state-of-the-art numerical techniques to study how two ionic quasiparticles interact with each other. The results are published in the journal Nature Communications.

  • The number of summer days in Spain has increased from 90 to 145 in the last 50 years, according to a study by the UPC

    The average temperature in the main Spanish cities has risen by 3.54 °C between 1971 and 2022. The country is among those with the most pronounced climatic anomalies in the world. Over the last 50 years, summer days have increased from 90 to 145, which accounts for a two-month increase in hot days. Tropical nights have jumped by 18, from an average of 45 to 63. These are the conclusions of a study by the Centre for Land Valuation Policy (CPSV) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech (UPC).

  • The ACTRIS ERIC platform, of which the UPC is a member, becomes a European infrastructure for atmospheric research

    The European Commission has decided to establish ACTRIS, a research infrastructure that studies the short-lived atmospheric components, as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium. Published on 3 April, the decision places the participating institutions—including the UPC and the BSC-CNS—at the forefront of global atmospheric exploration.

  • A study demonstrates that heat can freeze fluids in the quantum world

    An international research team has discovered that increasing the temperature of an ultracold fluid can trigger its phase transition to a solid state. The study was recently published in Nature Communication, with UPC researcher Juan Sánchez Baena as first author.

  • The UPC among the world’s top 25 in Architecture and the world’s top 35 in Civil and Structural Engineering according to the QS WUR by Subject

    In the new edition of the QS Word University Rankings by Subject, the UPC is ranked the world’s 22nd in Architecture and Built Environment, and 35th in Civil and Structural Engineering. It is also Spain’s leader in both subjects. The ranking, which analyses indicators related to research and reputation, also features the University as the Spanish leader in the following subjects: Telecommunication, Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Computer Science and Information Systems; Statistics and Operational Research; Art and Design; and Materials Sciences.

  • ESA BIC Barcelona issues a call to incubate aerospace start-ups

    The ESA BIC Barcelona incubation centre has started operating on the UPC’s Baix Llobregat Campus with a call for space technology and infrastructure start-ups. Promoted by the UPC, the Mediterranean Technology Park and the Government of Catalonia as part of the NewSpace Strategy, the programme will allow up to 18 companies to be incubated over three years.

  • The UPC is Spain’s top university in raising funds for European research and innovation projects

    The UPC is Spain’s top university in raising Horizon Europe funds for research and innovation projects in 2021-2022, having raised 42 million euros for 66 projects already signed. It is also Spain’s third organisation, behind the Spanish National Research Council and Tecnalia.

  • A pioneering open-source platform for the next generation of cloud applications

    The UPC’s Department of Computer Architecture coordinates the European project Vitamin-V, which develops a complete set of hardware-software for cloud services, based on pioneering open-source technologies for RISC-V processors.

  • A device with mobile games and remote medical monitoring for at-home pelvic floor rehabilitation

    As part of the European WOMEN-UP project, the UPC and the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona (Spain), along with the Academic Medical Center (the Netherlands) and Kuopio University Hospital (Finland), will soon carry out the clinical trial of a system designed to improve pelvic floor muscle training, a recommended treatment to prevent or treat urinary incontinence. This technological solution incorporates serious games for mobile phones that are driven by muscle movement and remote medical monitoring through a web platform.

  • Nimble Diagnostics closes a financing round of one million euros

    NIMBLE Diagnostics, a spin-off of the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP), the UPC and the University of Barcelona (UB), has successfully closed a funding round led by Grow Ventures, together with Namarel Ventures and the Inveniam Group, that has secured more than one million euros. NIMBLE is developing the first medical device to monitor patients with stent implants, thus avoiding serious complications and improving the clinical management of millions of patients each year.

  • UPC researchers design a device to harvest hydroelectric energy from water flowing in pipes

    The UPC’s Barcelona Fluids & Energy Lab and the Centre for Technological Innovation in Static Converters and Drives participate in the European project H-HOPE, focused on developing solutions to harvest green energy from as yet untapped water sources such as water pipes and canals.

  • International scientists warn of the serious impact of noise pollution on marine invertebrates

    An international scientific study, led by the UPC’s Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB), shows that noise from human operations at sea damages marine invertebrates and ocean ecosystems. Published in Frontiers in Marine Science, the work points out that noise pollution at sea can even cause death in some marine species.

  • The UPC participates in a marine regeneration project with industrial waste

    The Technological Development Centre for Remote Acquisition and Data Processing Systems (SARTI)—affiliated with the UPC’s EPSEVG —participates in the SEASLAG project, which will provide solutions to fight marine biodiversity loss by developing a new sustainable material for the construction of marine regeneration structures. This material will incorporate by-products from the steel and agri-food industries, thus contributing to circular economy.

  • Researcher Justin Zoppe wins an ERC Consolidator Grant to develop new chiral metamaterials

    The European Research Council has awarded a Consolidator Grant to UPC researcher Justin Zoppe from the Materials Science and Engineering Department to develop new metamaterials for detecting molecular chirality. The researcher will receive funding of two million euros to conduct the study over five years.