Research news

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

  • International cooperative agreement aims to fast track advanced material solutions to solve global challenges

    ICFO and Advanced Material Pandemic & Future Preparedness Taskforce sign MoU to facilitate solving global challenges using advanced materials

  • The UPC selected by the European Commission to build the new European university UNITE!

    The University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering - UNITE! is now a fact. The new technological university campus promoted by the European Commission with the participation of the UPC, the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, the Grenoble Institute of Technology, the Politecnico di Torino, TU Darmstadt, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and Aalto University is an alliance that aims to create a common space for multidisciplinary training, cooperation in teaching and research, and knowledge transfer between regions.

  • The new European university UNITE! takes off

    The first joint meeting of UNITE!, the University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering, will be held in Darmstadt (Germany) on 5 and 6 November. UNITE! is the new technological university campus promoted by the European Commission with the participation of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC), the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, the Grenoble Institute of Technology, the Politecnico di Torino, TU Darmstadt, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and Aalto University.

  • 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.

  • The UPC, the 36th best young university in the world in the QS Top 50 Under 50 ranking

    In the 2021 edition of the QS Top 50 Under 50 ranking, which lists the world’s best universities under 50, the UPC is ranked 36th in the world. The University climbs two positions among European universities to the 11th place. It also remains the 3rd best young Spanish university and the top Spanish technical university.

  • Two UPC nanosatellites in orbit to study polar regions and provide Earth observation images by using artificial intelligence

    Two small satellites created at the UPC’s Nanosat Lab have travelled to space from Kourou, French Guiana, on 2 September (at 3.51 a.m. on 3 September Spanish time) to carry out the FSSCat mission, which received the ESA Sentinel Small Satellite (S^3) Challenge award in 2017. The main objective of the mission is to monitor polar ice and soil moisture while testing intersatellite communication systems in order to create a future network of federated satellites. The ɸ-sat-1 technology demonstrator is also on board, it is ESA’s first artificial intelligence in space and it will filter out images of the Earth that are not suitable for use because of cloud cover.

  • QuantumCAT, the quantum technology hub led by the ICFO, launched

    The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), which is linked to the UPC, leads the new Catalan quantum technology hub QuantumCAT, a consortium of research institutions and industry partners for promoting technology transfer and innovation projects.

  • 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 Doctoral School welcomes new students and presents the special awards

    A total of 31 doctoral degree holders have received the 2020 special doctoral awards, with which the UPC’s Doctoral School recognises the best doctoral theses defended in the 2017–2018 academic year. The awards have been presented during the welcome event for new doctoral students, broadcasted live on the UPCtv channel.

  • A team of bioengineering and computing experts outlines how the creation of text mining and artificial intelligence tools can advance biomaterials research and development

    The application of text mining technologies will increase the ability to extract information from the growing biomaterials literature, and deep learning tools will help to identify implicit links between substantiated information, as well as make predictions and recommendations. This comment article by authors from the BSC-CNS, the UPC and the IBEC has been published today in 'Nature Review Materials' magazine.

  • Smallest cavity for light created by graphene plasmons

    Researchers from the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) –a research institute affiliated to the UPC—, MIT, Duke University, Paris-Saclay University and the Universidade do Minho report on the smallest cavities ever achieved for infrared light using graphene and metallic cubes of nanometric size. The study was published in Science.

  • The UPC’s BIOCOM-SC Group explores the use of artificial intelligence to forecast the evolution of COVID-19 in Europe

    The UPC’s Computational Biology and Complex Systems Group (BIOCOM-SC) partners with Facebook Artificial Intelligence to train, test and calibrate new artificial intelligence models developed by the company to forecast the evolution of the spread of COVID-19 in the United States and Austria. The aim of the Group, with the collaboration of the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute and the support of Facebook, is to check whether the algorithm can be adapted to make one-month predictions, first in Southern Europe and then in Europe as a whole.

  • 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.

  • Discover the UPC’s Doctoral School

    Visit the Doctoral School website to find out more about the programmes leading to a doctoral degree that allow you to develop the skills and competencies needed to conduct quality research in a changing world.

  • International Conference on Durability of Building Materials and Components, at UPC

    The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) host the 15th International Conference on Durability of Building Materials and Components, from 20 to 23 October, on line.

  • The ICFO and the Sant Joan de Déu Research Institute create a joint laboratory

    The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) and the Sant Joan de Déu Research Institute have created a new joint laboratory that focuses on advancing the use and development of photonic technologies to understand, diagnose, monitor and treat paediatric diseases. The alliance seeks to provide innovations that improve the quality of life of children with severe pathologies and is made possible thanks to the support of the Joan Ribas Araquistain Foundation, the Cellex Foundation and the Torró Solidari RAC1 by Torrons Vicens.

  • 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.

  • The BSC and the Hospital Clínic will use artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the evolution of COVID-19 patients

    They will create an AI model based on information from more than 3,000 clinical reports generated by the Hospital Clínic during the acute phase of the pandemic. The project, promoted by the Spanish government, is open to the collaboration of more hospitals.

  • The UPC’s Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics studies ocean noise pollution in Antarctica

    The UPC’s Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB) is leading a scientific expedition to Antarctica to deploy permanent acoustic sensors for monitoring the effects of climate change and human activities on polar ecosystems.

  • New forms of cell division that are caused by protein waves discovered

    Researchers from the UPC’s Department of Physics and the University of Potsdam, Germany, have discovered a new form of cell division that is caused by protein waves in the framework of an international collaboration project. This discovery opens the way for new applications in synthetic biology and may serve as a paradigm for implementing a self-organised proliferation strategy in artificial cells.

  • Two UPC cutting-edge research projects selected under the MIT-Spain ”la Caixa” programme

    Quantifying vegetation response to climate change with statistical models and studying atmospheric electricity using small uncrewed aerial vehicles. These two projects involving UPC researchers have been selected under the third MIT-Spain ”la Caixa” Foundation Seed Fund, an initiative to foster knowledge and cutting-edge research between Spanish universities and research centres and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States.

  • Apps may detect a maximum of 10% COVID-19 infections, according to a study by the UPC’s BIOCOM-SC group

    A study conducted by the UPC’s Computational Biology and Complex Systems Group (BIOCOM-SC) reveals that Bluetooth-based apps are able to detect a maximum of 10% of infections. The study reports that apps could help detect some cases but they are under no circumstances the main tool for fighting the virus. According to the research team, primary attention and public health services are the most suitable to trace the potentially infected contacts that a person has had after testing positive for COVID-19 by conducting direct interviews.

  • BSC and UPC researchers study mobility in Spain during the COVID-19 pandemic period using data from the Facebook and Google apps

    The work demonstrates how the correct use of these data can provide a detailed interpretation of mobility, for epidemiological and socio-economic analysis. In retrospect, the confinement measures applied and their duration were adequate for the situation and evolution of the pandemic in Spain.

  • A robotic wheelchair helps to improve the physical condition of people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

    How can care robotics help patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)? This inherited neuromuscular disorder affects one in 3,500 children worldwide. It causes the progressive loss of muscle function and therefore leads to progressive disability. Despite advances in treatment, patients have an average life expectancy of 35 years and already need an electric wheelchair in their teens.

  • A UPC research group and the company B. Braun investigate new inactivation strategies against SARS-CoV-2 virus through modified nanoparticles and activation of heat nanosources

    The research group Innovation in Materials and Molecular Engineering - Biomaterials for Regenerative Therapies (IMEM) of the UPC will investigate, in collaboration with B. Braun, the detection, blocking and elimination of the SARS-CoV-2 virus using modified nanoparticles and activation of nanosources of heat. To carry out the research, the Joliot-Curie supercomputer at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in Paris, France will be used.

  • The UPC participates in the new spin-off Smart Tower, a service for monitoring transmission towers remotely and autonomously

    The UPC’s new spin-off Smart Tower, led by the researcher Lluís Gil, provides remote and autonomous monitoring of transmission towers. The technology-based startup has received the support of The Collider, the Mobile World Capital Barcelona innovation programme that connects scientific and entrepreneurial talent to create technology-based startups.

  • Novel photonic platform capable of producing quantum walks of structured photons in 2D

    A team of researchers from the UPC’s Department of Physics, the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (Italy) and the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) have discovered a novel photonic platform, capable of producing quantum walks of structured photons in two spatial dimensions and exhibiting a quantum Hall effect.

  • The UPC, 1st in Spain and among the world’s top 100 in SDG Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    The UPC is ranked among the world’s best universities in its commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) according to the 2020 THE Impact Rankings. It stands out specifically in SDG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy (27th in the world) and SDG 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, in which it is ranked 1st in Spain and among the world’s top 100 (84th). It achieves a high score in these goals and in SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities.

  • Technological cooperation at the UPC to fight COVID-19

    Low-cost ventilators, ICT technology to manage the spread of the pandemic, a campaign to collect tablets and mobile phones for isolated patients in hospitals... The UPC is providing 145,000 euros in funding to support 20 local- and international-scale cooperation projects to tackle the COVID-19 health emergency.

  • UPC researchers create an app to monitor outings with children during the lockdown

    The Data Management Group (DAMA-UPC) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) and the spin-off Sparsity have developed the app SafeWalkNearby to help to monitor the distance and the duration of outings with children under 14 to public spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.