The Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) and the transport infrastructure corporation Abertis launched the Abertis Chair - UPC in Transport Infrastructure Management, which is headed by UPC's Professor of Transport Francesc Robusté. The aim of the new chair, created pursuant to the agreement signed between UPC and Abertis, is to carry out activities in training, research, innovation and promotion in the area of infrastructure planning and management and transport services. The aim of this chair is to promote the transfer of academic and business knowledge in the infrastructure sector, as well as promoting and publicising its research projects.
The Abertis corporation was born of the confederation of over fifty different infrastructure companies, including Acesa, Aumar, Iberpistas, Saba and Tradia. Abertis worked to launch this chair in keeping with its commitment to promoting social responsibility at universities and in academics, following a model that it had already begun to work on through the Castellet de Foix Foundation. This foundation, which was established by Abertis, has promoted university research into topics such as demographics, economics and the environment.
The Chair, however, will focus on European R&D projects and other national or international projects of shared interest. One of its objectives is to engage in innovative research into the management of car parks (the behaviour of users of underground car parks and analyses of cars entering and exiting), motorways (new models of funding and the concepts of service pricing and value pricing for high performance motorways), logistics (optimisation of packaging services, urban distribution of goods and port logistics) and airport management (entry points, luggage handling and operations). Furthermore, the Abertis Chair aims to serve as a link between experts at UPC and in companies and institutions to bolster the use of ICTs in transport through intelligent transport systems (ITS).
The Chair also created the annual Abertis Award, which is open to students throughout Spain and awards €4,000 in prizes to the authors of research projects in transport analysis and modelling. It will also organise conferences, participate in working sessions on mobility and transport and coordinate student field trips to motorway operations centres and Abertis's offices and sites.