UPC presents its technological innovation potential to fifty companies

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The UPC organised a meeting with fifty companies at the ‘UPC Company Day 2023 Mobility 360’. In this session, held at the FPCAT-UPC Sustainable Mobility Campus, in Martorell, the university presented its potential for technological innovation and some successful cases stemming from collaboration with the business sector.

The UPC Company Day 2023 Mobility 360, which was held on 5 May at the FPCAT-UPC Sustainable Mobility Campus, brought together industrial agents and representatives of companies with which the UPC collaborates. The purpose was to highlight the university’s technological capabilities.

UPC, which is the Spanish university that has received the most funds from the European programme for research and innovation Horizon Europe, made 78.13 million euros through research, development and innovation activities in 2022. It has over a thousand agreements and annual projects with companies that enable knowledge generated by groups and research centres to be transformed into production value: from large technological innovations for emerging sectors to tailored solutions to respond to the needs of small and medium-sized companies.

The event included the talk ‘Long-term collaboration between UPC and a global automotive supplier’, given by Jan-Erik Källhammer, director of Visual Enhancement and Cognitive Systems of Veoneer Sweden, who talked about various successful cases of collaboration of the UPC with the business sector.

Other contributions were made by the rector of the UPC, Daniel Crespo; Climent Molins, vice-rector for Transfer, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, who presented the main figures for technology transfer to companies; FPCAT-UPC-Martorell campus director, Joan Miquel Piqué, and Josep Lluís Larriba, delegate of the rector and assistant to the vice-rector, who led the event and explained the experience of learning by doing of students in the Formula Student and Moto Student.

Successful experiences

On the day, other successful business experiences were presented that were the result of a relationship with the UPC, for example those of the companies GeoActio and EVARM Innovación.

How can the talent and knowledge of the UPC reach beyond the classrooms and laboratories? What strategies should be promoted to encourage the relationship between the university and companies? These and other issues were addressed in the round table ‘Talent and knowledge, offer and demand’, in which contributions were made by Miquel Seriola, interim CEO of Steering Machines; David Carrera, co-founder, chief technology officer and president of Nearby Computing; Enric Pastor, director of the research group ICARUS and of DroneLab of the UPC; Laia Pagès, executive and research director of CARNET-UPC, and Imma Ribas, vice-rector for Quality and Language Policy at the UPC and coordinator of the FPCAT-UPC Sustainable Mobility Campus project in Martorell.

In addition, from the UPC Technology Center (CIT UPC), director Antonio Álvarez announced some of the main areas of the new company programme that the UPC will launch soon, to explore to the maximum the opportunities of this collaboration.

The day concluded with a networking space and glass of cava for the participants. Some of the research centres and groups and spin-offs of the UPC who participated in this event were the Centre for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development (CD6), along with Beamagine, the Centre for Technological Innovation in Static Converters and Drives (CITCEA), the Multimedia Applications and ICTs Laboratory (LAM), the innovation and research laboratory of the Barcelona School of Informatics (inLab FIB) and Sparsity Tecnologies.

Innovate and transfer knowledge to the business sector

The connection of UPC with the business sector generates innovation environments that enable solutions to be developed at the same time for various social challenges in areas such as mobility, health and energy, among others. Several projects have emerged from this collaboration, for example:

  • Muvity, a physical rehabilitation application for people who are affected by some kind of physical or sensory functional diversity through exercises and games designed by a team of physiotherapists. The data that are obtained from the system when the patient carries out the exercises are processed and stored in real time and enable treatments to be planned and personalised. Developed jointly with the Osona Functional Diversity Association (ADFO).
  • MobilitApp, an application that uses personal mobile data that are gathered safely and anonymously to predict the transport modes used for journeys in Barcelona and the metropolitan area. It enables flows of mobility to be analysed to improve the public transport service and promote more sustainable urban mobility. It was designed in collaboration with the Metropolitan Transport Authority (ATM) of Barcelona.
  • Evarm, a technology to adapt vehicles for professional use (vans, lorries and coaches) to alternative fuels, such as natural gas, liquid gas and hydrogen. The aim is to improve the energy efficiency of the fleet of professional vehicles to contribute to decarbonization of the sector. It was created with the company Evarm.
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