Three new UB research groups obtain the TECNIO certification

The University of Barcelona has three new TECNIO research groups. This certification, granted by the Generalitat de Catalunya with the support of ACCIÓ, identifies entities that develop differential technology for companies. The MAiMA – Stable Isotopes and Mineralogy Group, DATASCIENCE @ UB, and the Centre for the Production and Validation of Advanced Therapies – CREATIO join the Drug Development Service (SDM), the Centre for Design and Optimisation of Processes and Materials (DIOPMA), the Toxicology Research Centre (CERETOX), the Thermal Projection Centre (CPT), the Microsystems Engineering Centre for Instrumentation and Control (CEMIC), and CELLTEC UB, which already obtained the certification in previous calls. This recognition, obtained by the three candidates that the FBG presented this year, provides knowledge transfer with both assurance and momentum, as it identifies research groups that offer the most innovative technologies to help companies create new products, processes, and services.

Data at the service of society

DATASCIENCE @ UB is a multidisciplinary research group in the field of Big Data technologies and data science. Its main objective is to respond to the challenges of organizations in the face of massive data generation. “We are specialists in data science, a key discipline in digital transformation that involves generating and interpreting information on a large scale, and we approach it not only from a technological angle, but also from a scientific and social perspective,” explains Jordi Vitrià, director of the group and professor of Computer Languages and Systems at the UB.

This background allows DATASCIENCE @ UB to provide predictive and analytical tools to optimize the use of data in diverse contexts, such as the digital, health, banking, and insurance sectors, as well as mass media, and public administration. In this way, using different advanced analytical techniques —deep learning, computer vision, complex networks— they offer technological solutions for problems such as clinical decision-making, the design of marketing campaigns adapted to different users, and the improvement of services and industrial processes in all sorts of organizations and companies.

Tailor-made geochemical solutions for companies
The MAiMA – Stable Isotopes and Mineralogy Group is a research group that applies cutting-edge technology in the fields of stable isotope analysis, mineralogy, and geochemistry to offer tailor-made solutions to environmental pollution problems, authentication of agrifood products, and mineral durability studies in civil works. “In the MAiMA Group we have been committed to innovation and quality since our beginnings in 1997. Throughout these years we have maintained a strong commitment to the transfer of scientific knowledge and technological solutions to the business world, public administrations, and society”, explains Albert Soler, coordinator of the group.

The MAiMA Group, with over 25 years of recognised experience in mineralogy and isotopic geochemistry, relies on a highly specialised multidisciplinary team. The group’s technical and analytical capabilities, as well as its expertise, place it on the same level of prestige as other European and international centres. Since its inception, the group has consistently been involved in over 25 competitive projects funded by the Spanish government and five European projects, and has published over 200 scientific articles in high-impact journals. In addition, it has maintained a strong commitment to the transfer of scientific knowledge and technological solutions to the business sector, public administrations, and society, and has participated in more than sixty research, development, and innovation projects.

High-tech to boost advanced therapies

CREATIO is the Centre for the Production and Validation of Advanced Therapies of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the UB. “Our mission is to offer solutions based on advanced therapies with the aim of increasing the efficiency of the healthcare system and of improving society’s life standards,” explains Josep M. Canals, coordinator of the group and a professor at the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the UB.

This new TECNIO group has highly qualified personnel and high-tech equipment and systems that allow it to carry out both basic and translational research projects in the field of innovative medicine. It also has over 300 square metres of clean rooms for the clinical production of cell therapy, genetics, and tissue engineering, as well as spaces for cell culture for preclinical research and for cell cryopreservation. These infrastructures and their top-level team have enabled them to host the production of a cellular vaccine for AIDS —in fact, they are the only Spanish centre accredited to do so— for a clinical trial led by the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona.

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