Medicarama Chair in Technology and Health HOLA

The Instituto de Tecnología de Valencia and the Universitat Politècnica de València have presented the Medicarama Chair in Technology and Health, which aims to develop health technologies, promote and disseminate scientific advances and codes of good practice, as well as boost innovative digital education solutions in the field of healthcare.

José Manuel Martínez, CEO of the Instituto de Tecnología de Valencia and a graduate in Telecommunications Engineering from the UPV, and Pepe Capilla, Rector of the Universitat Politècnica de València, along with other representatives from both organisations, took part in the presentation ceremony.

Satisfaction with the collaboration

According to José Manuel Martínez, CEO of the Instituto de Tecnología de Valencia, the Medicarama Chair is an opportunity in many ways because “it allows us to collaborate with other companies and organisations for the benefit of society. Likewise, maintaining close contact with the UPV community makes it easier for us to keep a close eye on the progress of technology and learn more about the different research and innovation groups at the UPV to identify possible collaborations. Finally, the relationship with students always brings youth, dynamism and new ideas to the companies”. The CEO of the Instituto de Tecnología de Valencia has expressed his satisfaction at being able to collaborate with the university where he studied and to be able to contribute to society and the UPV, thanks to the training he received.

Training, research and learning

UPV professor José Millet, director of the Medicarama Chair, said that the Chair will promote activities of general interest to society and university students, such as prizes for the best projects, idea competitions and hackathons, as well as master’s degrees, courses, seminars, workshops and conferences on the use of new technologies in healthcare organisations.

On the other hand, research actions will be developed to explore machine-student interactions for learning and evaluation with artificial intelligence of health professionals.

Finally, the Chair will advance learning methodologies for these professionals through the use of technology, as well as promote the use of the same; it will also provide UPV students and staff with knowledge about health areas and promote active ageing and healthy living.

Valencia Institute of Technology

The Instituto de Tecnología de Valencia aims to provide higher and continuing education in the field of medicine and health, as well as training and further education services and career development in the health sector, the publication of publications and the organisation of scientific projects and events.

The Instituto de Tecnología de Valencia has collaborated for years in training UPV students in the field of Telecommunications and Biomedical Engineering by means of internships in companies.

Source: UPV’s Information Office

Eduardo Rojas appointed member of the CIHEAM Advisory Committee HOLA

Eduardo Rojas Briales, professor at the School of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (ETSIAMN) and researcher at the ITACA Institute of the Universitat Politècnica de València, has been appointed member of the Advisory Committee of the CIHEAM (International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies), an intergovernmental organisation created in 1962 under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the OECD.

This entity seeks to promote cooperation between Mediterranean countries through postgraduate training and the promotion of cooperative research in agriculture and natural resources.

To this end, it carries out problem-solving activities structured around four main lines of action: protection of the planet, inclusive development, food security and crisis and resilience to contribute to conflict resolution.

CIHEAM has 4 Mediterranean Agronomic Institutes located in Bari (Italy), Chania (Greece), Montpellier (France) and Zaragoza (Spain), and is composed of the following member countries: Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.

With the appointment of Eduardo Rojas, there are now two professors from the ETSIAMN who are linked to this organisation, following the appointment of Raúl Compés as director of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) Zaragoza.

Who is Eduardo Rojas?

Eduardo Rojas Briales holds a degree in Forestry Engineering from the University of Freiburg (Germany) and a PhD in Forestry Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Since 2001 he has been a lecturer at the ETSIAMN, where he has taught forestry, sustainable forest management, European forest resources, nurseries and reforestation, landscaping and gardening, pastureland, forest breeding, renewable energies, disturbances, and climate change and fires.

Related to his university activity, in 2004, he was appointed Deputy Director of Academic Coordination of the ETSIAMN, being a key figure in developing the curriculum of the new Degree in Forestry and Natural Environment Engineering. He is currently a member of the University Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (ITACA) of the UPV. From 2017 to 2020, he coordinated the training programme that the Indian Forest Service organised for its future foresters abroad.

He is currently the Dean and President of the Official College of Forestry Engineers and the Association of Forestry Engineers, positions he has held since 2016. He is also the president of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), “the most important forest certification organisation in the world”, and since 2022 he has been a member of the board of trustees of the Fundació Pau Costa.

Previously, he was Assistant Director-General of the FAO and head of its Forestry Department (2010-2015) and UN Commissioner-General for Expo Milano 2015. He has also been the coordinator of Juntos por los Bosques (2016-22). This platform brings together the entire forestry sector in Spain.

Source: UPV’s Information Office

Twelve Theorems for Music and Engineering HOLA

Luis Nuño, a Professor and researcher at the ITACA Institute of the Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, has just published a new paper in the internationally renowned Journal of Mathematics and Music.

Mathematics has always been a solid foundation of music theory. Thus, for instance, we currently use the equal temperament with 12 notes per octave; and, during the “common practice” period (around 1650 to 1900), the compositions are based on “tonal harmony”, specifically chords with 3 or 4 notes (triads or tetrads), whose notes belong to a few types of 7-note or heptatonic scales, mainly the major scale and some types of minor scales. Additionally, given a set of notes, its “complement” consists of the rest of the twelve notes. Regarding “post-tonal” music, since the early 20th century, some composers began experimenting with specific techniques based on transpositions, inversions, and other mathematical relations among the 12 notes.

It is common among musicians to know that a major scale contains 3 triads of the major-chord type. However, what is not so common is to know that, reciprocally, the complement of a major chord (which is a set of nine notes) also contains 3 complements of major scales (which are of the major-pentatonic type). This “complementary reciprocity” is established in the first of twelve recently published theorems. All of them were obtained considering an arbitrary number n of notes per octave (mathematically, for Zn) and relate the contents of the different scale types (with c notes) with respect to the different chord types (with m notes). The results are expressed as vectors and matrices, with a purely mathematical formalism.

From the engineering point of view, the elements of those vectors and matrices are “higher-order autocorrelations”, also known as “k-deck”, which are present in many fields of knowledge. Particularly, the 2-deck is used in “phase retrieval” problems, which arise when measuring a complex quantity (normally, the Fourier transform of a real quantity) and, due to different factors, only the magnitude can be obtained, but not the phase. Thus, the problem is finding the phase from the magnitude, for which some authors have proposed using the 3-deck. On the other hand, a “coded” version of the k-deck, with different values of k, is used in the “reconstruction problem” of specific information from fragments of it, which also gives rise to complex combinatorial problems.

We can find examples of those kinds of problems in such diverse scientific and technological areas as microscopy, holography, crystallography, neutron radiography, optical coherence tomography, diffraction grating design, reconstruction of character sequences, reconstruction of graphs, radar signal processing or quantum mechanics, to name a few.

This paper focuses on the discrete periodic problem and obtaining the vector and matrix relations among the k-deck and other related values, considering from k=0 to k=n, which provides a global insight and a detailed knowledge of these parameters. Furthermore, it seems likely to apply these ideas to other problems. The paper can be downloaded here.

Innovation Days Valencia 2022 (November 4-5, 2022) HOLA

For the third consecutive year, the Innovation Days Valencia 2022 (i-Days) will take place at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) on 4 and 5 November. The i-Days promote healthcare innovation among university students through dozens of one- and two-day programmes held at academic institutions across Europe.

Students from all academic areas receive an introduction to the practical tools of healthcare innovation and compete in teams to tackle real-life healthcare challenges posed by the EIT Health, local organisations, private corporations or start-ups.

i-Days are accessible to all undergraduate and postgraduate students with an interest in healthcare innovation. You do not need any prerequisite skills or prior experience in innovation, entrepreneurship or healthcare. There are no academic requirements and students from all disciplines and departments are welcome to join.

The winning team from each i-Day will attend an all-expenses-paid event in Vienna to compete in the EIT-Health Winner’s Event. This final competition brings together students from across Europe.

Organised by EIT Health and the ITACA Institute of Universitat Politècnica de València together with IDEAS UPV, the event is sponsored and supported by Conselleria d’Innovació Universitats Ciència i Societat Digital, Ajuntament de València, Ajuntament de Gandia, Dextromedica, S.L., MYSPHERA, Quibim, with the collaboration of Fundació Fisabio, SaforSalut, CiberCV, etc.

For more information, please visit: https://idays.webs.upv.es/.

ITACA-UPV coordinates major European research project to improve sustainable forest management HOLA

Climate change has driven countries and organisations worldwide to search for solutions to help mitigate or prevent its effects. While forests are suffering, they are also crucial to reducing emissions, as they are the most critical earth’s carbon sinks: they sequester carbon by capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and transforming it into biomass.

However, this process is threatened by the increase in natural disasters, now more frequent due to the current climate emergency. In this context, the Information and Communication Technologies against Climate Change (ICTvsCC) group of the ITACA institute of the UPV (Universitat Politècnica de València) is coordinating INFORMA, the major European forestry research project in the new Horizon Europe programme to improve forest management in this context.

14 partners, 8 EU countries and 5 regions

The project, which has a total budget of €5.3 million and 14 partners from 8 EU countries, has a duration of four years. Its main objective is to develop and implement the best sustainable forest management practices in the five most representative biogeographical regions across Europe (Atlantic, Mediterranean, Continental, Alpine and Boreal) and under future climate change scenarios to preserve carbon sinks and promote carbon sequestration while conserving their biodiversity and renewable natural resources.

In addition, INFORMA also aims to contribute with scientific rigour to the methodologies of quantification, monitoring, review and verification of existing carbon offset market instruments in Europe, especially in sustainable forest management actions in Mediterranean ecosystems. In Spain, carbon compensation mechanisms are the primary tool for payment for environmental services today, as they already have demand (sectors and companies with diffuse emissions), supply (public and private forest owners) and regulatory mechanisms, such as the Carbon Footprint Registry of the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge.

Forest fires, the main threat

“In our country, the main threat to the preservation of ecosystems and carbon stocks is forest fires, as has become evident after the fires that occurred this summer in the Valencian Region. This type of disturbance is the main field of research in the pilot areas in the Mediterranean region, where the project will analyse the interactions between the current state of the forest, its sustainable management alternatives and the climate. In this way, the project will allow the implementation of best practices for adaptive management to climate change in the different types of Mediterranean forest ecosystems, but also the mitigation by forest bioeconomy, i.e. the optimisation of carbon sequestration in managed forests and the industrial transformation and consumption of the main forest products (wood, cork, biomass, resins, etc.) as substitutes for materials and products coming from fossil or non-renewable sources with a high impact on greenhouse gas emissions” says José-Vicente Oliver, director of the ICTvsCC-ITACA group at the UPV and general coordinator of the INFORMA project.

Moreover, the project will contribute directly with its results to the development of the European Forestry Strategy 2030, currently being negotiated by the EU Commission, as well as to the MOSAIC Strategy of the General Directorate of Forest Fire Prevention of the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition of the Valencian Regional Government (GV) and the recently announced Forestry Cooperation Fund by the Presidency of the GV for the coming years, whose objectives are the prevention and mitigation of the effects of forest fires on forest ecosystems and society, through the sustainable integrated management of agroforestry territory.

Source: UPV’s Information Office

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Vicente Traver Salcedo, winner of the Jaime Prat Award 2022 HOLA

For his spirit of collaboration, his sense of commitment, and his ability to generate consensus in EIT Health activities, the winner of the Jaime Prat 2022 Award has been Vicente Traver Salcedo, professor at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) and head of the Health and Wellbeing Area (SABIEN) of the ITACA Institute. The election of the winner took place on 17 October after being approved by the Members in General Assembly, based on the criteria recognised in the legal bases of the award.

The award, created in 2021, aims to recognise the commitment and collaboration of the winners with the EIT Health Spain health innovation ecosystem, as well as to pay tribute to the figure of Jaime Prat, secretary of the EIT Health Spain Governing Board and deputy director of the Institute of Biomechanics (IBV), who passed away in March last year.

EIT Health is the largest and most extensive community of health innovators in Europe. In 2021 alone and in Spain it has attracted more than 60 million euros through the startups with which it collaborates, led 8 innovation projects financed with 8.3 million euros, and trained more than 8231 executives and health professionals through the 11 educational programmes it has led.

The award is endowed with 5,000 euros to be used in collaboration and training actions within the EIT Health network. The award is part of EIT Health Spain’s philosophy and objectives to promote the connection of all relevant agents in the health innovation ecosystem to maximise synergies and cover the entire value chain.

Source: EIT Health Spain

Climate crisis and action in the territory conference HOLA

More than one million tonnes of carbon dioxide were emitted due to the forest fires that have severely affected the Valencia Region this summer. To put it in perspective, José Vicente Oliver, professor at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), explains that “the amount exceeds, for example, the total emissions caused by private car traffic in the city of Valencia in a year, 670,000 tonnes of CO2, and is approximately equivalent to the total of annual car traffic in the three provincial capitals: Castellón, Valencia and Alicante”.

Because of this situation, and to analyse the best possible way to deal with it, this week, the Agromuseu of the UPV hosted the conference “Climate crisis and action in the territory”, organised by the Valencian Territorial Protection Agency of the Generalitat, the Valencian Federation of Municipalities and Provinces, and the ICT Research Group Against Climate Change of the ITACA Institute of the UPV.

In it, companies, political institutions and research experts in the field have discussed the factors and consequences of the current climate crisis and how to tackle it through cooperation.

The main cause is the abandonment of forest and agricultural management in inland villages.

“The debate focused on the fundamental underlying cause, which lies in the widespread neglect of forest and agricultural land management in our inland villages,” said Oliver, “accentuated by heat waves, droughts and dry storms.

For the UPV professor, “the climatic emergency and the accumulated fuel are the visible parts of the problem, but the root of the problem lies in a socio-economic deterioration hitherto unknown in the history of our territory. The 172 villages at risk of depopulation in the Comunitat have lost, in the last 20 years, more than 12,000 farms – practically all of them family-run – and 50,000 hectares of crops, which means reductions of 45% and 20%, respectively. Young farmers, foresters and livestock farmers are a rarity, and the few who want to work and stay in the sector find it very difficult”.

The Emissions Observatory, key for local actors

During the conference, Javier Urchueguía, professor at the UPV, presented the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Observatory, an information and knowledge platform with scientific rigour created to help companies and town councils in the Region to face the challenge of decarbonisation, specifically in the framework of the challenges and opportunities that local actors face in the path to reducing emissions.

The mayors of the municipalities present very well received the initiative – Andilla, Enguera, Requena and Bejís, among others – who emphasised the value of the Valencian rural territory and its agroforestry wealth as levers for change.

European Green Pact, Recovery and Resilience Mechanisms and the Law on Climate Change in the Valencia region

In this regard, the participants in the conference highlighted the importance of the European Green Pact and the Recovery and Resilience Mechanisms – and all the associated regulations and aid funds – as well as the new Climate Change Law of the Valencian Community, as accurate guides towards an ecological transition that must be fair, both with the territory and with rural society.

Source: UPV’s Information Office

IX Workshop on Innovation on Information and Communication Technologies HOLA

A new edition of the Workshop on Innovation on Information and Communication Technologies took place on 14 and 15 July. As a novelty, this year, it has been extended to two days to dedicate one day exclusively to the presentation of the papers accepted by the WIICT Scientific Committee.

The Vice-Rector for Innovation and Technology Transfer of the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Salvador Coll, opened the Congress. On this occasion, the agenda presented emblematic projects and Business Chairs. In addition, some of the researchers to be promoted presented their research through short videos.

Finally, Antonio Mocholí Salcedo was honoured on his recent appointment as Ad Honorem Professor of the UPV, and Vicente Traver was recognised as an outstanding researcher of the ITACA Institute during the last year.

ITACA-WIICT’22 is a meeting forum for scientists, technicians and other professionals involved in the study and research of information and communication technologies. Its main scope is to promote contact between scientists and professionals, improving cooperation and technology transfer.

Agreement between the UPV and the General Hospital of Valencia HOLA

The Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) and the Hospital General Universitario de Valencia (HGUV) have signed today a collaboration agreement that strengthens the collaboration between both institutions and whose ultimate goal is to improve the health care of patients, taking advantage of the full potential of information and communication technologies (ICT).

Specifically, with this agreement, the UPV, through the SABIEN Group of ITACA Institute, and the General Hospital will implement the project “Interactive process mining for data analysis: in search of value-based medical care”.

As Gema Ibáñez, researcher at the SABIEN-ITACA Group, explains, the digital transformation of healthcare and effective adoption of value-based healthcare could reduce the burden that healthcare systems currently bear, redefining protocols, pathways and workflows to increase their efficiency.
“But for this to be possible, healthcare professionals and information and communication technology experts need to speak the same language. Moreover, to achieve this, process mining can be a key element,” adds Carlos Fernández Llatas, a researcher in the SABIEN-ITACA group at the UPV.

As part of this project, the UPV and the General Hospital will work on updating and improving PMApp, a software application developed by the SABIEN-ITACA research team at the UPV that enables interactive process mining analysis in clinical environments. The solution includes, in addition to the application, a methodology involving health professionals and managers.

“It is a disruptive tool that opens the door to a change in thinking when it comes to analysing hospital data and makes it possible to delimit the digital footprint of how each hospital works to improve its efficiency. With this new agreement, we want to continue improving its features to contribute to achieving the best possible hospital care,” says Gema Ibáñez.

This tool is currently being used in the emergency department of the Hospital General de Valencia; it helps healthcare professionals to make the best decisions throughout the process, helping to reduce waiting times and achieve optimal diagnosis and treatment.

The agreement signed this morning by the rector of the Universitat Politècnica de València, José E. Capilla, and the managing director of the Hospital General Universitario de València, Inmaculada Renart, will run until the end of 2025.

Four years of work

This collaboration between the SABIEN-ITACA Group of the Universitat Politècnica de València and the Hospital General Universitario de Valencia began in 2018 with the awarding of the “Premio López Trigo”. In that first stage, data were validated, and the PMApp tool evolved to provide better visualisations of the information and mechanisms to validate it. Furthermore, last year, the UPV team and the General Hospital began to use it to study the emergency department, building indicators and advanced process views, making a qualitative leap in the information available for management.

The UPV and Hospital General de València team was awarded last November for developing and applying this software with the ENNOVA Health prize, organised by Diario Médico and Correo Farmacéutico – the national publishing unit with the most significant readership in the clinical field.

Source: UPV’s Information Office

Safety bubbles for drones HOLA

The Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) has carried out the first massive and simultaneous flight of drones in Europe and presented an innovative platform that helps to avoid collisions in the airspace. It has done so in the framework of BUBBLES, a European project coordinated by UPV’s ITACA Institute. BUBBLES aims to ensure the safe integration of drones, with an eye on the new European drone airspace management regulations coming into force next year.

“The European regulation governing the provision of U-space services was approved in April 2021 and will become fully applicable in January 2023. From this date, drones in Europe will have to comply with this regulation to ensure safe and efficient operations. Thus, the tests we are carrying out are ahead of this scenario. They are also the highest density of drones flying simultaneously of all those done so far in Europe,” said Juan Vicente Balbastre, a researcher at ITACA UPV and coordinator of the BUBBLES project.

Fourteen drones flew simultaneously, all of them managed by the BUBBLES platform, which allowed them to be controlled and monitored in real-time in the flight area, an area of 15 km2 between the Valencian towns of Puçol and El Puig. Although the tests were conducted in a rural environment, due to current regulations, this scenario would represent drone operations in any European urban environment in the coming years.

Each drone flew simultaneously with simulations of real applications: traffic surveillance, maritime rescue, search and rescue, freight transport, precision agriculture, and industrial inspections. While the drones were flying, the BUBBLES platform detected possible conflicts due to loss of separation, sending alerts to the pilots involved so that they could collide.

“BUBBLES generates safety bubbles around each drone based on algorithms that calculate the risk of collision in real-time. And, if there is one, the platform is even capable of proposing an evasive manoeuvre to the pilots, taking into account their position, as well as that of the drones that are in what is known as tactical conflict,” said Israel Quintanilla, president of the UPV Drone Commission and also a member of the UPV team in the BUBBLES project.

Vertiport

In addition, this morning, the use of a vertiport was also simulated, from which nine drones took off with different missions and returned to land along a vertical corridor monitored by small radar antennae. “This exercise aimed to validate the management of separation in these places – the vertiports – which will be the take-off and landing points for drones in cities to transport various goods and passengers”, explained Quintanilla.

The flight, a pioneer in Europe, involved representatives of the Local Police and Fire Department of Valencia, the Local Police of Benidorm, the Pegaso team of the Civil Guard, the Valencian Agency for Security and Emergency Response (AVSRE), specialised companies in the sector (ASD drones, UAV Works, AsDrón Spain), and the UPV’s own operators.

The use of drones has overgrown and is expected to continue in the coming years. Parcel delivery, public safety and entertainment are just some of the possible services. There will be more and more drones, and their economic impact will be very high. Still, it is necessary to ensure their safe integration into the airspace. And this is what we continue to work on within BUBBLES,” said Juan Vicente Balbastre.

In addition to the ITACA Institute, the UPV’s Institute of Automation and Industrial Informatics (AI2) and the Department of Cartographic Engineering, Geodesy, and Photogrammetry participate in the project. The BUBBLES consortium is completed by the University of Coimbra, the Università Degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) and Indra, a world leader in air traffic management.

Funded by the European Union through Horizon 2020 and SESAR JU with more than €1.9 million, the project will be completed by the end of this year.

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Source: UPV’s Information Office