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July 26, 2017
​The UAB Research Park: from the infinitely small to the infinitely big
The UAB Research Park (PRUAB), of which the Barcelona Synchrotron Park is a partner and sponsor of the ideas generation program, offers this month news related to two of its research centers working at both ends of the scale of dimensions: the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) and the Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE).
 
The infinitely small
A research team led by Jordi Sort, ICREA Research Professor and Lecturer of the Department of Physics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, with the collaboration of the Catalan Institute for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), has developed a nanoporous material based on a copper-nickel alloy, with a structure similar to that of a sponge, but with a separation between pores (i.e., thickness of the pore walls) of only 5 or 10 nanometres. In other words, the walls of the pores contain room for only a few dozens of atoms: this new material allows handling and storing information using very low energy.
“This represents a new paradigm in the energy saving of computers and in computing and handling magnetic data in general”, says Jordi Sort.
 
The infinitely big
This month, the IFAE celebrates its anniversary: 25 years exploring the cosmic and high energy frontiers, in order to solve fundamental questions about the universe that still have no answer. The main lines of research, both experimental and theoretical, are particle physics, high energy astrophysics and cosmology. But technological innovation is also present in IFAE in applied physics projects: development of new instrumentation, such as detectors or telescope chambers, medical applications projects, such as new medical imaging systems, and mass data management solutions.
July 19, 2017
​Barcelona Synchrotron Park’s key value: the environment
The Barcelona Synchrotron Park dedicates 640,000 sqm of land to hosting worldwide innovative companies around the ALBA synchrotron, the largest science facility in south-west Europe.
 
Beyond the high standard infrastructures offered by the BSP (polygeneration power plant, seven telecom operators with their own fibre optic networks, various Data Centres, etc.), the environment is certainly BSP’s key value:
 
  • A training and research environment with the UAB University next to the park, one of the best Spanish universities (43,000 students, 3,500 researchers, 27 research centres) and ESADE, one of the best business schools in Europe.
  • An innovation environment with the Eurecat technology centre in the Vallès Technology Park, business incubators in the UAB Research Park (PRUAB) and the ESADE Creapolis centre, etc.
  • A business environment with a dense industrial fabric of more than 30,000 companies in the BSP surrounding cities, 50% of which are exporting ones.

This environment is definitely the environment of ÀmbitB30, the name of the association that gathers the 23 municipalities that make up the territory where the Barcelona Synchrotron Park is located.
 
In order to make known the important economic potential of the ÀmbitB30 territory where R&D and innovation play a key role, the local public television, Vallès Visió, is preparing a series of reports for the fall: last Friday, BSP’s director Pere Solà was interviewed in the park’s offices located in the Catalan headquarters of the SENER multinational engineering company installed in the park since 2013.
July 13, 2017
​SENER, 50 Years In Space!
Last week in Madrid, the SENER international engineering and technology group with Catalan headquarters in the Barcelona Synchrotron Park (image) celebrates its 50th year working in space. The launchers tower project in Kiruna, Sweden, was the first Space project that was tendered for in Spain, and it was SENER that did it, in 1967. This project clearly heralded starting point for SENER’s career in the space sector.

Since then, SENER currently had about 300 devices and subsystems in different satellites and space vehicles for agencies from the US (NASA), Europe (ESA), Japan (JAXA) and Russia (Roscosmos). Among the more recent projects, some famous missions can be mentioned: Rosetta (2004), Herschel & Planck (2009), Curiosity (2011), Gaia (2013), LISA Pathfinder (2015) or ExoMars 2020.

In the 4 worldwide centers where SENER carries out its space projects (BSP in Barcelona, Bilbao and Madrid, Spain, and Warsaw, Poland), SENER provides engineering and production services in electromechanical components and systems, guidance, navigation and control, and attitude and orbit control systems, optical system and microgravity and life support systems.

Regarding SENER future, Space and Defense director Diego Rodríguez said in an interview that “our mission now is to continue to supply subsystems for the flight segment while aiming for other areas, such as launchers, and branching out to projects with a lower institutional profile and a clear commercial focus”.

Congratulations!

Image: SENER's Catalan headquarters in the Barcelona Synchrotron Park 
July 04, 2017
Barcelona Synchrotron Park Sponsors the Sixth Ideas Generation Program
The Ideas Generation Program organized by PRUAB, the UAB University research park, is an original initiative supported by Barcelona Synchrotron Park that sponsors the top prize: every year, it aims at offering companies the benefit of the UAB researchers’ wealth of creativity to get proposals to their technological challenges.

This program (video in Catalan here) is based on: 1) Collecting technology challenges posed by local companies from a given sector, 2) Inspiring solutions from the UAB scientific community, 3) Training researchers to help them make their proposal a reality (assessment to elaborate a business plan, create a start-up etc.), 4) Evaluating these projects by experts, 5) Rewarding the best projects.
 
In the last five editions focused on ICT technologies, biotechnologies, environment, aerospace and culture sectors, respectively, 60 projects have been generated and 9 of them have been transformed into currently operative companies that could get a global amount of 1 million euros founds.
 
Barcelona Synchrotron Park supports this initiative that helps the economic development of the local territory and sponsors the sixth program, which this year is devoted to the biotechnology industry and biomedicine. This new edition starts now and will conclude on November 30 with the awards ceremony.
June 27, 2017
​Barcelona Synchrotron Park’s sustainable brownfield restoration program presented at AquaConSoil 2017
Barcelona Synchrotron Park (BSP), locally known as Parc de l’Alba, covers 400 Ha. This area has been partially occupied in the past by different types of industrial activities mainly ceramic and related industries and former clay pits extractions that have been transformed into landfills.

These plots are currently under remediation thanks to a sustainable brownfield restoration program presented this week at the 14th AquaConSoil international conference on Sustainable Use and Management of Soil, Sediment and Water Resources held in Lyon, France (26-30 June 2017). This work (paper here) is the result of a partnership between BSP, the MediTerra Consultors Ambientals Company, the CTM technology centre and the UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech).

BSP is an example of how the development of an extensive degraded area can be done using urban planning tools in a sustainable way with the objective of balancing economic viability, nature conservation and improvement of ecological systems and biodiversity, and the enhancement of the quality of life in surrounding communities.

This restoration program presented at AquaConSoil 2017 is part of the global BSP action program (here) designed to support its Green Infrastructure: it is structured in 5 strategic axes including Restoration and improvement of the ecological connectivity, implementation of nature-based solutions, ecological management of green spaces and pending building areas or support for agriculture.
June 21, 2017
Catalonia confirms itself as pole of attraction for foreign investments

The Barcelona Synchrotron Park is a strategic project of the Catalan government whose mission is to attract innovative international companies around the ALBA synchrotron. This business park is currently under development with 7 companies (IBM, Natura Bissé, SENER, SILC Immobles, ALBA Synchrotron, Stradivarius, T-Systems) growing in the favorable context of a very attractive region for foreign investment.
 

According to the latest data updated these days by the Spanish government, Catalonia effectively received € 5.1 billion of foreign investment in 2016, the best record of the last 25 years, and € 856 million in the first quarter of this year, best quarter of the series.
 

These figures are coherent with the Financial Times ranking that sees Catalonia as the best Southern European Region of the Future 2016/17 in its latest report on the most attractive European locations for future investments. Barcelona comes first in the continent by foreign direct investment strategy and policies for attracting investors.

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