La Salle-URL presents IOTICAT, the first European university I+D centre specializing in the Internet of the future

The morning the first stone of the new IOTICAT (Internet of Things Institute of Catalonia) facilities of the Salle-URL was laid. It is going to be the first European I+D laboratory to focus on the Internet of Things and its evolution towards the Internet of the future, and is expected to be operational by 2020. The act marked the beginning of the construction of the facilities and of the transformation of a 2.000 m ² space in the La Salle-URL Campus which has been named IOTICAT

ioticat 2xIOTICAT has been co-financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) under the framework of singular institutional projects in I+D infrastructures in the generation of excellent research, the attraction of talent and the development of knowledge transfer activities. The project was selected and granted to La Salle-URL by the Department of Business and Knowledge of the Government of Catalonia in April 2016. The total cost of the rehabilitation is 3 million euros over a period of 3 years.

The new space IOTICAT will foment the creation of an internal eco-system creating innovation, transfer and research in which joint collaboration projects with companies, entrepreneurs, students and campus staff can be undertaken.  All these agents will work together to develop ideas which will shape the future, in a space where talent and research come together with society and business, and where we will capitalize on the student talent from our different faculties.

IOTICAT is strongly committed to the Catalan innovation eco-system and is aligned with the RIS3CAT, the intelligent research and innovation strategy in Catalonia which aims to consolidate the region as one the European leaders in knowledge and connecting technological and creative capacities in new and emerging sectors and regions.

The laboratory of technological base IOTICAT will represent the commitment of La Salle to entrepreneurship and to innovation and will be the centre where projects will be developed on anything related to the interaction of people with social trends and surrounding technology, with a strong focus on the Internet of Things, as well as the Internet of the Future. IOTICAT is based on design, proto-typing and scaling the products and services of tomorrow to society and the business world, as well as taking students and professors to the new realities and needs of future society.

The 2.000 m ² space will be dedicated to research, innovation and the promotion of talent and entrepreneurship. The first phase of IOTICAT will house our internal researchers in specialized laboratories.

Over the past 20 years, La Salle-URL has adapted to, focused on, and strengthened its I+D+I and now has 6 research groups which together form La Salle R&R, acknowledged by the ACC10 as a Technology Centre which undertakes over 70 projects per year in which over 80 researchers participate.  These projects may be international, national or regional and be funded either publically or privately.

A unique space of 2.000 m ²

IOTICAT will be a completely unique area located on the ground floor of the Campus Residence. It has been designed by the Terradas Arquitectos studio, led by Robert Terradas, director of the La Salle-URL Architecture School. The design creates a rich creative atmosphere and is modelled on other internationally renowned research centres.

The laboratory will have 4 different areas:

– A common social meeting point where people can debate, show and even try out any idea which has been conceived during the innovation process. Ideas can later be tried out in the design and testing processes.

– Creativity Room: spaces designated to fomenting creativity and information exchanges and where challenges are born into a creative and imaginative environment. It can be used for structured activities, but also to facilitate an idea flow which can be used to set off new innovation and research processes.

– Maker Space: workspace designed to provide tools to develop projects for the group of researchers from the areas of Architecture, Management and Engineering, together with designers, inventors and entrepreneurs. The objective of this area is to promote the participative development, facilitate the interdisciplinary learning and optimize co-creation activities. In terms of design, the laboratories are completely open-plan and a space to think, try out and test ideas and prototypes.

– City Lab: Space for the assembly and testing of technologies which are developed. It is the showroom where the final products of projects are displayed. An open space where different types of projects will be displayed and rated by others.  An open space where different projects will be carried out and prototypes in a controlled setting.

A new methodology: Learning by Challenge

A multidisciplinary team with a great variety of diverse profiles will work together at IOTICAT: researchers, companies, entrepreneurs, students, professors, etc.

IOTICAT will strengthen the La Salle-URL learning style, which has advocated the Learning-by-Doing methodology for many years now, by developing a new methodology, Learning by Challenge, which promotes learning through overcoming challenges and which is now being used all over our campus. This new laboratory will enable students to go further than case-studies, using new research and transfer techniques, with systemized processes to face tomorrow’s challenges.

Transfer to the business network

La Salle-URL aims to take advantage of the fact that we have companies which are working in this area and involve them in the generation of projects and challenges at IOTICAT. One of the objectives is to facilitate the integration of the business network into our systemized process of innovation and technology transfer.  Anyone can participate, from entrepreneurs, SMBs, large companies to local, national or international research centre.

This project is the final link in the strategic process to align the I+D+i carried out by the University with the needs of the business network and aims to bridge the gap between the Company and the University, by creating the knowledge transfer flow needed to improve the quality of life of our society.

Vinton Cerf, father of the Internet and Vice President of Google, invested as Doctor Honoris Causa by Ramon Llull University

Vinton Gray Cerf, PhD in computer science and global Vice President of Google, considered one of the fathers of the Internet, has been sworn this June as Doctor Honoris Causa by the Ramon Llull University (URL), a proposal from the Higher Technical School of Electronic and Computer Engineering La Salle-URL on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the launch of the first Telecommunications studies in Catalonia. Cerf, who now joins the faculty of La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL, is considered one of the greatest inventors still alive. His contributions to the development of the Internet and the World Wide Web put him at the head of a whole digital revolution that has transformed commerce, communication and entertainment on the world scene.

Cerf has made a speech in which he set Internet value as a design example, noting that “virtualization of almost everything gives entrepreneurs the freedom to try new ideas with few fixed costs, to advance the vanguard of technology and encourage experimentation that before would have represented an unthinkable investment of time and money”. In this regard, Cerf has advised that “in Silicon Valley failures are a sign of experience and I hope that in Spain it will also be like that, where innovation and entrepreneurship should become the key to improve the economy of all citizens”.

Google’s Vice President also explained that “design has an established purpose and objectives, seeks to satisfy a utility and, in many cases, some aesthetic aspirations to delight senses, but also adapt to restrictions”. Cerf recalled that, at the time along with Robert Kahn, worked in the “network of networks”, and applied already some of these restrictions and principles that significantly influenced the design of protocols and architecture that today make up the Internet. One of these was the option of stratification and concealment of information “which has enabled Internet expansion in scale, incorporating new transmission technologies and supporting an abundance of new applications and protocols, one of which is the World Wide Web, which has become a crucial component of the Internet infrastructure“.

Cerf also talked about issues such as WiFi network which was very important at the time and wondered if we could say the same of other initiatives around the world such as smart cities. “So far it indicates that much remains to exhaust all possibilities offered by the Internet to find new ways of implementation of networks. As we explore the named Internet of Things, we will open new prospects for applications based on groups of programmable and interconnected devices that we will have at home, at work, in the car or on top of us”.

And on other developments, Vinton Cerf has made clear that “although it is abused, the term large data or Big Data is important, but not only in the field of serial large temporary measure amounts, but also data on our DNA, and on bacteria and viruses that live within our body”. This type of information can be analysed and extracted to reflect on health, resource consumption, global warming response, etc. “The most important of continuous data collection is that we can establish baseline parameters and, from here, detect deviations from the norm”.

Andreu Veà, Digital Champion for Spain (European Commission), made the gloss of Vinton Cerf’s merits, reviewing his personal and professional history and stressing that “Cerf has been dedicated to work and to solve problems that most of us peers hadn’t even raised”. Veà has also highlighted some phrases uttered by Cerf, like “I think the most important feature of the Internet is that it is agnostic in terms of transportation”, allowing anyone’s to try anything, so permission is not needed. Veà concluded that “extraordinary things happen, and clearly having persuaded everyone with passion and diplomacy to connect all incompatible computers in the world using TCP/IP is really extraordinary and unprecedented”.

In his speech, the rector of the URL, Josep M Garrell, stated that “it is now indisputable that thanks to new technologies, our life has been transformed. Now it is necessary to devote efforts to reflect on the uses and abuses”. Internet, Garrell said, is a “system in which we all must contribute to its future. And in this work, figures such as Cerf should generate us a sense of tranquillity” In this sense, the rector added that when “visionaries like him in his field continue to provide reflection on the evolution of technology and revolution in its use is when we can be sure we are in good hands, and that the future will take us towards a society educated in new technologies that will put the individual and, thus, humanism, at the centre of development“.


Masters Professional Conferences on marketing and Smart Cities

Jornades ProfessionalsOn Thursday, September 17th La Salle Campus Barcelona – URL organizes a Masters Professional Conference where several roundtable discussions with topics on Social Media, Digital Marketing, eCommerce and on Smart Cities will take place.

The first presentation, by Gemma Vallet, Coordinator of the Master in Social Media Branding La Salle, will discuss who are the leaders of the digital channels that are displacing traditional channels and the achievements of these heroes of the great digital transformation that we live today in the field of social media and the World Wide Web.

The second talk will be given by Irene Bellido and Ricard Castellet, Coordinators of the Master in Digital Marketing La Salle, who will explain how to focus a campaign of effective digital marketing, and the importance of how to analyze KPI’s of the usual channels of digital marketing campaigns: performance, SEM, SEO, display, social ads, mobile, etc.

And finally, Santiago Sanchez, Coordinator of the Master in eCommerce La Salle, will discover how eCommerce is growing and will continue to grow in both mature and emerging markets.
Concurrently, a presentation on Smart Cities will also be held. Ignasi Fontanals, OptiCits CEO, will provide an overview of how to evaluate the interdependencies of urban services and subsequent vulnerabilities, and also how to anticipate crisis situations, establishing investment priorities and cost optimization thanks to the approach to the city ​​as a system of systems.

Furthermore, participants in this conference will be able to participate in the Marketing Talent Test of LaSalle and win a scholarship of 80%, following a few simple steps:
1. Attend the three conferences.
2. Answer a questionnaire on the talk given.
3. The participant who correctly answer the questionnaire as soon as possible, and have the brightest CV is the winner of the Talent scholarship 80% and will be able to choose a Master on the MKT area that want to pursue: Master in Social Media Branding & Strategy, Master in Digital Marketing, Master in eCommerce.

Next October 14th LaSalle organizes an eHealth Conference on Gamification in the Health Sector.

A Norwegian delegation specialized in Smart Cities visits La Salle-URL

Visita NoruegaLa Salle Campus Barcelona-URL received the visit of a delegation from the region of Stavanger in Norway to see first-hand the work and research done in our campus in the field of Smart Cities.
Stavanger, Norway, is part, along with Manchester (UK) and Eindhoven (Netherlands) of the European Union Triangulum project to implement pioneering initiatives in the field of Smart Cities. This project will transform some urban districts, to be designed in precursor cities and then, the gathered knowledge will be transferred to three followers’ cities, in this case to Leipzig (Germany), Prague (Czech Republic) and Sabadell (Spain). Twenty-three European partners of municipal institutions, research and industry are involved.
The delegation was composed of mayors, other institutional representatives from the Stavanger area and rectors of the University of Stavanger and College of Stord / Haugesund. During their two-day visit in Barcelona all of them showed special interest in visiting La Salle-URL.
Ramon Martín de Pozuelo, a researcher of Internet Technologies and Storage Research Group (GRITIS) and coordinator of the Postgraduate Studies in Smart Cities of La Salle-URL, explained the specific training and projects undertaken in this area from the Engineering area. Leandro Madrazo, director of the Research Group ARC (Architecture Representation Computation) also shared the latest developments from the architectural side.
La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL is the Spanish university that receives more Norwegian students every year, including student exchanges, stages or students that study some part of a Degree or a Masters degree. Since 2010, the number of students coming from this country has increased. La Salle has received a total of 53. Specifically this academic year the number of students is 19 (15 from Management of Business and Technology and 4 from Architecture).
Here are some pictures of the visit.

Success of the Master Class “The Smart strategy in Catalonia”

master_class_smartCAT“Information enables us to take better decisions.” This is the conclusion of the Master Class held on January 15th at La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL   on Smart strategy in Catalonia. The event was carried out by   Jordi Puigneró, General Director of Telecommunications and Information Society of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan Government) , and Josep Ramon Ferrer, Director of Smart Cities of the City Hall of Barcelona .
Puigneró explained the Smart Strategy in Catalonia (smartcat), which aims to convert Catalonia into a Smart Region and an international reference in this field. Puigneró stressed that “making Smart Cities may save resources because information helps you make better decisions,” explaining that being a Smart Region also generates enterprise-level resources.
The General Director of Telecommunications explained how society is changing and the need for ICT to become a fundamental tool in allowing Catalunya to be an economy of the XXI century”. This requires an environment that fosters the development of Smart projects and initiatives. Josep Ramon Ferrer, director of Smart Cities of Barcelona’s City Hall, ​​explained how will the Barcelona 5.0 will be: the type of city Barcelona has to be in 20 years, with an improvement of citizen’s welfare and quality of life, to make life easier and enable economic progress, that will help companies to do business. Barcelona’s smart strategy is aimed at a more desirable city model, more sustainable and efficient.
According to Ferrer, the ultimate goal is “to turn the city into a self-sustaining productive area of human speed, inside an hiperconnected metropolis and of zero emissions.”

La Salle and the City of Hospitalet de Llobregat signed a cooperation agreement on Smart Cities

convenio-ayuntamiento-hospitaletJosep M. Santos, General Director of La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL , and Nuria Marín Martínez , Mayoress of Hospitalet de Llobregat, signed a collaboration agreement for scientific research, technology development and transfer of technology developed by the University in the field of Smart Cities, including environmental technology, urban solutions, the Open Government, Open Data and the smart city model. The two institutions have shown willingness to underwrite this agreement and to actively participate in the implementation of innovative solutions that promote sustainable urban development and efficient own services through innovation and collaboration. In this regard, La Salle and  the city council of Hospitalet de Llobregat  share a mutual interest in promoting its positioning in the national and international levels, with particular emphasis on promoting European-funded projects that can generate synergies between both parties.La Salle offers the   Postgraduate in Smart Cities , a program that provides the necessary knowledge to raise revolutionary solutions for cities and for working with municipalities, such as the municipality of Hospitalet.