Daniel Crespo 0:00
Welcome, everybody. First of all, I want to thank the organization for inviting me to address to you some words. When I first talked to Zina about the concept of this conference, I realized that the PUZZLE X had the potential to become a disruptive event. We scientists tend to specialize. Knowing everyday more and more about less and less. The concept behind PUZZLE X is the opposite. Here, we must widen our sight and look globally at how certain materials can offer solutions to the collective problems established in the Sustainable Development Goals articulated in the 2030 agenda. Addressing these problems is a moral requirement for all scientists, universities, and research centers. Everyone contributes from their own knowledge and perspective. Universidad Polytechnic Catalonia is a technological university and our view is therefore not restricted to materials research. We firmly believe that we need a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach grounded on a wide international collaboration. Universities, including us, don't have to be part of this but open glass doors that allow knowledge to reach out, permeate and interface with society, the territory and citizens are large. I like to describe our activity as a chain. On one side of the chain, basic research pulls on alternative research, which in its turn pulls on technological transfer and application. This is a way to visualize the t triple pillar mission of universities. Here we focus on the development of frontier materials with the potential for a wide range of applications. Materials are everywhere, and our knowledge of materials is at the very core of every branch of science and technology. This was clearly established by one of the most famous material experts, Madonna, who said, you know that we are living in a material world and I am a Material Girl.
Daniel Crespo 2:21
Materials are therefore one of the most important research areas globally and across various disciplines. We must recognize that despite Madonna's efforts, during the last years, the scientific and technological importance of the materials has not been highly valued by society. This is resulting in a lack of interest in young people studying material science and engineering. And this is something that has to concern us. This way we do to the fact that much of the development of advanced materials is unknown to the public. Quantum materials, for instance, have the potential to offer functionalities such as topological conduction, superconductivity and collection of quantum information. But for common people they are simply exotic materials. But it is certain innovation that is one of the great great assets currently in Europe, and that in the coming years it will grow exponentially thanks to the impulse of the next generation funds. UPC is at the forefront of new materials and manufacturing processes in the country. In many cases, it is not the material itself that is advanced or new. But the manufacturing processes required to create it are integrated with other materials. Many research units are now pushing out the words of this field of study. Currently, the UPC has more than 210 research groups and 3500 researchers, 100 of whom are creating knowledge in different areas within the discipline of materials, such as biomaterials, nanomaterials, eco materials, nanoparticles and so on. With different applications such as 3D printing sensors, tissue engineering, eco field, cooling, among others. Collaborations between the more basic research teams in the creation of new materials will receive checks in the field of engineering, or advancements in manufacturing processes, are crucial for pirating competitive research in the field of advanced materials. With all this research potential and all the scientific and technical infrastructure, the university participates and leaves more than 120 competitive projects per year in the field of materials. With the development of new materials technology, UPC promotes the development of emerging industries and transfers solutions to society in response to global challenges. These two factors are of a strategic importance and have allowed the level of development of research networks that have accelerated the search results and the translation to the social center economic impacts on the fabric. Industrialization is directed towards innovation and the use of new and modern materials in a way that positively affects our environment, economy, health, and finally, the quality of life of people as end users of the product. Last year, UPC has developed a new generation of non absorbable and dynamic surgical mesh that can modulate itself according to changes in temperature and humidity, to minimize the risk of inflammation and chronic pain in the treatment of abdominal and inguinal hernia, and minimize minimize the risk of post implantation pain for the patient. Another case of success was the implantation of the first antitumor biomembrane made with melanin fibers within a patient; the biomembrane is implanted over the surgical site after tumor removal. The goal is to eliminate any remains of tumor cells that could have been left, improve a patient's prognosis, and reduce the secondary effects of oncology treatment, especially those on radiotherapy cancer. This innovative treatment tackles a medical need that is not covered in ontology yet.
Daniel Crespo 6:21
So these are some illustrative examples of the importance of using modern if novel materials to cleanse healthcare. Apart from the use of modern materials in the health industry, there are many other sectors such as automotive, or construction, where materials are highly relevant due to the ability to change the environment, making it safer, more efficient, sustainable and economical. This is the case of the energy industry, where great advances are also made through advanced materials. Here I will cite the development of a new photo catalyst which contains a titanium oxide semiconductor, aiming to produce hydrogen with solar light from contaminated water. This technology enables us to obtain hydrogen in a renewable way, at a low cost as the process takes place in environmental conditions. Other cases are met to address different needs of the society such as improving the quality of life of citizens by increasing green spaces in human areas. The development and innovation in new materials facilitate the creation of technological solutions that allow increasing these green areas, such as the new concept of concrete created by the university. Complete with improved bioreceptivity, a material that manages to optimize biological conversation to the retention of water inside and acts as a reservoir for biological growth. In summary, new and advanced frontier materials play a fundamental role in our society that is moving towards a highly digitized world with big climatic and health challenges. Universities are fundamental pilots for the evolution of new technologies and infrastructures that allow establishing the multidisciplinary research networks needed for the development, innovation and transfer of new scientific advances in the field of materials. But probably the largest challenge for the materials scientist community is to increase the outreach, to make the society aware of the importance of the development of new materials, and to awaken vocation between young people to choose material science as a career and join the community in our quest for better materials for a better world. Thank you very much!
Bonnie Tsim 8:38
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Ms. Soraya Hidalgo, head of strategic partnerships and institutional fundraising at UPC.
Soraya Hidalgo 8:53
Good morning, everyone. Thanks, President, for your inspiring speech. It's hard now to advise words, but I will try. First of all, let me thank you, PUZZLE X organization for inviting Universidad Politecnica Catalunya to open today's agenda. When I was invited to open the day together with our president, my first idea was to share with you some singular research projects that are currently being led by UPC in the new call for frontier materials main. Among them, some funded by the future and emerging technologies program from the European Commission, wyplosz for example, which seems to develop a processor generic enough to be able to perform many different functions, but as fast as if it were a specialized processor. You will wonder how? So it's through miniaturizing wireless graphene and themes that are key due to their size as they are up 200 times smaller than metal antenne now and are capable of operating a lightning fast frequencies of terahertz. The research aims to eliminate the excessive power consumption that algorithms have when it becomes a larger server. Likewise, why plus will make it possible to test whether graphene antennas enable communication networks within a chip for artificial intelligence processors. If the results are good, these computer chips could be implemented in the Internet of Things, large servers, in mobile phones, etc. Also to share with you the work done by the micro nano electronics group to build a new wave of wind sensors for the perseverance in this last mission to NASA in Mars. Also the outstanding work that UPC is carrying out in the field of nano and biomaterials, as well as multiple company chairs spinoff that are enabling long term collaboration with the industry. But it could be that it couldn't be fair to forget mentioning that this research is possible, thanks to the rich ecosystem we benefit from, including research centers, such as [unintelligible], or programs facilitating the creation of tech startups such as the collider program.
Soraya Hidalgo 11:25
But rather than these, I prefer to share with you a story. A story that was inspiring to me. And it's the story of how UPC became a piece of this puzzle, and what do we believe we can make of it. And here, I have to start by thanking Zina Jarrahi Cinker, and the AMPT team. And it's one of the unique persons that dares to think differently, without knowing if they will win, but being convinced that they couldn't do it alone. But with all of us being here today, and some that couldn't make it better, but are part of this big growing frontier materials family, the vision of having an innovative Congress, both in its context, content and format, putting SDG as the core of the Congress. I saw a deep change in terms that in the last years, we have been attending to the trend of putting humans in the center. And I asked myself, why aren't we part of nature? Do we feel so separate from our environment? Shouldn’t we change the way we are conceiving science research and innovation, putting the planet at the core? But how? First, I think creating core teams working together, interdisciplinary and mission oriented teams are a must. Having a shared aim, and the vision of leaving a legacy for the future generations, our sons, but thinking also about the elders, allowing them a more independent and healthy life.
Soraya Hidalgo 13:10
Thinking always in key of carbon emissions and our nature resources. Some materials some minerals, as you know, are already scarce. We are going to go deep into the subjects in our today's sessions, climate actions for frontier materials, carbon waste to graphene technology and global collaborations toward the 2030 agenda. And ending with a co-creation session called Sustainable Attitudes in Ideation & Design, Integrating Sustainability into Corporate R&D DNA, also by arriving and including the citizen in the loop. In that sense, we think that art can play a major role being one of the best vectors that humans have to communicate. To stimulate new ways of innovation in frontier materials is an essential piece as a way to better communicate science. Which kind of venue do we need to boost this mission? Well, Barcelona is undoubtedly the city of techno enthusiasts, and a collaborative city referent in Europe, with a rich ecosystem and a sparkling network around the world. The agenda 2030 of the Barcelona City Council, the European missions are good examples of policy strategies that will favor our mission. PUZZLE X legs cannot, and I know it will end today, PUZZLE X will be integrating more pieces and continuing its activities along the year. And from UPC. We feel honored to be one of them. Thank you very much!