UPF INNOvalora, the first programme to support applied and proof-of-concept research linked to the University’s research activity

UPF INNOvalora, the first programme to support applied and proof-of-concept research linked to the University’s research activity

Pompeu Fabra University, via the Innovation Unit-UPF Business Shuttle, has announced the first call for proposals which has received submissions by 18 projects. Of these, an evaluation panel of external experts has chosen five that will begin as of 1 April, thanks to funding obtained for the project “UPF Valora Horitzó 2015”.



For promising results of research to finally reach society, resources are required. Hence, Pompeu Fabra University, through the Innovation Unit-UPF Business Shuttle, has announced the first edition of “UPF INNOValora”, an initiative conceived with the aim of promoting the valorization of knowledge by funding proof-of-concept projects linked to the results of research conducted at the University in any discipline. 

Eighteen proposals were submitted for this first call, 10 of which were selected to give a brief presentation before an evaluation panel of external experts on 22 February. Of these, the evaluation panel has chosen five projects that will begin their activity on 1 April. There are 2 projects in the area of ICT, and a further 3 in the area of experimental and health sciences. By virtue of the aid that has been granted and to initiate the transfer of knowledge to society, each of these projects will have 30,000 euros, with a further 30,000 euros for projects linked to biomedical sciences, thanks to funding from the Maria de Maetzu Unit of the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences at UPF.

Projects selected in the first edition of UPF INNOValora

Gamut Mapping for Cinema, with Marcelo Bertalmio, José María Rojana, Javier Vázquez Corral and Syed Wagas Zamir, proposes a solution to adapt the colours of images to the possibilities of each screen, according to an automatic vision-based method of extremely low computational complexity and which produces images and videos that appear to be natural, without any mechanisms. The method was awarded the UPF 2017 Technology Transfer Award.

New therapy to cure viral infections, a project presented by Juana Díez, Ivan Dotu and Marc Tallo that proposes a new RNA-based therapy to control viral infections. This strategy could be extended to non-infectious diseases.

CIplanner, with Miguel Angel González Ballester, Nerea Mangado and Mario Ceresa, aims to develop cochlear implant surgery planning and simulation software. The cochlear implant, also known as the “bionic ear”, allows patients with profound deafness to recover their hearing by transforming sounds and neural stimulation. This software allows more precise planning and the performance of computational simulations to predict treatment efficacy for each patient.

Super-repressor for cancer treatment, with Francesc Posas, Laia Nadal, Manel Joaquin and Maria Caballero will make headway in the translation of the research carried out in a protein that is essential for cell proliferation. They have discovered a new regulatory mechanism that opens the door to identifying new treatments against cancer.

Zip-NanoBullet, with Pilar Rivera Gil, Ruben Vicente, Marcos Sanles Sobrido and Ruixue Xu will perform pre-clinical validation and protection of the results obtained from the use of a molecular target for pancreatic tumours by specifically locating a nanostructured capsule capable of diagnosing (detecting) and treating simultaneously.

The external panel of experts consisted of renowned professionals in their respective areas of expertise: scientific knowledge, industrial knowledge, technology transfer, entrepreneurship, and investment. The evaluators have particularly highlighted the quality and relevance of all of the projects presented at the call.

This initiative is part of the plan of actions of the project “UPF Valora Horitzó 2025”, which aims to promote innovation and social transformation by creating synergies with society and contributing to social welfare and the creation of value. It has the support of the Secretariat for Universities and Research of the Ministry of Business and Knowledge of the Government of Catalonia, and co-funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).