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Two ERC Proof of Concept Grants awarded to DTIC staff

Two ERC Proof of Concept Grants awarded to DTIC staff

Marcelo Bertalmío and Salvador Soto-Faraco receive ERC Proof of Concept Grants to support the translation of the the research results of their ongoing ERC Grants to innovation and commercialization.



On 4 July, the European Research Council announced the 44 projects, having been promoted by the ERC in their initial stages, that have now been selected to go one step further from research to innovation and commercialization.  These are Proof of Concept grants, provided with 150,000 euros each, with which the researchers can find new business opportunities, cover intellectual property costs, etc. 

2 of the projects have been awarded to DTIC researchers.

Marcelo Bertalmío, head of the Processing for Enhanced Cinematography (IP4EC) research group at the DTIC, is to carry out the project VIPERCON:  Emulating visual perception of contrast for image capture, post-production and synthesis. With the research carried out with the Starting Grant,Bertalmío was able to propose a model of vision that can be used to accurately reproduce the contrast of a scene. The method is automatic, i.e., it does not require the user to select a setting, and computationally low in complexity, and so it can be used in real time. As Bertalmío stated, “it produces images and videos that look natural, without any artefacts (halos, spurious colours)”. The model was validated by means of several tests on users and is currently subject to a European patent application.

The main idea of ​​this Proof of Concept is, based on the proposed vision model, to develop a series of products for three different scenarios. First, a free web application and commercial mobile applications aimed at the general public. Second, commercial professional software: film, photography and video post-production. And, finally, the method has a potential use for other applications:  cameras, film, television and improving.

Salvador Soto-Faraco, ICREA researcher and head of the Multisensory Research Group (MRG) at UPF’s DTIC, is the principal investigator of the project MNeuronic: A Mnemonic system based on stimulation-free Neuroimaging, which seeks to investigate the possibility of applying basic knowledge available from earlier studies to create brain-computer interfaces capable of optimizing the encoding of information in the memory by predicting optimal brain states in real time.

As Soto-Faraco explains, “naturally, the state of the brain fluctuates constantly. So every time any kind of information enters via the senses (e.g. a person’s face when we are introduced to them), it is encoded more or less effectively, partly depending on the brain state at the time”. And he adds, “at our laboratory some evidence of these brain states has been found that determine whether information will be processed better or worse”.  All these previous studies underpin MNeuronic and the search for possible applications.


Text taken from UPF news Two research projects by the DTIC have been awarded ERC Proof of Concept grants