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Catalonia continues to lead Spain in patent applications, accounting for 35%

March 7, 2017 06:29 PM | ACN

35% of the total patent applications in Spain in 2016 were submitted in Catalonia, totalling 547. This figure is 5.5% higher than that registered in 2015, according to the last European Patent Office (EPO) report. Madrid ranked second with 321 applications, 11% less than the previous year. The three main entities which submitted patent applications in Barcelona were Esteve Laboratory, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and the Almirall pharmaceutical company. The number of patent Applications in the whole of Spain totalled 1,558 in 2016, contributing only 1% to the world total, which is led by the United States. If Catalonia were a country, it would be number 23 in the world ranking, ahead of Norway, Turkey, Luxembourg and Singapore amongst others.

International study involving Catalan researchers concludes that two tsunamis destroyed coasts on Mars

May 31, 2016 10:47 AM | Maria Bélmez / Laerke Saura

An international study with Catalan participation from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) has revealed that the coasts on Mars were destroyed by tsunamis. The study has been published in “Scientific Reports-Nature” and explains that two tsunamis that were produced millions of years apart reduced the level of the ocean and made the climate significantly colder. The tsunamis appear to have been created by the impacts of 30-km-wide meteors. The discovery gives an answer to the question of why scientists couldn’t recognise its shorelines if there really had been an ocean on Mars about 3.4 billion years ago.

Driverless electric car cheaper than Google's developed by Barcelona's Autònoma University

May 28, 2015 09:59 PM | ACN

A team of researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) has developed an electric car that can move without a driver, identifying roads, obstacles and traffic signs with its cameras. In fact, the use of cameras instead of expensive sensors is the main difference from similar existing models and makes the Catalan car much cheaper than its potential competitors, such as Google's prototype. In addition, the use of less sophisticated devices, such as simple cameras, makes the UAB prototype demand more intelligent algorithms and programmes than its competitors, says Antonio López of UAB's Centre of Computer Vision. In the last few years, Catalonia, and particularly Barcelona and its Metropolitan Area, has become one of the main centres at world level developing electric vehicles. In addition, Barcelona is also a world reference point within the mobile industry, as well as the Internet of Things and smart cities industries, hosting the Mobile World Congress each year and many smart city projects.

Barcelona: a top city to take an MBA

May 11, 2015 07:36 PM | Marta Castillo / Georgina Garriga

The Financial Times recently ranked the top twenty business schools for undertaking an MBA (Master of Business Administration) programme. Two of these schools are in Barcelona: IESE and ESADE, 7th and 19th in the world ranking respectively. Both have around a 90% international student intake for these courses. In recent years, Barcelona has become a global educational destination for MBA students that come to the city attracted by the quality of the schools but also by the city brand and the lifestyle. However, Barcelona is not only a player in business but also in the field of economic research and investigation. 

3 Catalan universities and 3 colleges among world's best, according to QS and Times rankings

April 30, 2015 08:58 PM | ACN

The 2015 QS World University Rankings by Subject has ranked Barcelona’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) 22nd in the world in the field of Architecture and 35th in Civil and Structural Engineering. According to the same prestigious ranking, the University of Barcelona (UB) performs well too, ranking as one of the top 50 globally in Philosophy and among the top 200 in 27 of the 36 subject areas. Moreover, The Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 Rankings 2015 lists three Catalan universities - Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona; the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB); and Rovira i Virgili University (URV) in Tarragona– among the top 100 universities worldwide under 50 years old.

Bachelor's degrees to last 3 years instead of 4: new university reform stirs Catalan students' anger

April 7, 2015 06:03 PM | Valentina Marconi

In times of shrinking public funding, higher tuition fees and fewer scholarships, a controversial new university reform has been approved by the Spanish Government. The so-called "flexibilisation" of Bachelor's degrees or the "3+2" system has been introduced, provoking a wave of protests and criticism across the university community. The new reform allows universities to choose an undergraduate programme length that ranges from 3 to 4 years, abandoning the 4-year scheme adopted in 2010. Then, a one- or two-year Master's will follow. Many fear that it will devaluate undergraduate degrees, obliging students to undertake a Master’s in order to find a decent job. Moreover, as postgraduate tuition fees are substantially higher, some think that the overall price of education is likely to rise, pushing the Spanish university system towards the US model. Other arguments against the reform are: the lack of democratic discussion on the new text, the temporal proximity of the previous reform and the potential increase in disorder within the system.