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Focus will be on boosting UPC participation in KICs in urban mobility planned for 2018

Lluís Jofre appointed director of CARNET project and SEAT-UPC Enterprise Chair, with Robert Griñó to serve as academic director

This year Lluís Jofre, who holds a degree in Telecommunications from the UPC and is a professor at the ETSETB, will direct both the CARNET (Cooperative Automotive Research Network) project, a research and innovation hub that focuses on the automotive industry and future urban mobility, and the SEAT-UPC Enterprise Chair, which launched the CARNET project. He will work with IOC director Robert Griñó, who will serve as the academic director of the Chair.

lluís jofre.Lluís Jofre, who holds a degree in Telecommunications from the UPC and is a professor at the Barcelona School of Telecommunications Engineering (ETSETB), was recently appointed director of CARNET. He replaces Prof. Jaume Barceló, who had held the post since the project’s inception in 2016, and who stepped down to assume other responsibilities. Prof. Jofre has also been appointed director of the Seat-UPC Chair in Automotive Excellence and Innovation for Sustainable Mobility, a post that was held by Pedro Díez until he was named director of the Barcelona School of Civil Engineering. This enterprise chair focuses on education, research and knowledge transfer in the automotive industry, and is the platform from which the launch of CARNET was managed.

Prof. Jofre is attached to the Department of Signal Theory and Communications and is a researcher with the Antennas and Wireless Systems Laboratory (ANTENNALAB). In recent years, he directed the Telefónica-UPC Enterprise Chair before interrupting his tenure to assume other responsibilities linked to university and research policy, first as the Government of Catalonia’s Director General for Universities, and then as Secretary for Universities and Research. He previously headed the Strategic Plan for the Information Society in Catalonia, the Catalan Foundation for Research, and EnginyCAT, a programme aimed at promoting engineering studies.

Strengthening urban mobility research in Europe
CARNET is Barcelona’s first research and innovation hub that focuses on urban mobility. Launched by the UPC, Volkswagen Research and SEAT, it is the first knowledge platform to facilitate collaboration between industry and universities. The project is open to the participation of institutions and companies that want to play a role in tackling urban mobility challenges. Coordinated by the UPC’s Innovation and Technology Centre (CIT), the initiative is currently supported by other business partners, such as Altran, Applus+ Idiada, Ficosa, the Royal Automobile Club of Catalonia (RACC) and Rucker Lypsa.

The University’s aim in bringing the CARNET project and the SEAT-UPC Chair together under a single director is to build on the work done by the previous holder of the post, especially with respect to the identification and cohesion of research conducted at the UPC in new areas related to the future of urban mobility. The incoming director will continue to encourage the participation of these groups in European projects, but with a new focus: to take part in the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) in urban mobility being set up in Europe for 2018.

CARNET is currently engaged in a range of projects that are transforming the automotive industry and will revolutionise urban mobility, including mobile apps for finding the best routes and transport options, smart systems for managing traffic and transport, robots to aid mobility, and innovative systems to facilitate communication and connectivity. Developments like these will make metropolitan areas smarter and better spaces to live in. Research is also being done on new carpooling platforms and flexible, on-demand public transport systems that provide door-to-door service, all with the same aim: to facilitate mobility and save resources and time.

The new director will continue working to involve public administrations—particularly the Barcelona City Council and the Government of Catalonia—in ongoing initiatives.

retrat robert griñóRobert Griñó appointed academic director of the SEAT-UPC Chair

Robert Griñó, the director of the Institute of Industrial and Control Engineering (IOC), has been named academic director of the SEAT Enterprise Chair. The new director holds a doctoral degree in Industrial Engineering from the UPC and is a professor of the Department of Automatic Control at the Barcelona School of Industrial Engineering (ETSEIB).

As a researcher, he is attached to the Advanced Control of Energy Systems (ACES) group, and he has extensive experience in digital control, non-linear control, and control of electronic power converters. Prof. Griño’s expertise in advance automation has earned him a place on various research projects at both the national and European level.

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