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Success Story in Strategic Collaboration between Business and University

21/01/2022
IQS and COMSA Corporación have been working together since 2017 on research, technology and knowledge transfer, a successful collaboration that has so far resulted in five research projects and an industrial doctorate.
Success Story in Strategic Collaboration between Business and University
Mr Joan Peset and Dr Marco A. Pérez at the SEAT-IQS laboratory

 

Since 2017, IQS has been a strategic partner of COMSA Corporación, a global group that is active in infrastructure development, industrial engineering, and services that boasts more than 130 years of experience. Led by Dr Marco Antonio Pérez, IQS has collaborated with COMSA Corporación on various projects in the fields of advanced infrastructure control and intelligent inspection for electrical and telecommunications towers through new approaches based on the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning, in which Dr Pérez’s team contributes its experience on these issues.

This represents a success story of collaboration and synergy between business and university in terms of joint research, technology, and knowledge transfer, which has given rise to an industrial doctorate and five research projects, all of which have been co-financed with competitive funding.

  1. Intelligent satellite vision forest fire prevention system for electricity distribution and transport infrastructure – “ISAPREF” (INNOTEC – Agency for Business Competitiveness 2021 call for proposals).
  2. Artificial intelligence in cloud computing to prevent forest fires of an electronic origin – “PREVIACC”. (Red.es call for proposals from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation (2020)).
  3. Smart monitoring and prediction of vegetation growth around electrical towers by advanced laser technologies and cloud-powered Artificial Intelligence. (Call for Knowledge Industry Grants – Llavor, Agency for the Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR) – Department of Research and Universities (2019)).
  4. Predictive maintenance of civil structures through the use of spectral correlation and neural networks. (Industrial Doctorate AGAUR – Department of Research and Universities (2019)). 
  5. Remote system for inspecting electric towers, based on an IoT platform – “IOTOWER”. (Call for proposals for Digital Enabling Technologies (THD) – Ministry of Economy and Business (2019)).
  6. Remote telecommunication tower inspection system based on an IoT platform – NetTower”. (Nuclis call for industrial research and experimental development proposals –ACCIÓ Agency for Business Competitiveness (2017).

In the words of Dr Marco A Pérez, “this longstanding collaboration represents an opportunity for technology transfer and to develop an innovative solution for the intelligent monitoring of critical infrastructure.”

Dr Núria Vallmitjana, Director of IQS Tech Transfer, stated that “when the connection between researchers from the business world and from higher education is established, the team becomes fully operational on R&D&i projects and collaboration flows in such a way that we are not capable of distinguishing who works at the company and who works at the university.”

COMSA Corporación’s vision

Mr Joan Peset is the Head of the R&D Department with COMSA Corporación.

What does the longstanding collaboration with IQS represent for COMSA Corporación?
I could mention countless positive aspects regarding our collaboration, but I think that the most outstanding example, and the one that provides enormous differential value compared to other projects with high-level scientific groups, is the IQS research group’s total commitment to tackling real problems the market faces. This willingness enables us to develop solutions with an incredibly short “time to market” as they directly respond to the needs defined by our clients. This alignment is achieved thanks to ongoing communication that is transformed into numerous project ideas. Just one example of this process can be found in the recent grant awarded to the proposal “Intelligent satellite vision forest fire prevention system for electricity distribution and transport infrastructure,” within the framework of the INNOTEC 2021 call for proposals.

Why is the intelligent maintenance of this type of infrastructure so important?
Reducing costs and the ability to adequately predict useful life are key aspects that make intelligent infrastructure maintenance an increasingly widespread trend. This is possible thanks to continuous monitoring technology and techniques based on Artificial Intelligence, which allow real-time monitoring of a structure and predicting its behaviour over time. This approach avoids unnecessary expenses and service interruptions associated with purely corrective maintenance.

You are making a clear commitment to cutting-edge technologies and sustainability.
Beyond the obvious competitive advantages that these technologies provide in terms of productivity, COMSA Corporación has made a solid commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility for many years. In this sense, all our innovation activity falls within the Sustainable Development Goals, with a special focus on digitization, the circular economy, resilience, and energy efficiency. 

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