5/30/23 · Research

Eight innovative technological projects will be the stars at a new edition of the UOC's annual entrepreneurship event

University students, alumni and researchers will be presenting their entrepreneurial initiatives at the 11th SpinUOC finals
The entrepreneurial projects for 2023 include rural innovation, health, training for SMEs, educational video games or home delivery services
Finalists of the SpinUOC 2022 edition (photo: UOC)

Finalists of the SpinUOC 2022 edition (photo: UOC)

From tech solutions for health and for optimizing agriculture to training for SMEs, home delivery services and educational video games: these are some of the fields of the innovative projects that the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) will be showcasing on 29 June at the finals of SpinUOC, its annual programme promoting ICT-related entrepreneurial projects.

The event will take place at Barcelona's former Estrella Damm brewery, from 7 p.m. This will be the 11th edition, and will see the presentation of eight finalist projects, with three prizes being awarded to the eventual winners: for best social impact (with the support of the Ramon Molinas Foundation), the audience prize and the jury prize. The entrepreneurs behind the projects (half of which are led by women) will be given five minutes to provide an innovative explanation to attendees and will afterwards have time for networking. Attendance at the event is free of charge, but requires prior registration via this link (Places are limited).

The event will also include the Innovation Gallery (from 6.30 p.m.), in the foyer, with an artistic exhibition of ten projects showcasing enterprising solutions and initiatives from the last decade of SpinUOC.

"The UOC's links to the territory are further demonstrated by our wish to boost entrepreneurship through SpinUOC, a tool for bolstering the country's social and economic sectors," said Prof. Xavier Vilajosana, UOC Vice Rector for Research, Knowledge Transfer and Entrepreneurship. In turn, UOC Rector Àngels Fitó, said that SpinUOC shows how the university "stresses promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation as the most direct path to social and economic progress. […] In this way, we want to make entrepreneurship a hallmark our community and our society."

A robot to deliver food to your doorstep

Mohsen Rahmanikivi, a student on the doctoral programme in Network and Information Technologies and member of the KISON research group at the UOC's Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), will present ADR, a project for a robot for last-mile deliveries of meals and groceries. "It's an autonomous, self-driving robot that's cube-shaped with four wheels. It can carry a load of up to 15 kilograms and travels from one location to another using a system comprised of sensors, cameras and GPS, which lets it detect obstacles and move forward," Rahmanikivi explained.

The delivery service is initiated when a user starts using the application, selects a food item or product, gives the delivery address, and pays the price. The ADR server then calls the most immediate robot to make the delivery. The robot drives to the product provider. When the robot receives the requested product, it drives to the delivery point and delivers it to the user.

Unique hyper-efficient crop irrigation technology

María Martínez, a student on the UOC's Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Management who lives in Sweden, will be presenting Agrodit, a revolutionary agricultural project. This initiative, undertaken jointly with Fernando Carrasco, a student on the UOC's Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering, involves a unique sensor that measures soil moisture and temperature at different levels, a remote irrigation valve switch, and a platform that allows users to view crop data easily, and to receive notifications, predictions, analysis and reports. "Agrodit not only makes monitoring crops easy, but it also makes the implementation of hyper-efficient irrigation possible, saving on costs and resources," Martínez said.

Selfies to diagnose eye problems

Francisca Villanueva and Igor García, students on the Joint University Master's Degree in Bioinformatics and Biostatistics (UOC, UB), will be presenting begIA: Artificial Intelligence for Future Eye Health, a mobile app that enables the diagnosis of eye problems, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or cataracts, by analysing a selfie. The project is based on deep learning techniques that use the most advanced artificial neural network architectures for image recognition. "begIA will provide an early diagnosis for people living in areas where access to a quality health system is difficult. This paves the way for everyone to have medical treatment, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals," said García.

Diverse and inclusive technology for agile training at SMEs

Anna Domínguez, a participant in the UOC's Edutech Emprèn programme, has reached the final phase of SpinUOC 2023 with the eTrivium project – an inclusive model for online training and learning adapted to the real needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. "eTrivium's mission is to provide a platform for these companies so that they can stand out in the recruitment and development of talent by integrating pedagogy, diversity and inclusion in an easy-to-implement technology," said Domínguez. eTrivium is a model that uses innovation and agility to align business competitiveness with lifelong employability.

The ultimate search engine for skin care

Paula Ferrer, a neuroscientist and graduate in Psychology from the UOC, will be at SpinUOC to present her project InSkin, a tool aimed at health professionals, including both doctors and pharmacists. It provides them with a screening service for the components of skin care products. Users can eliminate or select components of  these products, choose the brand, the galenic formulation, the part of the body where it acts, and what it does. This means that they can make the most appropriate product recommendation for each person. "We have to bear in mind that 40% of the world's population today suffer from allergies or sensitivity to the components of skin care products, and this number is increasing every day," explained Ferrer.

InSkin can act as an intermediary between skin care laboratories and healthcare professionals, making it the ultimate search engine for skin care products.

Remote-controlled smart grazing

Roger Sánchez Güell, a student on the UOC's master's degree in Financial Management who lives in Frankfurt, Germany, will be presenting Moofind, an app that works with a collar for cattle and uses satellite data to monitor the health, location and grazing of animals. "This enables better livestock and field management in overall terms," said Sánchez. One of the basic functions of the app is smart grazing, which lets the farmer see which plots or farms have the best vegetation for grazing cattle, and makes sure that grazing practices do not damage the pastures. The location feature is used to check where the animals are without the farmer having to move around physically, which saves on costs and time, as well as increasing convenience. Moofind also has a health sensor which monitors the animals' heartbeat and body temperature.

Personal health information record

Yael Azagury, a student on the Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering, is behind the My Medic Eye project, a socially responsible start-up that aims to improve global health. Azagury explained that with this project, she aims to "empower people to take control of their own health with an app" that centralizes their medical records in just one place, including data from public and private medical centres from anywhere in the world, as well as symptoms entered by the patient. The information can be viewed graphically within the app, and shared with doctors and family members to aid diagnosis and treatment.

An interactive video game to practise oral language skills

Esteban Peñaherrera, a student on the doctoral programme in Education and ICT (E-learning), and an entrepreneur participating in Edutech Emprèn, will be using SpinUOC to present the WIN project, an interactive video game designed for children to improve their oral language skills. The WIN video game uses artificial intelligence models to detect body movements and voice productions, which facilitates interaction with the game. WIN will also include gamification techniques to make it challenging, entertaining and engaging.

"The project includes a disruptive cutting-edge technology that can be used to develop various types of video games for education and speech therapy. Its target audience is children in infant and primary schools, and speech therapy centres in Spanish-speaking countries," said Peñaherrera.

This entrepreneur is developing WIN as part of his doctoral degree under the supervision of Llorenç Andreu. Andreu is an expert in learning difficulties and language disorders, professor in the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, and leader of the Cognition and Language Research Group (GRECIL), affiliated to the eHealth Center.

About SpinUOC

Since the first event in 2013, 92 entrepreneurial projects have been selected for SpinUOC's annual finals. Backed by Hubbik, the UOC's entrepreneurship and innovation support platform, the initiative counts on the support of the World Mobile Capital's 4YFN start-up event, the Ramon Molinas Foundation, Foment de Treball Nacional, Seed & Click and Estrella Damm.

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