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The UOC showcases its research findings on European Researchers' Night

  European Researchers' Night

The European Researchers' Night is promoted by the European Commission (photo:

The University's research staff will participate in nine activities open to the general public and schoolchildren

The collaborative economy, relations with China, e- health, care and climate change are the subjects that will be covered by the experts

On 24 September, more than 300 cities in 30 countries across Europe will play host to scientific dissemination activities in all types of fields. Scientists from research centres and universities will use the occasion to showcase their research findings to children and the general public. The Catalan Association for Science Communication (ACCC), the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and Catalonia's universities will once again take part in the European Researchers' Night – this year with "Research for change" as the overarching theme for their more than 200 activities. The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) will organize nine activities, which will take place in Barcelona, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat and Girona and also virtually, starting on Tuesday 21 September.


Round table on the collaborative economy

On Tuesday 21 September at 7:30 p.m., Barcelona's Centre Cívic Casa Golferichs (Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 491) will host a round table discussion on "The explosion of the collaborative economy: transformations and impacts". This activity is coordinated by Eduard Álvarez, a researcher from the Sustainability and Management Research Group (SUMA), and Dalilis Escobar, and will include the participation of Professor Joan Torrent, from Interdisciplinary Research on ICT (I2TIC), Lluís Garay, from New Perspectives on Tourism and Leisure (NOUTUR), and Maria Jesús Martínez Argüelles as a moderator, from  Management & eLearning (MeL), all five of whom belong to the Faculty of Economics and Business.

The discussion will show how the digitization of the economy is gaining strength and transforming relations between economic agents, the way in which organizations do business and consumption habits. This activity will focus on how initiatives related to the collaborative economy have played a key role in the development of platforms for the exchange and disintermediation of goods and services, facilitating direct links between end users and suppliers.

Follow this link to register to attend.


Hispano-Chinese relations and research

Researchers from the ALTER group at the UOC's Faculty of Arts and Humanities specializing in the culture and history of East Asia will run three activities throughout the week of the European Researchers' Night.

Based on his experiences pursuing the research projects that form the China-Spain Archive, which studies relations between the two countries dating back to the 19th century, on Tuesday 21 September, at 7 p.m., Xavier Ortells will lead a practical workshop on digital archive research at the Centre Cultural Sant Josep in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Avinguda d'Isabel la Catòlica, 32). This activity is aimed at anyone interested in searching for data, information or images in historical press or accessing repositories. To attend, send an email to or call (+34) 934 032 099.

On Wednesday 22, Carles Brasó will take part in the educational talks taking place at Barcelona's Centre Cívic Vil·la Urània (Carrer de Saragossa, 29) at 3 p.m., where he will give a short presentation on the role of the Chinese international brigades in the Spanish Civil War. Follow this link to register to attend.

On Thursday 23, David Martínez and Carles Prado will give a talk at L'Estel school in the Barcelona neighbourhood of La Sagrera to bring China closer to students and reflect on how close and how distant Chinese culture and society are.



The UOC's eHealth Center is promoting a series of activities on e-health within the framework of this year's European Researchers' Night. On Thursday 23 September, Àgata Lapedriza, the lead researcher of the Scene Understanding and Artificial Intelligence Lab (SUNAI), which is attached to the Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications, will give a talk on "Empathetic robots designed to help people". Lapedriza will describe how these robots perceive human emotions and why it is important for machines to be able to do this. The researcher will present examples of research projects that use this technology to help reduce stress and facilitate communication between robots and people. This activity will take place at the Auditori Barradas in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat at 7:30 p.m. To attend, send an email to or call (+34) 934 032 099.

On Friday 24 September at 5 p.m., Barcelona's CosmoCaixa (Carrer d'Isaac Newton, 26) will host a talk on psychosocial support in cancer diagnoses given by Joan Carles Medina, a researcher from the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences. It covers the Catalan Institute of Oncology's ICOnnecta't programme, a staggered e-health ecosystem designed to identify and manage people's psychosocial needs in the first year after receiving a cancer diagnosis. Follow this link to register to attend.


Virtual talks

On Friday 24 September, the European Researchers' Night YouTube channel will host two virtual talks given by UOC research staff members. First, Llorenç Andreu Barrachina, a researcher affiliated with the eHealth Center and the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences through the Cognition and Language Research Group (GRECIL), will describe how Kinect technology can be used in speech therapy. These motion detection devices produced by Microsoft make real-time gesture and voice recognition and skeletal tracking possible, and provide a great opportunity to develop digital games to improve oral language skills through language-based interactions.

Madelin Gómez, a researcher from the Communication Networks & Social Change (CNSC) research group at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), will analyse the role of carer among the elderly, taking into account that a large number of seniors are active participants in social and family life and provide financial support or care for those around them. Gómez will focus on the activities that the elderly do for others and what this entails for their own well-being.


European Performing Science Night

As part of European Researchers' Night, Badalona is to host European Performing Science Night. It is being organized by EPICALAB (the Épica La Fura dels Baus Foundation's Multidisciplinary Learning Space Geared Towards the Performing Arts) and involves researchers from a number of different universities. The idea is to co-create a show focusing on scientific challenges – for example, in the case of the UOC, climate change.

The event will include exhibitions, interactive experiences and talks so that people can interact with the researchers and get a first-hand idea of what their research involves and, even, how they could work with them.

The event will take place on 25 September, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Centre Cultural l’Escorxador (Carrer de Don Pelayo, 22), and will involve the IN3's Urban Transformation and Global Change Laboratory (TURBA Lab). Prior registration not required.



The UOC's research and innovation (R&I) is helping overcome pressing challenges faced by global societies in the 21st century, by studying interactions between technology and human & social sciences with a specific focus on the network society, e-learning and e-health. Over 500 researchers and 51 research groups work among the University's seven faculties and two research centres: the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) and the eHealth Center (eHC).

The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and open knowledge serve as strategic pillars for the UOC's teaching, research and innovation. More information: #UOC25years

UOC experts

Photograph of Eduard Josep Alvarez

Eduard Josep Alvarez Palau

Expert in: Expert in logistics, transport Infrastructure, urban mobility, territorial planning, modelling of networks, GIS, economic history, and infrastructure as heritage.

Knowledge area: Logistics, transport, urbanism and territorial planning.

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Dalilis Escobar

Dalilis Escobar

Researcher at the Faculty of Economics and Business

Photograph of Joan Torrent Sellens

Joan Torrent Sellens

Professor in the Economics and Business Studies Department
Director of the Master's Degree on Creation, Management and Running of Micro-enterprises

Expert in: ICT, knowledge and economic growth and development; ICT, knowledge and business and regional efficiency and competitiveness; ICT, knowledge, economic activities and social uses; ICT, knowledge and health; ICT, knowledge, people and work.

Knowledge area: Applied economics.

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Photograph of Lluís Garay Tamajón

Lluís Garay Tamajón

Lecturer in the Economics and Business Studies Department
Director of the Master's Degree in Corporate Social Responsibility

Expert in: Tourism, the history of tourism, the development of tourist destinations, tourism products, responsible tourism, corporate social responsibility, and the image of tourist destinations.

Knowledge area: Economics of tourism and tourism businesses.

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Maria Jesús Martínez

Maria Jesús Martínez

Researcher at the Faculty of Economics and Business

Xavier Ortells

Xavier Ortells

Researcher at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Photograph of professor Carles Brasó

Carles Brasó Broggi

Expert in: 20th century economic history of China. Doctoral research on Chinese textile companies from the 1920s to the economic reform. Postdoctoral research on relations between China and Europe, particularly technology and knowledge transfer.

Knowledge area: Economic history, contemporary history, history and economics of China.

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David Martínez Robles

David Martínez Robles

Researcher at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Photograph of Carles Prado Fonts

Carles Prado Fonts

Expert in: Chinese literature and culture; China-Spain relations; translation; intercultural studies.

Knowledge area: Literature.

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Photograph of Àgata Lapedriza García

Àgata Lapedriza García

Expert in: Computer vision, affective computing, artificial intelligence, image processing, and distance learning of mathematics.

Knowledge area: Computer vision and affective computing.

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Joan Carles Medina

Researcher at the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences and at the eHealth Center

Photograph of Llorenç Andreu Barrachina

Llorenç Andreu Barrachina

Professor in the Psychology and Education Sciences Department
Director of the university master's degree in Learning Disabilities and Language Disorders

Expert in: Language acquisition and development; learning disabilities; language disorders.

Knowledge area: Educational psychology.

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Madelin Gómez

Madelin Gómez

IN3 researcher