Kick-Off of two projects financed by the Ministry of Science

These are the 3PP and Sensocrete 3D research programs of the CIM UPC, which have been funded within the framework of the call “R&D&I projects in strategic lines, in public-private collaboration 2021”, which supports industrial research to address several current problems.

Last week we kicked off two projects funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. These are the Sensocrete 3D and 3PP programs. Their Kick-Offs took place on October 14 and October 22 respectively, which means the beginning of the collaboration between the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the University of Girona, BCN3D and Escofet 1886 with the CIM UPC to carry out the research.

The call in which these financings are framed is the “R&D&I projects in strategic lines, in public-private collaboration”, which is launched by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through the State Research Agency. Its objective is to support industrial research projects carried out in a cooperation between private and public entities of the R&D sector to boost innovation and technological development in order to face several current challenges. These are outlined in the call for proposals in the form of “thematic priorities” in order to value the multidisciplinarity of the projects.

“3D printed sensorized concrete building components oriented to active monotorization” (Sensocrete 3D – PLEC2021-007982 / AEI / 10.13039/501100011033) is a project included in the thematic priority “Intelligent building technologies”. It is a project that explores the concept of intelligent infrastructures, and is focused on designing and building a 3D printer capable of prefabricating building components from materials based on sensorized foundations, capable of monitoring both environmental variables (temperature, humidity…) and the transformations produced in the material itself, thus allowing instant action to improve its safety.

The Polytechnic University of Catalonia and the CIM have thus formed a consortium with Escofet 1886, a company focused on the design and manufacture of urban planning components, in order to carry out this project. The whole process will have in mind the relationship between digitalization and the construction industry, a synchrony whose possibilities will be explored by the participating entities to achieve not only greater structural safety but also positive impacts on the eco-efficiency of buildings.

The second research program, entitled “Novel drug-testing pre-clinical platform based on 3D bioprinting culture plates” (3PP – PLEC2021-007523 / AEI / 10.13039/501100011033), in Catalan “Innovadora plataforma preclínica de ensayo de fármacos basada en placas de cultivo de bioimpresión 3D”, has been funded in the thematic priority category of “Nuevas estratégias de biofabricación: de los órganos en un chip, organoides o bioimpresion 3D, a la aplicación clínica”. The aim of the research is to advance personalized medicine to treat one of the most aggressive cancer variants, triple negative, by developing a technology platform through 3D printing that combines for the first time additive manufacturing by filament extrusion and electrospinning. The aim is to nimbly produce 3D printed structures where the patient’s own triple-negative breast cancer cells (tumoroids) are cultured and grown, more effectively mimicking the real conditions of the disease. Thus, drugs can be tested quickly for their cure, making the process of selecting the ideal drug much faster and avoiding the trial-and-error process that currently affects patients’ chances of survival.

This research will last for three years, during which time the CIM UPC and BCN3D, the Spin-Off of our technology center, will collaborate with the TargetsLab research group of the University of Girona, which leads the project. TargetsLab is a team focused on the design and use of technological and molecular tools to address the recurrence and progression of breast cancer and the healing of dysregulated lesions. The project is an example of how important the convergence between medicine and technology is for the development of new and effective treatments for health.

Thus, both projects, in line with the Ministry of Science and Innovation’s call for funding, seek to experiment and put into practice the applications and solutions that technology and the digitized society can provide for different current problems.