Andreu Catalá from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya: “UPTEC’s friendly atmosphere facilitates interaction with other researchers”

At UPTEC, we have our doors open for new ideas, innovation, challenges and secondments. We welcome startups, big companies, universities and hubs from all over the world. Andreu Catalá from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, one of UPTEC’s partners in the OpenInonTrain community, is the next interviewee of “Open Doors, and he will share his four week experience in UPTEC and his main reasons for joining our ecosystem.


Andreu Catalá || Full Professor at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya || Spain || 30,347 Students and 1,989 Personnel

Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your research project?

I’m a Full Professor at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Spin-Off Promoter Sense4Care ( and a board of directors member. In the last ten years, I’ve tried redirecting part of my academic work to innovation. Creating Sense4Care was one of the most important milestones of my career. The company has created a Holter to monitor motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Nowadays, more than 6000 Parkinson’s patients have been using our system, and we have clients in more than 15 countries. My research in the Openinnotrain project is related to studying the path from pure research to developing a real product. There are more difficulties and barriers in health technology than in other areas, like the compulsory certification of devices with different rules depending on the country, the ethical implications, data privacy, security, and so on.

Why did you choose to come to UPTEC for your research project?

I have collaborated with members of the UPTEC ecosystem, like Fraunhofer Aicos, in many European projects and proposals, so I know the potential and innovation orientation of the Porto ecosystem. This atmosphere is lovely for interacting with different research actors and reflecting on business models.


What expectations did you have before starting your secondment in Porto?

The expectations of my secondment were related to the enrichment of knowledge in the innovation area, especially in business models and the regulatory aspects of medical devices.

Were your expectations met?

I had fruitful meetings with different members of Fraunhofer Aicos, Innov4Life, and colleagues in the co-work space, some of them spin-off creators with similar interests. The secondment in Porto was better than I expected, with a couple of possible European project collaborations in the Eurostar and EIC Accelerator calls for the promotion of the spin-off and also the generation of new knowledge and innovative experience.

Which connections to stakeholders in the Porto ecosystem could be made?

My connections in Porto grew following the seminar I taught in the Aicos auditorium on 11th January related to “From research to market: A medical device case study”, just to mention Fraunhofer and Innov4Life members and also spin-off promoters residents in the workspace.


What aspects of your secondment in Porto did you especially enjoy?

UPTEC’s friendly atmosphere facilitates interaction with other researchers; I immensely enjoyed it. The beautiful city of Porto has many places to visit, fantastic local food and good music, especially “Casa da Musica”, which is a unique scenario for any music.

How will your project continue after your time here in Porto?

The expectation of the continuation of the company is high, and this secondment in Porto will contribute to fostering closer links with Sense4Care, UPC and UPTEC.


March 1, 2024

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