07 February 2018

Students create innovative solutions for education, health, emergency and the environment by presenting new technologies.

Innovation and transversality are the two guidelines that characterise the present and future of IED Barcelona. Starting from a global perspective and considering that the role of design is that of a powerful agent of transformation of the world around us, the school works with CERN scientists to design new products and services that can contribute to achieving one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Five teams of students from IED Barcelona, ESADE Business School and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) took part in the fourth edition of the Challenge Based Innovation (CBI) project. An initiative of @IdeaSquare and the Innovation Department of the European Organisation for Nuclear Energy (CERN), in which multidisciplinary teams of students, lecturers and researchers worked on new solutions for humanity’s future in education and training, public health, emergency relief or contamination. 

The challenges that the students from the three institutions faced related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations detailed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The participants sought innovative solutions to five concrete greatest challenges: the empowerment of women and young people in developing countries through education and entrepreneurship in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); the development of operational methods applicable to radiation detection; the design of immersion technologies for training activities in the framework of emergency health missions; the reorganisation of knowledge-sharing solutions; and, finally, the influence of the environment on public health. 

The CBI project offers students the opportunity to use the technology of CERN, the leading exponent of new technology development, and establish direct contact with the organisation’s scientists to learn more about their respective areas of knowledge. 

Five challenges, five proposals 


Based on haptic technology, which makes virtual touch interaction possible, Sentra is a jacket that transmits data on blood pressure, temperature, or response to stimuli to contribute more sensory realism to virtual exercises in risky situations. 


Thanks to technology developed by CERN, Saker is a device that detects the presence of radon gas in homes and public buildings and is connected to an app that records a person’s lifetime exposure to the gas in such spaces. According to the WHO, radon is the second leading cause of death from lung cancer, and in between 3 and 14% of cases, it is the causative factor in this type of cancer worldwide. 


Cortex consists of creating a university certificate data collection system using blockchain technology. With this project, the students propose the creation of a worldwide database that can hold academic information and possibly issue relevant certificates at any time. The proposal stems from the current scenario, which sees people fleeing their countries due to war conflicts, unable to prove the education and training they have undergone. 

Power Índex 

Another project is the creation of an alternative system to the current one for publishing the results of scientific research, a system that takes into greater consideration the dissemination of these results and their impact on society. Power Índex is a tool that increases the impact of a scientific publication and validates its return to society. Power Índex also deals with patents and transferring knowledge and technology to the market. 

AIR and Windoo 

A fifth student team worked on creating two devices, AIR and Windoo, to improve air quality in indoor spaces or urban transport systems. This solution makes it possible to filter the air, thus eliminating harmful particles, and also improves the psychological sensation associated with enclosed spaces, offering greater well-being. 

Author: Albert Elias Vallcorba 


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