Appointment of Dr. Hatem A. Rashwan as Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence

We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr. Hatem A. Rashwan as a Lecturer in the field of Artificial Intelligence within the Department of Computer Engineering and Mathematics (DEIM). Dr. Rashwan, who has been an integral part of our research community for many years, has been selected for his outstanding contributions and expertise in this domain.

His appointment as a Lecturer underscores his dedication to both teaching and research within our academic community. Dr. Rashwan’s extensive experience and knowledge will undoubtedly enrich our department, fostering collaboration and innovation among students and faculty alike.

As members of the IRCV Research Group, we extend our warmest congratulations to Dr. Rashwan on this well-deserved achievement. We eagerly anticipate continuing our collaborative efforts with him to further advance the frontiers of Artificial Intelligence research within our department and beyond.

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TARGET Project Takes Flight: A Paradigm Shift in Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Management

January 22nd, 2023 – The Horizon Europe project TARGET – Health virtual twins for the personalised management of stroke related to atrial fibrillation, kicked off today with an exciting two-days meeting in Liverpool. TARGET’s ambition is to develop novel personalised, integrated, multi-scale computational models (virtual twins) and decision support tools for the AF-related stroke (AFRS) pathway, starting from the healthy state, pathophysiology and disease onset, progression, treatment, and recovery. In this sense, TARGET represents a milestone project to improve the care and rehabilitation of patients with AF and AFRS, introducing a paradigm shift in risk prediction, diagnosis, and management of the disease, and accelerating translational research into practice. 

The TARGET project, a Horizon Europe project funded under the HORIZON-HLTH-2023-TOOL-05 call – Tools and technologies for a healthy society, officially started on 1st January 2024. The multidisciplinary consortium composed of 20 partners from 10 European countries, led by Liverpool John Moores University in the UK and coordinated by the Swedish Lunds Universitet, will work for the next five years to help prevent AF and AFRS, optimise acute management and rehabilitation, reduce long-term disability, provide a better quality of life for patients and caregivers, and lower healthcare costs.

Revolutionizing Risk Assessment: TARGET’s Innovative Approach

Conventional risk assessment tools predominantly focus on static factors, often overlooking the dynamic nature of risk that evolves during acute illness, ageing, and in response to comorbidities. TARGET introduces a groundbreaking strategy by incorporating biomarkers associated with cardiac or neurologic damage, along with automated analysis of ECG characteristics, to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the underlying pathophysiology.

Recognizing the rapid changes in such biomarkers, a dynamic and personalized risk assessment approach becomes essential. This approach considers individual pathophysiological risk factors for AF and stroke, embracing a learning health system methodology for more accurate outcome predictions.

By integrating biomarkers and their dynamic fluctuations into treatment models, TARGET aims to support the development of personalized recovery plans. The ultimate goal is to mitigate disability and elevate the overall quality of life for individuals affected by AF and stroke.

Going beyond conventional practices, TARGET explores the realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions, which are increasingly gaining prominence in clinical settings. Harnessing the power of AI alongside virtual twins—digital representations of individuals based on their unique characteristics and medical histories—the aim is to elevate patient outcomes. This synergistic approach promises more accurate diagnoses, personalized treatment plans, and efficient resource allocation.

TARGET’s pioneering efforts extend to the development of novel virtual twin-based AI models. These models involve a hybrid blend of mechanistic and data-driven virtual twins, complemented by causal AI. The final objective is to bridge the gap between basic research and clinical practice, ushering in a new era of integrated multiscale healthcare solutions.

Collaboration Unleashed: Highlights from the Kick-off Meeting at LJMU

The Kick-off Meeting was an excellent opportunity for the 20 partners to meet, hosted in Liverpool by Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), and have a common understanding of the tasks and roles of each and everyone in the project. Moreover, partners presented the work packages and milestones to achieve for the next 5 years and discussed some critical managerial and financial issues.

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The BEAGLE project Kicks Off

The BEAGLE project, also known as the Blue Oceans Strategy for Value Creation, has officially embarked on its journey to revolutionise value creation through innovative methodologies. This project Funded by the European Union under Grant Agreement No. 101131728 (Granting authority: European Research Executive Agency) and led by Rovira i Virgili University, aims to demonstrate the improvement of productivity and efficiency in the processes of knowledge valorization and value creation in the link between academia and industry. Specifically, it focuses on increasing collaboration between universities and research centers, on one hand, and industry, on the other, to build a community in different countries and industrial sectors of Europe that identify new market niches and new sustainable ways of creating value.

The BEAGLE Project Consortium

Consists of nine partners spanning seven countries, including: Rovira i Virgili University, the University of West Bohemia (Czech Republic), and the University West (Sweden); the technological center Automotive Technology Centre of Galicia (Spain); and the participating clusters are Cleantech Bulgaria Foundation (Bulgaria), Nextmove (France), F6S Network Ireland Limited (Ireland), Association of Chemical Industry of the Czech Republic (Czech Republic), and UNIMOS Alliance (Poland).

Consortium members participating in the kick-off meeting of the BEAGLE project.

About the BEAGLE Project

During the three years of the project, BEAGLE’s mission is to construct a network of interdisciplinary experts and industry stakeholders to uncover 20 new market niches, known as Blue Oceans, and co-create 20 innovation proposals with specific roadmaps. By fostering collaboration among academia, technology centers, and business clusters, BEAGLE aims to facilitate the emergence of sustainable value chains and drive innovation in untapped markets.

Strategic Objectives & an Innovative Methodology

Over the duration of the BEAGLE project, emphasis will be placed on three key strategic objectives: discovering opportunities through co-creation activities, co-creating innovation proposals, and consolidating 20 new innovative market niches to attract investment. The consortium, comprised of key stakeholders involved in the innovation processes including universities, technology centers, and business clusters, will collaboratively develop action plans aimed at strengthening partnership between academia and industry. These action plans will facilitate the consolidation of collaborations between project partners. To achieve these objectives, the consortium will employ a co – creation experiment for disruptive innovation known as the Blue Oceans Strategy. This innovative methodology involves companies pioneering new demand in previously untapped markets, as opposed to competing within saturated markets with existing demand. By adopting this approach companies stand to realize a higher return on investment, thereby driving the creation of sustainable value. Leading the BEAGLE project, Professor and Researcher Xiaoni Li from the Department of Business Management at URV provides insights into the project’s ambitious goals: Quote: “This project begins an exciting adventure focused on disruptive innovation with blue ocean strategy. Through a co-creation experiment, BEAGLE aims to increase collaboration between universities and research centers on one hand, and industry on the other, to build a community in 7 different countries and industrial sectors of Europe that identifies new market niches and new sustainable ways of creating value.”

Implementation and Continuity

To facilitate project implementation, the BEAGLE project will utilize a dedicated marketplace linked to the F6S platform, which boasts 4.4 million members, to share results and lessons learned. This platform will ensure the project’s continuity beyond its funding period, fostering ongoing collaboration and knowledge exchange among stakeholders.

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