Ateknea at “Advanced Factories” Barcelona

Thanks to the invitation we received from Eplan, the electrical design software we are using at Ateknea, we heard about the first edition of the “Advanced Factories” conference, held at the CCIB Barcelona, located at Fórum. Our Industrial Processes department swiftly organized a visit on one of the exhibition days, as the conference’s slogan “discover the latest in machine tools, industrial automation and software to transform your business” was of interest to all the people in the department: electrical, control and automation, and mechanical.

Regarding Control and Automation, we could experience firsthand some of the latest innovations not only of the leading brands in this sector such as Eplan, Rittal, ABB, Rockwell Automation, Festo, Weidmüller and many others, but also from manufacturers hitherto unknown that may be an option for future projects such as IronTech, a company based in Girona (Spain) that is dedicated to the design and manufacturing of industrial computer hardware.
Robotics, as sector with dynamic growth, was very well represented with some collaborative robot model by brands such as Kuka, Fanuc, Universal Robots or Yaskawa.

Apart from the exhibition itself, there were a series of presentations and speeches related to Industry 4.0. There was also a “Factory Innovation Theater” that hosted short presentations of solutions and products.
If we had to highlight a particular product, we would choose the “ThinManager” by Rockwell Automation. A factory visualization management software, operating on Zero Client type screens (without operating system). The software allows managing factory visualizations, on thin clients or light clients, providing advantages such as the reduction of deployment costs, maintenance and update of the application and the possibility of connecting to the server of the application from heterogeneous devices (BYOD – Bring Your Own Device). Among the benefits are: configuration and centralized management, quick replacement of terminals, time and money savings as well as managing users by adding an extra layer of security.

Related to Machining and Manufacturing, there were large manufacturers of machining centers as well as a wide range of suppliers of parts and technical solutions for our prototypes. We were able to take a close look at new manufacturing technologies, such as the new HP 3D printer, the Jet Fusion 4200/3200, that achieves to 10 times faster print speeds, cutting manufacturing costs by half and maintaining excellent mechanical properties.

We also saw the new low cost planetary gearboxes from IGUS, which are very useful for applications without heavy loads, and guides with wear sensors, for intensive applications. We met with regular suppliers like FESTO, PROTORAPID or IFM, and enjoyed their candies.

We saw the different types of machining centers, and the different forms of machining that we use to create the more complicated pieces, and we closely checked the surface finishes of the different 3D printing technologies. We also saw the different methods manufacturers have discovered to improve FDM prints and confirm that the latest improvements made to our small 3D printer are in line with the quality of the latest machines.
Concluding with 3D Technologies, we were able to check out the latest developments in the metrology sector by leading companies such as FARO, RENISHAW and ZEISS. Within this sector, we were impressed by the 3D Scanner that allows the creation of 3D models in a wide range of sizes, considerably reducing design time and increasing accuracy when creating the model.

This first edition of the conference has been great and a second edition is scheduled from March 15 to 18, 2018. We will save the date!

Deploying the novel, large-scale Ateknea City Monitoring Platform

Ateknea Solutions Europe has been granted an SME Instrument Phase-1 grant in the February 2017 cut-off date for the A2CM project, Deploying the novel, large-scale Ateknea Air City Monitoring Platform. The core of this Technology has been developed by Ateknea under the European project where low-cost gas sensors were implemented with high accuracy due to a novel post-process algorithm applied over raw data provided by sensors. The installation of A2CM nodes placed in streetlights within a dense matrix will permit achieving the high spatial and temporal resolution required to define a solid plan for air quality enhancement and consequently mitigate air pollution in cities.

We want to commercialise a very powerful, innovative and unique urban air monitoring system that will permit, for the first time, to really map air pollution in cities on a previously unimaginable scale. Air pollution is a major problem for public health, and it is only expected to get worse due to urbanization on a global scale. Air pollution in cities is linked to up to 1 million premature deaths and 1 million pre-native deaths each year. Urban air pollution is estimated to cost approximately 2% of GDP in developed countries and 5% in developing countries. The overall goal of the proposed project is to bring to market this comprehensive and fast pollution-mapping tool for cities.

A smart sensor to measure the level of gas in butane bottles

Butano24 is a Catalan company that now ranks as one of the top Internet of Things (IoT) companies worldwide thanks to the innovative technology for their butane sensor developed by Ateknea Solutions Europe. Two demonstrators were displayed at the latest Mobile Wold Congress 2017, held this March in Barcelona. One demonstrator used NBIoT and the other one used LORA integrated by Flex. This innovation and the recognition received by the technology at the Mobile World Congress have ensured the company’s emergence as a strong player in Internet of Things.

Butano24 modernizes the process of demand for butane. The device uses a smart sensor to measure the level of gas in butane bottles and informs users via a mobile application when the butane is running low. The app also allows users to place orders online, quickly and from anywhere. At the same time, butane distributors are more in touch with the needs of their customers and can use data offered by Butano24 to analyse the buying patterns and consumption habits of their users.

Butano24 also works with other types of gas and can measure levels in all types of barrels, tanks and other gas and liquid containers.

Butano24 has received good reviews from the international press, which even listed Butano24 as one of the most “innovative” companies in the IoT sector and as well as its device as one of the six “most outstanding technologies at MWC 2017”.


VINBOT is an all-terrain autonomous mobile robot with a set of sensors capable of Capturing and analysing vineyard images and 3D data by means of cloud computing applications, to determine the yield of vineyards and to share information with the winegrowers.

VINBOT responds to a need to boost the quality of European wines by implementing precision viticulture (PV) to estimate the yield (amount of fruit per square metre of vine area: kg/m2).

Wineries and wine growers will be able to make accurate yield predictions to organise the production and marketing their wines, coordinating the mixing of grapes of homogeneous quality to efficiently market a range of wines by quality and price.


See the promocional video and know more about the project!

Aromics launches a ‘crowdfunding’ campaign

The biotech company Aromics, located at the Barcelona Science Park (PCB), has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign through the European platform CapitalCell, with the goal of raising a capital round up to 300,000€ for completing the preclinical package of its compound NAX035, a novel first-in-class drug for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma, a rare, aggressive and highly treatment-resistant asbestos-associated malignancy.


A novel family of antitumor agents

The development of NAX035 is the most advanced project in Aromics’ portfolio. It is the first lead compound of a novel family of anticancer drugs (first-in-class) that act by direct binding to messenger RNA, silencing the expression of overexpressed proteins in cancer. The compound has already shown its efficacy to reduce tumour size/growth when it is administered both orally and intraperitoneally, exhibiting a good toxicology and safety profile. In parallel, the biotech is working on getting the orphan designation for NAX035 that will signify an important advance for mesothelioma.

Scientific data that allow identifying NAX035 as potential drug for mesothelioma treatment were obtained during a collaborative the European Project  BERTA of Aromics with the Italian medicinal chemistry company Naxospharma and Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milano. “Our project is being supported by renowned members of the scientific community including Dr. Rafael Rosell who was featured in the prestigious journal The Lancet as European leader in the fight against lung cancer”, said Dr. Plasencia.

The antitumor compound is the effort of 4 years of work, with an investment close to 1.4 € million, financed by Aromics with the partial support of ACCIÓ in Catalonia (Eurotransbio program of the 7th EU Framework program) and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) in Spain.


Asbestos a human-recognized carcinogen

Malignant mesothelioma is an infrequent cancer arising in the lining cells (mesothelium) of the pleural and peritoneal cavities, as well as in the pericardium and the tunica vaginalis. Most prevalent is the pleural type (Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma) and its origin is directly linked to asbestos exposure, a group of fibrous minerals present in nature. Their long and resistant fibres do not conduct electricity and are highly resistant to heat, fire chemical substances and corrosion. Thus, it used to be widely used in an industrial setting.

Today, all forms of asbestos are considered human carcinogens causing important diseases such as asbestosis (pulmonary fibrosis) and cancer, including malignant mesothelioma (the asbestos hallmark cancer) as well as other lethal tumours like lung, larynx and ovarian cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that asbestos exposure results in 107,000 deaths yearly.

The use and commercialization of all asbestos types were limited some decades ago. The European Union Directive 1999/77/CE prohibited its use and any products containing this substance back in 1999. The deadline for its complete disposition was set for 1st January 2005. In December 2001, Spain banned the commercialization of crysolite (white asbestos), the only type that was still in use (BOE-A-2001-23636). Asbestos is currently banned in fifty countries, including the EU members. Nevertheless, the WHO estimates that about 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the labour place. Of those, around 8-10% are likely to eventually develop mesothelioma.

A silencing and latent public health threat

The burden of malignant mesothelioma is rising. Despite the prohibition of the use of asbestos, the major problem is the long latency period (40 years on average between the asbestos exposure and the disease onset), thus a peak of incidence is expected in Europe in around 2020 and beyond. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) estimates that more than 300,000 EU citizens will die of mesothelioma until 2030, considered as a critical point for asbestos-related malignancies.

Due to the long latency period and taking into account that mesothelioma shares similar symptomatology than other common diseases such as pneumonia, it is difficult to diagnose the tumor at an early stage, and symptoms remain unnoticed until later stages of the disease, where the tumor is less responsive to treatment.

“Remarkably, asbestos remains a serious threat: not only it is continuously used in more than 150 countries of the world (including emergent economies such as Russia, China, India, Brazil or Indonesia) but even in those countries like ours, were has been already prohibited, it remains still a challenge as there are still many buildings and industrial elements containing asbestos that require removal and disposal. A high cost removal plan that also puts workers and the community at immense risk. Therefore, asbestos still represent a serious unsolved labour, public health and environmental problem”, Carmen Plasencia emphasizes.

Invest in the project through:

Ateknea at inspire conference 2016!

Over the past decades the European Union has put in place a broad range of environmental legislation to protect, preserve and improve Europe’s environment for present and future generations. However, many challenges persist and these must be tackled together in a structured way.

The 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP), guiding European environment policy until 2020, identifies the priority areas where more action is needed and ascertains INSPIRE as one of the instruments of the enabling framework to meet these goals.

As part of the pioneers Citizens Observatories project, Ateknea actively participated in the challenges of the VGI and Citizen Observatories INSPIRE Hack.

The new CO projects had the opportunity to learn from past experiences and solve together the common issues of the first CO projects.

In the same line, Ateknea presented the new air monitoring platform in order to contribute to future CO projects.




Citizens’ Observatories and biomonitoring campaign in Ostrava

Ostrava/Silesia is one of the most air polluted areas in the Czech Republic due to its density of heavy industry. Over the last decades, high concentrations of PM2.5 (particles smaller than 2.5 μm) and B[a]P (benzo[a]pyrene), both proven human carcinogens, have been measured in air continuously, exceeding the limits for human health protection.

The CITI-SENSE Empowerment Initiative (EI) in Ostrava aimed to answer some of the citizen concerns. We have been carrying out air quality measurements between winter 2013 and winter 2016. Usually in winter time, air pollution in this location reaches high concentrations well above the limit values. The measured concentrations during the period of the Ostrava EI exceeded the limits for health protection 25 μg/m3 PM2.5 and 1 ng/m3 B[a]P several fold.

Part of the EI was also a biomonitoring campaign. Volunteers have kept a time-location-activity diary and answered a questionnaire about their life style and an air quality perception questionnaire. They also could try out the ATEKNEA personal sensor (LEO) and use the mobile application CityAir. The CITI-SENSE static sensors and the compliance air quality monitoring network were providing background data about PM2.5, B[a]P and NOx. Citizens and NGOs had also a chance to cooperate closely with scientists and ask questions about air quality.

Continue reading the original report available in the link below:…/…/citi-sense_newsletter_no12_final/1

PHENOLIVE Meeting in Mora

The last 22nd June all the developers of the PHENOLIVE technology met in Mora (Toledo, Spain) to show the final outcomes of the project.

The Life Cycle Analisys of the technology was presented and the extraction yield of polyphenols of the developed technology after the industrial tests were shown. The Partners agreed they are very good results and the SMEs discussed about the future exploitation of the results moving towards the commercialization of the technology and its applications.


The meeting was organized by MORA INDUSTRIAL, S.A. where the prototype is installed. The partners visited their facilities and the PHENOLIVE prototype as well.

The project will finalise at the end of month with very good results.

Ateknea at The European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EUBCE)

The European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EUBCE) is a world class annual event which, since 1980, is held at different venues throughout Europe.

The EUBCE covers the entire value chain of biomass to conduct business, network, and to present and discuss the latest developments and innovations, the vision is to educate the biomass community and to accelerate growth. The EUBCE will host a dynamic international Exhibition for companies and research labs to showcase their latest products and bringing scientists, technologists and key players together with leading Biomass industries and organizations.



This year Ateknea has been part of the event, making a presentation on the industry topic and showing DEPURGAN project. The DEPURGAN project aims to bring to the market an efficient pig manure treatment process, with an initial investment 4 times lower compared to other solutions and operation costs being also very competitive. It base its innovative character in the use of an optimized electrocoagulation reactor, that allows nitrogen abatement, while producing as residues a solid fraction that poses great calorific potential as biomass.

Open Demonstration Event by BIOECOSIM

Around 1800 million tonnes of manure are produced in Europe every year. In regions with intensive animal husbandry, this could cause environmental, social and economic challenges.

An impasse?
In the EU-funded project BioEcoSIM led by Fraunhofer IGB, 15 partners from research and industry developed a technology to convert livestock manure into organic soil improvers and mineral fertilisers. The overall process uses energy-efficient technologies and works on the principle of circular economy. The technology prototype is capable of processing 50 kg of raw manure per hour into fertilizers and organic soil improvers. The products obtained have excellent quality as fertilizers and can then be mixed to match the nutritional requirements of any crop.

The problem turns into a market perspective!
The project consortium will present its results and the pilot plant on 14th June 2016 in Kupferzell (Germany) at the installations of one of the project partners, Agro Energie GmbH.
Ateknea would like to encourage you to visit this innovative pilot plant. Next to the presentation and visit of the prototype, there will be expert presentations and workshops allowing mutual experience exchanges between different interest group representatives from the agro economic sector.

More info about the event: