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MIT experts tell what the medicine, urban planning and materials of the future will be like

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This past week the third edition of EmTech Spain 2013 took place in Valencia, the emerging technologies conference at MIT, and from there they sent us the conclusions of the event whose photos have already been published

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It has been discussed about what the cities of the future will be like, what will be the evolution of the concept of personalized medicine, what new materials are emerging or where are the keys to turning research into a product capable of successfully reaching the market.

The first day opened with two researchers from MIT and one researcher from the University of Valencia.

Sensor controlled cities that generate large amounts of data was the proposal of Carlo Ratti, director of the MIT Senseable City Lab group, who defended that cities work like any dynamic system: feeling and acting. Turning cities into clusters of microcities This was what the director of the MIT Media Lab’s Changing Places group, Kent Larson, defended, for whom the current urban model causes serious problems that require long-term solutions.

The evolution of personalized medicine concept It was another of the themes of this first day. Adapt to the genomic characteristics of the patients using big data To extract the knowledge from the data, defended Ana Conesa, from the Prince Felipe Research Center. Along the same lines, Leo Celi, director of MIT Sana, was convinced of the need to structure medical information to really improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

How to facilitate creation of companies from university research? This was the question that led the panel From the laboratory to the market, where the director of the Deshpande center at MIT, Leon Sandler, explained that the key is to support risky projects in the early stages and follow up, to verify that they are meeting the milestones set. The only determining factor for an investment is not profitability, clarify.

One of the stars of the meeting, the vice president and chief financial officer of MIT, Israel Ruz, intervened in the field of education. What are the challenges? Among others, he said, that there millions of people who want to learn and can only reach them through technology. For this reason, MIT is promoting an e-learning initiative, EdX, that Ruz presented on stage. For his part, the co-founder of the tool that works with free Arduino software, David Cuartielles, expressed the need to teach programming paradigms from childhood, show how to create technology and answer complex questions that help to train creative and capable adults. to generate new technological developments.

The serial investor Kenneth Morse was in charge of opening the second day of EmTech Spain, who believes that the intrapreneurship and corporate investment they are the keys to surviving in the tsunami of global competition. So I encouraged inventors and researchers to partner with entrepreneurs and get clients. One of his stage partners, Pablo Rodrguez, Director of Research and Innovation at Telefonica Digital, insisted on his part on the need to take advantage of the potential of big data applied to what he considers the largest social network in the world: the telephone network.

The Innovators Under 35 Awards Spain, the tool of the Spanish edition of the MIT Technology Review to highlight the talent of young people and help them on their journey, awarded two special recognitions. In this third edition Bernat Oll was selected as ‘Innovator of the Year’ and Karen Mrquez was chosen as ‘Social Innovator of the Year’.

Smart textiles and materials capable of self-generation. Both concepts, which are already revolutionizing the world of new materials, were explained by Skylar Tibbits and Joanna Berzowska. Magic garments are already being created, Berzowska said, capable of converting and storing energy or detecting energy changes in the body, explained the director of Electronic Textiles of the company OM Signal. Tibbits, for his part, spoke of 4D printing, 3D printing with smart materials that make a product evolve over time. His research as director of MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab amazed the audience with the concept of self-assembly technologies.

The session closed with an analysis of the characteristics that make a researcher into a manager and business strategist led by Paloma Cabello, co-founder of the MIT Enterprise Forum Spain.