Changing research, one app at a time: actúaloop awards

Aspiring entrepreneurs from the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) have created six innovative applications to take research networks and publishing to the next level, as part of the Ideas Competition for Innovation in Research Social Networks actúaloop, an initiative set up by Frontiers in collaboration with the Center of Support for Technological Innovation CAIT – UPM.

These new applications give academics innovative ways to share their own work, access publications and engage with their peers. Teams from the university worked for nine months to create the apps using Loop’s APIs, a research network created by Frontiers.

The ideas created by the teams range from: translating research in different languages, giving people access to Loop on their mobiles, helping people find the right journal for their research and creating real-time discussion between authors and readers.

On 23 June all six finalists, picked from over 30 ideas, will come together for the first ever actúaloop awards ceremony in Madrid and compete for the top three prizes.

To reserve your place at the awards, register here.

The six finalists are:

Frontiers Translate – The universal language in academia is English, but language should not be a barrier when it comes to research. Using a reward and points system, Frontiers translate gives everyone access to research in their own language.

Loop App – Researchers can take their publications with them everywhere they go, using the Loop App for their phones. The App is also connected with Facebook, to help people connect with other specialists online.

Journal Advisor – It is often difficult to decide exactly where to publish research. Journal Advisor helps people find the right journal for their research.

IDeM (Innovation, Dissemination et Multimedia) – Academia is more than just publications, with IDeM researchers can share videos, multimedia, slides and more with this application. Authors can even have real-time discussion online with readers – making Loop even more interactive.

Formalization of experimental protocols – SMART Protocols allows researchers to accurately generate and retrieve information from experimental protocols. It allows publishers to make ready-to-use data/content, as well as deliver a content-based recommendation service for researchers.

ARES – Researchers can share, not only their research, but the equipment they used, to help others in a similar field, to support research.

Frontiers’ award-winning IT team provided mentorship along the way to help the university teams develop their ideas, providing them real-world experience and the chance to see their idea move from concept into reality.

The guest speaker for the event is Kamila Markram, co-founder and CEO of Frontiers. “I am really excited to attend the actúaloop awards ceremony and meet the talented teams from the Technical University of Madrid. These projects show how innovative we can be in research networks and publishing, going beyond traditional models. We wish all the teams success in their future;” she says.  

Director of the Center for Support in Technological Innovation CAIT – UPM, Gonzalo León says: “The launching of the first actúaloop Ideas Competition constituted a great opportunity for the UPM to consolidate the cooperation at international level with Frontiers, which is also located in the UPM Business Centre. I’m sure that this cooperation will continue in the near future.”

At the ceremony the teams will be given the opportunity to network with investors, businesses and more to help them expand on their ideas and projects in future after the awards are presented.

It will be celebrated on June 23 at 6:30pm in the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Industriales of the Technical University of Madrid (see map).

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Follow @Frontiersin and @actúaupm and use the hashtag #actualoop for more details.