Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya

ANNUAL REPORT 2013

Letter From the Director

The Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC) is a technology center in telecommunications, performing research and engineering on geomatics and on physical, access and network layers of communications systems.

Started in 2001 with young graduates, with engineering or PhD degrees, it is currently the one of the few research institutions where research and technology development are combined to provide response in the range of precompetitive research and engineering demonstration models. During the last thirteen years we have managed to transform enthusiasm and capability, as the dominant skills, into competence, yet preserving the initial motivation for advanced research and innovation.

It is our vision that research and technology development in communications, although starting from a public initiative, can be integrated in the competitive R&D market to rely on the private initiative in the long term (20-30 years). This vision implies to perform globally both in terms of research and engineering and to select partners heading for international R&D markets. Our model consists in starting new activities both in research and engineering from young graduates really committed with research and development in engineering. The institution provides an adaptive and flexible environment, where personal position, responsibilities and rewards are strongly related with research and engineering reputation. Resources are dynamically associated to new projects in a structured scheme, CTTC is audited every year to be compliant accordinf the norm AENOR UNE 166002:2006 Quality on R&D. The institution checks yearly personnel’s motivation for R&D with an anonymous poll.

Our main objective is to create the maximum number of new permanent jobs on R&D in communications engineering, with the best tradeoff between quantity and quality of our funding resources. We are convinced that, in this kind of initiatives, people are what configures the international reputation of the institution and not vice versa.

With respect to technology, CTTC offers confidence and competence as demonstrated by several international partnerships with companies in US, Canada, Australia, France, Qatar and UK, among others.

Our technology development and transfer program is characterized by four main strategic lines. The first one is consistent with our objective of creating permanent R&D positions in communications technologies. This is why we are proud when we reallocate a percentage of our personnel in industries and companies of communications technologies. The second line consists of devoting our infrastructure to engineering demonstration models (EDMs or test-bed). As a consequence the experimental activity is not fully aligned with the scientific areas of activity. In other words, the driven force to materialize research results is an EDM that, when approved, receives all kind of resources including dedicated space and engineering. The third strategic line is the patent portfolio. Patents are produced mainly to protect EDMs and internal research results, since protecting intellectual property is the best policy when heading a technology transfer action driven by demand and not by the product. The last line is to encourage royalty contracts in those activities performed on a product-demand framework. Internal research results, which are ready for application or royalty agreements, are demonstrated by EDMs

Last year has been characterized by a deep internal reorganization process, oriented to make the institution more modern and efficient. In particular, the success on EU programs of CTTC dictates to introduce several changes in order to increase the efficiency and consensus in grouping internal resources and, at the same time, to maintain the coherence with the strategic planning of the institution. From the scientific perspective, the traditional research areas have self-organized into three new bigger groups: the communication systems division, the communication technologies division, the communication networks division. The Geomatic division has joint the institution in 2014. All the divisions include both research and engineering technical profiles, in order to enable for cut-edge research and product oriented activities. From the managerial perspective, the reorganization process also included a reshaping of the direction committee, which was necessary in order to make the institution more scalable and efficient.

Passion for engineering and technology is our major motivation surrounded by a creative and dynamic social environment, which invites to convey along the same line professional development, quality of life and international exposure. Aiming at more competence than competition, we merge enthusiasm and discipline to make communications engineering and geomatic another asset of Catalonia.