Basque Center for Applied Mathematics – BCAM, in collaboration with Beaz, the public company of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia that offers support to companies and entrepreneurs, is going to carry out for the third year the mathematical modelling consultancy service. The aim of this initiative is to increase R&D&I projects in local SMEs and start-ups through the transfer of advanced knowledge.
This service fulfils a double function for the beneficiary SMEs, as Olatz Goitia, director of Beaz, explains, “on the one hand, the promotion of the transfer of expert knowledge in mathematical modelling from BCAM’s research teams to the participating companies, and on the other hand, the support to the companies in the exploitation of the data captured in their work processes for the optimisation of these processes or the identification of new solutions that have an impact on the development of a better value offer”.
The service offers participating SMEs and startups advice and support based on the specialities they need to address in their projects about data diagnosis, where advice is offered through advanced statistical analysis, development of predictive models and machine learning techniques, and fluid dynamic modelling, where help is offered in the definition and development of numerical models, simulation and process optimisation, and even support in free CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software.
This year, the companies that will receive advice on data diagnosis are Biomecánica y Ergonomía, a company dedicated to sports medicine and human performance; Arctic Sea, a company dedicated to the monitoring of perishable products to reduce food waste; Serikat Consultoría e Informática, a company dedicated to the information technology sector; and Didaktiker, a company dedicated to language teaching through artificial intelligence.
On the other hand, the companies that will receive advice on fluid dynamic modelling are Nautilus, which develops floating platforms for off-shore wind power, and Arrecife, which is dedicated to the generation of electricity from sea waves.
This third edition of the Diagnostic Service, in the area of Data Science, has problems of a diverse nature, which as in previous years is a great challenge for the Knowledge Transfer Unit (KTU). “Every year, the problems presented by the applicant companies become more interesting, and unfortunately we have to select a few companies for this service,” says Dae-Jin Lee, coordinator of the Data Science service at the KTU.
This edition will cover challenges as diverse as data analysis in sports, advanced analytics through IoT devices, optimisation problems for the logistics sector or the use of artificial intelligence in language learning. “Data management and advanced modelling through statistical methods of time series, the detection of anomalous patterns, together with machine learning techniques or the heuristic optimisation of multi-objective problems will be the main approaches proposed to provide solutions to the challenges of the selected companies,” explains the coordinator of the Data Science service.
The data diagnosis service allows the technical staff of the companies to have access to the advanced knowledge of the centre’s researchers, to which Lee adds that it also allows business managers to get involved so that the value of the knowledge generated can be translated into terms of commercial value for the company.
Vincenzo Nava, coordinator of the activities of the Modelling and Simulation group of the BCAM Knowledge Transfer Unit, tells us that the offshore renewable energy sector is growing and will grow over the next few years given its potential in the current context of energy crisis and transition to green energy.
“This year, in our group, we have received two applications from developers of offshore energy harnessing technologies and this clearly reflects the increasing need for developers of offshore solutions to have high-precision numerical tools and models,” explains Nava.
The selected companies, Nautilus and Arrecife, develop technologies to harness two different types of resources, wind and waves respectively, in the same environment, i.e. the offshore environment. “Hydrodynamic characterisation using CFD provides companies with more information on the hydrodynamic behaviour of the floats and their components. However, the problems can be computationally very expensive, due to the transient nature of the wave, the dynamics of the structure and/or the need to accurately capture the water-air interface. It is therefore necessary to employ appropriate models and parameters from the outset at each design stage of the physical prototype companies, with an appropriate balance between computational cost and accuracy. Incorrect simulations would, in the worst case, lead to the production of very expensive prototypes or prototypes whose behaviour at sea is not predicted by more simplified numerical models. Advice on how to carry out simulations on offshore platforms is our focus this year,” concludes the coordinator of the Modelling and Simulation group’s activities.
In addition to Dr. Vincenzo Nava, this year the team includes Dr. Imanol García de Beristain and Dr. Gontzal López Ruiz who provide their expertise in CFD and other areas of engineering interest, diversifying our potential impact on industry and creating, over the years, not only a network of industrial contacts but also a network of technical researchers with diversified knowledge.
About the KTU
The mathematical modelling consultancy is being carried out by members of BCAM’s Knowledge Transfer Unit (KTU), who have extensive experience in the fields of Data Science and CFD. This platform aims to develop mathematical solutions to scientific challenges based on real-life applications and to collaborate with industry to boost fundamental research and knowledge transfer to the business community.