Since its creation in 2009, the Technological Scientific Center has remained at the forefront in disciplines such as particle physics, electronics, informatics and computing.
Thirteen years after its foundation in 2009, the Valparaíso Scientific and Technological Center (CCTVal), belonging to the Federico Santa María Technical University, has become a platform of excellence for the creation of knowledge, applied research and technology transfer.
Being the first basal center of the USM and of the Valparaíso region, for more than a decade the Center has stood out as a multidisciplinary hub for innovation and the development of high-impact projects, managing to articulate basic sciences with engineering through of technological solutions that combine its four lines of research (theoretical particle physics, high-energy experimental physics, electronics and informatics and computing) and its three areas of development (Digital Transformation, Industrial Processes and Design, Manufacturing and Simulation).
“The trajectory of CCTVal reflects the growth it has had in areas related to the generation of knowledge, leading technology transfer processes and promoting innovative applications to solve specific problems of society and industry,” says general manager Rodrigo Pacheco. “For this we have a team of excellence, first-class laboratories and the experience that multidisciplinary, collaborative work has given us and with alliances that we have maintained since our foundation with the most important scientific institutions in Europe and the United States,” he adds.
Since its inception, the CCTVal has stood out for directly linking its work with strategic industries such as mining, health and energy – among others –, and also for conducting world-class applied research.
Among its emblematic projects is, for example, the development of an Invasive Mechanical Ventilator (IMV), manufactured entirely at the Center during the pandemic. This initiative, which emerged in April 2020, allowed the generation of a collaborative agreement with the Almirante Nef Naval Hospital in Viña del Mar, an association that recently led to a framework agreement between the Chilean Navy and the USM for the development of medical technology in the Valparaiso Region.
Another relevant CCTVal project, successfully completed last year, was the manufacture of 33 muon detectors for the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). With this, the CCTVal complied with the commitment assumed by the State of Chile before the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) for the development of these modules, which were successfully tested and are operating in the current period of operation of ATLAS, known as Run 3. This technology, furthermore, was only manufactured in the world by China, Israel, Canada, Russia and Chile.
On the other hand, also paying attention to the current needs at a local and global level, the Center has promoted projects focused on the water scarcity that affects a large part of the world. To do this, it develops initiatives related to the efficiency and reuse of water in communities of the V Region, and also a low-temperature desalination system that it hopes, in the future, to offer a real alternative to the water emergency that exists in different parts of the country. planet.
As a whole, the initiatives of the CCTVal account for its work of excellence, connected with the challenges of the industry, society and academia. This, to date, has allowed it to have more than 1,700 publications, 12 patents, 4 spin-offs and 21 innovation projects currently in development.
On the other hand, various collaborations for applied research, developed with the most important scientific and technological organizations in Europe and the United States, validate CCTVal’s performance in the international arena.
Alliances with world-class centers such as CERN, in Switzerland, and Jefferson Lab in the United States, have allowed the manufacture of sophisticated technology used in frontier experiments in the field of particle physics, studying fundamental aspects of nature, the creation of the universe and the structure of matter.
The work carried out for the US company Nokia Bell Labs has also been relevant, starting with the development of 28Ghz and 60GHz wireless channel measurement equipment for the fifth generation of cellular telephony (5G), known as Channel Sounders. Additionally, during 2022 collaboration considers the development of two more equipment for the 140GHz band, whose use is expected for 6G technology, which today constitutes one of the main focuses of research in telecommunications.
Along with those already mentioned, the CCTVal currently maintains links and alliances with other laboratories such as Fermilab and Brookhaven National Laboratory in the United States, the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare in Italy and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia. “CCTVal has demonstrated its capabilities with world-class projects, thanks to the support provided by national and international institutions. We have contributed to the consolidation of the field of particle physics in Chile and trained people who are now in the main laboratories in the world. Our focus, in the last 13 years, has been on advancing towards the development of research, technology transfer, the formation of human capital and scientific dissemination. However, there is still tremendous potential to take advantage of and a long way to go in the coming years”, concludes the director of the Center and academician of the Physics Department of the USM, Dr. Iván Schmidt.