Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 10

Search results for: Nuria Alcalde

10 Directors’ Compensation: Analyzing the Multilevel Factors That Exert the Greatest Influence

Authors: Isabel Acero, Nuria Alcalde


The economic crisis and notorious corporate scandals have caused social indignation and sparked the debate concerning the underlying rationality of the compensation that directors receive. In this context, this study examines the determinants of the remuneration of directors in listed Spanish companies using individualized data. A multilevel methodology appropriate for this type of data has been used that allows us to differentiate between inter-company variations and intra-company variations. The results show that company size is the variable (at the company level) that exerts the greatest influence on the level of director´s compensation. One surprising finding is that the presence of independent directors on the board has a positive influence on remuneration. At the individual level, tenure and experience have a significant influence on the level of compensation, while the director´s level of education does not appear to have an effect on it.

Keywords: board of directors, compensation, experience, multilevel, tenure

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9 Classification of Opaque Exterior Walls of Buildings from a Sustainable Point of View

Authors: Michelle Sánchez de León Brajkovich, Nuria Martí Audi


The envelope is one of the most important elements when one analyzes the operation of the building in terms of sustainability. Taking this into consideration, this research focuses on setting a classification system of the envelopes opaque systems, crossing the knowledge and parameters of construction systems with requirements in terms of sustainability that they may have, to have a better understanding of how these systems work with respect to their sustainable contribution to the building. Therefore, this paper evaluates the importance of the envelope design on the building sustainability. It analyses the parameters that make the construction systems behave differently in terms of sustainability. At the same time it explains the classification process generated from this analysis that results in a classification where all opaque vertical envelope construction systems enter.

Keywords: sustainable, exterior walls, envelope, facades, construction systems, energy efficiency

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8 Model and Neural Control of the Depth of Anesthesia during Surgery

Authors: Javier Fernandez, Mayte Medina, Rafael Fernandez de Canete, Nuria Alcain, Juan Carlos Ramos-Diaz


At present, the experimentation of anesthetic drugs on patients requires a regulation protocol, and the response of each patient to several doses of entry drug must be well known. Therefore, the development of pharmacological dose control systems is a promising field of research in anesthesiology. In this paper, it has been developed a non-linear compartmental the pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamical model which describes the anesthesia depth effect in a sufficiently reliable way over a set of patients with the depth effect quantified by the Bi-Spectral Index. Afterwards, an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) predictive controller has been designed based on the depth of anesthesia model so as to keep the patient in the optimum condition while he undergoes surgical treatment. For the purpose of quantifying the efficiency of the neural predictive controller, a classical proportional-integral-derivative controller has also been developed to compare both strategies. Results show the superior performance of predictive neural controller during BiSpectral Index reference tracking.

Keywords: anesthesia, bi-spectral index, neural network control, pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamical model

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7 Urban Forest Innovation Lab as a Driver to Boost Forest Bioeconomy

Authors: Carmen Avilés Palacios, Camilo Muñoz Arenas, Joaquín García Alfonso, Jesús González Arteaga, Alberto Alcalde Calonge


There is a need for review of the consumption and production models of industrialized states in accordance with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (1) (OECD, 2016). This constitutes the basis of the bioeconomy (2) that is focused on striking a balance between economic development, social development and environmental protection. Bioeconomy promotes the adequate use and consumption of renewable natural resources (3) and involves developing new products and services adapted to the principles of circular economy: more sustainable (reusable, biodegradable, renewable and recyclable) and with a lower carbon footprint (4). In this context, Urban Forest Innovation Lab (UFIL) grows, an Urban Laboratory for experimentation focused on promoting entrepreneurship in forest bioeconomy ( UFIL generates local wellness taking sustainable advantage of an endogenous asset, forests. UFIL boosts forest bioeconomy opening its doors of knowledge to pioneers in this field, giving the opportunity to be an active part of a change in the way of understanding the exploitation of natural resources, discovering business, learning strategies and techniques and incubating business ideas So far now, 100 entrepreneurs are incubating their nearly 30 new business plans. UFIL has promoted an ecosystem to connect the rural-urban world that promotes sustainable rural development around the forest.

Keywords: bioeconomy, forestry, innovation, entrepreneurship

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6 Genome-Wide Isoform Specific KDM5A/JARID1A/RBP2 Location Analysis Reveals Contribution of Chromatin-Interacting PHD Domain in Protein Recruitment to Binding Sites

Authors: Abul B. M. M. K. Islam, Nuria Lopez-Bigas, Elizaveta V. Benevolenskaya


RBP2 has shown to be important for cell differentiation control through epigenetic mechanism. The main aim of the present study is genome-wide location analysis of human RBP2 isoforms that differ in a histone-binding domain by ChIPseq. It is conceivable that the larger isoform (LI) of RBP2, which contains a specific H3K4me3 interacting domain, differs from the smaller isoform (SI) in genomic location, may account for the observed diversity in RBP2 function. To distinguish the two RBP2 isoforms, we used the fact that the SI lacks the C-terminal PHD domain and hence used the antibodies detecting both RBP2 isoforms (AI) through a common central domain, and the antibodies detecting only LI but not SI, through a C-terminal PHD domain. Overall our analysis suggests that RBP2 occupies about 77 nucleotides and binds GC rich motifs of active genes, does not bind to centromere, telomere, or enhancer regions, and binding sites are conserved compare to random. A striking difference between the only-SI and only-LI is that a large number of only-SI peaks are located in CpG islands and close to TSS compared to only-LI peaks. Enrichment analysis of the related genes indicates that several oncogenic pathways and metabolic pathways/processes are significantly enriched among only-SI/AI targets, but not LI/only-LI peak’s targets.

Keywords: bioinformatics, cancer, ChIP-seq, KDM5A

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5 An Overview of Technology Availability to Support Remote Decentralized Clinical Trials

Authors: Simone Huber, Bianca Schnalzer, Baptiste Alcalde, Sten Hanke, Lampros Mpaltadoros, Thanos G. Stavropoulos, Spiros Nikolopoulos, Ioannis Kompatsiaris, Lina Pérez- Breva, Vallivana Rodrigo-Casares, Jaime Fons-Martínez, Jeroen de Bruin


Developing new medicine and health solutions and improving patient health currently rely on the successful execution of clinical trials, which generate relevant safety and efficacy data. For their success, recruitment and retention of participants are some of the most challenging aspects of protocol adherence. Main barriers include: i) lack of awareness of clinical trials; ii) long distance from the clinical site; iii) the burden on participants, including the duration and number of clinical visits and iv) high dropout rate. Most of these aspects could be addressed with a new paradigm, namely the Remote Decentralized Clinical Trials (RDCTs). Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted additional advantages and challenges for RDCTs in practice, allowing participants to join trials from home and not depend on site visits, etc. Nevertheless, RDCTs should follow the process and the quality assurance of conventional clinical trials, which involve several processes. For each part of the trial, the Building Blocks, existing software and technologies were assessed through a systematic search. The technology needed to perform RDCTs is widely available and validated but is yet segmented and developed in silos, as different software solutions address different parts of the trial and at various levels. The current paper is analyzing the availability of technology to perform RDCTs, identifying gaps and providing an overview of Basic Building Blocks and functionalities that need to be covered to support the described processes.

Keywords: architectures and frameworks for health informatics systems, clinical trials, information and communications technology, remote decentralized clinical trials, technology availability

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4 Financing Innovation: Differences across National Innovation Systems

Authors: Núria Arimany Serrat, Xavier Ferràs Hernández, Petra A. Nylund, Eric Viardot


Innovation is an increasingly important antecedent to firm competitiveness and growth. Successful innovation, however, requires a significant financial commitment and the means of financing accessible to the firm may affect its ability to innovate. The access to equity financing such as venture capital has been connected to innovativeness for young firms. For established enterprises, debt financing of innovation may be a more realistic option. Continuous innovation and growth would otherwise require a constant increase of equity. We, therefore, investigate the relation between debt financing and innovation for large firms and hypothesize that those firms that carry more debt will be more innovative. The need for debt financing of innovation may be reduced for very profitable firms, which can finance innovation with cash flow. We thus hypothesize a moderating effect of profitability on the relationship between debt financing and innovation. We carry out an empirical investigation using a longitudinal data set including 167 large European firms over five years, resulting in 835 firm years. We apply generalized least squares (GLS) regression with fixed firm effects to control for firm heterogeneity. The findings support our hypotheses and we conclude that access to debt finding is an important antecedent of innovation, with profitability as a moderating factor. The results do however differ across national innovation systems and we find a strong relationship for British, Dutch, French, and Italian firms but not for German and Spanish entities. We discuss differences in the national systems of innovation and financing which contextualize the variations in the findings and thus make a nuanced contribution to the research in innovation financing. The cross-country differences calls for differentiated advice to managers, institutions, and researchers depending on the national context.

Keywords: innovation, R&D, national innovation systems, financing

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3 Analyzing the Food as a Form of Creativity: The Case of the Bijlmermeer in Amsterdam-Zuidoost

Authors: Marc Polo, Núria Arbonés Arán


Amsterdam is considered one of the great European capitals, which concentrates the headquarters of various multinational companies and which, in addition, enjoys a huge tourist attraction. Its typical residential buildings next to the canals, the museums, or its striking "Red Light District" are a great focus of attraction. In 2019 almost 9 million tourists visited it, but few of them traveled to the farthest neighborhood in the city: Amsterdam-Zuidoost (Amsterdam-Southeast). This neighborhood is geographically separated from the urban core, which makes it an exclave of Amsterdam as it does not border any of the other boroughs. Bijlmermeer neighborhood is the largest of the Amsterdam-Zuidoost, and it was born in the 1960s with the expectations of becoming the city of the future. Its main architect, Siegfried Nassuth, was inspired by the Swiss Le Corbusier to design nearly 18,000 homes, most of which were in high-rise tower blocks and built together, forming a recognizable "honeycombed" pattern. For more than 40 years, a series of infrastructure and social vicissitudes have made the neighborhood outline quite different as it was expected to be. It helped also varied elements such as ethnicity, demolitions, or unoccupied apartments. The called “city of the future” became home to immigrants, drug addicts, and vandals, and the conflicts denigrated the Amsterdam-Zuidoost. This work analyzes the evolution of the Bijlmermeer from its origins and illustrates relevant international referents able to help the area. The purpose of the work is to show how different variations along the recent history didn't help enough, but how there are positive perspectives for the future taking advantage of the food as a creative issue. The research, based on academic literature, existing material in different stadiums, plus the analysis of the city imaginaries, will help to concrete relevant elements in terms of innovation, creativity, and disruption. Despite of radical renewal that is taking place, the research will demonstrate that there are still new opportunities for the old Bijlmermeer.

Keywords: amsterdam, bijlmermeer, creativity, food

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2 Sulfanilamide/Epoxy Resin and Its Application as Tackifier in Epoxy Adhesives

Authors: Oiane Ruiz de Azua, Salvador Borros, Nuria Agullo, Jordi Arbusa


Tackiness is described as the ability to spontaneously form a bond to another material under light pressures within a short application time. During the first few minutes of the adhesive's curing, it is necessary to have enough tack to keep the substrates together while cohesion is increasing within the adhesive. This property plays a key role in the manufacturing process of pieces. Epoxy adhesives, unlike other adhesives, usually present low tackiness before curing; however, there is very little literature about the use of tackifiers in epoxy adhesives, except for the high molecular weight epoxy additives. In the present work, a tetrafunctional epoxy resin based on Bisphenol-A and Sulfanilamide has been synthesized in order to be used as a tackifier. This additive offers improved specific adhesion to two-component (2K) epoxy adhesives. The dosage of the tackifier has to be done carefully not to alter the mechanical and rheological properties of the adhesive. The synthetized product has been analyzed by FTIR and ¹H-NMR analysis, and the effect of the addition of 1 wt % of the tackifier on rheological properties, viscoelastic behavior, and mechanical properties has been studied. On one hand, the addition of the product in the epoxy resin part showed a significant increase in tackiness regarding the neat epoxy resin. On the other hand, tackiness of the whole formulation was also increased. Curing time of the adhesive has not undergone any relevant changes with the tackifier addition. Regarding viscoelastic properties, Storage Modulus (G') and Loss Modulus (G'') remain also unchanged at ambient temperature. Probably, in case higher tackifier concentration would be added, differences in viscoelastic properties would be observed. The study of mechanical properties shows that hardness and tensile strength also keep their values unchanged regarding neat two component adhesive. In conclusion, the addition of 1 wt % of sulfanilamide/epoxy enhanced the tackiness of the epoxy resin part, improves tack without modifying significantly either the rheological, the mechanical, or the viscoelastic properties of the product. Thus, the sulfanilamide presented could be a good candidate to be used as an additive to the 2k epoxy formulation for the manufacturing process of pieces.

Keywords: epoxy adhesive, manufacturing process of pieces, sulfanilamide, tackifiers

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1 Synergistic Sorption of Cr(VI) and Cu(II) onto Sweet Potato Vine from Binary Mixtures Cr(VI)-Cu(II)

Authors: Chang Liu, Nuria Fiol, Isabel Villaescusa, Jordi Poch


Over the last decades, biosorption has been an alternative to costly wastewaters treatment for metal removal. Most of the literature on metal biosorption was devoted to studying of single metal ions but nowadays studies on multi-components biosorption are booming. Hexavalent chromium is usually found in mixtures with divalent metal ions in industries wastewaters. However, studies on the simultaneous removal of Cr(VI) and divalent metals are hardly found and the cooperative or competitive mechanism governing each metal ions sorption is still unclear. In this work, simultaneous sorption of Cr(VI) and Cu(II) from their binary mixtures by using sweet potato vine (SPV) was investigated. Sweet potato is one of the four major grain crops in China. Each year about 2000 tons of SPV are generated as by-products. SPV could be a low-cost biosorbent for metal ions due to its rich in cellulose and lignin. In this work, the sorption of Cr(VI) and Cu(II) from their binary mixtures solutions was studied by using SPV sorbent. Equilibrium studies were carried out in binary mixtures in which Cr(VI) and Cu(II) concentration was both varied between 0.1 mM and 0.3 mM, Cr(VI) and Cu(II) single solutions were also prepared as comparison. All the experiments were performed at pH 3±0.05 under 30±2°C for 7 days to make sure sorption achieved equilibrium. Results showed that (i) chromium was partially (10.93%-42.04%) eliminated under studied conditions through reduction and sorption of hexavalent and trivalent forms. The presence of Cu(II) exerts a synergistic effect on the overall sorption process in all the cases of the 0.1-0.3 mM binary mixtures concentration range. (ii) Cr(VI) removal by SPV is favoured by the presence of Cu(II) in solution, because more protons needed for Cr(VI) reduction are available due to Cu(II)-proton competition; however sorption of the formed Cr(III) is unfavoured as a result of the competition between Cr(III) and Cu(II) for protons and sorbent active sites. (iii) Copper was partially (9.26%-13.91%) sorbed onto SPV under studied conditions. The presence of Cr(VI) in binary mixtures also exerts a synergistic effect on the Cu(II) removal in all the cases of the 0.1-0.3 mM binary mixtures concentration range. The results of the present work indicate that sweet potato vine can be successfully employed for the simultaneously removal of Cr(VI) and Cu(II) in binary mixtures, taking advantage of the synergistic effect provoked by one of the metal ion to each other, even though the acquisition of higher removal yields has to be further investigated. Acknowledgements—This work has been financially supported by Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of PRC (Anhui15), Education Department of Anhui Province (KJ2016A270) and Anhui Normal University (2015rcpy33, 2014bsqdjj53).

Keywords: sweet potato vine, chromium reduction, divalent metal, synergistic sorption

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