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Presentation

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The Unit of Agricultural Mechanization (UMA) is a research group focused on the application of the latest technologies in the field led by Dr. Emilio Gil, within the Department of Agri-Food Engineering and Biotechnology (DEAB) of the Technic University of Catalonia (UPC). Recently, it has been considered as a Pre-consolidated Research Group by the regional catalan government.

The UMA also has its own laboratory in the external facilities of the UPC known as Agrópolis, where it is possible to perform many of tests and organize all types of events. In the facilities, the UMA has different equipment and material to work thanks to the collaboration of LandiniCarraroKvernerlandHardiTeeJet or Aams-Salvarani among others. The laboratory has the accreditation of the Ministry of Agriculture (MAPAMA) to carry out certification tests of pesticide application equipment.

The main functions of the group are divided into three aspects. The first one is the teaching to the students of degree in agricultural engineering at the ESAB. The second section is the transfer of knowledge between producers and technicians. Finally, the UMA exercises experimentation, analysis and innovation of technologies applied directly to agriculture, the results of which are disseminated in journals and specialized congresses. In addition, the UMA maintains a permanent and fluid contact with large companies at national and international level, such as Agromapping, Fede, LechlerSyngenta or Bayer, as well as important agricultural technology research centers such as GRAP (University of Lleida), CEMTRO ( University of Córdoba), Neiker TecnaliaIVIADISAFA (Università di Torino) or JKI. In this way, the student is trained to be prepared for the current needs of the sector, the latest technological advances are communicated to the farmers and, finally, the research work is carried out in close relationship with manufacturers and farmers, which implies that the projects have a very practical and useful purpose for the market.

Although the objective of the group is the agricultural mechanization, the UMA has been specializing in the last years in the application of phytosanitary products to the crops. Among the current objectives of the UMA is the improvement in efficiency and effectiveness during treatments, the correct compliance with European regulations, the reduction of the quantity of pesticides through an adequate calibration of the equipment and the adjustment of the volume, the dissemination of Best Management Practices to reduce environmental pollution and the research in new technologies focused on precision agriculture. All this has been reinforced with the participation in two projects of the European program H2020: on the one hand, leading the INNOSETA transfer project and, on the other hand, participating in the OPTIMA research and development project.