Research in technology is increasingly becoming one of the pillars for the development of any country. For this reason, the Spanish Congress of Deputies together with the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) created the Science and Technology Office (Office C) a year ago, an initiative that seeks to update the scientific and technological information that is passed on to parliamentarians.

Among many other disciplines, Office C has focused on gathering data on the state of different technologies, which has resulted in four reports of rigorous scientific evidence on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, health, advances in cancer treatment and green hydrogen as a fuel.

Cybersecurity report

“Cybersecurity has become a societal need, as it is an issue that transcends the technological realm,” says one of the reports. Office C has made use of 402 documents and consulted 31 experts in the field, including INCIBE director Félix Barrio, as well as professors, lecturers and researchers from different Spanish universities.

The main objective of the report is to enable training and provide equal access to cybersecurity not only for Members of Parliament but also for citizens, in order to face the threats and challenges posed by the constant evolution of technology.

According to data collected by Office C, it is estimated that there have been so many cyber incidents in Spain in 2021 that around 28% of the population has experienced one. In fact, in approximate figures, the estimated global cost of cybercrime exceeds that of drug trafficking.

Similarly, some of the main types of cyber-attacks (ransomware, phishing, attacks on remote access systems, advanced persistent threats, etc.) are pointed out and legal keys are provided to deal with specific situations, as well as the importance of collaborative networks and the culture of collaboration to combat all types of cyber-attacks.

Artificial intelligence and health

This report asserts that artificial intelligence is expected to make a major contribution to healthcare, with implications for the cost, quality and efficiency of medical care. “The availability of quality data is necessary to develop AI applications. Despite the high digitisation of the healthcare system in Spain, medical data is underutilised in R&D&I,” it says.

The report is based on the potential of AI technologies to bring health benefits. The application of artificial intelligence to health is organised through different areas, namely: support in prevention, self-care and wellbeing. AI is able to rapidly screen a large number of patients at a very low cost, which helps in early prediction.

Such initiatives help to boost research in technology, and to determine what stage we are at and what steps we need to take to continue to develop in this area.

Training and dissemination in technological matters is fundamental, therefore, the BISITE Research Group and the AIR Institute support such initiatives as the C1b3rWall Academy, a training programme promoted by the National Police and the University of Salamanca that aims to train all citizens and professionals in the field of security and safety. The third edition is already open, you can enrol here.

Posted by Juan M. Corchado

Juan Manuel Corchado (15 May 1971, Salamanca, Spain) is Professor at the University of Salamanca. He has been Vice-Rector for Research from 2013 to 2017 and Director of the Science Park of the University of Salamanca. Elected as Dean of the Faculty of Science twice, he holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Salamanca and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of the West of Scotland. He leads the renowned BISITE (Bioinformatics, Intelligent Systems and Educational Technology) Research Group, created in 2000. Director of the IoT Digital Innovation Hub and President of the AIR Institute, J. M. Corchado is also Visiting Professor at the Osaka Institute of Technology since January 2015, Visiting Professor at the Universiti Malaysia Kelantan and Member of the Advisory Group on Online Terrorist Propaganda of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (EUROPOL). J. M. Corchado has been president of the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society, and academic coordinator of the University Institute for Research in Art and Animation Technology at the University of Salamanca, as well as researcher at the Universities of Paisley (UK), Vigo (Spain) and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK). He currently combines all his activity with the direction of Master programmes in Security, Digital Animation, Mobile Telephony, Information Systems Management, Internet of Things, Social Media, 3D Design and Printing, Blockchain, Z System, Industry 4.0, Agile Project Management, and Smart Cities & Intelligent Buildings, at the University of Salamanca and his work as editor-in-chief of the journals ADCAIJ (Advances in Distributed Computing and Artificial Intelligence Journal), OJCST (Oriental Journal of Computer Science and Technology) or Electronics MDPI (Computer Science & Engineering section). J. M. Corchado mainly works on projects related to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, IoT, Fog Computing, Edge Computing, Smart Cities, Smart Grids and Sentiment Analysis. He has recently been included in the board of trustees of the AstraZeneca Foundation, along with other health professionals and researchers recognised for bringing scientific knowledge closer to society.