BETA Technological Centre

Universitat de Vic

BETA logo

Established in 2014 at the UVic-UCC, The Beta Technological Center aims to advance research in environmental technologies. BETA's mission is to enhance technological development while improving rural societies' quality of life through R&D&I projects and knowledge transfer. It seeks to become a national and international leader in solving environmental issues, particularly focusing on the agri-food sector. Additionally, BETA aims to pioneer the integration of environmental, economic, and social sustainability in industrial sectors and influence evidence-based environmental policies at all levels of public administration.

The Applied Ecology (Beta Tech Center — Applied Ecology & Global Change) promotes the study of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, with an emphasis on assessing their response and resilience to different impacts. We particularly focus on microbial communities relevant to ecosystem functioning. These communities are also used as biological models to test for the direct and indirect effects of different stressors related to global change on freshwater ecosystems.

  • This research line aims to apply the knowledge on ecosystems functioning, and the respective services provided, as a basis for the design of nature-based and innovative solutions aiming the achievement of the global change impacts mitigation.
  • Within this research line, the BETA Center offers (i) Monitoring of the physicochemical and biological quality of inland aquatic systems, using conventional tools and ICT; (ii) Ecological impact assessment through field studies and laboratory experiments, including artificial streams and ponds; (iii) Planning, implementation, and evaluation of nature-based solutions as a tool for flood risk impacts reduction, mitigation of the impacts generated by agriculture and livestock activities on aquatic ecosystems and wastewater treatment; (iv) Design citizen science activities as a tool for awareness and research on aquatic ecosystems. 

Principal investigator

Lorenzo Proia – Senior scientist (Group Coordinator) in Unit

Staff involved in Pharm-ERA

The Applied Ecology & Global Change Unit.

  • Sergio Martínez-Campos – Posdoctoral Researcher in The Applied Ecology Unit.
  • Meritxell Uroz Moya – Technician in The Applied Ecology & Global Change line.

Equipment and processes

Our facilities have laboratories of about 800 m2 that include a wide variety of equipment and specialized instrumentation focused on research in all our areas of expertise. Our technological capabilities can be useful to different companies, educational or research centers, but also to public administrations and other entities related to environmental issues. The interdisciplinary nature of our technical and scientific team allows the Centre to adapt to a wide range of analytical needs. Our analytical services are focused on five areas:

  • Physicochemical analyses in water, soil, and residue-based matrices
  • Microbiological analyses
  • Instrumental analyses: Elemental analysis, TOC/TN, Ion and gas chromatography, atomic absorption
  • Bioprocesses monitoring: Anaerobic digestion, composting, aerobic processes, nutrient recovery, among others
  • Pilot plant for environmental technologies: Biodrying, anaerobic digestion, freeze concentration, electrodialysis, among others.

Furthermore, the Applied Ecology & Global Change Unit has available two sets of 18 independent microcosms (50cm and 150cm long artificial streams in which a sequence of lotic (flowing water) and lentic (still water) sections are reproduced), mimicking a smaller scale the prototype installed at the Vic’s WWTPs (lentic-lotic series), is available at the BETA Aquatic Ecolab with a total volume capacity of about 6L each. This system has been previously used by members of the research team and more details can be found in the respective publication1. Moreover, the Aquatic Ecolab at BETA also has 18 aquaria (6L capacity)2 and 20 artificial ponds (300L capacity)3.

UVIC illustrations

The Applied Ecology and Global Change Unit has facilities with various types of mesocosms (channels simulating river systems and aquariums for ponds and pools) aimed at analysing ecological impacts in controlled situations. Additionally, they have expertise in field sampling and have access to an Analytical Chemistry laboratory for the entire center. The unit also has some pilot plants aimed at treating slurry or wastewater, which allows experts to develop further at the next scale.



  1. Vendrell-Puigmitja, L., Bertrans-Tubau, L., Roca-Ayats, M., Llenas, L., Proia, L. and Abril, M., 2024. Exposure and recovery: The effect of different dilution factors of treated and untreated metal mining effluent on freshwater biofilm function and structure. Aquatic Toxicology, 268, p.106843.
  2. Espinosa, C., Abril, M., Ponsá, S., Ricart., M., Vendrell-Puigmitjà, L., Ordeix, M., Llenas, L., and Proia, L. 2021. Effects of the interaction between nutrient concentration and DIN: SRP ratio on geosmin production by freshwater biofilms. Science of the Total Environment, 768. 144473.
  3. Ersoy, Z., Abril, M., Cañedo-Argüelles, M., Espinosa, C., Vendrell-Puigmitja, L. and Proia, L., 2022. Experimental assessment of salinization effects on freshwater zooplankton communities and their trophic interactions under eutrophic conditions. Environmental Pollution, 313, p.120127.


lorenzo.proia at

See also

Modification date : 13 March 2024 | Publication date : 06 March 2024 | Redactor : Emilie EGEA