Jordi Portell is researcher at the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC) and holds a PhD in Applied Physics and Science Simulation from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). He works at the European Space Agency's Gaia mission on data management and compression, both on Earth and in space. He has been manager of the supercomputer MareNostrum's data processing centre and is chief technology officer of DAPCOM Data Services –currently developing a high-performance data compression system–. Portell is also assistant manager of the Technology Unit at the Institute of Cosmos Sciences (ICCUB), an interdisciplinary centre devoted to fundamental research in the fields of cosmology, astrophysics and particle physics.
Since 2001, Portell is the coordinator of the SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) project in Catalonia. At the Sóncar Calling project, he has been in charge of coding and music data compression to send them to outer space.