The POST-DIGITAL Consortium has
10 Beneficiaries and 3 Partner Organisations:

10 POST-DIGITAL Beneficiaries:

Aston University; UK

Within beneficiary Aston University, the POST-DIGITAL Initial Training Network is coordinated by the Aston Institute of Photonics Technologies (AIPT). AiPT is one of the largest photonics research centres in the UK, with 90+ staff and current grant funding amounting to €28M, of which the majority comes from EU projects. AIPT’s success has been built on significant achievements in high-speed optical transmission and processing, nonlinear photonics, fibre grating technology, femtosecond laser material processing techniques, nano-photonics, fibre lasers, bio- and medical photonics, and in various fibre optic sensing applications. AIPT has an impressive portfolio of project funding, industrial and international collaborations, five spin-out companies, highly cited research papers and 60 patents, all demonstrating excellence in the field. AIPT maintains active and fertile collaborations with industrial companies and academic institutions throughout the world. AIPT has accumulated valuable experience in supervising and administrating diversified research projects, fostering new research and industrial collaborations, undertaking various training activities, and managing world class research facilities available for new projects.

Agencia Estatal de Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC); Spain

The Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (IFISC) of CSIC aims to gain an in-depth understanding of complex phenomena and to provide novel solutions from communication to information processing, transferring knowledge to the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) domain. Its current activities include the study of nonlinear and spatio-temporal emission properties of semiconductor lasers, the implementation of optical complex networks based on lasers, advanced characterization techniques, and the utilisation of optical complexity for information technologies including encryption and ultra-fast neuro-inspired photonic information processing.

Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon (UBFC); France

The FEMTO-ST research group of UBFC focuses on the implementation of photonic networks in analogue hardware. description It is internationally recognized for its work in all-optical and opto-electronic nonlinear systems, telecommunication schemes as well as holography. Recently it concentrates its efforts on novel machine learning concepts. The group has pioneered high speed opto-electronic RC by successfully classifying up to 1 Million spoken digits per second as well as the implantation of large scale spatio-temporal Recurrent Neural Networks. Based on such a system, the group implemented photonic reinforcement learning. Research topics span a wide range relevant to the project, including nonlinear dynamical system theory, applications of nonlinear photonics for communication as well as photonic and electronic implementations of Neural Networks.

IBM Research Labs Zurich (IBM); Switzerland

IBM Research GmbH, Zürich Research Laboratory (ZRL), with approximately 300 employees, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the IBM Research division and represents the European branch of IBM Research. ZRL is world-renown for its outstanding scientific achievements. Currently, scientific and industrial research is conducted in three scientific and technical departments, in particular in the Science and Technology department. Today’s hardware oriented research focuses on new computing paradigms such as quantum and neuromorphic computing. The latter includes devices for analog approximate computing as means to accelerate the execution and especially the training of neural networks. Furthermore, novel architectural concepts for neural networks are explored. Both electrical and optical hardware implementations, all compatible with CMOS silicon technology, are investigated. The neuromorphic devices and systems group builds on expertise in the integration of both III-V semiconductors and epitaxial ferroelectric films into silicon, pushing the use of such novel materials towards the demonstration of real devices.

University of Groningen; The Netherlands

University of Groningen is a public research university in the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. The university was founded in 1614 and is the second-oldest university in the Netherlands. Since its founding more than 200,000 students have graduated. In 2014 the university celebrated its 400th anniversary. Within the University, the Groningen Cognitive Systems and Materials (CogniGron), founded 2018 with 10 new professorships, provides an ideal academic environment for POST-DIGITAL research. The research mission of CogniGron (‘Develop materials-centred systems paradigms for cognitive computing based on modelling and learning at all levels: from materials that can learn to devices, circuits and algorithms’) aims to address fundamental questions of relevance for developing materials and systems for cognitive computing, and thus is well alligned with POST-DIGITAL.  ESRs will find a large number of faculty members offering options for collaborative research in areas such as computer science / AI / material science and computational neuroscience, as well as state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure, such as Dynap-SEL neuromorphic  AI processors, to excel at their research.

IMEC; Belgium

IMEC was founded in 1984 and is one of Europe’s leading research institutes in nano-electronics and photonics. Today IMEC has a staff of over 2000 people of which over 60 are now active in “Silicon Photonics”. Work in this domain on the one hand focuses on advancing the Silicon Photonics platform itself (novel sources, modulators, detectors, heterogeneous integration) and on the other hand on a wide range of applications (optical interconnect, environmental and biomedical sensing, spectroscopy, neuromorphic computing) Recently, IMEC merged with another Flemish research institutes (iMinds), now extending its activities to data science and machine learning.

LightOn; France

The startup LightOn develops a series of optical co-processors called Optical Processing Units,(OPU), intended to bring Artificial Intelligence at scale. LightOn was funded in 2016, and has raised nearly €3M in seed funding in 2018. LightOn has a unique expertise for technology insertion of optical prototypes into industry-grade machine learning processing pipelines.

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB); Belgium

The ULB group comprises two teams. The Laboratoire d’Information Quantique headed by Prof. Serge Massar, and the Service OPERA Photonique to which is associated Prof. Marc Haelterman. These two teams have been collaborating very tightly for more than 15 years on the themes of experimental quantum and nonlinear optics, and more recently bio-inspired computing. The Laboratoire d’Information Quantique offers a strong theory support, with a strong track record in theory of quantum information, as well as in experimental nonlinear and quantum optics. The Service OPERA-Photonique has been carrying out research in photonics for many years, with many contributions to nonlinear optics.

VLC Photonics (VLC); Spain

VLC Photonics is a Spanish SME devoted to providing all kind of services related to the development of photonic integrated circuits (PICs). VLC Photonics is a 2011 spin-off company from Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (UPV, Spain). The technical team of VLC involves professionals with expertise in photonic systems, optical signal processing and photonic integrated circuits, developed for more than 10 years within the industry and competitive European research programs. VLC Photonics offers several solutions in the field of integrated optics: techno- economical feasibility studies and consultancy, in-house PIC design, characterization and test, and full PIC prototyping through external manufacturing (Silicon-on-insulator, Silica/PLC, SiN/TripleX, InP/GaAs) and packaging/assembly partners.


Thales Group’s businesses are primarily dedicated to critical information systems for aerospace, defence and security applications. Thales commits a very significant proportion of its revenues to research and development (R&D). Upstream research at the central laboratories, managed by TRT, accounts for 3% of total R&D and employs 220 full-time staff, and some 30 doctoral students and 50 outside scientists. The Physics Research Group within TRT France has a two decades long record in the field of optical signal processing and nanophotonic devices.

3 POST-DIGITAL Partner Organisations:

IniLabs, Switzerland

IniLabs develops neuromorphic technologies for research. Our founders have invented some of the key foundations of the field, and we continue to lead the world in applications of neuromorphic engineering through our close collaboration with the Institute of Neuroinformatics at the University of Zurich and the ETH Zurich. We have a long history of successful participation in leading-edge R&D projects funded by the EU, DARPA and other sources. IniLabs technologies are now in use at over 200 labs and companies around the world in industries including aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, industrial vision and security.. It has spun off application- focused companies in neuromorphic vision (iniVation) and computation (aiCTX).

Universiteit Gent (UGent); Belgium

Gent University is one of Belgium’s leading institutions of higher education and research. Established in 1817, it now description hosts 41000 students and 9000 staff members spread over 11 faculties. The labs involved as IMEC in this proposal are both part of Ghent University, as well as an associated lab of IMEC

Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB); Spain

The University of the Balearic Islands (UIB) is a modern public institution whose main purpose is to contribute to social progress through a firm commitment to teaching and research, development and innovation (R+D+I) excellence. UIB now ranks among the top 5 Spanish universities in innovation and technological development and in research quality, as well as being in the world top 10 in tourism research and among the top 8 in quality and innovation in teaching. The UIB has a dedicated doctoral school with a PhD programme in Physics that has received the recognition of excellence from the Ministry of Education in Spain. The doctoral training includes mandatory training activities such as the preparation of a scientific communication to a conference, the preparation and writing of a paper for an indexed journal, and the attendance to research seminars. In addition, the doctoral school offers optional cross- training courses on topics such as communication skills in English, bibliographic search techniques, ethics and integrity of scientific research, and technology transfer models. The PhD program in Physics strives for excellence and internationalization, as a way to keep attracting students from other national and international universities.