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Imec is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. It is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, has a sister company in the Netherlands (imec-NL), offices in the US, China and Taiwan, and representatives in Japan. Its staff of more than 1700 people includes more than 500 industrial residents and guest researchers.

Imec’s research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art cleanroom infrastructure and its strong network worldwide, position imec as a key partner for shaping technologies for future systems.

In the context of the Optical IO program, Imec aims to find solutions for together with their industrial partners to realize manufacturable, high-bandwidth low-power optical I/O chips in silicon-on-insulator. Imec is considered a world-leader within the context of silicon photonics.


  • Peter Bienstman was born in Ghent, Belgium, in 1974. He received a degree in electrical engineering from Ghent University, Belgium, in 1997 and a Ph.D. from the same university in 2001, at the Department of Information Technology (INTEC), where he is currently a full professor. His research interests include several applications of nanophotonics (biosensors, photonic information processing, …) as well as nanophotonics modelling.
    He has published over 300 papers including over 130 journal papers and holds 5 patents.
    He was awarded an ERC starting grant (2010 – 2014) for the project Naresco: Novel paradigms for massively parallel nanophotonic information processing. The work of this ERC project feeds directly into this current proposal and resulted in over 44 journal papers and presentations at international conferences.
    He also coordinated the FP7 project Pocket (2013-2016) that develops a tuberculosis sensor suitable for point-of-care applications.
    He currently supervises 8 PhD students, of which 4 are working on reservoir computing.
  • Dr Alessio Lugnan joined the Photonics Research Group (Ghent University – Imec) in November 2016 as a PhD student. He has been working on optical solutions for machine learning classification of cells and particles for imaging microflow cytometry and on integrated photonic reservoir computing using ring resonators. He received a Master’s degree in Experimental Physics from the University of Trento. Within Fun-COMP Alessio is driving forward our research on phase-change enhanced photonic reservoir computing