Strategies to create a bridge between the University Research and Enterprise
Abstract - The road between a discovery generated from basic research to a commercial product or process is long and rife with significant roadblocks. In general, innovators and investors alike routinely claim that a ‘funding gap‘ or ‘Valley of Death‘ exists between new ideas and the commercialization of new products.
In order to diffuse in Italy an entrepreneurial culture of research, encourage the dissemination of scientific outcomes and support scientists through the stages of commercialisation of the results of their study, several Universities have established Technology Transfer Offices (TTO). At European Level the new framework program Horizon Europe with the Open Innovation pillar aims to make Europe a frontrunner in technological transfer and market-creating innovation. Despite, the level of innovation and competitiveness of Italian research is at the top of world rankings, the industrial impact of Italian scientific research, is not among the best. This handicap derives from low investments in research, the weakness of venture capital system and low tech-transfer ability.
A new business model will be showed, to overcome the "valley of death", through the connection of the research world with the world of industrial companies, the development of innovative solutions in the field of advanced materials and the creation of new business science-based.
Comparing Innovation Ecosystems
Abstract - There is an ongoing debate of what are the critical factors for creating a vibrant innovation ecosystem. There is no doubt that the most successful example of this kind of ecosystem is Silicon Valley. I will start outlining what in my opinion are the many important factors that led to the birth and maturity of the Silicon Valley. In fact, there is not a single silver bullet to create a successful innovation climate nor there is a way of transporting a model into a different economic, social and political landscape. I will briefly outline other ongoing attempts in France, Singapore and Italy and compare them.
Is Innovating in a large high-tech multinational company possible?
Abstract - Innovation requires vision, sustained resources, dedication, technical and human skills, stamina and last but not least, reward. All these factors are challenging for a large organization: sometimes vision is trumped by "short termism" induced by the need to fulfill market
expectations, resources may be taken away due to "emergency" situations, dedication is difficult to channel in a large company, technical and human skills may be lacking due to hiring pressures, and a reward system for company employees may not be available of the type that is available in start-ups. In this presentation, I will describe some success story in ST and how these were achieved albeit among difficulties.
Human-Centric Communication and Computation
Abstract - With the world around us rapidly becoming smarter, an extremely relevant question is how ’we humans’ are going to cope with this onslaught of information. One possible answer is for us to use similar technologies to evolve ourselves, and to equip us with the necessary tools to interact with and to become an essential part of the smart world.
Various wearable devices have been or are being developed to do just that. However, their potential to create a whole new set of human experiences is still largely unexplored. To be effective, functionality cannot be centralized and needs to be distributed to capture the right information at the right place. This requires a human intranet, a platform that allows multiple distributed input/output and information processing functions to coalesce and form a single application. In this presentation, we focus on the communication and computation aspects of such an intranet, tasks that are complicated by the extreme energy and form-factor limitations imposed on the wearable (or implanted) devices.
The quest for a bionic hand: recent achievements and future perspectives
Abstract - Replacing a missing upper limb with a functional one is an ancient need and desire. Historically, humans have replaced a missing limb with a prosthesis for many reasons, be it cosmetic, vocational, or for personal autonomy. The hand is a powerful tool and its loss causes severe physical and often mental debilitation. The need for a versatile prosthetic limb with intuitive motor control and realistic sensory feedback is huge and its development is absolutely necessary for the near future.
Among the possible solutions to achieve this goal, interfaces with the peripheral nervous system, and in particular intraneural electrodes, are a very promising choice. In this presentation, the results achieved so far by using thin-film transversal intraneural electrodes (TIMEs) for sensory feedback are summarized.
First, we are going to describe the results achieved during experiments with trans-radial amputees who received TIME implants to restore sensory feedback. In particular, we are going to show how tactile and proprioceptive information can be restored providing also embodiment and pain reduction. The possibility of obtaining more natural and effective sensory feedback using biomimetic encoding algorithms will be also shown. Finally, the next steps to achieve a fully implantable device will be briefly summarized.
Our findings demonstrate that these interfaces are a valuable solution for delivering sensory feedback to subjects with transradial amputation. Further experiments are necessary to better understand the potentials of this approach during chronic experiments.
CMOS Active Pixel Sensors for High Energy Physics
Abstract - CMOS technology, which fueled the rapid growth of the information technology
industry in the past 50 years, has also played and continues to play a crucial role
in the remarkable development of detectors for High-Energy Physics (HEP)
experiments. The amazing evolution of CMOS transistors in terms of speed,
integration and cost decrease, allowed a continuous increase of density,
complexity and performance of the front-end and readout circuits for HEP
detectors. With the advent of CMOS Active Pixel Sensors (APS), where the
sensing layer and its readout circuitry are combined in a single silicon device,
CMOS became also the technology for a new generation of vertex and tracking
detectors. After a brief historical excursus on the development of CMOS APS, their
most recent developments and applications in HEP, as well as some examples in other
scientific domains, will be presented. Novel developments and prospects for further
improvement of these devices in terms of integration scale, timing and radiation
hardness will be discussed.
Secure Near-Sensor Analytics: the PULP approach
Abstract - Near-sensor processing is needed in numerous IoT application Scenarios, where communication of raw sensor data is neither affordable nor secure. In this talk I will give an overview on how to address the challenge of pushing data analytics and security at the sensors sites using a Parallel Ultra-Low Power (PULP) heterogeneous computing approach.
Single molecule detection of markers with a label-free bio-electronic sensor
Abstract - Label-free single-molecule detection has been achieved so far by funnelling a large number of ligands into a sequence of single-binding events with few recognition elements host on nanometric transducers. Such approaches are inherently unable to sense a cue in a bulk milieu. Conceptualizing cells’ ability to sense at the physical limit by means of highly-packed recognition elements, a millimetric sized field-effect-transistor is used to detect a single molecule. To this end, the gate is bio-functionalized with a self-assembled-monolayer of trillions of capturing anti-Immunoglobulin-G and is endowed with a hydrogen-bonding network enabling cooperative-interactions. The selective and label-free single-molecule IgG detection is strikingly demonstrated in diluted saliva while 15 IgGs are assayed in whole serum. The suggested sensing mechanism triggered by the affinity binding event, involves a work-function change that is assumed to propagate in the gating-field through the electrostatic hydrogen-bonding network. The proposed immunoassay platform is general and can revolutionize the current approach to protein detection.
Towards Wireless Flexible Printed Wearable Sensors
Abstract - Flexible electronics enable large area, lightweight, thin functional devices that are conformal to the human body. These electronic devices are useful in Internet of Things applications as they enable interfacing electronics with complex physical objects. Flexible sensors are being developed in industries including automotive, packaging, and structural health monitoring. Wearable medical technology has seen considerable advancement in recent years in both consumer health monitoring products such as smart watches and research of clinical grade sensors. Sensors including temperature, heart rate, blood oxygenation, and various metabolites present in sweat have been demonstrated. In all cases, to be truly "wearable" a device should be comfortable: conformal, lightweight, thin, and cable-less. A functional wearable device must include not only a sensor but also a power source and communication capability . The power and communication systems should meet the same comfort criteria as the sensors. While printed electronic components have the advantages of being flexible, lightweight, thin, and large area, conventional rigid silicon electronics are capable of fast, efficient computation, data processing and storage in a small footprint at low power. Flexible hybrid electronic (FHE) systems take advantage of these complementary strengths by integrating conventional components and printed components together. In this talk, I will cover the fundamental building blocks for an FHE system - including printed sensors and circuits, printed antennas for wireless power and communication, printed energy harvesting and storage. I will discuss recent progress, fabrication, applications and opportunities in flexible hybrid electronics.
The fantastic voyage towards ultra-miniaturized sensing circuits
Abstract - The relentless progress of nanoelectronics technology drives the revolution towards a smart world that immersively impacts our daily life, work and play. The Internet of Things and proactive/personalized healthcare monitoring are but a few examples. Sensors and sensor interfaces play a key role in all of these. While energy consumption and cost are key in some applications, small physical size and weight are vital constraints for others. This keynote presentation explores the boundaries for the ultra-small miniaturization of sensor systems. Area-targeting design solutions and 3D stacking technology provide a path towards the realization of ultra-compact sensing applications, such as for example drinkable or injectable biomedical devices ("body dust").
Industrial-IoT Data Analysis Exploiting Electronic Design Automation Techniques
Abstract - Predictive maintenance is a strategic activity in the context of Industry 4.0 in order to maintain a certain level of quality production and to avoid unexpected equipment downtimes.
In this scenario, the analysis of IIoT data is necessary to achieve prediction on the future machinery’ status.
The proposed approach relies on the use of Electronic Design Automation (EDA) techniques mapped from electronic domain to production line domain.
These EDA techniques are combined with field knowledge, especially for Predictive Maintenance Analysis.
This presentation describes a methodology that allows to abstract raw data retrieved from IIOT sensors into a class of severity levels, core of the proposed methodology. For example, a class of severity level is reported in the ISO 10816 standard for vibration measurement, but similar concepts are proposed for other values.
The methodology consists of two phases: first of all, traces of the nominal behavior are stored to be reused, then, such raw data are filtered with the nominal behavior and translated into severity levels. Such levels are then embedded into IIoT edge devices through the synthesis of the so-called Predictive Maintenance State Machines.
The methodology has been validated on the model of a mechanical transmission system. Furthermore, the correctness of the strategy has been proved by injecting faults on the original model and by exploiting simulation procedures under different operational scenarios.
This methodology gives to IIoT sensors their specific role in the software automation pyramid, by abstracting their data into levels used through the formalism of predictive maintenance state machines.
Printed Smart Sensing Surfaces: technology, design and applications
Abstract - Printed organic TFT technology on foil is developing in terms of performance, yield and reliability. Integrating printed electronics with printed sensors by foil lamination is a powerful and commercially attractive way to create sensing surfaces that are flexible and smart, i.e. that incorporate signal frontend and processing functionalities. The complete system can include Si ICs to perform the most complex functions, while reducing the interconnections between Si and printed platforms, thus minimizing Si area and final cost. The integration between Si and printed electronics, however, is challenging due to the large mismatch in operating voltage between the two technologies.
Several examples of innovative sensing surfaces built exploiting printed electronics and sensors will be presented, together with their design challenges, the applications that they enable, and a possible research roadmap.
The OnePlanet Research Center – applying nanoelectronics, sensors, circuits and AI in food, health, agriculture and the environment
Abstract - We are faced with global challenges related to health, food, sustainability and the environment. While these are formidable challenges, they also represent a gigantic opportunity to improve people’s lives on a global scale while at the same time creating new economic opportunities. The OnePlanet Research Center is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between imec, Radboud University & Medical Center, and Wageningen University & Research where nanoelectronics and analytics innovations are used to solve problems related to personalized health, personalized nutrition, sustainable food production and reduced environmental impact. To achieve data-driven personal nutrition & health, citizen empowerment and precision food production & processing, sensors (wearable, ingestible, IoT) and sensor innovations are essential sources of data from which analytics solutions will be derived. In the OnePlanet Research Center, interdisciplinary teams of researchers and engineers from the three founding partners will conduct application-driven R&D along application and enabling technology (HW/SW) roadmaps. This presentation will give an overview of the vision, activities and innovations being pursued by the OnePlanet Research Center.
Current and future applications of non-invasive and invasive brain-Computer interfaces
Abstract - Brain-computer interfaces allow to control external devices in real-time and to extract EEG parameters in real-time. They are either realized with non-invasive EEG electrodes or implanted ECoG grids and use evoked potentials, or oscillations in the alpha, beta or gamma range for the control. Applications range from stroke rehabilitation, coma assessment to the functional mapping of the eloquent cortex or avatar control.
The role of cryo-CMOS in quantum computers
Abstract - Quantum computing holds the promise to solve intractable problems using processors that exploit quantum physics concepts, such as superposition and entanglement. The core of a quantum processor, generally an array of qubits, needs to be controlled and read out by a classical processor operating on the qubits with nanosecond latency, several millions of times per second. Due to the extremely weak signals involved in the process, ultra-low-noise, highly sensitive circuits and systems are needed, along with very precise timing capability. We advocate the use of CMOS technologies to achieve these goals, whereas the circuits will be operated at deep-cryogenic temperatures. We believe that these circuits, collectively known as cryo-CMOS control, will make future qubit arrays scalable, enabling a faster growth of the qubit count. In the talk, the challenges of designing and operating complex circuits and systems at 4K and below will be outlined, along with preliminary results achieved in the control and read-out of qubits by ad hoc integrated circuits that were optimized to operate at low power in these conditions. The talk will conclude with a perspective on the field and its trends.