top-leading universities


research institute


innovative SME


major industrial partners

In order to effectively address its highly ambitious objectives and transform them into exploitable know-how with strong market potential, PICaboo has brought together organizations that define today the state-of-the-art in the scientific/technological areas needed in order to successfully accomplish its goals. Moreover, PICaboo integrates all the links of the value chain, including also major industrial partners acting as the end users for the validation of the developed technology and its commercial exploitation.

Institute of Communications & Computer Systems (Greece), ICCS

The Institute of Communications and Computer Systems of the National Technical University of Athens (ICCS) was founded in 1989, as the research arm of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the NTUA, with which it is associated, in the field of telecommunications systems and computer systems. The Photonics Communications Research Laboratory (PCRL) was founded in 1995 as a research group of NTUA. It is led by Prof. Hercules Avramopoulos and currently numbers over 25 senior researchers, PhD students and support personnel. Its research activities span the following thematic areas: (i) Optical interconnects: ICCS-PCRL’s research focuses on innovative concept definition, subsystem design, evaluation and valorization. The group is active in ultra-high capacity, flexible transceiver development, optical backplanes, on-chip interconnects and active optical cable systems.

Ongoing research topics include advanced modulation formats, concept transformation to PIC designs over silicon on insulator, silicon nitride and polymer integration platforms and optical switching architectures; (ii) Digital Signal Processing: ICCS-PCRL carries out research and development in DSP algorithms for both telecom- and datacom-oriented photonic communication systems. The group has been actively involved in developing algorithms that enable innovative single- and multi-carrier system concepts for 100G, 400G and 1Terabit optical channels, as well as programmable, multi-format optical transceivers for future flexible optical networks.

Ongoing research topics include bandwidth-efficient digital modulation formats for both telecom and datacom applications (high-order M-QAM, sub-cycle QAM, multi-level PAM, DMT, Nyquist pulse-shaping), mitigation of linear and nonlinear fiber transmission impairments, DSP-based optical performance monitoring schemes, and real-time FPGA-based algorithm implementation. (iii) PIC Design: The software toolbox of the group comprises FMM and FD mode solvers, 2D/3D FDTD, 2D/3D BPM and 3D EME propagation solvers as well as a circuit-level simulator relying on fast S-matrix calculations and a tailored CAD environment for design layout definition.

Current research focuses mainly on optical interfaces including out-of-plane (grating couplers, mirrors) and in-plane coupling (adiabatic couplers, spot-size converters, flip-chip couplers) structures, as well as standard and advanced passive photonic circuitry (directional couplers, MMIs, MZI filters, AWGs, thermo-optic switches etc.) in various integration platforms including Si photonics, Glass, SiNi and Polymer. (iv) Optical communications: research work performed in ICCS-PCRL involves high-speed sources design and implementation, advance modulation formats, designing of high-speed transmission links, system/subsystem modeling, DSP; (v) Biophotonics – Sensing: ICCS-PCRL is actively involved on the conceptualization and design of novel photonic devices with highly desirable features for photonic biosensors, in designing and realizing the electronic read-out systems of the biosensors (from the hardware up to software level.

Being a multidisciplinary research area, the ICCS-PCRL has established collaborations with highly qualified institutes in biochemistry, chemistry and physics. ICCS-PCRL has significant presence and a proven track record with successful participation and leadership in a number of European and national projects. In more detail within the cost of 20 years and the frameworks FP6, FP7 and H2020, ICCS-PCRL has participated in 36 funded projects in the fields of optical networks, optical component and systems, optical devices and the broader fields of datacom, optical interconnections and biosensing. These research initiatives, most of them coordinated by ICCS-PCRL, focused on developing: (i) transceivers (POLYSYS, APACHE, PANTHER, SPIRIT, CRAFT-MULTIWAVE, QAMeleon, TWILIGHT, TERIPHIC, TERAWAY and others); (ii) switches (APACHE, PLATON, 3PEAT, QAMeleon, POETICS and others); (iii) semiconductor based memory elements (RAMPLAS); (iv) optical routers (BOOM); (v) optical interconnection systems and optical PCBs (PHOXTROT, MIRAGE); (vi) novel dynamically configurable optical architectures (NEPHELE, ORCHESTRA, NEBULA); (vii) integrated microwave photonics systems based on hybrid integration of diverse photonics platforms (HAMLET); (viii) photonic-based lab-on-a-chip systems for biophotonic biosensing applications and sensing in compositive materials (BIOFOS, BIOCDx , 3PEAT, SEER); (ix) 5G networks (5GPHOS, 5GCOMPLETE). Through those initiatives ICCS-PCRL exploited a variety of photonic technologies and techniques, such as silicon, III-Vs and polymers, SDN control methods, modulation formats as well as disruptive photonic technologies like plasmonics. ICCS-PCRL has significantly contributed to the integration of the European photonic research community by: (i) coordinating the network of excellence EURO-FOS, that targeted the integration of photonics testing facilities in Europe; (ii) participating as photonics competence centre in the sequence of ACTPHAST actions (ACTPHAST, ACTPHAST4.0, ACTPHAST4R) to create a support centre for european photonics industry and the penetration of photonics to other induystrial sectors; (iii) participating as Application Support Centre (ASC) for SE Europe area in the PICs4ALL CSA project that aims to increase the impact of photonics by enabling access to advanced PIC technologies for academia, research institutes and industry.

ICCS will act as the project coordinator of PICaboo and will lead WP1 based on its strong track record of coordinating and leading EU-funded projects to success. In WP2, ICCS will lead T2.4 in which it will perform system simulations studies for the building blocks, components and PICs that will be developed within the project providing also feedback to T2.2 regarding the definition of specifications. ICCS will also lead WP6 and in particular T6.1 and T6.2. In T6.1 it will be responsible for the definition of the testing methodologies and testbed configurations focusing on the tests that will be performed at its laboratory for point-to-point transmission and 5G fronthaul, and in T6.2 ICCS will undertake the development of FPGA-based control electronics for PICaboo EAM-based transmitter PICs including the preequalization integrated circuit. In T6.3 it will validate the performances of the single EAM-MZM transmitter PICs at system level under laboratory conditions at speeds up to 100 Gbaud based on its state-of-art test and measurement equipment and will also evaluate them within its 5G fronthaul testbed. Finally, ICCS will also lead dissemination, communication and clustering activities in T7.3 under WP7, offloading workload from the WP leader (ADVA).

Technical University Eindhoven, Institute of Photonic Integration, (Netherlands), TUe

The Technische Universiteit Eindhoven in the Netherlands offers (pre)graduate engineering programs (BSc and MSc) and post-graduate technological design (MTD), PhD and teacher training programmes (MSc) and post-academic continuing education. The courses are research-driven and design-oriented. TUe co-ordinates several prominent Dutch research schools and institutes, such as Institute for Photonic Integration (IPI) and has a strong position within international research networks. Tue is a natural partner for technology intensive enterprises. The campus is a fertile breeding ground for new business ventures. The Institute for Photonic Integration (IPI), formerly known as the COBRA Research Institute for

Optical Communication Technology, provides a focus to Photonics activities at the Technical University of Eindhoven. It employs more than 150 scientists and technicians working on materials, device and systems research. This is one of the world’s leading institutes in the field of Photonic Integration and holds a number of records on device miniaturisation and integration complexity. It has access to an 800 m2 cleanroom, Nanolab@TUe, with a full suite of equipment for R&D of advanced InP-based PICs, devices and materials including the only deep UV scanner lithography tool configured for 3″ and 4″ InP wafers. Within PICaboo, TUe will participate with its photonic integration (PhI) research group. PhI has a long-standing experience in national and European research projects, including the FP6 NoE ePIXnet, where it took a leading role in the creation of the InP-technology platform JePPIX, which was the first platform to provide open access to advanced photonic integration processes using a foundry model, and the service offered by JePPIX is globally unique. Over 400 designs have been delivered to users through the JePPIX. See The PhI coordinates and chairs the steering group of JePPIX. PhI has spinned off several companies on PICs, including Smart Photonics (, the unique pure-play InP foundry based on the PhI generic InP technology.

TUe will lead WP4 with the design and development of the novel building blocks on its PIC platform (i.e. polarization rotator and splitter, balanced photodetectors and widely tunable low linewidth laser). In WP5, it will lead the design and development of the integrated polarization handling sub-circuits i.e. the polarization phase shifter and the polarization controller and in T5.3 and in T5.4 subtask T5.4.1 will be responsible for developing the coherent receiver PICs. TUe will contribute in WP2 with the characterization measurements from the developed building blocks and PICs developed within WP4 and WP5, feeding the definition of specifications in T2.2 and the development of the compact physical models in T2.3. In WP6, TUe will contribute in T6.1 regarding the definition of testing methodologies for chip-level characterization and in T6.4 regarding the evaluation of the coherent receiver PIC demonstrators. Finally, in WP7 TUe will contribute in the exploitation and dissemination activities.


III-V Lab is an industrial Research Laboratory created in 2004 by Alcatel-Lucent (now part of Nokia) and Thales; Nokia is one of the leaders in communication technologies (mobile, fixed, IP and Optics technologies), applications and services, while Thales is a major electronic systems company acting in areas such as defense, aerospace, security and safety, information technology, and transportation. In 2010, III-V Lab was extended with the entrance of the “Laboratoire d’Electronique et de Technologie de l’Information” (LETI) from CEA in the capital, as well as 20 people from the LETI, opening the way to hybrid III-V on Si integration. CEA is one of the largest public research organizations in France, acting mainly in the fields of low carbon energies, information technologies, health technologies, large research infrastructures and global security. Under the guidance of its members, III-V Lab conducts R&D activities covering a broad range of applications. These activities include the following topics:

  • Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) for telecommunications.
  • Micro/nano-electronic circuits for telecommunications: 40Gb/s, 100Gb/s and over.
  • GaN microelectronic circuits for microwave and power applications.
  • High resolution infrared imagery sensors.

Located in Palaiseau, near Paris, its facilities include 4,000 m2 of clean rooms. Its staff is composed of about 100 permanent researchers and more than 25 PhD Students. III-V Lab masters the different steps needed to manufacture III-V components, covering the whole design and characterization cycle. It has expertise on a broad set of semiconductor materials (GaN, AlGaN, InAlN, GaAs, InP, InGaAs, GaSb etc.) and hybridization of III-V on Si or other (molecular adherence, Indium bumps). III-V Lab has also the capacity to produce limited quantities of epitaxial wafers, components, modules or subsystems. Such capacity is particularly adapted to address in a flexible way the rapid evolution of the market, offering to its members or partner industrial companies an early access to the components for their system development and even preliminary deployment; in a second step, depending on the market evolution, if larger quantities are required, the technology is transferred to an industrial company with larger production capacities.

Within PICaboo, III-V Lab will lead WP3 in which it will develop the new SAG-SIBH InP PIC platform operating in the O-band as well as the novel building blocks (i.e. high speed EAMs, gain sections and DFBs, MMI couplers and ring resonators) on the new platform. In WP5, it will lead T5.1 focusing on the design and development of the all-optical equalization circuit and in T5.2 it will design and develop the EAM-based transmitter PICs in subtask T5.2.1. III-V Lab will also provide the ultra-high speed InP-HBT driver ICs using pre-existing compatible designs and through a fabrication run on an in-house multi-project wafer run in order to be used for driving the EAM-based transmitter PIC demonstrators in subtask T5.2.2. III-V Lab will provide feedback to WP2 tasks T2.2 and T2.3 with respect to the characterization data from the measured building blocks and PICs obtained within WP3 and WP4 resulting to the definition specifications and the development of the compact physical models. In WP6, it will contribute in T6.1 regarding the definition of testing methodologies and testbed configurations with respect to chip-level characterization and in WP7 it will contribute to the exploitation and dissemination activities.

VLC Photonics S.L. (Spain), VLC

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), specifically from the Optical and Quantum Communications Group, worldwide reputed in the fields of Optical Communications, Quantum optics and Microwave Photonics. 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-economic feasibility studies and consultancy, in-house PIC design, characterization and test, and full PIC prototyping through external manufacturing and packaging/assembly partners. VLC Photonics, as a pure-play fabless design house, works with multiple foundries embracing the generic integration model, and makes use of these fabrication platforms to always choose the most suited substrate material (Silicon-on-insulator, Silica/PLC, SiN/TripleX, InP/GaAs) for the application at hand. VLC Photonics also works closely with foundries to contribute in the building of their Process Design Kits (PDKs), allowing external users to easily access their manufacturing capabilities. Moreover, thanks to its long expertise with most of the commercial software tools, its internal design libraries and IP, and the longstanding collaborations with the lead international foundries, VLC Photonics always aims at first-time-right PICs. Decreasing prototyping time and risk can save a lot of resources in any integration project, and the support of an experienced design house here is fundamental.

In PICaboo, VLC Photonics will lead T2.3 in WP2 focusing on the development of compact models for the novel building blocks that will be developed on the InP PIC platforms of TUe and III-V Lab and their compilation into foundry-compatible libraries and process design kits. VLC will participate in T2.4 performing simulation studies using the building block models with respect to reference PIC designs targeting exploration of their applicability in different applications areas in alternative markets like microwave photonics or quantum optics. VLC will monitor the design and development activities of the novel building blocks and PICs in WP3, WP4 and WP5 in order to obtain feedback with characterization data for the development of the building block models in T2.3. Finally, VLC will participate in WP7 exploitation and dissemination activities.

Nokia Solutions and Networks GmbH & Co. KG (Germany), NOKIA

Nokia Bell Labs Stuttgart is a research division of the global Nokia Corporation, legally registered in Germany as Nokia Solutions and Networks GmbH & Co. KG. Nokia is the leader in the technologies that connect people and things. Powered by the innovation of Nokia Bell Labs and Nokia Technologies, the company is at the forefront of creating and licensing the technologies that are increasingly at the heart of our connected lives. With state-of-the-art software, hardware and services for any type of network, Nokia is uniquely positioned to help communication service providers, governments, and large enterprises deliver on the promise of 5G, the Cloud and the Internet of Things. Nokia Bell Labs, the research and innovation arm, creates the disruptive technologies that are shaping the way the world communicates and connects. With expertise in analytics, cloud, fixed networks, optical networks and wireless, and by collaborating openly with the global innovation community, Nokia Bell Labs is seeking technology solutions that will transform the world. Since 1925, scientific breakthroughs at Nokia Bell Labs have fundamentally transformed the ICT industry and earned nine Nobel Prizes for Bell Labs. Nokia in Germany is particularly active in the fields of optical transmission systems and wireless transmission systems, for which the business groups are located in Stuttgart, Munich, Ulm and Nuremberg. NBLS is heavily involved in research of, wireline and wireless technologies, networking, services and applications. Within the global company, the Fixed Networks research group in Stuttgart is the head competence centre and an important partner for the business groups regarding optical access, metro/access solutions as well as wireline/wireless integration. The access department of Nokia Bell Labs Stuttgart has extensive expertise acquired in past international and national research projects and ongoing standardization activities. Nokia Bell Labs Stuttgart will participate in PICaboo with its Optical Access team of the Fixed Networks group, which has a long history in the research of optical access networks including work on high-speed PON systems, converged architectures for wireless and wired systems and optical layer monitoring. This group is highly connected since many years with the corresponding business groups in supporting product development, provides substantial inputs to standardization bodies and has strong connections to the optical metro-access research community by e.g. participating to committees of major conferences such as OFC or ECOC and to European and national research projects. Nokia Bell Labs was also the founder of the GreenTouch consortium in 2010, and is recognized as a leader in the energy reduction of ICT. All together, Nokia Bell Labs Stuttgart has the required skills to address the project objectives and to push the industry to prepare a new generation of photonic PICs for high-speed applications.

Nokia Bell Labs Stuttgart, will act as the leader of WP2 and more specifically NOKIA will lead T2.1 focusing on the definition of use case scenarios and for the EAM-based transmitter PIC demonstrators that will be developed on the PIC platform of III-V Lab and it will contribute to T2.2 with respect to the system requirements for the transmitter PICs. NOKIA will co-lead WP5 together with ADVA for the development of the application specific circuits and the PIC demonstrators, and more specifically a) in T5.1 NOKIA will be responsible for the packaging of the all-optical equalizer as a stand-alone device, b) it will lead T5.2 and more specifically the subtask T5.2.2 regarding the assembly and packaging of the EAM-based transmitters via its subcontractor. In WP6, NOKIA will lead T6.3 and will perform system experiments for the EAM-IQM transmitters at its PON testbed with commercial ONU equipment and will contibute to the experimental evaluation of the single EAM-MZM in the 5G testbed of ICCS. NOKIA will also contribute in T6.1 regarding the definition of experimental testbeds and testing methodologies for the EAM-transmitters and in T6.2 in which it will be responsible for their system integration with PON equipment. In WP7, NOKIA will lead T7.1 with respect to exploitation of the EAM-based transmitter PIC demonstrators and will explore opportunities to influence standardization in ITU and IEEE and will disseminate the project results towards opperators, customers and the research community in T7.3. Protection of IPR will also be addressed via T7.2.

ADVA Optical Networking SE

ADVA Optical Networking SE (ADVA) is a global provider of telecommunications equipment. With innovative Optical, Ethernet and Control transport solutions, ADVA SE builds the foundation for high-speed, next generation networks. The company’s FSP product family adds scalability and intelligence to customers’ networks while removing complexity and cost. With a flexible and fast-moving organization, ADVA SE forges close partnerships with its customers to meet growing demand for data, storage, voice and video services and has become a trusted partner for more than 200 carriers and 10,000 enterprises across the globe. ADVA SE is a global market leader in Metro WDM systems and Ethernet Access Devices. ADVA Optical Networking worldwide counts more than 1900 employees, of which more than 600 are engineers working in research and development functions. ADVA has 25 years of experience in building optical and Ethernet transport equipment for access, metro and regional/core networks. It is and has been involved in various national and international research projects.

In PICaboo, ADVA will be responsible for the definition of the use cases for the coherent receiver PIC demonstrators based on market observation and comprehensive input received from customers in WP2 task T2.1 and will lead the definition of specifications in task T2.2. ADVA will co-lead WP5 together with NOKIA for the development of the application specific circuits and the PIC demonstrators, and more specifically a) ADVA will undertake the packaging of the Rx PIC demonstrators in T5.4 in subtask T5.4.2 via its subcontractor, and b) it will contribute in T5.3 with respect to the architecture of the polarization phase shifter and polarization controller sub-circuits with reset functions. In WP6, ADVA will lead T6.4 and will perform laboratory system tests using discrete components to develop the required control algorithms and methods for the polarization, frequency and phase controls and in T6.2 will implement those in electronics control devices such as FPGAs and micro controllers. In T6.4 ADVA will also evaluate the developed PICs of both stages under realistic conditions. ADVA will also contribute in T6.1 with respect to the definition of the testing methodologies and setup of testbeds for the receiver PIC demonstrators. Finally, in WP7, ADVA will be responsible for the exploitation of the receiver PICs and will contribute in standardization and dissemination activities in T7.1 and T7.3. ADVA will lead T7.2 and will act as the Innovation Manager within PICaboo.