Partner 1: UPMC, France Open or Close
The Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) research unit participating in this project is the Neuromorphic Vision and Natural Computation Group, part of the UPMC‐affiliated Vision Institute (IDV). IDV is one of the most important European centres for integrated research on vision diseases. It is located on the campus of the National Hospital Centre for Ophthalmology in Paris, which facilitates the contribution of clinicians and patients to preclinical research projects.
The Neuromorphic Vision and Natural Computation unit was created by Prof. R. Benosman, formerly at the Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics of University Pierre and Marie Curie (UMR 7222), and Prof. C. Posch, formerly at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), in order to create a unique neuromorphic team for developing biology‐inspired, event‐based sensing and computation, referred to as the EDC technology.
The team benefits from the expertise of its two leaders, both active members of the international neuromorphic engineering community. In a very beneficial complementary setup, R. Benosman is developing new paradigms for natural, event‐based computation and processing, while C. Posch is one of the leading creators of biomimetic, event‐based sensing and signal processing integrated circuits in VLSI silicon. Already a few years after its foundation, this research unit constitutes one of the leading neuromorphic research centres in Europe.
Ryad Benosman (COO & WPL) (M) is Professor at UPMC. He received a master in mathematics and a robotics PhD, both from university UPMC. He leads the Neuromorphic Sensing and Natural Computation group at the Vision Institute where his research deals with neuromorphic ED computation, retina prosthetics, and neural sensing models. He is the authors of more than 80 papers, 9 patents and a pioneer of the field of general cameras where he co‐authored the reference book. He is deeply involved in the neuromorphic field and is an active participant of Telluride and CapoCaccia workshops main meeting events of the neurmorphic community. He has significant exchanges with European and US neuromorphic institutions on topics related to EDC computation. His group has world‐leading expertise in developing EDC algorithms, processing software and computational paradigms.
Christoph Posch (P.I.) is research professor at UPMC and co‐head of the Neuromorphic Vision and Natural Computation group. After finishing his PhD work on integrated circuit design for high‐energy physics instrumentation at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva in 1999, he was with the physics faculty at Boston University. In 2004 he joined the newly founded Smart Sensors Group at AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (formerly Austrian Research Centers ARC) where he was promoted to Principal Scientist in 2007. He has extensive experience in the design of integrated CMOS circuits for sensory systems and analog data processing, early vision and neuromorphic analog computation. Dr. Posch has been recipient and co‐recipient of several scientific awards including the Jan van Vessem Award for Outstanding European Paper at the IEEE International Solid‐State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in 2006, the Best Paper Award at ICECS 2007, and Best Live Demonstration Awards at ISCAS 2010 and BioCAS 2011. He is a member of the Sensory Systems and the Neural Systems and Applications Technical Committees of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, has authored more than 80 peer‐reviewed scientific publications and holds several patents in the area of artificial vision and image sensing.
Xavier CLADY (COO & WPL) is an Associate Professor at UPMC. His research interests are focusing on computer vision, image processing and pattern recognition applied to object, human and gesture recognition and neuromorphic vision. In 1998, he obtained an Engineering Degree from Ecole Nationale de Physique de Strasbourg (France) with a specialization in Image Processing and Acquisition. He received his PhD in Computer Vision for Robotic from Blaise Pascal University, LASMEA‐CNRS in 2003. He participated in several projects funded by the European Community and French National Research Agency (ANR) such as Domeo (Domestic Robot for Elderly Assistance), Robadom (Impact of a robot “butler” at home on psychological and cognitive state of the elderly with cognitive impairment) and Miras (Multimodal Interactive Robot of Assistance in Strolling) and industrial contracts (Peugeot‐Citroën Automobile, LPR‐Editor,...). He collaborated in two bilateral research mobility programs with Portugal (Programme Hubert Curien, 2007‐2008) and with
Lebanon (CEDRE Program, 2007‐2009).
Partner 2: IIT, Italy Open or Close
The Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology, IIT) is a Foundation established jointly by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research and the Ministry of Economy and Finance to promote excellence in basic and applied research. The research plan of the institute focuses on Humanoid Technologies & Robotics, Neuroscience and Cognition, Nanotechnology and Materials. The Institute has a staff of more than 1200 people and 10 sites in Italy, the central research lab being located in Genoa.
Chiara Bartolozzi (WPL) is a researcher at IIT and leader of a group of 4 scientists. She works on the application of the neuromorphic engineering approach to the design of sensors for robotic platforms and circuits for the processing and transmission of neural signals. Chiara Bartolozzi has a strong background in the design and testing of subthreshold “neuromorphic” CMOS circuits and (multi‐chip) systems. She graduated in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Genova in 2001. In 2002 she was awarded a fellowship by DIBE in 2002 and from in 2003. In 2007 she was awarded a PhD from the Institute of Neuroinformatics, ETH Zürich, where she developed analog subthreshold circuits for emulating biophysical neuronal properties onto silicon and modeling selective attention on hierarchical multi‐chip systems, as part of the EU‐FET grant ALAVLSI (IST‐ 2001‐38099). She coordinated the eMorph (ICT FET 231467) project that delivered the unique neuromorphic iCub, developing both the hardware integration and the computational framework for event‐driven robotics.
Leonardo Badino (P.I.) received a 5‐year degree (BEng + MEng) in Electronic Engineering from the University of Genoa in 2000. From 2001 to 2006 he worked as software engineering, and later as project manager for Loquendo S.p.A, a speech technology leading company. In 2010 he received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Edimburgh, UK. In 2010 he joined the Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences at IIT where he is a senior Postdoc researcher working on the computational analysis of sensorimotor verbal and non‐verbal communication. Within the EU project Poeticon++ he has been playing a key role in the development of articulatory information‐based phone recognition systems where he devised novel strategies for acoustic‐to‐articulatory mapping.
Partner 3: CSIC ‐ IMSE Open or Close
Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigation Scientifica (CSIC) ‐
The participating group at Instituto de Microelectrónica de Sevilla (IMSE), namely the “IMSE Neuromorphic Group” has been working on hardware neural systems since 1989 and on spiking neural hardware since 1997. They have developed AER sensors and convolutional processors mainly for artificial vision applications. They have developed the highest contrast sensitivity AER Dynamic Vision Sensor artificial retina reported so far, and have wide experience developing object recognition hardware (both chips and FPGAs) for spiking retina sensors, mesh based routing platforms for scalable modular AER processing systems, as well as high performance interfacing between AER modules. They have 3 recent patents on AER DVS retina and processing, two of them being licensed to Chronocam. They also have contributed theoretical and computational aspects on AER based spiking signal processing for convolutional processing.
Bernabé Linares‐Barranco (WPL) and Teresa Serrano‐Gotarredona (WPL), who are the
core of the Neurmorphic Engineering group at IMSE. Dr. Linares‐Barranco and Dr. Serrano‐Gotarredona have long experience in the design of low power CMOS circuits for neuromorphic systems applied to pattern recognition, early vision, and vision processing. They have experience with low current (down to femtoamperes) CMOS circuit design and test, and have developed bio‐inspired neural networks exploiting low power circuit design techniques to accomplish neural inspired tasks such as vision sensing and processing, convolution processing, pattern recognition, classification and clustering. They have received two IEEE awards on journal papers (IEEE 1997 TVLSI Best Paper Award and IEEE 2000 Darlington Award). They are coauthors of the book Adaptive Resonance Theory Microchips, devoted to neural clustering microchips.
Dr. Linares‐Barranco (P.I.) was Associate Editor for IEEE TCAS from July 1997 until July 1999, and for IEEE Trans. on Neural Networks from January 1998 until December 2009. He is Associate Editor and co‐founder of Frontiers in Neuromorphic Engineering. He was the coordinator of EU project CAVIAR (IST‐2001‐34124) and he is an IEEE Fellow. He has an h‐index of 30 (from scholar google).
Dr. Serrano‐Gotarredona (P.I.) has very wide experience managing and coordinating national projects, as well as participating in EU projects. She is Associate Editor for PLoS, IEEE Trans. on Circuits and Systems Part I and IEEE Trans. on Circuits and Systems Part II, she is Chair of the IEEE CASS (Circuits and Systems Society) Technical Committee for Sensory Systems, and Chair of the IEEE CASS Spain Chapter. She has an h‐index of 26 (from scholar google). In the last 5 years the group has published 22 papers in top international journals, and produced 4 PhDs and 3 patents.
Partner 4 : STL, France Open or Close
StreetLab (STL) is a SME subsidiary of “Institut de la Vision”, an integrated research centre on vision pathologies located in Paris, France. Streetlab provides co‐design expertise and evaluation services to companies developing products and services aiming to improve the autonomy, accessibility, mobility and quality of life of visually impaired people. In the ECOMODE project, Streetlab will insure that specifications match with the needs of visually impaired people and will validate the benefits and usability by end users through evaluation protocols.
Chloé Pagot (WPL) holds a PhD in ergonomics ("Instrumental genesis, power of act and capacity of act of drivers using an assistance system of the longitudinal control, the cruise control”) under a CIFRE agreement (Industrial Training and Research Agreement). During her PhD work, she was employed by Renault in partnership with the University Paris 8. In 2010, she joined AREVA Nuclear Power as a Human Factors Specialist Ergonomist. Chloé was involved in the validation process for the design of the rooms and command centers for the new nuclear generations (HMIs and Layout), taking into consideration ergonomics aspects. Since 2011, she has been working on the validation and co‐creation of products/services adapted to the visually impaired people. She has been appointed Human Factors Specialist as the Head of the Ergonomist department at Streetlab. She sets up the projects and provides ergonomics recommendations.
Chris Reeves In 1971, has a Masters in Ergonomics from University College London and over fifteen years experience working in a diverse range of industries. Starting at the RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) in London as an evaluation officer he then moved to France to work for Philips Design as an Interaction Designer on a range of consumer products including phones, set top boxes and other household devices. Following a two year consultancy role at Renault on two projects involving tactile interfaces and mobile applications for vehicles he returned at the beginning of 2015 to working for the visually impaired at Streetlab. Currently he is a Project Manager and Human Factors specialist responsible for Streetlab’s involvement in ECOMODE and the evaluation of other products and services for the visually impaired..
Partner 5: INNO, Spain Open or Close
Innovati has extensive experience in mobile applications and games oriented to health and disadvantaged groups. Some examples of them has been developed are Vitality, an National R&D project led by Innovati and devoted to health monitoring (cardiology, diabetes and cognitive impairment) and self‐management of health and well‐being to support the user in his activities of daily life. Moreover, Innovati has worked with IMSERSO (Social Security Administration body responsible for handling Social Services ‐ older persons and dependent persons) to create an accessible and usable Web for elderly. Knowledge and work carried out by Innovati enables to develop applications and games for any smartphone or tablet device, taking into account higher accessibility, usability, security and communications requirements.
Francisco Abril (WPL) is a research expert in ICT, security and mobility with wide experience in development, project coordination and management of multidisciplinary teams in R&D projects. He is an experienced architect for technical solutions in different technologies such as data repositories, cloud computing, communication protocols or security as well as he has coordinated many projects at international level in security and learning fields.
Gema Maestro (P.I.). Telecommunication Engineer, PDD and PMP, with over 9 years’ experience in the field of new technologies. Since 2007, she is Project Manager, having participated in the implementation, management and coordination of R&D projects at Spanish and European levels (EU Framework Programme, Eureka, CelticPlus, ITEA2…), as well as commercial projects for major IT services providers and operators, such as Telefonica, Orange, Alcatel or Indra. She has also extensive experience in requirements analysis and solution design for usability, semantic and security issues within health and learning projects.
Partner 6: FBK, Italy Open or Close
Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) is a private non‐profit research center working for the public interest. Established by a law of the Autonomous Province of Trento (Italy), FBK conducts research in the areas of Information Technology, Materials and Microsystems, Theoretical Physics, Mathematics, Historical Studies, Religious Sciences and Studies on the effectiveness of public policies. Other FBK activities include studies on behavioral economics and international politics.
Within FBK, the “i3” (Intelligent and Interactive Interfaces) research unit focuses on designing interaction modalities for cutting‐edge IT using a highly interdisciplinary approach borrowed from social sciences. The “i3” research objectives are at the same time technological—that is, developing innovative technologies— and social—that is, investigating how people use and benefit from these technologies. The emphasis is to investigate interactive experiences aimed at improving the quality of human interactions mediated by computers.
Michela Ferron holds a PhD in Cognitive and Brain Sciences from the University of Trento and a master degree in Social and Communication Psychology from the University of Padua. She has been working at FBK since 2008, and she has participated as researcher in several local and EU funded projects. In the past years her research has ranged across topics such as usability and accessibility for senior citizens, collaboration and communication over digital networks, and the study of technologies for nudging behavioural change and promoting health and well-being. More recently, her research focused on the user-centred design of technologies for older adults wellbeing and independence (SUITCASE), and on the study of mobile technologies aimed at promoting active ageing (Personal Fitness Club). Her research interests range from behavioural change for wellbeing to communication networks and user-centred & interaction design.
Ornella Mich (P.I.) received a degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Padova, Italy and a PhD in Computer Science from the Free University of Bozen‐Bolzano, Italy. She worked in the design group for radar electronics for jet fighter development in FIAR, Milan, Italy. She also taught Electronics and Electrical Engineering in a high school in Bolzano. Since October 1989 Mich has been working at FBK (formerly ITC‐Irst), an institute for scientific and technological research in Trento, Italy. For one year, she worked in the VLSI group, studying new CMOS vision sensors. Then she worked in the Computer Vision group. Since June 2010, she has been working in the i3 ‐ intelligent interfaces & interaction ‐ research unit. Since 2010, she is also a consultant professor at the University of Trento, teaching at the Faculty of Cognitive Science ‐ Interfaces and Technologies of Communication. Mich's personal research interests focus on the field of e‐learning and human‐computer interaction (HCI) with much of her research focusing on design and evaluation
methodologies related to intelligent interfaces and accessibility‐related issues.
Gianluca Schiavo is a post-doc researcher with the Intelligent Interfaces and Interaction (i3) unit at FBK. He holds a PhD in Cognitive and Brain Sciences from the University of Trento and a MSc degree in Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science from the University of Padova. His research is mainly concerned with the application of User-Centred Design approach for the design, development and evaluation of multiuser collaborative systems, persuasive technologies and assistive devices. He has experience with designing and conducting both quantitative as well as qualitative studies, combining them for assessing lab-based findings in real-world settings. Currently, he is particularly interested in investigating the opportunities and challenges of multimodal interaction and context-aware technology.
Nadia Mana (WPL) has been working at FBK (formerly ICT-irst) since June 1996. She worked on several research projects, mostly funded by the European Commission. Graduated in February 1996 in Language Philosophy (University of Torino), in 2006 she received her PhD degree in Information and Communication Technologies from the University of Trento, defending the dissertation titled "Modeling Dynamics of Emotional Facial Expressions in Talking Heads". She worked on several research projects, ranging from Natural Language Processing (NLP) to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Her recent research interests are mainly focused on multimodal interaction, user-centered design, adaptive systems to support learning, and evaluation methodology of advanced interfaces and systems.
Partner 7: CHRONOC, France Open or Close
Chronocam S.A.S is a recent start‐up company, founded by an international group of scientists, entrepreneurs and venture capital professionals, whose exclusive goal is to productize and commercialize the quickly maturing disruptive technology of Event‐Driven Compressive sensing and computation (EDC), a braininspired way of acquisition and processing of real‐world information. Chronocam is currently targeting the field of artificial vision in various areas from biomedical and scientific to industrial and automotive applications. Chronocam has been founded and registered as a French S.A.S. in early 2014 and is in the process of securing a first round of venture capital funding. The company currently works on the acquisition of EDC technology key IPR and is pursuing the final establishment of the management team and subsequently the initial core technical work force. The work load related to the tasks proposed in the ECOMODE project will partly be taken on by the present management team and the scientific co‐founders, and partly by new employees expected to join the company in the coming months. It is anticipated that Chronocam will grow into this project and, from the second half towards the end of the project life span, will be ready to bring EDC technology to the market.
Bernard Gilly (M) is co‐founder, chairman and interim CEO of Chronocam. Bernard Gilly is serial
entrepreneur, founder and CEO in the field of biotechnology and has been venture partner of major VC bodies. He has served as CEO and chairman of the board of various biotechnology companies, including TRANSGENE, Fovea Pharmaceuticals, GenSight Biologics, Pixium Vision, CareX, Domain Therapeutics, etc. Bernard Gilly is a graduate of Ecole Nationale d'Agronomie and has a Ph.D in Biology and Bio‐economics from Université de Rennes I and University of Rhode‐Island. He also holds an MBA and AMP from INSEAD (France).
Christophe Bancel (M), M.Eng., MBA, is Chronocam’s Director of Business Development. Christophe has a track record in the healthcare industry ranging from startups to midsize SMEs. Most recently, Christophe was Franchise General Manager at UCB, leading the Central Nervous System Operations in France. Prior to that, he held several corporate and strategic positions at UCB, including Pricing and Markets Access in the US (Atlanta, GA), Global Marketing (Brussels) and Patient & Market Insight (Brussels). He also worked for Serono in multiple Sales and Marketing positions. He started his career in Biotech, as Business Developer at Transgene and then was a co‐founder and Director of Corporate & Business Development at Faust Pharmaceuticals (now Domain Therapeutics). Christophe is a graduate from Ecole Centrale Paris (Master of Engineering), holds a Master in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Tokyo (Todaï) and an MBA from INSEAD. Since 2012, he is a member of the iBionext Network.
Luca Verre (M) is currently Chronocam’s Director of Operations and designated CEO. Luca currently pursues an MBA at INSEAD (Class of July 2014). Prior to INSEAD he worked with Schneider Electric for 7 years in different locations (France, Japan and Germany) and for 2 lines of business in industrial automation and energy management. As a part of Schneider Electric, Luca had different functions in project management, product marketing, and strategy and business development. Prior to Schneider Electric, he obtained a double 1st class with honors MSc in Physics, Electronic and Industrial Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and Ecole Centrale de Lyon, and worked for 1 year as a Research Assistant in Photonics at Imperial College in London.
Partner 8: FSCHS, France Open or Close
The Foundation Voir et Entendre (FSCHS) was created in May 2007 by two internationally renowned experts, Pr Christine Petit and Pr José‐Alain Sahel. “Voir et Entendre”’s challenges are to defy sensory handicaps linked to vision and hearing, both of which have become public health stakes. As we can see throughout industrialized countries ocular and auditory diseases are gaining ground, mainly due to the ageing populations. The Foundation therefore brings together the best‐known French and international scientific teams, hospital services and industries around common research themes, with the aim to rapidly find new and adapted treatments. Within the Foundation are the department of neuroscience of the Pasteur Institute, managed by Christine Petit and the Vision Institute, managed by José‐Alain Sahel, the Clinical Investigation Centre of the National Ophthalmologic Hospital Centre (CHNO) of the Quinze‐Vingts, three reference centres for rare diseases and four clinical hospital departments. The head office is located at the Vision Institute, itself within the CHNO of the Quinze‐Vingts in Paris.
The later has supported this project from the outset along with the Pasteur Institute, National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), Pierre and Marie Curie University and the French Federation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.
The FSCHS, thanks to the scientific coordination by José‐Alain Sahel, has been at the head of a broad network of European collaborations, the EVI‐GENORET projects (60 European groups) and EUROHEAR (25 European groups), managed by Christine Petit.