Technion and the University of Sydney at the cutting edge

December 6, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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The development of ground breaking communications systems for the next generation of computers is the goal of research collaboration between the University of Sydney and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology…with financial backing from the NSW Government.

The project was launched yesterday by the NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Jillian Skinner MP, and the Technion’s Chairman of the Board of Governors, Lawrence Jackier at an official event at the University of Sydney.


Lawrence Jackier

The NSW Government will contribute $300,000 to the photonics research project between the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) at the University of Sydney, and Technion.

This is the first time that an Australian Government has provided funds to ensure the participation of an Australian university in a collaboration with an Israeli university.

The Project is headed at the Technion by Distinguished Professor Moti Segev and at Sydney University by Professor Ben Eggleton.

Mr Jackier said, “We sincerely believe that we must be a light to the world and that our knowledge should be used for the benefit of humanity generally. This project with Sydney University is a tangible effort to share our knowledge by partnering with another great university and by doing so achieve a result greater than the sum of the parts”.

Photonics and optics are used throughout communications networks, using optical fibres as light pipes and lasers to generate light pulses that carry information. Optical interconnects harness photonics for communication within computers and on chips to deliver the increased computing speeds that are demanded by society.


Jillian Skinner

“This partnership allows us to work together on fundamental aspects of nanophotonics towards realising chip-based optical interconnects which can revolutionise computing – dramatically increasing the available bandwidth and, therefore, processing speed,” said Professor Benjamin Eggleton, director of CUDOS.

“We will explore new science at the frontier of photonics that will help realise radically new functionalities and improved performance for on-chip photonics.”

“CUDOS and Technion researchers already have reputations as champions in nanophotonics and optical physics,” NSW Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner said.

“NSW and Israel have proven research strength in the fascinating field of photonics, share similar academic and industrial landscapes, and well-matched entrepreneurial cultures driving innovation. That is why the State Government, through the Office of Science and Research, will contribute $300,000 over three years to set up the NSW-Israel Collaborative Research Pilot Program.”

The three-year project will be the first funded by the program.

Technion Society of Australia president Dr Ruth Ratner

Technion Society of Australia president Dr Ruth Ratner

“These extraordinarily talented researchers from both institutions will come together in a bid to develop light-based communications systems, which sit on the surface of a computer chip, to drive the next generation of computers,” said NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Mary O’Kane.

Dr Ruth Ratner, President of Technion Australia (NSW), said: “We are honoured that two academics of Distinguished Professor Moti Segev’s and Professor Ben Eggleton’s stature agreed to work together and we look forward to hearing about the progress made as the project proceeds.”

“To be able to support a project such as this – a project with such enormous potential to share the knowledge of two of the world leaders in exploring and developing the technology of the future, is thrilling. The potential benefits to the people of NSW and Israel, and beyond, will be great.”

Executive Director of Technion Australia Ken Lander added: “This Technion Australia initiated project will bring together the Technion’s world leading photonics team under Distinguished Professor Moti Segev with Sydney University’s top Australian photonics team under Professor Ben Eggleton to design ‘the chip of the future’. It is the culmination of several years of discussion between Technion Australia and the NSW Government’s Chief Scientist and Engineer. In an Australian first the NSW Government is funding an Australian university to guarantee its involvement in a major research collaboration with an Israeli university – the Technion.

The project will take three years with a budget of $680,000 of which the NSW Government has committed $300,000 and Technion Australia together

Professor Eggleton. Jillian Skinner and Lawrence

Professor Ben Eggleton. Jillian Skinner and Lawrence Jackier

with the Technion has committed to raise a matching amount of $300,000.

Professor Moti Segev

Professor Moti Segev

The goal is to develop revolutionary on-chip communications technology for next generation computing systems by developing systems that will dramatically increase the bandwidth and therefore the processing speed of next generation computers.

The Project has two primary areas of research and its key innovation is its reliance on the combined theoretical developments in Prof Segev’s group for designing photonic topological systems with recent developments in Sydney University’s Prof Ben Eggleton’s group for fabricating and characterising photonic chips. The project will leverage the Australian Institute of Nanoscience (AIN) that is currently under construction at the University of Sydney and the Technion’s ‘Light and Matter’ I-Core (Israeli Center for Research Excellence), the only one in Israel.

The project will deliver revolutionary scientific breakthroughs and commercialisation outcomes including breakthrough publications in nanotechnology, optical physics and communications technology; graduates that are trained across engineering and physics; and entrepreneurship and intellectual property that will form the basis of new industry and commercialisation opportunities. This project will cement a sustained collaborative framework between two of the world’s leading photonics research teams and more generally the University of Sydney and the Technion.”

CUDOS is a research consortium of seven Australian universities based at the University of Sydney and a world leader in research in on-chip photonics, for all-optical signal processing.

The Technion was recently ranked sixth in the world for entrepreneurship and innovation, and awarded the Israeli Government’s I-Core Centre of Excellence for Photonics Research.





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