Keynote 1 - H2020 - lessons learned and Horizon Europe – what is to come?
Mr. Jean-Eric Paquet 

Director-General, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission, Brussels

Ms. Ann-Sophie Ronnlund

Head of Unit Programme Analysis & Regulatory Reform, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission, Brussels



European Union’s research & innovation framework programme has been delivering value for the economy and the society for over 35 years. Among other areas, it supports the advance of photonic technologies and their wide applications, mainly through partnerships between the public and the private sector. The Director General of DG Research & Innovation of the European Commission will reflect on the lessons learned from the current framework programme, Horizon 2020, and present novelties in its ever more impactful successor, Horizon Europe. These include new approaches to the programme’s design, partnerships and missions, and the launch of the European Innovation Council – supporting the green and digital transitions and a more resilient Europe.

Key1 Paquet  


Jean-Eric Paquet has been working as the Director-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) since April 2018.

Mr Paquet started working with the European Commission in 1993 and since then has worked in various areas throughout the Commission.

From 2002 until 2004 he was the Deputy Head of Cabinet of former Commissioner for Research, Philippe Busquin. From 2007 until 2011 he worked as a Head of Unit within the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) before becoming the Director of DG MOVE’s TEN-T and Smart Transport directorate.

Mr Paquet joined The Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG Enlargement) in 2013. He took over the Directorate in charge of relations with Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and later added Montenegro and the FYROM to his portfolio.

Before starting his current position as Director-General, Mr Paquet served as one of the three Deputy Secretaries-General of the Juncker Commission and was responsible for Better Regulation and Policy Coordination.

Key1 Ronnlund    


Keynote 2 - The dawn of quantum networks Ronald Hanson

QuTech and Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands


Entanglement – the property that particles can share a single quantum state - is arguably the most counterintuitive yet potentially most powerful element in quantum theory. The non-local features of quantum theory are highlighted by the conflict between entanglement and local causality discovered by John Bell. Decades of Bell inequality tests, culminating in a series of loophole-free tests in 2015, have confirmed the non-locality of nature. Future quantum networks may harness these unique features of entanglement in a range of exciting applications, such as quantum computation and simulation, secure communication, enhanced metrology for astronomy and time-keeping as well as fundamental investigations. To fulfill these promises, a strong worldwide effort is ongoing to gain precise control over the full quantum dynamics of multi-particle nodes and to wire them up using quantum-photonic channels.

Here I will introduce the field of quantum networks and discuss future plans and ongoing work with the specific target of realizing the first multi-node network wired by quantum entanglement, including first primitive network experiments using diamond-based quantum network nodes.

Key2 Hanson  


Ronald Hanson (1976) is Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Professor at Delft University of Technology. He was one of the four founding professors of QuTech (2013) and currently QuTech’s Scientific Director. His work focusses on exploring and controlling quantum-entangled states with the long-term goal of exploiting these in future quantum technologies such as quantum computing and quantum internet. His research combines quantum optics, solid-state physics, nuclear magnetic resonance, quantum information theory and nanofabrication. In 2014 his group made headlines by teleporting quantum data between electrons on distant solid-state chips. In 2015 he ended a decades-long scientific quest by performing the first loophole-free Bell test. In 2018 his group achieved the important milestone of generating quantum entanglement faster than it got lost. In the coming years he aims to build on these results to demonstrate the fundamentals of a future quantum internet, with a rudimentary network planned between several cities in the Netherlands.

He has received several awards for his work, among which the John Stewart Bell Prize (2017) and the Spinoza Prize (2019), the highest scientific award in the Netherlands.



Keynote 3 - Seeing the invisible – Optical Coherence Tomography in Medicine   
Prof. dr. Wolfgang Drexler
Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University Vienna, Austria


In the last 30 years optical coherence tomography (OCT) has established itself as a novel, unique non-invasive, optical medical diagnostic imaging modality, enabling unprecedented in vivo ‘visualization of the invisible’, i.e. the visualization of internal tissue structure in a variety of biological systems that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Imaging the eye has been the most successful and commercially most active medical field for OCT so far, but several other OCT applications, e.g. in the heart, internal organs, brain or skin are also extremely promising. In addition, improved versions of OCT and combination with other optical imaging techniques are under development that provide information about the function of tissue as well as molecular and chemical information of the investigated tissue which are on the verge of significantly improving diagnosis and therapy control in medicine.

Key3 Drexler  


Wolfgang Drexler, PhD, is a Professor of Medical Physics and the Head of the Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering at the Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. He spent 2 years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to his current position, Dr. Drexler was a Professor of Biomedical Imaging at Cardiff University, Wales, UK. Dr. Drexler’s main research area is the establishment of a novel generation of optical imaging platforms with the potential to revolutionise fundamental biological research as well as medical diagnosis. Dr. Drexler has authored >190 peer-reviewed publications and >600 conference proceedings or abstracts. He is or has previously held positions as editor or co-editor of 12 books, including 2 editions of Optical Coherence Tomography: Technology and Applications. In addition, he has given >250 invited or keynote presentations since 2000 and accomplished € 16 million research grant income since 2000.



Keynote 4 - Optical Communications – Enabling the Inter Planetary Network
Dr. Jose E. Velazco

Technical Supervisor, Advanced RF & Optical Technologies Group, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California, USA



The inter planetary network (IPN) - a large sensor and communications platform along the solar system - could be the basis for the space internet. The IPN consists of thousands of small spacecrafts strategically deployed around planetary bodies in the solar system where each spacecraft is furnished with fast communications and sensor systems. The IPN spacecraft, furnished with suitable miniaturized sensors, could form a remarkable deep space platform for unique observation of the solar system, stars, galaxies and the universe. A key feature of the IPN architecture is the use of swarms of optically-interconnected spacecrafts as network units. High-speed intra-swarm communications is achieved via omnidirectional optical links. Future space missions, including spacecraft, landers, rovers and astronauts as well as Earth stations, could achieve very fast connectivity among themselves via the IPN. It is envisioned that the IPN will be the basis for the space internet.
Several technologies being developing at JPL to enable the inter planetary network will be discussed. The technologies under development include a novel inter-spacecraft optical communicator and compact ground stations. I will also discuss potential IPN network architectures that could allow for fast connectivity and the management of such a network.

Key4 Velazco  


Dr. Jose Velazco is the technical supervisor of the Advanced RF & Optical Technologies Group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he conducts advanced research and development of new RF and optical technologies and systems for telecommunications, as well as new instrumentation and radar for space exploration. Prior to joining JPL, Dr. Velazco was the President and Chief Technologist of Microwave Technologies where he implemented wideband receivers for electronic surveillance, megabit ground optical communicators, all-digital phase array radar and a multitude of vacuum tube devices, including a novel electron accelerator. At JPL, he conceived, developed and patented various cutting-edge technologies including an inter-spacecraft omnidirectional optical communicator and various modules for NASA’s Deep Space Network. Recently, he focused on advanced multigigabit optical communicators for applications in space, smart cities and the internet of things. He aims at a new inter-planetary network architecture along the solar system using swarms of optically-interconnected spacecraft as networks for fast communications and novel science.