University of Tartu to develop photonics with a €2.5m grant from the European Union

University of Tartu researchers are embarking on an extensive five-year project, during which a Centre of Photonics and Computational Imaging (CPCI) will be established with a €2.5m ERA Chair grant from the European Commission. The new centre will bring together the university’s expertise in photonics and related fields, and will also include a newly formed research group led by a top-level computational imaging researcher. A call for this position has been announced already.

Computational imaging is a rapidly evolving subfield of photonics, which has applications in microscopy, medicine, robotics, remote sensing and astronomy. The range of applications increases with advances in sensor technology, computer algorithms and on-board computing capacity.

Computational imaging uses computational methods to enhance the image quality, resolution or add spatial dimension to the image beyond the physical or technical limits of the imaging system. By nature, the research is interdisciplinary, and embraces the extensive competence of the University of Tartu in optics, spectroscopy, mathematics, computer science and their applications. The field of computational imaging falls under photonics – an application-oriented science of light, which belongs to the Key Enabling Technologies of the European Commission.

The project coordinator Heli Lukner, Senior Research Fellow of Physical Optics at the University of Tartu, sees the enormous potential photonics, incl. computational imaging, can offer technological development and further to the economy in Estonia and on a global scale. “The importance and impact of photonics in the 21st century is comparable to that of electricity during the previous century. The new project enables the University of Tartu researchers to vigorously develop this innovative field of research. The importance of the grant agreement cannot be overestimated, as it gives us an opportunity to foster excellence in research and photonics education, enhance the visibility of research, participate in international networks and find applications for research results,” Lukner said.

More information can be found on the project web site. The call for ERA Chair holder position for top-level researchers in computational imaging is open until 15 November 2019.

Further information: Heli Lukner, UT Senior Research Fellow in Physical Optics and project coordinator, +372 5691 5519,

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