Digital transformation and information technologies


Our knowledge-based societies are dependent on modern technologies for the storage, exchange and processing of digital information. Advanced technology is needed to meet the ever-growing demand for increasingly fast and small devices. However, due to the limited number of transistors that can fit on a chip and the energy they need for operation, there are physical bounds to the power that can be achieved by even the most advanced classical computers. Only disruptive innovation can overcome these performance limitations.

Artificial intelligence leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind. The potential is for complex tasks to be performed by machines and at a level of consistency and speed beyond the capability of humans. The range of applications is immense and includes image and speech recognition, healthcare, autonomous vehicles, finance and robotics. 

Cyber-physical systems are an emerging discipline that involves engineered computing and communicating systems interfacing the physical world. The objective is to fortify and increase the efficacy of traditionally physical systems, for example smart grids for power generation and distribution.

As our lives increasingly shift towards the digital world, the threat of cyberattacks has become a major societal challenge with important economic and social impacts. Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting critical systems, networks and sensitive information from digital attacks.

Nanoelectronics involves the miniaturization of basic components, increasing chip performance and developing new functions on new materials or component concepts beyond standard CMOS techniques.

Spintronics refers to technologies that exploit the intrinsic spin of the electron in addition to its charge with the potential for major breakthroughs in the processing speed, energy efficiency and memory density of computers.

Photonics is the science and technology of light. Recognized as one of Europe’s key enabling technologies (KETs), photonics is behind many recent transformative innovations: lasers, optical fibers, the cameras and screens in mobile phones, optical tweezers, lighting in our cars, homes, computer screens and televisions.

Quantum technology is an emerging field of science that is based on the principles
of quantum physics. This next generation disruptive technology will offer unprecedented problem-solving capabilities across a broad range of sectors including healthcare, energy, finance and security.

Example of collaborative project:

Nanoelec Technological Research Institute (IRT Nanoelec): CEA, CNRS, ESRF, GEM, Grenoble INP, ILL, UGA (+ Inria, Minalogic)

Consortium of 121 public and private partners, based in Grenoble to create multi-partner technology development and dissemination programs, financed by the French government Investments for the Future program (PIA).

The aim? Design and development of new processes, systems and components in the fields of photonic sensors, new-generation displays and smart image sensors; technologies for connected objects; energy conversion; and characterization and resistance to radiation of components and systems by large-scale instruments.