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ETRO valorisation possibilities and results

Know How

Potentially applicable and transferable know-how with economic value


Spin-off companies born at ETRO


Equipment & Infrastructure available to industry


The ETRO department hosts 3 research groups: Micro-electronics (LAMI), Multidimensional signal processing and communication (IRIS) and Audio-Visual Signal Processing (AVSP).

Through an intense collaboration between these groups, ETRO aspires to

  • Make sense of audio, video, hyper-dimensional signals & sensors for various sectors.
  • Deliver unique value through multi-disciplinary engineering and through demand-driven and fundamental research - beyond mainstream.

As a true multidisciplinary research group, people at ETRO look for inspiration in the unexplored engineering bottlenecks at the interface of various application domains. Creating an impact on the transformation processes of the knowledge society is their ambition. Knowledge accumulation and dissemination remains the day-to-day assignment. With approx. 100 motivated people, the researchers at ETRO strive to surpass the state of the art in their research domains and try to pass on that knowledge to an ever more international student population.

Because of the application driven research focus, ETRO has a longstanding reputation in cooperating with local and international industry, but also public services and hospitals. Considerable experience was gained in dealing with various actors along different application value chains which enabled them to develop a generic R&D background that is applicable in very diverse sectors (e.g. health care, automotive, media, surveillance, security, public safety, remote sensing, energy, telecommunications, content industry, creative industries …).

In recent years, policymakers have recognized the increasing need of closer industry-academia collaboration and dedicated funds have been allocated to foster such type of bridge building research. Since 2005 the ETRO department is recognized as a key industrial research pole at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Industry Contact

Business Contact

Mr. Bugra Ersu

+32 (0)2 629 1028

more info

Related News

ETRO is present @ Knowledge for Growth 2020 27.05.2020

Feel like joining the Belgian life sciences community on May 27th (state of the union) & May 28th (knowledge for growth), together with 1300+ actors from 600+ companies & organisations?

Visit the VUB-TTO Flanders lounge and discover the R2B pitch sessions and Academic Showcases. Besides a presentation by µFlow, ETRO will demonstrate two academic showcases on FLT imaging using Nanobodies: effective tool for life sciences and medical applications (NLITE) and on Computer games for physical rehabilitation

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Webinar series on the AI, Data & COVID19 15.05.2020

The VUB AI Experience Centre launches a webinar series with 4 sessions all of which shares insights by experts about recent efforts to fight COVID-19. The series will kick off Monday May 11, 2020: 11.00-12.00.
In the wake of the Corona crisis, scientific research groups of various fields have committed themselves to help key players in the healthcare, the economy, or policy makers. As the AI Experience Centre comprises four different multidisciplinary research groups (among others the ETRO dept.), some of our affiliated researchers have also been heavily involved in creating solutions for the different challenges our society was recently faced with. As such, the Centre found itself in a unique position since it has had a front row seat to witness the AI driven challenges our scientists worked on. During the webinar series the audience can learn about the key take-aways from the crisis across several sectors.
The third session with Prof. dr. Jef Vandemeulebroucke (ETRO) will talk about CT Lung Image Analysis and AI. Together with UZ Brussels colleague prof. dr. Johan De Mey, both will also discuss the technological and functional challenges both encountered at UZ Brussels when applying AI techniques in this emergency context. This takes place Friday May 15, 11.00 – 12.00.

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icolung for chest CT in COVID-19 receives CE-marking 29.04.2020

icolung is a cloud-based AI software, developed by researchers of ETRO-VUB, and ESAT-PSI of KU Leuven, to quantify disease burden in COVID-19 patients on non-contrast chest CT. icolung quantifies total and regional lesion burden and returns a concise report and annotated images directly into the hospital PACS, within 10 min. icolung is the result of an ongoing collaboration, further improvements and developments of the icolung algorithm are automatically deployed to all users via the cloud. The icolung software seamlessly integrates into the hospital PACS and is currently offered pro bono.

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SARA: Hologram-assisted surgery 13.03.2020

The ETRO-VUB/Imec research group is developing technology that projects medical scans on the body of patients in real time during surgery. Using augmented reality (AR), the 3D models are shown in the exact place of operation, allowing for more precision. Also, the AR technology can be used to train medical students.

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Ursula Von Der Leyen visits the AI Experience Lab 19.02.2020

Ursula Von Der Leyen, chairman of the European Commission came for a visit to the AI Experience lab. After the formal meetings with the VUB Rector Pauwels and ULB Rector Englert, she also stopped by ETRO's SARA project - Augmented Reality platform for Neurosurgery, hosted by Prof. Bart Jansen

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New spin-off SAY IT Labs 17.01.2020

This new ETRO-VUB spin-off, in collaboration with imec, developed a video game for children who stutter. Software technology and speech recognition were used to create a fun and engaging speech therapy experience called Fluency Friends, where players control colorful cartoon characters through treacherous obstacles. Only instead of a joystick or a keyboard, the game will prompt players with words or sentences they must say to move through the level.

The game is currently being tested by about 50 patients in the United States. It will be released later this year, as an app for tablet and in a version for desktop or laptop. Say It Labs receives support from the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF), therefore in addition to an English version, there will also be a Dutch version.

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Ghostly = 2019 App Development Competition Winner 20.12.2019

“Ghostly” is an Android game for rehabilitation of patients suffering from motor and neuro-muscular disorders. In the game’s challenging and rewarding game scenarios, a character will be controlled by the muscle activity of the patient, sensed from the Delsys Trigno Avanti Sensors and interpreted by the game software. The success of the character in the game will hence be directly influenced by the actions of the patient. A key concept of the approach is that each game should be flexible to be controlled by a variety of muscles in a variety of ways, thereby decoupling the rehabilitation goals from the specific games and broadens the applicability of the platform to a variety of use cases.

The game is a 2D platform game played from a third person perspective, inspired by the old-school games such as Super Mario. The main character is moving forward in the game world, jumping to collect coins and shooting to kill enemies, all the while acquiring points for doing so. The goal of each level is to reach the exit, aiming to get as high of a score as possible. Difficulty and complexity increase as patients advance to higher levels.
The VUB team members are: Prof. Bart Jansen (Team Leader), Prof. Eva Swinnen, Dr. Armand Laumen, Dr. Lubos Omelina and Ms. Katarina Kostkova

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Optrima-Softkinetics' (ongoing) success story 21.11.2019

The ETRO spin-off “Optrima-SoftKinetic Sensors” established in 2009, was sold in 2015 to SONY, and has meanwhile grown to 170-180 FTE, mainly high-tech employees. The image sensor technology developed within ETRO with 4 of Maarten Kuijk's PhD students was to provide 3D depth vision to robots and systems in general, in an alternative way.

These 3D time of flight sensors (3D-tof image sensors) are now “going places”, because they are standard built-in into about half of the high-end smartphones, to name a few,
• Huawei P30pro
• LG
• OPPO (Chinese market)
• Samsung Galaxy S10.
According to analysts, the iPhone will soon be next.

Sony Depthsensing Solutions is now also conducting LIDAR research for self-driving cars, and remains a stayer in the Brussels Region.
Daniel van Nieuwenhove, the first PhD student in 3D-tof research, is now CEO of this company.

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The camera that detects the invisible, Le Soir, 4/8/2019 12.08.2019

An ETRO team, under the lead of Hans Ingelberts and Maarten Kuijk, is developing a fluorescence camera that can detect contours of tumors, nerves and blood vessels to help surgeons. This completely new and revolutionary technology would be available in 2025 on the market. It should allow surgeons to locate and remove very precisely cancerous tissue, without touching the healthy parts. The camera, coupled to a laser makes the colors, currently invisible, visible in real time. The camera would be a great help for medical teams, also closely involved in the current research, and can safe many lives!

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Bart Jansen and team win Phase I App Development Competition 23.07.2019

The De Luca Foundation is pleased to announce Dr. Bart Jansen (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium) as one of the winners of our Phase I App Development Competition, which provides a chance to win equipment and cash awards by developing EMG-centric applications for mobile devices with real-world viability.

Dr. Bart Jansen will lead a team to develop an EMG Platform for Game-Based Rehabilitation and Assessment. The app will be made publicly available upon completion.

read more

Related Press

Zijn de spruitjes diepgevroren? 20.06.2015

In De tijd

3D Visualisation Technologies 27.10.2014

In Insights (Iminds)

Nieuwe pc's krijgen Belgische 3D-sensortechnologie 04.06.2013

In De Tijd

Criminelen vang je met wiskundigen 11.04.2013

In De Standaard - Donderdag 11 April 2013

Gebarentaal voor beeldschermen 01.11.2012

In Interconnect 40 (IMEC) pp 10-12

Lam Gods in 100 miljard pixels 01.06.2012

In Akademos - Jg.15 • Nr2 • Mei - Juni 2012 • pp. 8-9

Closer to Van Eyck - an Artwork in Digital Image Processing 20.05.2012

In DSP Valley Newsletter Jg.13 • Nr2 • April - Mei 2012 • pp. 1-3

Softkinetic klaar voor doorbraak 23.03.2012

In De Standaard • Vrijdag 23 Maart 2012 • pp 36-37

Brussels-Eindhovense wereldstandaard voor cameracommunicatie over coax 09.09.2011

In Bits&Chips • Nr10 • 9 september 2011 • pp. 6-7

Met de GSM als Gids. 26.10.2010


Television Will Soon Watch You (for Instructions). 02.03.2010


De rooskleurige toekomst in 3D. 04.02.2010

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