ENLIGHT'EM: weaving the future of wireless communications with sustainable innovation
The European project coordinated by IMDEA Networks has provided pioneering results to establish the foundation for the next generation of Internet of Things networks
29 February 2024
ENLIGHT’EM, an Innovative Training Networks project funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action, has ended in December 2023 marking a major milestone: contributing to design a new generation of wireless systems based on visible light communication (VLC) and on the low power consumption of light-emitting diodes (commonly known as LEDs) for challenging Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios.
As Domenico Giustiniano, Principal Investigator of the IMDEA Networks-coordinated project and Research Associate Professor at the institute points out, “We have advanced the state of the art in areas such as visible light communication for the low data rate regime as well as for high-speed applications, provided innovative solutions for resilient VLC systems, designed systems leveraging the simultaneous transfer of information and energy by light waves, and investigated new communication systems such as between light sources and smartphone cameras and under-screen cameras. We have also addressed key application-oriented challenges in areas such as indoor localization, vehicular networks and underwater networks.”
Legacy and benefits to society
One of the key aspects of ENLIGHT’EM has been to collaborate in the sustainable development of new wireless systems, which is the approach taken by the project to provide economic added value in the society in line with the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nations to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and address climate change by 2030. ENLIGHT’EM has delivered several groundbreaking results, as evidenced by several top publications in renowned conferences and journals achieved by the project’s researchers. In total, almost 70 publications have been achieved during the life of the project.
As a result of the project, a total of 4 patents have been filed by both academic and industrial partners. In addition, a research team from IMDEA Networks with the participation of ENLIGHT’EM funded PhD student Dayrene Frómeta (Early Stage Researchers – ESR) has won the first prize in the food category of the competitive European EIT Jumpstarter program for their business idea LiFi4Food, which seeks to provide solutions for digital and precision agriculture. Today, LiFi4Food has become an IMDEA Networks spin-off that aims to positively impact indoor food production with an eco-friendly monitoring control system with battery-free sensors for greenhouses.
Ultimately, ENLIGHT’EM’s success is attributed to people, from the commitment of the supervisory team to the talent and passion of the PhD students. The IMDEA Networks research team, in particular, has contributed greatly to its scientific output, including communication and exploitation activities. Particularly noteworthy is the role of Borja Genovés, now a Marie Curie PostDoc Fellow in the USA, and Javier Hervás, for having assumed, and executed to the best of his ability, the demanding position of project manager.
ENLIGHT’EM marks the beginning of new possibilities. “We have identified several potential initiatives, such as joint research, joint follow-up proposals and participation in events. For example, the work on battery-free systems, to which my group at IMDEA Networks has contributed greatly, is now becoming a hot area also for future 6G networks, with the recent establishment of a dedicated work item on so-called Ambient IoT, and we see several opportunities for future projects in this area,” Dr. Giustiniano points out.
A project that, although now completed, continues to illuminate the present and sculpt the future of wireless communications with a unique fusion of technology and light.
Source(s): IMDEA Networks Institute