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Why Brolis, photonics’ leading light, innovates in Flanders

After years of fruitful collaboration with the Photonics research group of Ghent University, Brolis Semiconductors decided to set up an innovative photonics research center in Ghent, Flanders. Here’s why the Lithuanian flagship company fell for the region’s R&D strengths.

Growing family

Three Vizbaras brothers founded Brolis Semiconductors in 2011. Twins Augustinas and Kristijonas are the technical brains behind the infrared technology developed by the Lithuanian firm for applications as varied as night goggles and devices that can detect gases in grain silos. Older brother Dominykas focuses on the business aspect of the firm. Entrepreneurship clearly runs the family, as the Vizbaras brothers also have a sister who manages her own company.

Brolis decided to set up an R&D company in Flanders after years of fruitful collaboration with the Photonics research group of Ghent University, This research group, which is associated with imec, has been innovating in the field of silicon photonics for many years. In our company, Ghent University scientists found a partner for the development of a specific application.

Augustinas Vizbaras
Co-founder and Head of Chip Technology, Brolis Semiconductors

Knowhow from Flanders meets Lithuanian ambition

“At Brolis Ghent, we’ll be working on silicon chips,” adds Andreas De Groote, Senior Engineer Silicon Photonics at Brolis Ghent. “This research was also covered, in a large part, by the Photonics research group. On one hand, we have a light source that generates many colors. On the other, we have a receptor that measures these colors. This comprehensive system is integrated in a computer chip.”

Brolis Ghent will be developing a computer chip that sends light through gases and fluids, such as blood. The light is transmitted through the blood. Some of the light is absorbed by disease-specific molecules and the rest of the light reflects back into the chip, which will let patients be properly diagnosed.

Innovative ecosystem

“Brolis Lithuania is active in a challenging technology domain,” Andreas De Groote wraps up. “The same goes for the Photonics research group, but in a different field. Brolis Ghent wants to bring these two fields together. The Photonics research group has led to a few spin-offs in recent years. And now, Brolis is coming to Ghent. It’s good to see an ecosystem come into existence in which we can apply our knowhow.”

Newcomer of the Year

Brolis plans on hiring 10 to 15 engineers in Ghent over the next few years. They anticipate seeing returns on R&D investment in approximately 5 years. Furthermore, the Vizbaras brothers took home the Newcomer of the Year Trophy 2018 at Flanders Investment & Trade’s Foreign Investment Trophy event. The Lithuanian entrepreneurs received the trophy as an acknowledgment of their very first site on Flanders’ soil.

More info

Brolis SemiconductorsPhotonics Research Group Ghent
Reported by
Flanders Investment & Trade
7 May 2018

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