The Ente Cassa supported the start-up of the LENS, the European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy, which pursues nine lines of research (atomic physics, biophotonics, disordered systems, matter under extreme conditions, molecular spectroscopy, nanostructures, optical properties of complex systems, quantum optics and frontier sources, and ultrafast spectroscopy). The laboratory performs scientific research activities and the training of young researchers in the field of laser applications in physics, chemistry and biology. LENS is part of the European Research Infrastructure Consortium. The funding provided by the Ente Cassa amounts to around 3 million euro.
The European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy, the University of Florence and the international research division of IBM have jointly decided to contribute to the development of neurophysiological knowledge. They have brought together neuron imaging and computational techniques for the purpose of establishing a new centre of international research in the field of computational neurophotonics: the International Center of Computational Neurophotonics (ICON).
The principal purpose of this centre is study of the entire neural circuitry of the brain: the connectome. Other experiments will also be performed within ICON, aimed at linking the morphological and more functional aspect of connectonics. These studies, in combination with total mapping of the neural circuit, will lay the foundations for understanding the rules governing the central nervous system.