The European Commission has acknowledged the importance of Photonics by identifying it as one of five Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) for Europe, next to Nanotechnology, Micro- and Nanoelectronics, Advanced materials and Biotechnology. Photonics is an enabling technology for a wide diversity of markets: communications and information technology, energy, health care, lighting and displays, smart sensing and metrology, manufacturing tools. The present project photonics@be: towards smart photonics in 2020 embodies the Belgian network that will contribute to Europe’s ambitious goals in the field of photonics. This network is the prolongation of the highly successful project photonics@be: micro-, nano- and quantum-photonics . It brings together all the leading groups in photonics in Belgium, spanning a large pool of expertise ranging from development of novel materials and cutting edge fabrication technologies, to advanced component design and measurement, all the way to complete systems. This technological expertise is supported by a strong background in foundational science ranging from quantum information theory, quantum optics, and nonlinear dynamical physics systems, to neural networks and machine learning. For the current proposal, we aim to focus this diverse expertise in the direction of what is called “smart photonics”.