Micro-manufacturing startup awarded NSF grant for 'perpetual batteries'

May 29, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Micro-manufacturing startup awarded NSF grant for 'perpetual batteries'
Microdevice technology startup Integra Devices (Irvine, CA) has announced that it has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant to develop and commercialize miniature energy harvesting systems for wireless sensing applications.

The $750,000 grant, says the company, leverages its unique technology portfolio to produce a new generation of small energy sources for a variety of wireless sensing applications. The company's energy harvesting technology can convert low energy sources in the environment - such as vibrations - into electrical energy to recharge a battery and perpetually power wireless IoT sensors.

The National Science Foundation-sponsored project will initially target industrial asset monitoring and predictive maintenance, producing small perpetual batteries that use the vibrations from motors, blowers, and other industrial equipment to power the wireless sensors monitoring their performance.

"For optimum deployment, wireless IoT sensors need to be small, cost-effective and free of power limitations," says Mark Bachman, CTO of Integra and Principal Investigator of the project. "Integra Devices' unique manufacturing capabilities and innovative technology enables us to produce zero-power, autonomous sensor solutions at reasonable cost."

Graciela Narcho, Acting Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF adds, "The National Science Foundation supports startups and small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts. We hope that seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology."

Earlier this month the company completed a $6 million series-A syndicated investment round targeted towards expanding its team and infrastructure and moving its products - including vibration-based perpetual batteries, in-canal hearing devices, in-body medical sensors, and microfluidic sensors - into pilot production. The company incubated at Southern California's premium tech incubator Evo Nexus and also received strong support from UC Irvine's Applied Innovation.

Integra Devices

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