Ilika leads IoT collaboration with Sharp and McLaren Applied Technologies

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Ilika announces a collaborative project with McLaren Applied Technologies and Sharp Laboratories of Europe (‘Sharp’) to create an autonomous energy harvesting power source, thanks to funding of over £500,000 from Innovate UK.

Over £320,000 of the Innovate UK grant will be provided to Ilika, to lead a two-year project which will see Ilika’s Stereax solid-state battery technology integrated with Sharp’s photovoltaic (PV) technology to provide a power source for McLaren Applied Technologies’ wireless sensing platform.

The initial development will focus on an energy harvesting wireless sensing platform with applications in industries that could include motorsport and automotive along with potentially healthcare and wearables. The project aims to address the opportunities of the fast-growing Internet of Things (IoT) market by developing materials for challenging environments and a manufacturing process to create the world’s first fully integrated thin-film power source.

The objective is to develop robust, low maintenance sensor nodes for demanding environments. The power source must be robust, operate at up to 100 °C and be maintenance-free. The target footprint must be small with attractive aesthetics for easy integration into the sensor and its operating environment. It should also have dimensions comparable to the sensor and other electronic elements, but deliver sufficient power to fully operate the sensor.

This project will, therefore, combine Ilika’s thin film solid-state battery technology, McLaren Applied Technologies’ technological expertise and Sharp’s light energy harvesting technology.

Commenting on this grant award, Graeme Purdy, Ilika CEO, said: "Ilika’s Stereax technology is ideal for combining with energy harvesting technologies. Solid-state batteries are known for their low leakage currents and their ability to retain their performance over thousands of cycles. These properties make Stereax batteries the ideal technology to integrate with Sharp’s high efficiency PV panels. We expect this development programme to create significant commercial opportunities across multiple sectors."

Dick Glover, Chief Technology Officer at McLaren Applied Technologies, said: “We are delighted McLaren Applied Technologies is part of a collaboration to create a next generation autonomous energy harvesting power source. Thanks to funding from Innovate UK, we will be developing sensors for the “Internet of Things” to improve system performance in a wide range of applications across the technology spectrum.”