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Liverpool, United Kingdom

Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Smart - Proof of Concept | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2014

The aim of this proof of concept project is to develop and demonstrate the use of a new type of sensor to be used in the vacuum deposition process industry. Vacuum deposition is an important technology sector which is critical in the production of semiconductors, photovoltaic panels, touchscreens and architectural glass, among many others. These production techniques rely heavily on sensors to detect small quantities of gas present in the vacuum. However, currently available sensors only offer limited uses and operate over a limited pressure range, necessitating the use of multiple sensors types and expert interpretation. Gencoa Limited intend to address these problems by developing a multi-functional sensor that is capable of operating over a wide vacuum range and provides improved sensor feedback that is automatically interpreted for the user. This will improve the production efficiency and reduce material and energy wastage in these key manufacturing processes.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: COMPET-03-2015 | Award Amount: 1.20M | Year: 2016

The overall ambition of MONBASA is to develop an energy storage system for small satellites (nano-/microsatellites) that outperforms existing solutions and can be integrated with MEMS technology. To be both, applicable and competitive, the novel solution will have to respond to specific needs, namely: (1) high energy efficiency and density, (2) small size and low weight, (3) high reliability (4) compliance with existing standards and regulation, and (5) high cost-efficiency. Any energy storage system will have to first demonstrate its ability to store energy efficiently, within specific power, lifetime and safety specifications and eventually be available at a cost that is ultimately affordable by the nano/microsatellite sector, which is highly cost-sensitive. Worldwide nanosatellite sector is continuously growing and three main aspects are driving the development: miniaturization, standardization and cost. However Europe has seriously fallen behind competitors from the US and Asia, with regard to R&D in the field of energy storage, which is one of the crucial components for improving and widening small satellites performance and applications. With its approach, MONBASA is bridging the gap between R&D and market, with the desired future impact being that the provision of tailored energy solutions becomes a European discipline and business. By bringing together a cross-sector consortium that comprises actors from the areas of energy R&D, processing technologies and space applications, the exact needs of the space industry will be considered for innovative energy storage solutions at low TRL levels. This will not only significantly increase future market uptake of a novel solution that so far is in the state of basic research, but it will foster urgently needed intense knowledge exchange between non-space and space actors for jointly developing novel solutions for a field of expectedly strong growth.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Regional Development Agency | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2009

Gencoa have made a very strong patent application disclosing new methods to improve the way that the plasma is magnetically confined and the interaction with anodes (see Appendix B). It is expected that the significant product and processes benefits of this innovation will open a new market for Gencoa. It is also hoped that a side benefit of these new concepts will be reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint of these power hungry production processes. Gencoa have conducted extensive background research into the area and carried out an informal survey of potential customers. The technique of two targets working as a pair with AC power between the two for the deposition of dielectric coatings is an existing aspect of the technology and has prior valid IPR. The patent application has been based on the feedback from the market combined with the current problems and limitations with the existing technology. The new methods employ asymmetric magnetic field designs and the use of magnetic guidance of electrons into a receiving anode. The phenomenon of the asymmetric magnetic fields when used with rotating targets to generate plasma for vacuum plasma processing and coating deposition is novel and is the basis of the IPR. Simulations work completed indicates a good chance of success, but the lack of any scientific and technical validation obviously impedes its commercialisation. The aim of this feasibility study is therefore to thoroughly characterise and refine Gencoas new magnetic and anode design concepts. Significant outcomes of this project will allow Gencoa to achieve important goals such as confirm the viability of the new technology, gain the necessary scientific and technical knowledge for the development of new commercial rotatable magnetrons and define their operational, technical and design requirements. At the end of the project Gencoa will have a sound knowledge base for the development of commercial products and have background information to help progress the prosecution of any further patent applications. It is hoped that a subsequent development project will follow the feasibility study.

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