We are working in conjunction with Research Partnership and innovation at the University of Liverpool to facilitate a Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Voucher scheme. This scheme will provide funding for new collaborative projects between University researchers and companies, focused around the development of sensor technologies.

Over the next few months, experts from the world renowned University of Liverpool Physical Sciences and Engineering departments will help innovative companies to develop their sensor-based products and technologies. Sensor City will be providing the collaborative projects with rapid prototyping support, delivered by our multi-disciplined engineers within our state-of-the-art mechanical and electrical laboratories.

Additionally, our initial involvement facilitating the collaborations between academic and industry, enables companies working with us to be at the forefront of such opportunities and access the pump priming initiatives as they become available. This is just one of the many benefits that being part of our ecosystem can bring, in addition to increased profile raising, business support and creative R&D facilities.

A number of successful KEI projects have now been established, some of which are outlined below:

Luigi di Sarno, Engineering & Sensicon Ltd

The Moving Walls project aims to develop a disruptive sensor-based precast retaining wall to analyse related behaviour and produce design guidelines that extend an existing product’s technical specification. The project will be monitoring structural behaviour of its existing precast retaining walls by removal of conventional steel reinforcement, and substituting it with affordable, resilient and non-metallic fibre reinforcement linked to sensor technologies. Furthermore, the moving walls project can help large stakeholders lower their carbon footprint, monitor structures and avoid expensive maintenance which in consequence can bring improvements in asset management of critical infrastructure, either new or ageing, across the country and internationally taking Britain’s manufacturing capacity global. Both partners (University of Liverpool and Sensicon Ltd) will jointly work on development of a monitoring system, product testing and technical guidelines within this six-month project. This will lead to further collaboration opportunities on larger external grant funded projects valuable to the economy and region.

Prof. Steve Taylor, EEE & Hexsor Scientific Ltd

This project will aim to deliver prototype platform instrument (Opto-MS) combining two sensors into a single platform tool. If the prototype is successful, a portfolio of innovative data capture, analysis and report products, which will be marketed to a very wide range of potential users including the energy sector, healthcare and environmental protection will be made. Incorporating an innovative arrangement to embed a combined Opto-MS, Sensor City will be able to offer the market a unique platform instrument capable of providing qualitative and quantitative determination of algal toxins in marine and freshwater.

Dr Jon Taylor, Physical Sciences & Micron Semi-Conductor Ltd

This project is primarily aimed at improving health care and more specifically, treatments of cancer, as well as providing a faster and more cost-effective way to produce circuits for use in demanding environments. The key output for this project is the manufacture of flexible circuits and sensors together on a variety of substrates for the use in x-ray and proton radiotherapy. The suite of LPFK machines at Sensor City is one of only two available to the public in the UK which allow the rapid prototyping of circuits on a 2D or 3D substrates, making Sensor City the ideal partner for this project. The facilities from the LSDC that would be used for this project are the Hesse & Knipps BJ820 wire bonders, the Keyance and Smartscope metrology machines and a Parylene CVD chamber that will all be used in the test and assembly of the circuits manufactured at Sensor City.

Prof. Yi Huang, EEE, TrakX Ltd & Wearable Link Ltd

The aim of this project is to combine the knowledge and technologies between Wearable Link and the Liquid Antennas UoL research group. In addition to this the project aims to design, fabricate and apply their liquid based technology towards antennas for ISM band 868MHz and GPS 1575MHz, which will be incorporated into the Wearable Link smart device. The antenna could be made of metal or dielectric, a material with the desired electromagnetic properties will then be synthesised and evaluated. The physical device will be prepared via machining from a single piece of solid material or even 3D-Printed which can then be filled with the dielectric material and tested in reverberation/anechoic chambers within the dept. of EEE at the University of Liverpool. This device will then be brought to testing in real life scenarios before fine tuning or optimisation can then be performed.

Dr Paolo Paoletti, Engineering & Foot-zz Ltd

Gastrocnemius contracture contributes to the development of many foot and ankle conditions. Prolonged immobilisation leads to muscle contractures. It is proposed that overnight inactivity can lead to gastrocnemius shortening if the foot is positioned in plantar flexion during sleep. This project is a phase 0 project, with the goals of developing and testing a sensor system to measure position angle, rotation, as well as the body’s core position which lets the data to be collectable by the individual and fed back via a mobile device to a central storage database, which can allow for further analysis. The sensor system will be composed of accelerometers and angle sensors which collect the orientation of the limb with respect to the gravity vector and the orientation angle at critical joints.

 

Summary

The above projects are currently in development, with work planned to be carried out over the coming months.

We look forward to following the progress of each collaboration and will share details of their successful outcomes in the near future.

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