Ghent University (UGent) and imec have announced the incorporation of Sentea, a spin-off from their world leading Photonics Research Group. An initial €1.6m in funding was raised from Fidimec, Finindus, PMV and QBIC II and the founders. Sentea will develop and market advanced silicon photonics based fibre optic sensing solutions.
These will be used to continuously monitor engineering structures for signs of damages that over time could lead to catastrophic failure, as well as to control industrial installations to maximise their efficiency.
According to the new market research report from MarketsandMarkets, the structural health monitoring market is estimated to grow from $1.48bn in 2018 to $3.38bn by 2023, at a CAGR of 17.93% between 2018 and 2023. The major factors driving the growth of the structural health monitoring market include concerns about catastrophic failure due to ageing infrastructures in the developed countries, stringent government regulations pertaining to the sustainability of structures, and the superior benefits of structural health monitoring.
Furthermore, the structural Health Monitoring Market for the Energy vertical is expected to grow at a rate of more than 20% from 2018-2023, owing to various applications such as wind turbines, nuclear power plants and hydropower plants.
Karsten Verhaegen, CEO of Sentea, stated: “Integrating all optical functions into a single silicon photonics component will allow us to make highly accurate, small and robust fibre optic sensor interrogators. Silicon photonics is also very cost-effective, which makes fibre optic sensing affordable for a wide range of new markets and applications and facilitates universal and continues monitoring of structures. Key potential customers have expressed great interest in Sentea’s solutions, stating that better infrastructure lifetime management and process control makes them more competitive in their respective markets.”
Luc Van den hove, President and Chief Executive Officer at imec, added: “Sentea builds on state-of-the-art silicon photonics technology IP that has been developed at the Photonics Research Group of imec and the UGent for the past 20 years, a technology in which both organisations are perceived as world-leading. This firm technology base will provide Sentea a kick-start to develop its sensor technology that is answering an existing need in a broad range of market segments.”
To develop its first products and bring them to market, the company raised €1.6million in funding from a consortium of investors including Fidimec, Finindus, PMV and QBIC II.