Ghent, imec Incorporate Sentea

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Ghent University (UGent) and imec have announced the incorporation of Sentea, which was created as a spinoff of the Photonics Research Group of Ghent University and imec to commercialize more than a decade of research in silicon photonics and fiber optic sensing.

“Sentea builds on state-of-the-art silicon photonics technology IP that has been developed at the Photonics Research Group of imec and UGent for the past 20 years, a technology in which both organizations are perceived as world-leading,” said Luc Van den hove, president and CEO of imec. “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.”

An initial €1.6 million ($1.8 million) in funding was raised from Fidimec, Finindus, PMV, QBIC II, and the founders to develop the company’s first products and bring them to market. Sentea will develop and market advanced silicon photonics based fiber optic sensing solutions, which 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 maximize their efficiency.

According to a new market research report from MarketsandMarkets, the structural health monitoring market is estimated to grow from $1.48 billion in 2018 to $3.38 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 17.93 percent during that period. The major factors driving the growth of the structural health monitoring market include concerns about catastrophic failure due to aging 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 percent from 2018 to 2023, owing to various applications such as wind turbines, nuclear power plants, and hydropower plants.

“Integrating all optical functions into a single silicon photonics component will allow us to make highly accurate, small, and robust fiber optic sensor interrogators,” said Karsten Verhaegen, CEO of Sentea. “Silicon photonics is also very cost-effective, which makes fiber optic sensing affordable for a wide range of new markets and applications and facilitates universal and continued 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.”

Published: October 2018
BusinessfiberSensors & DetectorsSenteaIMECGhent UniversitypartnershipssiliconPhotonics Research GroupEuropelight speed

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