Deep tech firm SEEDS has expanded its presence on the North East Technology Park (NETPark) with a move into additional office space and new laboratories as it continues to develop its advanced nano-structure technology and explore applications in an array of industries.
SEEDS - Sustainable Energy Efficient Designed Structures Ltd – has undertaken significant research and development into sophisticated printable inks using graphene nano-fibre technology, a network of rolled-up sheets of the flat form of carbon.
The technology can capture and store energy, and SEEDS has developed supercapacitators which can be used to provide auxiliary power. Supercapacitors are devices like batteries which store and release large amounts of electrical charge very quickly.
To support this growth, SEEDS has taken flexible lab space in NETPark’s Discovery 1 building in addition to its existing office space in Plexus, and intends to work with science, technology and engineering specialists through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.
Peter Chalder-Wood, Head of Strategic Partnerships at SEEDS, said: “The ecosystem in NETPark is just right for us; SEEDS first came here because of its partnership work with the CPI and now our vision is to have a busy lab facility developing various applications and licensing them out to companies.”
SEEDS, which was founded in 2013 by chief executive Jason Chehal, has worked closely with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), at NETPark, to develop its nano-structure technology from idea through to proof of concept, material development and the identification of applications.
It has benefitted from the CPI’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the National Formulation Centre, the National Printable Electronics Centre, and the Graphene Applications Centre.
SEEDS is now exploring applications of its printable ink in the defence industry and believes its technology can bolster the power capabilities of micro unmanned aerial vehicles – or nano drones.
The company is also exploring how to integrate printed supercapacitors into a vehicle’s power management system.
“Our printed supercapacitors are lightweight and conformable, so could be coated onto drones to provide auxiliary power boosts in high winds, for example,” explained Peter. “With further development, our energy harvesting and storage solutions could be game-changing in a range of industries.”
SEEDS has also applied to the UK Space Agency to research ways to harness its potential in the space-based solar power industry. It will look at the feasibility of applying its printable inks as supercapacitors on satellites to support the harvesting of solar power for different mission stages.
Sarah Slaven, Managing Director of Business Durham, the business support service for Durham County Council, said: “SEEDS is a shining example of a deep tech firm that has maximised the benefits of NETPark’s superb R&D facilities through its partnership work with the CPI and is now extremely well placed to explore and achieve its exciting potential.”
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