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Miniaturised Energy harvester for AutoNomous INdustrial, Global retail and FUture smart-cities appLications

Project description

Big plans for the mini energy harvester

To satisfy the increasing demand for energy-efficient systems, harvesting ambient energy as an alternative power source is important. Miniature energy harvesting technologies could power currently battery-operated wireless electronics and portable devices. The EU-funded MEANINGFUL project is working to provide a low-cost renewable energy source for billions of connected ultra-low power sensors located indoors. The Lightricity miniaturised photovoltaic energy harvesting technology has already demonstrated up to six times more power density (under indoor light) than the conventional Silicon-based technology. The project will develop physical prototypes and conduct technical feasibility and market research. As regards commercialisation, the strongest pull comes from retail, industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities.


Title of Proposal: “Miniaturised Energy harvester for AutoNomous INdustrial, Global retail and FUture smart-city appLications”

The MEANINGFUL project will establish the feasibility of using Lightricity’s miniaturised (mm^2 range) Photovoltaic Energy harvesting (EH) patented-technology as a cost-effective renewable energy source for the billions of connected ultra-low power sensors that will be located indoors. Lightricity has already demonstrated up to 6x more power density (under indoor light) than conventional Silicon-based technology, on the macro-scale (~10cm^2 EH devices). The key innovations will be on extreme miniaturisation, implementation of cost-down processes and integration with complementary ultra-low power electronics and sensors.

On the technical side, we will focus on the mass-manufacturability of ultra-high efficient micro-scale EH components and on their 3D compact integration with ultra-low quiescent power management chip-sets, rechargeable storage elements (Lithium-free storage) and ultra-low power embedded microcontrollers (incl. ARM Cortex MCUs) for sensing and RF connectivity. The objective is to achieve the sellable product stage as soon as possible, by offering an ultra-compact, efficient and low-cost battery-less solution.

On the commercial side, we will investigate the technical and cost requirements amongst our end-users (ARM, Cambridge IQ, Ahead-of-the-Curve/AotC) and in the market, in order to validate Lightricity’s technology for the most promising market segments (where there is a strong customer and technology pull): Retail (smart packaging and labels, anti-counterfeiting, smart payment cards), Industrial IoT (asset tracking, monitoring and positioning devices) and smart cities (environmental sensing, smart parking etc.).

The project outcomes are anticipated to be a combination of physical prototypes, technical feasibility (process flow for scale-up) and market research (incl. financial feasibility).

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
Sharp innovation centre, oxford science park, edmund halley road
OX4 4GB Oxford
United Kingdom

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South East (England) Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Oxfordshire
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 21 429,00