After key research breakthroughs for two flagship R&D projects, Strategic Elements is set for a big year in 2021
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The company is moving towards commercial development for two exciting product channels built out of its advanced tech incubation activities.
For tech venture firm Strategic Elements (ASX:SOR), the March quarter saw the company hit a number of “really exciting” milestones in its projects, CEO Charles Murphy said.
Murphy caught up with Stockhead following SOR’s latest quarterly trading update, to discuss some key breakthroughs the company achieved as it builds towards lucrative commercial development pathways.
Of particular note was SOR’s advances with its self-charging battery technology — a world-first project targeting the $US10 billion market for wearable electronics.
Murphy highlighted two key breakthroughs from SOR’s research team at the University of NSW (UNSW) as part of its patented battery development.
The first was confirmation that it could produce battery ink cells at a scaled-down size for a more optimised power-to-space ratio.
“It’s akin to memory (storage) — where you get many connected memory cells that increase the density of the memory,” Murphy explained.
“If you can make those cells smaller, it means you can fit more cells within the same space.”
“And when more battery cells are connected together it increases the density of power output that can be achieved.”
The UNSW team was able to reduce the area of each cell by four times – from 1cm² to 25mm². At that size, the connected cells then successfully produced 14V.
“Opening up that development path was critical, and it was a real milestone to achieve that level of voltage which bodes well for the future application of the technology,” Murphy said.
Along with the increased power output, SOR also made a key breakthrough around product flexibility, after applying a rigorous testing process that saw its battery ink technology fabricated onto textile cloth and bent more than 2,000 times.
For Murphy, that milestone marked an important step for the advanced battery’s real-world application, as an input in devices such as wearable electronics.
“We knew it was flexible to a point, because it had those characteristics, but we hadn’t designed a specifically-focused program to test that functionality,” he said.
“What it showed is that the battery itself can be flexed and bent, over 2000 times and still generate a similar level of power.”
Both of those breakthroughs were “extremely difficult milestones to achieve”, Murphy said, and the research team is now set up for its next stage of product development which is now underway.
Along with the battery ink technology, Murphy also provided an update on SOR’s autonomous security vehicle (ASV), developed by fully-owned subsidiary Stealth Technologies.
In Q1, SOR moved towards commercialisation as it completed Site Acceptance Testing for the ASV at the Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison in Kalgoorlie.
“In terms of what we’re doing with that project, the critical thing is we’re actually deploying the ASV to an end customer,” Murphy said.
“That’s really important because that’s technology we’ve taken from a blank sheet all the way through product development, and now we’re deploying a vehicle that’s the first of its kind anywhere in the world”.
And with a product becoming commercialised, SOR is also positioned with a potential advantage via its relationship with engineering multinational Honeywell.
“They’re the most dominant player in the correctional facilities sector across Australia and New Zealand” Murphy said.
“So we’re excited to potentially commercialise the ASV into further Australian correctional facilities with Honeywell, and see what’s in store for the future.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Strategic Elements, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.