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11 June, 2018 - 15:36 By Tony Quested

BP and Cambridge University spin-out mines $7m investment

Silicon Microgravity, a spin-out from both BP and the University of Cambridge, has raised $7 million from IP Group, Parkwalk, BP Ventures and Cambridge Enterprise.

SMG is a privately held company focused on developing and applying innovative technology primarily to improve surveillance, appraisal and production of oil and gas with additional application to CO2 storage, water management, mining and defence.

It says its technology has the potential to disrupt current practices and advance reservoir surveillance so that clients can achieve real efficiencies and cost savings while meeting their desired social, safety and environmental goals.

SMG is based on more than 10 years of research from the Nanoscience Centre at the University of Cambridge in collaboration with BP. It has developed what it describes as a unique high performance, ultra-sensitive, yet robust microelectromechanical system (MEMS). The MEMS technology consists of a 3-axis accelerometer with a projected resolution of approximately one billionth of the Earth’s gravity. 

SMG is also funded for and actively researching a related MEMS gyro technology with a potential application to inertial navigation. This $7m funding round will allow the company to commercialise its technology and grow rapidly.

Professor Ashwin Seshia, co-founder of Silicon Microgravity, said: “We have made very significant progress in developing the technology over the past year, meeting key technical milestones. 

“Our MEMS sensors are sensitive enough to detect seismic events across the globe and stable enough to track Earth tides. We continue to develop the technology underpinning these sensors, moving the roadmap towards even higher resolution and stability. 

“SMG has assembled an outstanding R & D and leadership team to launch the next phase of development, and is embarking on an ambitious field trial program in collaboration with BP and other partners to establish borehole microgravity as a viable technology for reservoir surveillance.”

Incoming CEO Jeremy (Jez) Lofts, added: “Our technology has a strong value proposition for our oil and gas customers looking to improve reservoir yields through enhanced subsurface monitoring and understanding. I am proud to join the team and lead the company at this exciting time.”


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