Miraex SA receives Tech Seed loan from FIT

November 5, 2020

Miraex SA receives support from FIT to pursue the development of its photonic sensors.

Based at the EPFL Innovation Park, Miraex develops full-stack solutions for predictive maintenance and anomaly detection based on its photonic sensors combined with a machine learning algorithm. These sensors are specifically designed to operate in extreme environments. Endorsed by FIT, Miraex has just received a CHF 100’000 Tech Seed loan to support its development.

The upcoming Industry 4.0 accelerates the improvement of industrial processes, increasing efficiency, upgrading energy efficiency and reducing wastage of materials and energy. In this context, the collection of data, and in particular through IoT (Internet of Things) sensors is paramount. However, current cutting edge electronic sensors do not offer sufficient robustness to operate properly in hostile industrial environments (explosive atmospheres, extreme temperatures, high voltages, electromagnetic fields, flammable gases, etc.). Effectively, there is a clear lack on the market of suitable sensors to enable efficient sensing in these harsh environments.

This is where Miraex comes in, whose sensors are intrinsically designed for these hostile environments. They use photonic technology – without electricity – and can measure the physical parameters of vibration, acceleration, pressure, acoustics, electric fields and temperature. Unlike electronic sensors, photonic sensors rely on the generation and transmission of information through optical signals (i.e. photons, or in other words light!). For a photonic sensor to work, no electricity is needed at the measuring point and there is therefore no risk of losing data. Compared to other latest-generation sensors on the market, Miraex detectors are more sensitive, small (a few millimetres), and resistant to strong shock and extreme environments. Integration in all types of industrial installations is therefore optimal for measurement accuracy and predictive maintenance.

Besides, Miraex also offers the possibility of coupling the measurement process with a machine learning algorithm that allows operational teams to analyze data and visualize alerts directly on an end-user interface. The algorithm automatically filters useful information from the surrounding noise, thus making it possible to detect and identify unexpected events and anomalies that were not detected and mapped in the past. Miraex’s full-stack hardware-software solution thus significantly reduces equipment downtime and optimizes its maintenance.

For its development, Miraex can already count on the support of Venture Kick, Innovaud and the business incubator of the European Space Agency (ESA BIC CH) and the Creative Destruction Lab in Canada. The start-up has also joined the prestigious IBM Quantum Network and was recently selected to participate in NASA’s SMD Entrepreneurs Challenge. In addition to these supports, the FIT Tech Seed loan will enable Miraex to carry out in-the-field tests of its sensors with leading industries for a proof of concept.

Ultimately, the company aims to become a leader in photonic solutions, targeting the aerospace, railway, and agritech industries as a priority, before expanding into wider application markets. Miraex intends to continue innovating in quantum physics and photonics by filing ingenious patents, focusing on industrial and quantum applications.