- 12 May 2017
At appealing locations, top technology companies give a peek into their organization. As a valve to the Dutch Technology Week, the High Tech Discovery Route brings you along all high tech hotspots in the region. For young and old, for professionals and lovers, this day is full of surprising discoveries for everyone! There is a lot to see, to do, to experience it’s a day where you experience, as a visitor, that you are living, working in a high-tech country where you can be proud of. In a series of articles, E52 already took a look at the DTW High Tech hotspots. Today High Tech Campus Eindhoven.
You probably know the big echo machines. They work with ultrasound technology where ceramic material is used, which isn’t flexible. With the ultrasound technology cMUT, developed by Philips Research, there is flexibility. That offers a whole new range of possibilities in the application of ultrasound technology. For example, it is now possible to attach cMUT on a catheter and go into the body for research; the use of (harmful) x-rays will become more unnecessary. During the discovery route you can get to know Philips Innovation Services (PInS) at High Tech Campus that is bringing this cMUT technology to the market.
Philips researched the capacitive micro machined Ultrasonic Transducers (cMUT) for more than 10 years. “There are simply said two plates that stand opposite each other and if you apply a voltage you get ultrasound”, explains Paul Bekkers, Business Development Manager at PInS. “It’s a solution for the less flexible ultrasound technology that is usually being used today, the piezoelectric ultrasonic transducers.”
The cMUT technology isn’t new. A lot was already published about it by academics twenty years ago, tells Bekkers. “But there were still too many ‘challenges’ to this technology then. Philips has come up with a solution for all those challenges over the years”, says Bekkers, who’s been working for PInS himself since November last year.
“Within Philips, we especially focus on the medical applications, but who knows, that one ‘killer application’ might be in a totally different section.”
Bekkers’ task is to share this new technology with others. “Within Philips, we especially focus on the medical applications, but who knows, that one ‘killer application’ might be in a totally different section.” According to Bekkers, the biggest advantage of the cMUT is that relatively large numbers can be made and that you have a lot of freedom in your design for different applications. “You no longer have to use a large device, like you have to now with an ultrasound scan. You can work on a much smaller scale with cMUT with a much larger precision and higher image quality.”
To prevent you from working with a blinkered view, Bekkers wants to share as much knowledge and experience with others outside of Philips as possible. Philips has already been doing that internally since her early years, the sharing of knowledge. At the former NatLab of Philips there were for instance ‘sandwich sessions’ on Thursday: all R&D employees were asked to exchange ideas with one another during lunch. “After all, you never know where a good idea comes from”, says Bekkers.
It still took Philips ten years to come out with this cMUT technology. By also entering into cooperation with Holst Centre, Philips wants to make an early start on the ideas for wider application of certain technologies. “That way, ideas that are not directly a part of our core business, won’t remain stored on the shelf. This sort of partnerships are what make the ecosystem for innovation in our region so unique”, says Bekkers. “You notice soon enough whether something works or not, so that innovations eventually come on the market sooner.”
On The Strip of the High Tech Campus you can hear the stories of Philips Innovation Services and Holst Centre on May 20th, but also the stories of startup Usono that is going to work with this technology.
Visit these hotspots on the 20th of May, from 11:00 till 17:00: De Ontdekfabriek and Strijp-S (Eindhoven), Philips Innovation Center Eindhoven North (Best), High Tech Helmond – De Peel (location HVL – MCM in Liessel/Deurne), High Tech Campus Eindhoven and Kempen Tech (Hapert).