Sandia, Ardesta join forces to commercialise MEMS

Sandia National Laboratories and Ardesta have joined forces to transfer microelectromechanical systems and microsystems technologies to start-ups.

Sandia National Laboratories and Ann Arbor, MI-based Ardesta have joined forces through a new partnership agreement to transfer microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and microsystems technologies to start-up companies in the commercial sector.

Sandia has agreed to grant Ardesta a nonexclusive right and license to make and sell products using Sandia’s SUMMiT technology. SUMMiT (for Sandia Ultraplanar Multilevel MEMS Technology) is a five-level polysilicon surface micromachining MEMS technology.

‘MEMS devices, once a research novelty of arrays of spinning gears, are now finding their way into a broad range of commercial applications,’ says Jerome Jakubczak, Manager of Sandia’s MEMS Science and Technology Department.

‘MEMS application areas include ink jet printer heads that dispense carefully controlled amounts of ink onto paper, automotive air bag sensors that reliably deploy a car’s critical safety device, display devices that visually project information from a computer onto a large screen or wall, and even video games where the player’s physical motion becomes part of the game.’

The agreement between Sandia and Ardesta identifies key areas of intellectual property and technology that will be further developed through future co-operative research and development agreements between Sandia, Ardesta, and companies that Ardesta may form in the process of commercialising MEMS and microsystems.

Sandia, a US Department of Energy laboratory, will become a shareholder in Ardesta as well as the companies started that make use of Labs-licensed technology and intellectual property.

Sandia will provide Ardesta with fabrication capability in its Albuquerque facility until Ardesta can complete its own fabrication unit.