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European scheme backs company

Funding for firm’s battery life technology

SophantA company whose technology could potentially double the battery life of mobile devices has secured £1.54 million of European funding.

The investment, part of the €3 billion Horizon 2020 SME Instrument programme, will be used to take Sofant Technologies’ antenna technology to market.

As design features of smartphones become more advanced, increased pressure is placed on battery life with 50% of smartphone charge consumed by the antenna while the screen is off, and 80% during a call.

Antenna technology has not kept pace with the advances in functionality and performance of smartphones, resulting in dropped calls, lost signals, weak connections, slow internet and battery drain.

Sofant chief operating officer Ahmed El-Rayis said: “We have been researching and planning this project for 10 years to perfect the design. This funding will enable us to take the product to foundry and we’re currently asking for tenders.

“We’re very excited about this new funding and see it as a real opportunity to impact on the future direction of the global smart phone industry and to create a market-leading company.

“We aim to have this product available to mobile phone manufacturers by 2018.”

The company is entering a rapidly growing market estimated to be worth more than $2.5 billion by 2020.

Head of the SME Instrument Unit in the EU’s Executive Agency for SMEs, Dr Bernd Reichert said: “Sofant’s technology is a prime example of disruptive innovation. They have identified a need in the market within a sector willing to pay for an added value product.”

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