Researchers at the University of Morelos (UAEM) in Mexico, developed a dual antenna for broadcast TV with features that distinguish it from others already available worldwide. It is 11 centimeters long and 6.5 centimeters wide, six millimeters thick, weighing 12 grams and, when coated, can reaches only 80 grams.
The receiving antenna has successfully passed performance tests and resistance, where it was subjected to very low temperatures among other parameters. "In the California area (USA) it could pick up the signal of about 70 local channels, and after the analogue switch-off in Mexico City, recorded 28 channels, 23 of them without repetition," says Dr. Margarita Tecpoyotl Torres, leader of the project carried out at the Center for Research in Engineering and Applied Sciences (CIICAp) at UAEM.
The development of this technological innovation has not only led to the creation of the company INNTECVER, S.A. de C.V., it was also chosen to participate in the Leaders in Innovation Fellowships 2015 program sponsored by the Newton Foundation and the Royal Academy of Engineering of Great Britain, which selects success stories of technology transfer and entrepreneurship worldwide.
Through this initiative, Dr. Tecpoyotl stayed two weeks in London to receive intensive training on technology commercialization, by specialists of Isis Innovation, the Office of Technology Transfer at the University of Oxford, obtaining the third place among Mexican projects presented at The final pitch session.
"The idea came from applying new materials and new geometries, to create a smaller antenna in comparison to those that already are available. Advanced materials were tested and the design was based on an array of antennas and other elements, ie, is actually more than one antenna, " explains the researcher at the UAEM.
This outdoor antenna only requires orientation and a fixed spot in the ceiling, avoiding huge masts, since despite being a compact rectangle is very strong and resistant; for indoor use it does not require any attachment and by using a signal splitter it can be connected to different TVs. Moreover, it doesn't require electricity. This antenna has been tested by one of the largest television companies in Mexico, with satisfying results.
"Globally we have not seen so small TV antennas, the nearest is 30 by 30 square centimeters. Due to the characteristics of our design, the patent was granted last year and now we seek business or an investment opportunity that allows us to mass produce it. Although the manufacturing is semi-craft, its cost is less than what the market offers after the analog switch," says Dr. Tecpoyotl.
On the opportunity to undertake an academic stay in London, the doctor in electronics specializing in semiconductors emphasizes that it was a very valuable experience, because of the number of experts at the highest level in all areas, both in comprehensive training in business models, management of a company, presentation of the development to potential investors, as well as how to convey the message. "The cost of this training is very high and we had the great fortune to experience it thanks to the support received."
"At UAEM we work in two programs about entrepreneurship and innovation management, this is the masters program in Commercialization of innovative knowledge, part of the National Quality Graduate Program, by the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt). In them, the learning gained during the stay in London will be reflected, by training specialized human resources in this area."
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