It is time for Norway to solidify its position as a leader in sensor technology innovation.
Sensors are the foundation of digitalisation, precisely because they occupy the boundary between the real world, where they measure, and the virtual world, where they provide data.
Norway has a particularly strong history in the development and commercialisation of sensor technology. From the depths of our oceans all the way to outer space, we have developed technology from tiny sensor components to full smart sensor solutions, that make our world greener, safer, and more autonomous.
A Sensor Arena
The Sensor Decade is envisioned as a long-term initiative, beginning as a national meeting, and eventually growing into an international meeting arena for discussing leading sensor research. By meeting and discussing trends and visions, we can accelerate new ideas, aid the growth of SME technology providers, establish new start-ups and long-term strategic alignments.
Where do we see future sensor trends heading?
Who is working on the next up-and-coming enabling technology? And what will these be?
Nanophotonics, quantum sensing, metasurfaces, novel deployment of battery sensors?
Sensors is a broad theme and a field, where many off-the-shelf technologies are ready to go, but with disruptive technologies and challenges popping up all the time, we need to be agile and ready to pivot in new directions and push new boundaries.
When it comes to material characterisation, process monitoring, remote sensing and gas detection, smart optical measurement systems are advancing due to new developments in detector materials, lower-cost optical components, high speed electronics and edge computing.
Miniaturised and more autonomous
When we need to achieve robust miniaturisation, MEMS-based sensors (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System) pave the way for small, lightweight, cost-efficient sensors that are suitable for high volume production.
Today they can be found in airplanes for altitude detection, in industrial gas sensors where they enable low-power sensing, and in ultrasonic gesture recognition devices that are attractive for both consumer and industrial applications.
MEMS are essential in the quest to achieve zero-power sensors, for example by combining event-based operation and energy harvesting, and developments in 2D materials and metal oxide frameworks can enable much lower detection limits, making them very attractive for health and diagnosis applications.
As we progress towards more autonomous systems, these systems are literally lost without sensor platforms that can perceive, sense, and map the surrounding environment.
Norway is rapidly advancing when it comes to autonomy, employing robotics for manufacturing, space, subsea, precision agriculture and predictive maintenance. Each of these applications areas has their own specific needs and environmental challenges, and they have much to learn from each other. The Sensor Decade is a unique arena for sharing knowledge and experiences.