News

News

2019

SMG Surface prototype ‘the cube’ heads for quiet testing

We’re out for some quiet-time! In July SMG take our ‘mini’ surface prototype ‘the cube’ for some quiet testing with an absolute gravimeter at the BGS SGF Space Geodesy Facility, Herstmonceux, East Sussex.

SMG Surface prototype ‘the cube’  heads for quiet testing

2019

SMG were showcased by BP as one of 4 BP Ventures backed companies
at the Houston OTC

Silicon Microgravity were showcased by BP as one of 4 BP Ventures backed companies at their suite at the Houston OTC (Offshore Technology Conference) conference in May. SMG CEO, Jez Lofts had the chance to show case their MEMS accelerometer and gyro developments with customers from all over the world.

Silicon Microgravity - BP Ventures backed companies

2019

SMG present at SPE Middle East Oil show, Bahrain

SMG presented at the SPE Middle East Oil show, Bahrain. The paper entitled, Three-Axis Borehole Gravity Logging for Reservoir Surveillance. Can be found here. The full title is Lofts, Jeremy; Zett, Adrian; Clifford, Peter; Li, Yaoguo; Krahenbuhl, Richard; Seshia Ashwin, Three-Axis Borehole Gravity Logging for Reservoir Surveillance. (2019) SPE-194845-MS, MEOS Bahrain

2019

SMG signs CO2 Capture Project (CCP) agreement

SMG enters in to an agreement to acquire gravity data for the CO2 Capture Project (CCP) Phase 4. The CCP is an award-winning group of major energy companies working to advance the technologies that will underpin the deployment of industrial-scale CO2 capture and storage. www.co2captureproject.org

2018

SMG successfully completes first full integrated field test

We are very pleased to have successfully completed SMG’s first integrated borehole field test in November. A big thank you to the team who have worked so hard, and moved a mountain, as well as to our supplier partner Edge Energy Ltd.

2018

SMG enters partnership to develop new industry of quantum gravity sensors

UK consortium of leading scientific and engineering companies has come together to develop a new industry of quantum cold-atom sensors that will detect and monitor objects beneath the ground better than any current technology. SMG will develop and provide surface based sensors for benchmarking. Read the press release here

2018

SMG celebrate the official opening by the board of our Silicon Microgravity Cambridge Technology Center at the Cambridge Innovation Park, Waterbeach, Cambridge this week!

SMG celebrate the official opening by the board of our Silicon Microgravity Cambridge Technology Center at the Cambridge Innovation Park, Waterbeach, Cambridge this week! This is home to our growing R&D and Engineering team and features a modern digital electronics lab plus separate analogue electronics lab with purpose built low vibration table. We have recruited some of the top Cambridge University talent and if you are up for the challenge we are seeking a number of exciting and key roles as we fufil our purpose of applying gravity to create value. Check out our careers.

2018

SMG moves its growing Technology and Engineering team to their new
Cambridge Technology Centre

We are proud to open our Technology Center at the Cambridge Innovation Centre, Waterbeach, Cambridge. This will house our growing team and will feature modern electronics lab as well as office facilities.

2018

Silicon Microgravity (SMG), secures $7 million investment - download PDF here

Silicon Microgravity (SMG), a spin-out from both BP and the University of Cambridge, has raised $7 million from IP Group, Parkwalk, BP Ventures and Cambridge Enterprise.

Silicon Microgravity Limited is a privately held company focused on developing and applying innovative technology primarily to improve surveillance, appraisal and production of oil and gas with additional application to CO2 storage, water management, mining and defence. Our technology has the potential to disrupt current practices and advance reservoir surveillance so that our clients can achieve real efficiencies and cost savings while meeting their desired social, safety and environmental goals.

SMG is based on over ten years of research from the Nanoscience Centre at the University of Cambridge in collaboration with the energy company BP PLC. It has developed a unique high performance, ultra-sensitive, yet robust microelectromechanical system (MEMS). The MEMS technology consists of a 3-axis accelerometer with a projected resolution of approximately one billionth of the Earth’s gravity. SMG is also funded for and actively researching a related MEMS gyro technology with a potential application to inertial navigation.

This funding round of $7m will allow the company to commercialise its technology and grow rapidly. (Download full press release)

2018

SMG appoints Jeremy (Jez) Lofts as CEO

Jez is an experienced energy industry executive with over 25 years’ in energy / mining fields with leadership experience covering business management, new technology introduction, strategic marketing and global sales-account management, as well as reservoir technical expertise. He joins from Baker Hughes.

2018

SMG centers its growing team in Cambridge and London

In addition to our Cambridge base, SMG move to our Executive and Sales office, Stokenchurch, High Wycombe.

2018

SMG welcomes new technical experts to the company

Arif Mustafazade joined in March as Senior Module Design engineer, Douglas Young as Software Engineer in April.

2018

SMG files its latest gyro based patent

  • This brings the companies growing technology portfolio to spanning 8 patent families, 16 granted patents and more filed.

 

2018

A project funded by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) on using SMG’s MEMS gyroscope for navigation commenced January 2018

  • Initial experimental results on existing devices confirm results published in Transducers 2017.

2017

SMG welcomes a new key player

SMG welcomes a new key player to the company Dr Philipp Steinmann as Senior Engineer.

EVENT: IIoT and Digital Solutions in Oil and Gas 2017

Paul Vickery, Executive Chairman, will be presenting Silicon Microgravity at the conference “IIoT and Digital Solutions for Oil and Gas” on 8 June in Amsterdam where he will explain how SMG is providing enhanced oil recovery with borehole gravity.

IIoT and Digital Solutions in Oil and Gas 2017

EVENT: MEMS and Sensors Technical Conference

Paul Vickery, Executive Chairman, on 10 May presented SMG to the MEMS and Sensors Technical Conference at Stanford University where he explained the wide-ranging potential uses of gravity data in applications as diverse as tunnel detection, monitoring of groundwater, early warning of landslides, carbon storage monitoring and navigation.

EVENT: OTC in Houston

Paul Vickery, Executive Chairman, on 1 May presented to the start-up roundup at the OTC in Houston announcing the intention to raise $5m in a series A fund raising

Silion Microgravity feature in Semiconductor Times

"Silicon MicroGravity (SMG) was spun out of University of Cambridge in September 2014 to commercialize a novel sensor technology used by oil companies to enhance oil recovery. The company has received initial funding of $3 million from Imperial Innovations Group and Cambridge Enterprise, together with grant funding from the UK government. The company has raised £1.5m to date and plans to seek up to £5m in additional capital in Q2’17.

Gravity sensing is a well-established surface exploration technology; however, it is not easily available in the borehole. SMG’s sensors, developed in partnership with BP, are sensitive enough to measure one billionth the level of Earth’s gravity and are small and robust enough to be sent deep into boreholes to distinguish oil from water. SMG estimates that the technology could improve yields on conventional reservoirs by up to 2%, representing significant increases in production and revenues.

The sensors are based on MEMS technology. The Company’s MEMS technology uses a highly sensitive resonant frequency sensing methodology, which provides improved performance at low frequencies relative to other MEMS seismic sensors based on capacitive or optical sensing. The sensing methodology provides breakthrough sensitivities compared to commercial MEMS accelerometers, enabling high-resolution gravity measurements. MicroG LaCoste has a borehole gravity system; however, SMG argues that its MEMS-based solution offers numerous advantages. A team of Cambridge scientists, led by Dr. Ashwin Seshia, of the University’s Department of Engineering, has been working with BP to develop the sensors. Design work began in 2010 and has resulted in several generations of prototypes. A successful test was conducted in 2012 prompting BP to fund a follow-on project to address further optimization and pursue large-scale manufacture of the sensors. The first field trial in a production well is scheduled for 2017..."

BP and SMG deepen their relationship

Silicon Microgravity Ltd, the spin out from Cambridge University manufacturing gravity sensors have formed an advisory board with BP Ventures, the corporate venture division of   BP plc., to explore future cooperation around borehole microgravity logging technology for use in oil and gas exploration. The advisory board comprises Luis Alcoser and Robin Wye from BP and Paul Vickery and Francis Neill from SMG.
Luis Alcoser from BP Ventures, said: “BP has a strong track record of developing differentiated technologies and we see the SMG borehole gravity technology as a key enabling technology with potential applications across the BP global portfolio.  That’s why BP Ventures is pleased to further strengthen the collaborative relationship with SMG through this relationship.”

“The BP support  is intended to enable SMG to develop a greater understanding of operator requirements  and also the ability to deploy the technology in a range of applications.”

Paul Vickery, CEO from SMG said:
“We are delighted to be working with BP Ventures to deliver a structured qualification process for SMG’s patented gravity sensors.  

“We believe our new proprietary, patented borehole microgravity logging technology, based on a unique approach, will present a disruptive approach to the  measurement of water flood fronts in major conventional reservoirs.”

“Our phase density technology has the potential to enable operators to secure significant increases in strategic value through 1) improved sweep efficiency & recovery through better Enhanced Oil Recovery management (flood front prediction, coning and sanding risk), 2) better thin bed detection in resource assessment, and 3) enable superior bypassed pay identification.”

                                                               

About BP Ventures

BP Ventures is a core component of BP’s innovation ecosystem, focusing on the capture of strategic value from the co-development and deployment of new, cutting-edge technologies. BP is identifying and investing in private, high growth, game-changing technology companies, accelerating cutting edge innovations across the energy spectrum. The investment portfolio is primarily focused on emerging technologies in oil and gas exploration and production and downstream conversion processes. BP Ventures also partners with entrepreneurial companies specialising in biotech, water, advanced materials, and digital technology.

About Silicon Microgravity

Silicon MicroGravity (SMG), a newly-formed University of Cambridge spin-out that has developed a novel sensor technology used by oil companies to enhance oil recovery, has received initial funding of $3 million from Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, ‘Innovations’) and Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation arm of the University of Cambridge, together with grant funding from the UK government. SMG’s sensors, developed in collaboration with BP, are sensitive enough to measure one billionth the level of Earth’s gravity and are small and robust enough to be sent deep into boreholes to distinguish oil from water. Once the position of water is established and tracked, reservoir engineers can mitigate the potentially damaging results of water reaching a production well. SMG estimates that the technology could markedly improve yields on conventional reservoirs, representing significant increases in production and revenues.

Cambridge Enterprise press release - click here to view on www.enterprise.cam.ac.uk

University of Cambridge spin-out secures $3 million investment to improve the efficiency of oil recovery
CAMBRIDGE, UK 29 February, 2016 -- Silicon MicroGravity (SMG), a newly-formed University of Cambridge spin-out that has developed a novel sensor technology used by oil companies to enhance oil recovery, has received initial funding of $3 million from Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, ‘Innovations’) and Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation arm of the University of Cambridge, together with grant funding from the UK government.

SMG’s sensors, developed in partnership with BP, are sensitive enough to measure one billionth the level of Earth’s gravity and are small and robust enough to be sent deep into boreholes to distinguish oil from water.
Once the position of water is established and tracked, reservoir engineers can mitigate the potentially damaging results of water reaching a production well. SMG estimates that the technology could improve yields on conventional reservoirs by up to 2 percent, representing significant increases in production and revenues.

A team of Cambridge scientists, led by Dr Ashwin Seshia, of the University’s Department of Engineering, has been working closely with BP to develop the sensors. Design work began in 2010 and has resulted in several generations of prototypes providing experimental validation of the underlying device approach. A successful test of the technology was conducted in 2012 prompting BP to fund a follow-on project to address further optimisation and pursue large-scale manufacture of the sensors.

SMG was formed in 2014 to accelerate the development of the product and develop a service that can capture and analyse data on behalf of oil companies. The first field trial in a production well is scheduled for 2017.

Innovations led the funding round alongside Cambridge Enterprise, which also invested and licensed the technology to SMG. SMG is also being supported through the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Stephenson Fund, a private investor, InnovateUK and NERC, which have awarded a substantial grant.

SMG’s advisory board includes Kevin Dodds, General Manager of ANLEC in Australia, and Professor Roger Howe from Stanford University.
Dr Ashwin Seshia, co-founder of Silicon Microgravity, said: “The SMG devices advance the frontiers of gravity sensor technology building upon several years of University research and innovation. SMG brings together a leading international team of experts to address the next phase of technology translation and we are looking forward to working collaboratively with our partners to deploy these tools widely.”
Paul Vickery, Chairman and co-founder of Silicon Microgravity, said: “I am very excited to form this new company based on a long standing collaboration between Cambridge University and BP. We have created a compelling business plan, raised a sizable initial investment and formed a credible global team to launch the company. I look forward to building a business that can help oil companies enhance oil recovery from their major assets.”
Robert Bahns from Imperial Innovations said: “SMG has an outstanding technology developed at Cambridge University that has been significantly de-risked through a longstanding partnership with BP. The company has all the key ingredients in place to demonstrate the commercial value of the technology, and we are very pleased to be able to lead this funding round to take them through this stage and beyond.”
Julian Peck from Cambridge Enterprise said: “We are delighted that Dr Seshia’s unique technology is being commercialised by SMG. We are very excited by the market opportunity and we are keen to support future progress.”
Akira Kirton from BP Ventures said: “Water management is an increasingly important issue for BP and the whole industry, so we are excited about the potential for SMG’s technology to help us pinpoint where water is within a reservoir and enable us to take mitigating action. This collaboration fits perfectly with BP Ventures’ strategy of investing in new technologies that can be rapidly field tested and deployed.”
Stephen Tetlow MBE, Chief Executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: “We are excited to be supporting such an exciting and cutting-edge technology. The Institution’s Stephenson Fund aims to fulfil the Institution’s original purpose to give an impulse to invention and also help companies overcome the investment hurdle between Research and Development and bringing a product to market. This innovation could revolutionise oil well recovery and is an example of exactly the sort of innovation we are committed to supporting.”


About Cambridge Enterprise - www.enterprise.cam.ac.uk
Cambridge Enterprise Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Cambridge, responsible for the commercialisation of University intellectual property. Activities include management and licensing of intellectual property and patents, proof of concept funding and support for University staff and research groups wishing to provide expert advice or facilities to public and private sector organisations. Cambridge Enterprise provides access to angel and early stage capital through the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds, University of Cambridge Enterprise Funds, Cambridge Innovation Capital and Cambridge Enterprise Venture Partners, and offers business planning, mentoring, and other related programmes.

About Imperial Innovations - www.imperialinnovations.co.uk
Imperial Innovations Group plc (“Innovations”) creates, builds and invests in pioneering technology companies and licensing opportunities developed from outstanding scientific research from the 'Golden Triangle', the geographical region broadly bounded by London, Cambridge and Oxford. This area has an unrivalled cluster of outstanding academic research and technology businesses, and is home to four of the world’s top 10 universities, as well as leading research institutions, the cream of the UK’s science and technology businesses and many of its leading investors.
Innovations supports scientists and entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas, through the licensing of intellectual property, by leading the formation of new companies, by recruiting high-calibre management teams and by providing investment and encouraging co-investment. Innovations remains an active investor over the life of its portfolio companies, with the majority of Innovations’ investment going into businesses in which it is already a shareholder.

Since becoming a public company in 2006, Innovations has raised more than £434.0 million of equity from investors, which has enabled it to invest in some of the most exciting spin-outs to come out of UK academic research. In addition, the Group has agreed £80.0 million in loan facilities from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Between Innovations’ admission to AIM (August 2006) and 31 July 2015, Innovations has invested a total of £236.8 million across its portfolio companies, which have raised collectively investment of £1.3 billion.

About BP Ventures
BP Ventures identifies and invests in private, high growth, game-changing technology companies, accelerating cutting edge innovations across the entire energy spectrum. The Investment portfolio is primarily focused on emerging technologies in oil and gas exploration and production and downstream conversion processes. BP Ventures also partners with entrepreneurial companies specialising in biotech, water, advanced materials, and digital technology.
About the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers was established in 1847 and has some of the world’s greatest engineers in its history books. It is one of the fastest growing professional engineering institutions. Headquartered in London, we have operations around the world and over 113,000 members in more than 140 countries working at the heart of the most important and dynamic industries such as the automotive, rail, aerospace, medical, power and construction industries. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Stephenson LP fund aims to help companies overcome the investment hurdle between Research and Development and bringing a product to market. The fund, initially worth a total of £2 million, is in line with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ original statement of purpose set out by founder George Stephenson in 1847 to “give an impulse to invention likely to be useful to the world.” The Stephenson LP Fund is independently managed by specialist venture capital company Midven Ltd. and aims to invest in innovative companies engaged in mechanical engineering over the next few years.

Website live

SMG website is launched today. More news and a press release to follow shortly...