Aragon Photonics Labs. S.L. has signed an exclusive licensing deal with ZEPREN Solutions S.L. involving its Optical Telecommunications Test & Measurement product line, which includes BOSA High-resolution Optical Spectrum Analyzer and HDCA High-Definition Component Analyzer. This agreement expands on the existing collaboration between the two companies that already saw the Concentrated Solar Power Instrumentation product line licensed to ZEPREN in 2023.
“This agreement enables APL to focus its efforts in enhancing its products and applications for Distributed Fiber Optic Sensing. We consider this business line strategic for the company in the coming years” said Francisco López, President of Aragon Photonics.
“We will continue supporting all existing customers and invest in the product line to keep providing innovative test & measurement solutions for the optical communications and photonic integrated chips markets”, stated Asier Villafranca, CEO of ZEPREN Solutions.
Both companies expect to continue collaborating to build up the technology ecosystem in Aragon.
ZEPREN Solutions has obtained the certification as #startup by Enisa con el emprendimiento innovador, which recognizes new companies based on innovative technology with high growth potential. This certification enables ZEPREN to benefit from the multiple advantages set out in “startup law” (28/2022 of December 21st). One more step forward… let’s keep up!
El proyecto presentado en la subvención del TDI-FEDER, corresponde a un proyecto industrial que aporta valor añadido, económico y social, con la realización de actividades de investigación industrial y desarrollo experimental encaminados a desarrollar nuevos productos de monitorización de los parámetros de calidad en plantas termosolares, así como con la inversión en activos nuevos, para la consecución de los objetivos; dentro del marco del Programa de Ayudas a la Industria y a la PYME en Aragón (PAIP) y de la Estrategia Aragonesa para la Recuperación Social y Económica.
Cabe resaltar, el compromiso con el medio ambiente ya que, con el presente proyecto, se pretende mejorar y ampliar los servicios ofrecidos en el campo de las energías renovables, en concreto energía solar, para aumentar la cuota de mercado y los resultados comerciales.
Para alcanzar este cometido, ZEPREN ha llevado a cabo un primer análisis de las soluciones existentes en el sector, en concreto, de los sistemas de medida de atenuación atmosférica, de calibración individual de heliostatos en lazo cerrado y de medida de potencia óptica reflejada por heliostatos.
La conclusión de este primer análisis ha dado lugar a tres vías de investigación, cuyo objetivo común reside en monitorizar los parámetros de interés en operaciones y en el mantenimiento de las plantas termo eléctrica solares, que permiten la mejora y la optimización durante los procesos de generación y obtención de energía solar, respondiendo a las necesidades del mercado:
– Sistema de medida de atenuación atmosférica.
– Sistema de calibración individual de heliostatos en lazo cerrado.
– Sistema de medida de potencia óptica reflejada por heliostatos.
The project submitted for the TDI-FEDER grant corresponds to an industrial project that provides added value, both economically and socially, through the implementation of industrial research and experimental development activities aimed at developing new monitoring products for quality parameters in solar thermal plants. This includes investment in new assets to achieve the objectives, within the framework of the Industrial and SME Support Program in Aragon (PAIP) and the Aragonese Strategy for Social and Economic Recovery.
It’s worth noting the commitment to the environment, as with this project, the intention is to enhance and expand services in the field of renewable energies, specifically solar energy, to increase market share and commercial results.
To achieve this goal, ZEPREN has conducted an initial analysis of existing solutions in the sector, specifically focusing on atmospheric attenuation measurement systems, individual calibration of heliostats in closed-loop, and measurement of optical power reflected by heliostats.
The conclusion of this initial analysis has led to three research directions, with a common objective of monitoring the parameters of interest during operations and maintenance of solar thermal power plants, allowing for improvement and optimization during the processes of solar energy generation and acquisition, in response to market needs:
Atmospheric attenuation measurement system.
Individual calibration system for heliostats in a closed loop.
Measurement system for optical power reflected by heliostats.
Today, ZEPREN Solutions has been awarded with the “Innovative SME seal” (Sello PYME Innovadora) by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.
The Innovative SME seal is a recognition granted by the Ministry of Science and Innovation to companies whose activity focuses on Research, Development and Innovation. The distinction was created in June 2014, with the aim of establishing a system of positive discrimination among companies that favours those most likely to remain in time, grow and be competitive.
This certificate, valid for the next 3 years, will ease the access to R&D funding and tax incentives, and will support our efforts to continue developing innovative products and solutions for our customers.
Our R&D and business development efforts begin to take shape! Supported by exclusive licensing agreements with Aragon Photonics Labs and CENER, we launch our first product division focused on Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). Our portfolio of field instruments will enable a more precise monitoring of the solar field.
The first additions to our product porfolio are:
CONDOR, portable reflectometer that allows the monitoring of the heliostat soiling and degradation, as well as evaluating the efficiency of the cleaning.
INCUS, an advanced spectrophotometer that enables characterization of receiver tubes in parabolic through plants.
ATMOS, real-time atmospheric attenuation measurement system for CSP tower plants.
ZEPREN Solutions’ R&D projects get a new push with support from the State Agency of Reserach through Industrial PhD grants programme. This programme will enable our employee Salvador Andrés to conduct his PhD research while working in the company and co-supervised by Prof. Carlos Heras at University of Zaragoza and Asier Villafranca, PhD, at the company. In ZEPREN we strongly believe academic-industrial collaboration and technology transfer to be one of the main keys for long-term success and will continue strengthening our relationship with our R&D partners.
The grant consists in 71.730,00€ to cover partially hiring costs of the PhD candidate and PhD tutoring fees. Grant DIN2021-011740 has been financed by MCIN/AEI/10MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033, with DIN2021-011740 the reference that appears in the concession publication, MCIN the acronym for Spain’s Ministry of Science and Innovatorio (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación); AEI the acronym for Spain’s State Agency for Research (Agencia Estatal de Investigación); 10.13039/501100011033 the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) of the Agency.
ZEPREN Solutions has been awarded with a “Programa INVESTIGO” R&D grant (Z-0034-INVESCS-22) for a total of 55.181,40 € to support the contractual costs of an R&D for 20 months to execute an R&D project related to instrumentation for environmental impact analysis in wind farms. The project will be carried out during 2022 and 2023. The “INVESTIGO” programme is financed by the European Union – NextGenerationEU as part of the Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia (PRTR).
ZEPREN Solutions has been accepted to the CEMINEM technology incubator building, where we will have a dedicated laboratory for the next 2 years. CEMINEM (CEntro MIxto de INvestigación con EMpresas) is a center for joint research with companies at the River Ebro campus of University of Zaragoza. In this lab, technical staff from ZEPREN Solutions will work closely together with researchers from the Photonics Technologies Group.
ZEPREN Solutions and the Photonics Technologies Group will use this space to carry out the SARCAPE/EARLYBIRD Project. In this strategic technology transfer project, we aim to develop innovative instrumentation for renewable energy infrastructures. This project marks the start of the collaboration between ZEPREN and the Photonics Technologies Group, but in fact it is just the renewal of the decade-long relationship between the research group and ZEPREN founders.
“This laboratory will help us build the technical foundations of the company in an optimal setting, close to our collaborators at the University and with easy access for our junior staff, and with very attractive financial conditions” said Asier Villafranca, CEO of the company, who plans to start activities on the new space shortly.
ZEPREN Solutions has closed a 150.000€ seed investment round led by Ariño Smart Hub (ASH) Foundation. Initially, the company will use this money to start activities in January 2022 and hire 3 employees. Moreover, ZEPREN will fund a technology transfer contract with the Photonics Technologies Group from University of Zaragoza.
The goal of the company is to develop radar and photonic instruments and sensors for Industry 4.0 applications. Particularly, the initial focus will be in environmental and renewable energy applications. “Indeed, there are very important challenges of the industry that we believe we can help solve” said Asier Villafranca, CEO of ZEPREN Solutions. “Above all, our business model is based on collaboration and open innovation. We are going to work closely with Universities, Technology Centers and market-leading partner companies”, he added.
As part of the deal, ZEPREN Solutions will set office in La Puebla de Alfindén (Aragón, Spain). To that end, ASH has set up a new business incubation center within the Ariño Duglass facilities. “Ariño Smart Hub has the goal to promote local R&D and contribute to its transformation into high-value industry and jobs” said Raimundo García-Figueras, President of Ariño Duglass.
ZEPREN stands for Zaragoza Electronic Photonics and Radar ENgineering, our origin and expertise, but also means “lever” in Aragonese, representing our mission of leveraging and accelerating the technology transfer from Universities and Technology Centers to the Industry. Our business model has Open Innovation and Collaboration as core values and we welcome partners to join our growing family, with new members being announced soon.