3D passive UHF RFID tags

The University of Barcelona (UB), through its knowledge transfer office the Bosch i Gimpera Foundation, has awarded a €25,000 grant to the project 3D passive UHF RFID tags through the Proof of Concept grants (PoC) category of the 2022 Fund for the Promotion of Innovation (F2I) call. The project is led by Dr Neus Vidal and Dr Josep Maria López-Villegas, professors in the Department of Electronics and Biomedical Engineering of the UB Faculty of Physics.

The proof of concept presented combines two different technologies: radio-frequency identification (RFID) and additive manufacturing (AM). Passive RFID technology is widely used to identify objects. Nevertheless, it still has significant technical limitations that mean it can’t be used in many industrial sectors.

On the other hand, additive manufacturing (AM) is being adopted by a growing number of productive sectors given its characteristics: quick prototyping, complexity without additional cost, etc. However, its implementation in the RF electronics sector is very limited. Full 3D structuring could improve and enhance it with new features, specifically related to RFID tags.

The goal is to design a full 3D passive UHF RFID tag with sensing abilities. Using AM will help minimise some of the current technological limitations and add new features. The motivation is to expand implementation of the technology to a range of productive sectors and companies where it currently isn’t feasible.

The F2I grant will allow them to improve the design and manufacturing of the preliminary prototype, use a commercial reader to conduct a more extensive analysis of the tags’ commercial compatibility with readers on the market, and introduce chips and sensors to make the product more attractive to the agricultural and construction sectors, among others.

Grants to encourage transfer

The Bosch i Gimpera Foundation earmarked a total of €100,000 for the Proof of Concept grants (PoC) in the 2022 Fund for the Promotion of Innovation (F2I) call. This call aims to drive innovation and valorisation of projects at the University of Barcelona with high potential for transfer and impact on our society.

The Proof of Concept grants are for UB researchers leading transfer projects in which the University owns or co-owns both the knowledge and prior technology and the results the grant would apply to.

Since 2016, the Fund for the Promotion of Innovation programme has led to six spin-offs: AIGecko Technologies, Bluephage, ColorSensing, Mind & Identity, NeurekaLAB, and Virtual Bodyworks. It has also made it possible to licence six technologies and has leveraged over €5 million in public and private funding.

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