We’re always looking for challenges and technology areas that can benefit from our in-house invention expertise. For particularly promising opportunities, IV will often create a dedicated program or an entirely separate company to invent new technologies and bring them to market.
In 2006, after a series of invention sessions, ISF decided that the Travelling Wave Reactor (TWR) was the leading solution to solving global energy issues. In 2008, the result of this decision became TerraPower, ISF's first spinout. TerraPower continues to refine its TWR design and expects to build a test reactor within the next few years. The company is also producing valuable research on fast reactors and pioneering materials development for advanced nuclear energy systems.
ISF designed and tested the first 2-dimensional scanning prototype of a metamaterial scanning antenna able to scan in both directions, not just along one axis. After a one year incubation period, Kymeta spun out to create the world’s first metamaterials-based satellite antenna. The company’s first product, a software-enabled metamaterials-based electronic beamforming antenna for satellite communications, will keep boats, planes, cars, and more connected.
For over a decade ISF has been working in the metamaterials field not only with its own inventors but also through collaborations with additional pioneering academic researchers. ISF established the MCC in 2013 to propel the development and commercial readiness of disruptive metamaterials-based products for a variety of markets.
Evolv Technology formed in 2013 with the intent to develop novel metamaterial-based apertures for next-generation microwave and millimeter wave security imaging systems. Recently, by combining powerful sensors, artificial intelligence, and human IQ, Evolv created the Evolv Mosaiq™ security platform for use in airports and other high-risk environments.
A 2014 spinout, Echodyne is reinventing the way the world uses radar. To date, affordable mechanically scanned radar has largely been low performance, while high performance electronically scanning radar has been prohibitively expensive for commercial uses. Patented Metamaterial Electronically Scanning Array (MESA) stands to be disruptive across a wide range of existing radar applications while enabling new categories of radars.
Modern Electron, spun-out in 2015, is an energy start-up dedicated to generating inexpensive and reliable modular electricity generators for all. Expensive mechanical engines and turbines still generate the majority of the power used worldwide, while Modern Electron seeks to replace them with paper-thin heat-to-electricity generators.
In 2016, Pivotal spun out of ISF’s Metamaterials Commercialization Center with a vision of using metamaterials to help create a world of limitless connectivity. By unleashing the power of beamforming technology for terrestrial communications, Pivotal enables more ubiquitous broadband access to help meet the insatiable demand for data throughput and maximize spectral efficiency across broadband, telecommunications, transportation and other markets.