SURFAS project


SURFAS (Flexible smart surfaces for augmented indoor communications) is a European funded project to increase the delivery and uptake of innovative products, processes, systems and services in shared smart specialisation sectors.

The interest for communicating devices (CDs) is increasing rapidly because of the large and yet essential services they offer as internet, wireless health care, home automation, wireless access controlling systems, alarms, etc. Thanks to their benefits, the future of CDs is still bright as the market is growing at 2-digits a year with a forecasted 18 billion devices and a value of $1.2 trillion by 2022. Such a huge increase of devices is expected to drive an important power demand. For example, in the France (channel) England (FCE) area, the current use in smoke alarms is around 5.6 million and 7.9 million devices on the French and UK respectively. This corresponds to more than 5.3MWh and 7.4MWh respectively in annual consumption. Another example concerns Wi-Fi routers/boosters estimated at more than 95,000 and 130,000 devices on the French and UK sides respectively, leading to annual consumptions of more than 2.5GWh and 3.4GWh. Proposing energy-efficient disruptive solutions for powering future CDs is the common challenge of the FCE zone this project is intended to tackle.

The objective of SURFAS is to design a zero-power consuming electronic surface able to optimally focus ambient electromagnetic (EM) waves on the appropriate receiver in order to enable both self-powered CDs and improve their performances (sensitivity, range, rate). Such a system is new and missing in the market. It is expected to decrease the energy bill of the FCE zone by more than 5.9GWh a year, while saving 14.9 million € by just considering (but not limited to) both applications over Wi-Fi boosters and smoke alarms.

For these targeted applications two prototypes will be designed, fabricated, experimentally tested, validated over two demonstrators, and transferred to interested SMEs (more than 217 in the FCE zone) developing various kinds of CDs. The first prototype will increase the feeding power (lifetime) harvested from ambient waves over ISM/GSM/3G/Wi-Fi bands to enable EM-based self-powered devices such as smoke alarms, detectors, sensors, etc. The second prototype will increase the range of Wi-Fi signals without consuming additional power unlike common Wi-Fi-boosters.


This project has received a total grant of €1,889,728.20 from Interreg VA France (Channel) England programme ( 2017-2020.