Two innovative EPFL spin-offs win CHF 100’000 each from the FIT

FIT | 17 April 2018

The two EPFL startups Darix and Zaphiro each obtained a seed loan of CHF 100’000 from the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT). This type of loan is granted to promising young companies of Western Switzerland in phase of commercial development. Since 1994, the FIT has financed innovative technological projects and startups with a total of 33 million Swiss francs of loans and grants. These companies have created more than 1000 jobs in Switzerland so far.

Darix: Augmented reality to help see the invisible

Created in 2014, Darix crafts augmented reality (AR) applications for professionals. The team made the headlines with their thermal imaging solution, Vizir, which allows fire fighters to see through smoke and better understand their environment. Vizir combines a mini infrared camera and a transparent screen installed in the fire fighters oxygen mask, showing two images in their field of view: what their eyes see – which can be close to nothing in extreme condition – and what the thermal imaging camera records and displays in real time, which enables to see what was previously invisible.

Darix also provides AR to the industry in order to increase employees productivity and engagement. For example, AR trainings targeted at technicians who work on complex technological products. Or a remote expert scenario platform and app, used with selected smart glasses, which can help a remote colleague to send recommendations, annotated images and drawings directly to the smart glasses of his fellow technician colleague needing expert help on site.

The FIT loan will now help Darix make the last sprint: a pre-production prototype, which is crucial to convince partners and investors.

Useful link: Watch Innovaud’s portrait video of Darix

Martijn Bosch, CEO | martijn.bosch@darix.ch | +41 76 232 50 77

Zaphiro Technologies: For a better energy supply

Zaphiro Technologies has developed an innovative solution for the smart management of electrical distribution grids called SynchroGuard. Nowadays, electrical utilities need to upgrade the level of monitoring and automation of distribution grids in order to cope with the unpredictability of renewable energies and the stringent power-quality requirements imposed by regulators. Phenomena like overloads and over voltages are becoming more frequent and the duration of power outages need to be decreased.

To increase grid efficiency and reliability, SynchroGuard provides real-time visibility of the grid status, enables safe integration of renewable energies, and quickly reacts to electrical faults. It consists of distributed sensing and a central grid controller that collects all the measurements and manages the energy flows in an optimal way. The main novelty of Zaphiro’s approach is the use of synchrophasors that are very frequent and synchronized measurements of voltage and electric current, enabling accurate fault location and simple installation. Zaphiro’s team has exploited its unique expertise in smart grids to rethink the synchrophasors’ concept for distribution grid management.

The FIT loan will help Zaphiro conduct several projects in Switzerland and in Asia, and help the team carry out the final product validation before the upcoming commercialization phase.

Useful link: Watch Zaphiro’s presentation video

Lorenzo Zanni, COO | lorenzo.zanni@zaphiro.ch | +41 78 679 67 18