The R&D 100 Awards, often referred to as “the Oscars of invention,” or “the Nobel Prizes of Technology,” has announced its 2020 winners. Supported by the Technology Development Programs of Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT) and Bureau of Energy (BOE), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), ITRI has been singled out for its Dye-sensitized cell (DSC) as Energy source Of Sensors, D-EOS; Networked Amide Epoxy Polymer Electrolyte for Solid State Lithium-Ion Batteries, NAEPE and A Smart-Care Solution for Chronic Wound, iSCare. This marks the 13th consecutive year that ITRI has won the R&D 100 Awards, which also makes Taiwan’s R&D capacity more visible to the world. Other winners this year include top-notch organizations such as Dow, the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Paul J. Heney, VP and Editorial Director for R&D World and Chair of the Judging Panel for the R&D 100 Awards, indicated that program cuts across so many areas of technologies but they have noticed some trends in different sectors. These include the process of bettering lithium-ion car batteries, advances in healthcare technology, the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI), and some success in safety-related items. He pointed out that ITRI had an impressive year with three winners and illustrated the reasons why these innovations can stand out among the competition. “What they (the judges) are looking for is both impact and invention, and the focus in always on inspired design that has real-world applications and something that is needed by our society,” he said.
ITRI President Edwin Liu commented that ITRI has been highly recognized for its strong capability in innovation, adding that since 2008 the institute has collected 44 R&D 100 Awards, 90% of which have been transferred to industry to create new value. The three winners this year, he said, are all market-oriented, focusing on the applications in Smart Living, Quality Health and Sustainable Environment and echoing the goals of ITRI’s 2030 Strategy & Roadmap. These involve the world’s first pilot production line of dye-sensitized cells for smart home applications, an effort to promote high-safety lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems, and an AI recognition system to assess chronic wounds and enhance telecare.
Highlights of ITRI's 2020 R&D 100 winners are as follows:
Dye-sensitized cell (DSC) as Energy source Of Sensors, D-EOS
Different from solar cells, D-EOS can generate electricity under low light conditions and features a conversion efficiency of 17%, which is the highest in the world. ITRI and Formosa Plastics Corporation (FPC) have jointed worked on this technology and constructed the world's first trial production line with annual output of 100,000 DSCs at the Shalun Green Energy Technology Demonstration Site in Taiwan. Various novel applications have been developed, including FPC’s electric curtains, sensors, e-paper and many more.
Networked Amide Epoxy Polymer Electrolyte for Solid State Lithium-Ion Batteries, NAEPE
NAEPE is developed to replace flammable liquid electrolytes and solve safety issues of high-energy lithium-ion batteries. The novel NAEPE material doesn't require heat or UV light to polymerize and possesses high ionic conductivity, while maintaining excellent voltage stability. This technology enables solid state batteries to overcome the single-structure limitations of lithium-ion batteries, creating a cell-to-module opportunity and leading to the development of a 12-volt battery.
A Smart-Care Solution for Chronic Wound, iSCare
iSCare uses AI to identify chronic wounds in seconds, which provides vital support for medical workers for prompt treatment and thus reduces healing time to enhance the quality of telecare service. This three-in-one device offers color, thermal, and depth images to assess wound size, depth, and necrosis of chronic skin injuries, with an accuracy of 85%.