Founded in 2014, eLichens develops and markets innovative sensors and complete solutions for air quality analysis and prediction.
The CEA spin-off start-up is one of the first companies to set up at BHT2 in December 2019.
What are the strengths of eLichens’ technological solutions and what markets do they target?
“In collaboration with Leti, we have developed NDIR (non-dispersive infrared detection) gas sensors for the detection of CO2 and CH4. These optical sensors have several advantages, namely their miniaturisation, low cost, low energy consumption, reliability and robustness over time. We combine them with data fusion and analysis software to offer complete monitoring solutions. The connected air quality measurement station, which we presented at CES 2021, measures temperature, humidity, pressure, noise and light levels, and transmits the information to the user.
Our products are marketed in BtoB and are used in the industrial and logistics sectors, home automation and smart cities.”
What kind of premises do you rent at BHT2?
“We rent a total of 320 m2. We have a 70 m2 laboratory that houses our sensor calibration equipment, offices and meeting rooms, as well as a kitchen, which is also where we can meet up informally.
There were only 20 of us at the end of 2019, but now there are 30. If the number of staff exceeds 37, we’ll have to push back the walls or move, but we’re not thinking about that yet, because we’re doing really well at BHT2!”
How did the fitting work go?
“Before the building work started, preparations took three months, which was a bit long, but it was necessary. We first gave MINATEC ENTREPRISES our specifications, particularly in terms of the operating load of the floors, the equipment cooling system and specific air extraction. We then had a study carried out by Apave to ensure that our installations did not present any risk to our employees or to the other tenants of the BHT2.
On the basis of our needs and Apave’s technical recommendations, MINATEC ENTREPRISES drew up a proposal with a quote and plan. After a few adjustments, we approved the project and the work began. The work lasted three and a half months and we were able to start operating as soon as we moved in.”
More than a year after you moved in, what’s your verdict?
“The premises suit us very well and we appreciate being so close to the SNCF station. It’s a benefit for both our employees and our customers. The MINATEC ENTREPRISES team is very attentive and responds quickly when we need it. For example, we have been allowed to use an outdoor space for gas storage. We have also been able to install sensors on the roof of the BHT2, which we can access for adjustments and checks. I don’t think any of this would have been possible with a conventional building management team!”