Apr 7, 2021

Ozark Integrated Circuits Takes Home a Second Major Prize from U.S. Department of Energy

Fayetteville-based Ozark Integrated Circuits (OzarkIC) earned its second American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Wednesday, April 7. 

A total of ten companies across the United States will share the $1 million prize and each will receive $75,000 in vouchers for use at DOE National Labs. 

Launched in April 2020, the American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize is designed to spur innovation using additive manufacturing to address the challenges fundamental to operating in harsh geothermal environments. The contest consists of four progressive competitions with the first being called “Ready!.” Ozark IC was one of the winners in that round, which was announced in October 2020. 

In round two, “Set!,” the competition was opened to all, not just the Ready! winners. Competitors demonstrated their design’s promise to meet engineering and operational requirements. During the Set! contest, competitors were expected to make significant progress in putting together a team capable of building and creating a prototype design. Only the 10 winners of Set! move on to the Make! contest (which will have up to five winners), and these five will be eligible for the final Geo! contest (which will have one or two winners) and the grand prizes.

Ozark IC was supported in the Geothermal Prize submission by: 
•    Helmerich & Payne Corporate Ventures, LLC (a subsidiary of Helmerich & Payne, Inc.). – specifications from well exploration operations. 
•    AltaRock Energy Inc. – geothermal specifications and defining the value-add for each sensor channel. 
•    Sporian Microsystems, Inc. – ultra-high temperature pressure and accelerometer sensors. 
•    Sciperio, Inc. – development and transfer of advanced nScrypt additive electronic manufacturing techniques to Ozark IC’s manufacturing line.

The Ozark IC team was also supported by two national DOE laboratories: Pacific Northwest National Laboratories and Oak Ridge National Laboratories – Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.

Ozark IC’s entry, “Using Additive Manufacturing to rapidly deploy new sensors into Enhanced Geothermal Systems”, in the competition makes use of many years of expertise in the application of Additive Manufacturing to enable the rapid integration of sensors into the XNodeTM, Ozark IC’s high-temperature signal processing platform. The additive manufacturing techniques are essential in enabling this capability.

This honor comes shortly after Ozark IC celebrated its 10th anniversary. Founded February 24, 2011, by current President and CEO Dr. Matt Francis, Ozark IC’s mission is to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) to the edge of extreme environments by creating best-in-class solutions, with an emphasis on Extreme Environment applications, such as those experienced in Energy Exploration, Aerospace, Space Exploration, and Industrial Controls industries.
“Using novel Additive Manufacturing techniques, we’ve broken down the barriers to rugged electronics; low-cost,” Francis said. “We firmly believe you should not have to promise to pay the moon to have technology that will get you to the moon.” 

“As we move forward into our next decade, we will continue to provide best-in-class technology for each customer, be it from the aerospace industry, energy exploration, or other industrial markets.” 

Ozark IC started out as a company that would build a new custom solution for each new client or problem but in recent years, they’ve found a way to design and manufacture proprietary solutions that can then be customized based on each client’s needs. They recently developed manufacturing space in their Fayetteville headquarters where they build their proprietary XNodes.