News Apr 3, 2024

Jacobs Advances Pioneering Technology to Reduce Battery Waste

Our work with HaiLa is creating sustainable social, economic and environmental community benefits

Every day, Jacobs powers change to maximize social equity, community benefits and social sustainability with our social value and equity solutions.

Just take for example our work with HaiLa Technologies Inc (HaiLa), who are advancing their innovative Wi-Fi-enabled passive backscatter technology with the aim to reduce battery power consumption in a number of industries. HaiLa is part of our business mentoring program that supports small and diverse-owned businesses. 

HaiLa, founded in Montreal by Forbes Top 30 under 30 Recipient (2021), Charlotte Savage, has developed pioneering technology to dramatically increase the battery life of wireless sensors and other connected devices by enabling ultra-low power radio connectivity, initially over Wi-Fi. These devices are increasingly used in homes and across a variety of industries, such as healthcare, agriculture, building automation and smart transportation.

HaiLa’s focus is to reduce power consumption for a more sustainable ecosystem. This will ultimately reduce the environmental impact of battery use globally, notably in temperature and humidity sensing for smart thermostats, and broader smart home technology.  

“I am passionate about this technology, and its potential global impact on the economics and environmental consequences of battery use,” explains HaiLa Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Charlotte Savage. “I recognized the same values when speaking to the Jacobs team and have enjoyed working closely with them for the past two years as part of their business mentoring initiative. Our values are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the EnABLES position paper. We anticipate HaiLa’s technology will make a significant contribution toward sustainably powering Internet of Things (IoT) devices.”

Jacobs and HaiLa signed a consortia funding agreement with Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) in 2021, as part of Jacobs’ business mentoring program. Jacobs has successfully mentored thousands of small and diverse-owned businesses throughout our history, supporting strategic business enhancement opportunities for local, small, minority and women-owned businesses.

“Our partnership with HaiLa was a no brainer, since small diverse business relationship development and cultivation, capacity-building, and growth is a key pillar of what our Social Value & Equity practice brings to our clients,” says Jacobs Social Value & Equity Director for the Americas Toyin Ogunfolaju. “Forward facing innovation at scale. Partnerships like this create sustainable social, economic, and environmental community benefits.”

In 2024, Jacobs will continue to collaborate with HaiLa to test the second generation of chip technology at PA Consulting’s Global Innovation and Technology Centre in Cambridge and investigate a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach in Phase 2 of the Environmental Study to understand associated environmental impacts.

As part of supporting HailLa, we’ve worked with PA Consulting to advise on validating the performance of their pioneering technology. 

“Scaling up ultra-low energy wireless communication technology and energy harvesting techniques is an area we have extensive experience in at PA Consulting,” shares PA Consulting Energy & Utilities Expert Andrew Burrows. “In collaboration with Jacobs, we’re combining the market-leading expertise across both organizations to accelerate HaiLa’s journey toward making a tangible sustainability-driven impact on several hard-to-abate sectors.”  

About the small and diverse-owned business inclusion program at Jacobs

At Jacobs, our small and diverse-owned business inclusion program aims to increase the participation of small and diverse-owned businesses (S/DBEs) across all service areas and phases of a capital program by pursuing a targeted approach that provides opportunities for small and diverse-owned businesses and other local businesses, including suppliers, vendors, consultants and contractors. We promote forecasted opportunities on all our projects to small and diverse-owned businesses in a strategic manner that matches the need with the marketplace, fostering successful procurements.  We look to our vendor marketplace and industry partnerships to build lasting, long term relationships that can be a beneficial for local firms seeking knowledge and technology transfer.  

Elements of our small and diverse-owned business inclusion program include: 

  • Hosting periodic outreach events to continuously raise awareness of business opportunities.
  • Creating technology transfer plans that educate and train firms in specialized technologies or business practices.
  • Developing a pre-qualified pool of firms for broad categories of work relevant to the project or programs to facilitate procurement and enhance competition.
  • Tailoring project contracts and structures to reflect qualifications of those firms in the marketplace and maximize their ability to participate.
  • Inserting local preference clauses in contracts and bundling and earmarking contracts for small and diverse business inclusion where possible.
  • Exploring financing mechanisms to provide capitalization and improving payment terms to help their business run efficiently, rather than be hindered by cash flow issues caused by slow payments, for example.  
  • Helping clients unbundle large construction contracts to enable greater participation by small and diverse-owned businesses

About HaiLa Technologies Inc.

Founded in 2019 in Montreal, Canada, HaiLa is a fabless semiconductor and software company developing low power multi-protocol (like Wi-Fi) radio communication for IoT devices. Originally conceptualized at Stanford University, HaiLa is focusing on scaling IoT sustainably by using complementary methods to the way data is received and transmitted, removing the need for battery maintenance, and leveraging existing wireless infrastructures. Customers and partners are focused on the smart home and building automation spaces, along with consumer electronics, mobile, industrial, transportation, medical, and agriculture markets.