Ozark IC receives cash prizes, honors

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 539 views 

Matt Francis founded Ozark Integrated Circuits on Feb. 24, 2011. He earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Arkansas in 2009.

Fayetteville-based electronics manufacturer Ozark Integrated Circuits Inc. (Ozark IC) recently announced three awards, $165,000 in cash prizes and $75,000 in vouchers.

Founder and President Matt Francis said the recognition for its work is more valuable than the prizes. The company develops electronics to withstand extreme temperatures and environments.

“What is really significant for us is the validation that these awards provide, as well as the opportunity to improve our product lines by working closely with our customers,” Francis said. “We are, of course, very pleased with the cash awards, but the validation of the hard work that our team has done is the greatest reward.”

On Dec. 2, Ozark IC was named one of 10 semifinalists of the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) Geothermal Geophone Prize. The GTO is an agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, and the title of Ozark IC’s project in the competition is “High-Temperature Seismology: High-Temperature LVDT-based Geophone.”

Teams identified and developed concepts for high-temperature, downhole seismic sensors in the competition’s first phase. Each semifinalist received $75,000 in cash and $75,000 in vouchers to use with an industry leader or national laboratory to support their project. Ozark IC will use its vouchers to collaborate with geothermal exploration company AltaRock Energy Inc.

In the second phase, which started Dec. 3, Ozark IC will develop the concepts and demonstrate the promise of the designs. The three-phase competition is expected to help spur innovation in seismic sensors for use in geothermal environments and support geothermal deployment growth.

On Dec. 8, Ozark IC earned second place and $75,000 for its entry in the xTechManufacture Prize of the U.S. Army. Ozark IC also received $15,000 after being named one of 10 finalists in the competition that included more than 100 entrants. The title of its entry was “Rapid Deployment of Hypersonic Systems using High Temperature Control XNodes.”

The third award was to Francis from IEEE-USA. Francis received the 2022 IEEE-USA Entrepreneur Achievement Award for Leadership in Entrepreneurial Spirit. Francis is the region director-elect for IEEE Region 5, the U.S. Southwest.

Founded in 2011, Ozark IC has 19 employees.