Microsensor Challenge 2021 edition

Challenge and compare different microsensors in order to enlighten users, independently, between the suitability of the product and the possible uses.


  • Air quality measurements
photo of micro-sensors in action
Ⓒ Airparif

Informations of the project

dates: January 01, 2021

Place of experimentation: Air parif; Atmo Haut-de-France

Number of partners: 2

Number of solutions tested: 58

Project display 


Air quality is a health, economic and societal issue. Air pollution, outdoor and indoor, is responsible for 7 million anticipated deaths per year worldwide, according to the WHO report published on May 2, 2018. In response to this major challenge, the expectations of the population and more generally, city players are moving towards a demand for increasingly precise personalized information on air quality. Reliable information is the basis for understanding and action to ultimately improve air quality. In recent years, technical improvements in pollution sensors (miniaturization, connectivity, etc.) have led to the development of new "networks" by equipping housing, street furniture, vehicles or citizens, etc.

The microsensor challenge project

Many experimentation and innovation projects on air quality are being developed based in particular on microsensors. What are the performances of these devices according to the uses? How does their performance change over time? The objective is to promote innovations while providing information and choice criteria for users according to their needs in relation to these new technologies.

On the strength of the first two editions of the AIRLAB Microsensor Challenge, we continue to independently evaluate and compare microsensors in order to enlighten users between the suitability of the product and the possible uses. This Challenge highlights the qualities of these devices and allows, in a global way, an inventory of the latter, in order to promote innovation or even technological breakthroughs in this field. The "air market" is emerging and has a global reach, which encourages many economic players to invest in this theme, all the more so as the development of environmental technologies, digital convergence, the rise of connected objects and France's leadership on these subjects suggest new opportunities, both for monitoring and for improvement actions or public information.

The 2021 edition

The "AIRLAB Microsensors 2021" Challenge is organized by Airparif with the support ofAtmo France, Federal Laboratory for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA) in Switzerland, FIMEA, theIndoor Air Quality Observatory, Lab'Aireka, Incub'Air, Scientific and Technical Center for Building, of the project Interreg TransfAIR of the European Union and the World Meteorological Organization. It is co-financed by Airparif, the French Development Agency, the Ecological Transition Agency, EDF, the DIM QI2 "Air Quality Research Network in Île-de-France", Atmo Hauts-de-France, Atmo Normandy, Atmo Great East, South Atmo, Atmo Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes et Qualitair Corsica.

The Challenge jury selected 33 companies to test their devices. In the coming months, Airparif's metrology laboratory, in collaboration with Atmo Hauts-de-France, will evaluate 55 solutions out of more than 20 evaluation points.

Accuracy, usefulness, usability, portability and costs are all criteria that Airparif and its partners propose to assess within the framework of this AIRLAB Challenge. In order to enlighten, in complete transparency, users on the adequacy of the product with the uses, the microsensors can compete in 8 categories responding to the uses such as outdoor air quality, indoor air quality, individual mobility, indicative measures, etc. (list of categories available below).

All of this independent evaluation will be published in the fall of 2021 and will provide visibility on the performance of the microsensors currently on the market according to their uses. This challenge will highlight the qualities of these devices and ways to improve them in order to encourage innovation or even technological breakthroughs to contribute to the development of an emerging market. Starting in the fall, the most relevant sensors will be deployed as part of AIRLAB projects in the areas of connected buildings and citizen participation.

List of successful candidates

3Castagni, AGRICOPE, Airlabs, Airly, ATMOTTRACK, bettair, Decentlab, DomNexX, EarthSense, ECOMESURE, eLichensENVEA, Ether, inBiot, IQ Air, Kaiterra, KUNAK, magnasci, Meo, NanoSense, nexelec, RUBIX, Sensilla, Sensirion, sensorbee, SGS, South Coast, TERA, TSI, Vaisala, VOCSense, Zaak.

The laureats 

All of the results per sensor are freely available on the AIRLAB site via a interactive platform so that each potential microsensor user can clarify his choice according to the expected use of these technologies. These assessments are available in English and French. A new edition of the Challenge is planned for 2023.

The results of the previous year 

The 34 sensors tested during this second edition all had a satisfactory level of ergonomics and an increase of more than 10% compared to the 2018 edition. If the quality of the measurements varied from excellent (for carbon dioxide carbon in indoor air) to unsatisfactory, with differences depending on the pollutants for the same sensor, a clear improvement was observed in accuracy, which increased on average by more than 30% in the 2019 edition. the jury emphasizes that it did not observe a solution to a major malfunction during the last edition, unlike the 2018 edition.

Carrier of the project

Name of the organization : Airparif

Name of the contact : Adrian Arfire, Metrology Engineer

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