DAC System, the story of a startup - from USI to USA


Institutional Communication Service

26 October 2020

On October 21, the Ticino startup company DAC System and US firm Dielectric Inc., signed an exclusive partnership agreement at the Tecnopolo Ticino, in Manno, in the presence also of US Ambassador to Switzerland Edward McMullen. DAC System, which has developed a unique system for monitoring radio-television towers, will provide its patented RFHAKWEYE monitoring system to Dielectric, which is controlled by the Sinclair Broadcast Group (the second largest media conglomerate in the USA by number of TV stations), for distribution in the entire North American market. This key milestone adds to DAC System's success story, which started in 2013 at the CP Start-up USI.

The technology developed by DAC System is based on the same technology used in nuclear particle accelerators. The system, the only one of its kind in the world, is able to detect in real time the signal quality status of large towers - even over 500 metres high - and also to prevent failures that are often catastrophic, causing enormous costs and safety risks.

Created in 2013 from an idea of Pietro Casati, the Ticino startup immediately seized the opportunities offered by the innovation ecosystem in Ticino, starting with the CP Start-up USI that admitted in its startuup incubator. Soon aftern, in 2014, DAC System reaches the finals at the StartCup Ticino. In 2015, DAC System moves to the Tecnopolo Ticino, in Manno, and participates in a number of KTI/CTI programmes (now Innosuisse), obtaining the Swiss Innovation Agency quality label (CTI Label) in 2016. In the following years, Casati managed to obtain important funding, including a non-repayable cantonal contribution (thanks to the Innovation Law, LInn) and, in 2019, a total funding of CHF 1.2 million in which TiVenture also participated.

In recent years, Casati has been able to benefit from important collaborations that have greatly helped him in his growth path. In 2014, again as a startup incubated at USI, Casati collaborated with Rai Way (the Rai broadcasting network) for a pilot installation on Italian territory. In 2016, a collaboration agreement for technological development was signed with Kathrein AG, a German manufacturer of antennas and satellite technology (today in the Ericsson Group, the European technology conglomerate). In 2017, DAC System enters the US market, with the first installation of the system on the WGME TV tower in Raymond, Maine. But the big opportunity came around the following year, in 2018, with the installation of the DAC system on the One World Trade Center (also known as Freedom Tower), one of the tallest buildings in the world, an infrastructure serving 12 million people in New York and the surrounding region with television signals for many channels including Fox, CBS and NBC. This was followed by installations on several large broadcast towers in San Francisco and Chicago, as well as in other countries around the world in major cities such as Toronto, Berlin, Milan, Shenzen, Manila and London. >> www.dacsystem.ch