Sensus has reached an agreement to acquire Sentec, an award-winning research organization that develops electronics and sensor technologies for utilities, meter and appliance manufacturers, and infrastructure providers.

When complete, the acquisition will expand Sensus’ global engineering resources in emerging and transformational technologies, including those that support the Internet of Things (IoT).

“The expansion of our technology resources with a particular focus on research will help us bring innovative solutions to market faster and grow our IoT offerings,” said Sensus President Randy Bays in a statement. “The agreement with Sentec further illustrates our commitment to R&D spending which has continued to increase every year since 2012 and is now more than $85M per year.”

Sentec has expertise in mechanical engineering, embedded firmware development and other skill sets that complement Sensus. Sentec is also working on cost-effective metrology for different IoT sensors such as window air conditioning units that provide data to enable demand response and load control initiatives and low-cost sensors for energy-efficient washing machines that capture information on water and energy use.

“We’ve been a partner of Sensus for the past 10 years and helped develop some of the key technologies used in their water and electric meters,” said Mark England, chief technical officer at Sentec, in a statement.

Sentec is located in Cambridge, England, in the heart of the technology center known locally as Silicon Fen—a nod to Silicon Valley in California and the marshlands that surround Cambridge’s parks and universities. “By establishing a presence in Cambridge, we can supercharge our product development activity and bring additional technology to the market for our customers,” said Bays.