EU supports rapid commercialization of Printed Electronics

16 June, 2014 - 07:04

The EU has lost a significant share of the electronics manufacture sector to the Far East in recent decades. Printed Electronics could redress the balance.

The EUs loss of market shares for electronics has resulted in a negative trade balance of €100bn per year. This is in part due to current manufacturing techniques being expensive, wasteful and energy intensive. In a bid to redress the balance, a consortium of businesses and research organizations from across Europe have announced that they are undertaking a multi-million-euro research and development program to create cost-effective and highly functional techniques and technologies for printed electronics.

- Printed electronics are set to revolutionize the electronics industry. By enabling direct additive processing, printed electronics has the capability of significantly reducing the capital and operating costs of manufacture, as well as the processing of hazardous chemical waste and energy associated with the traditional subtractive processing that have made manufacture in the EU economically unviable, says Dr Richard Dixon, Managing Director of Intrinsiq Materials Ltd, an SME in the PLASMA-project.

Using the existing Intellectual Property (IP) of the project partners and IP developed during the duration of the program, the consortium will demonstrate the use of combinations of printed functional inks to produce integrated printed structures that replace conventional copper based circuit boards and printed silicon devices. The project partners will also produce a pilot scale ink-jet printing process system demonstrating the integration capability that can be adopted to meet immediate market opportunities relating to digital advertisement, smart signage, low-cost logic and cost-effective processing for the electro- & electronics industry.

- The EU is currently in the lead in terms of technical know-how and innovation in printed electronics. However, there are a number of barriers that are preventing widespread adoption of the technology, including availability of cost effective, high performance conductive inks. The PLASMAS project looks to address this issue in order to help ensure the intellectual capital that Europe has developed, is translated into direct economic benefit by retaining manufacture within the EU. says Alain Le Loc’h, Innovation Project Manager for Gemalto, end-user in the project.

Magnus Svensson, Acreo Printed Electronics, is the representant and projectleader for the swedish contribution to the project. PLASMAS (Printed Logic for Applications of Screen Matrix Activation Systems) is a 3-year project funded through the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). PLASMAS brings together the following organizations:

  • Acreo Swedish ICT AB
  • C-Tech Innovation Limited
  • Cyprus University of Technology
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research
  • Gemalto
  • Intrinsiq Materials Ltd
  • NanoTecCenter Weiz Forschungsgesellschaft mbh
  • PRA, a Pera Technology Company
  • Precision Varionic International Ltd
  • 3D-Micromac AG