19.03.09

Technology centre boosts display research

AUTHOR: Inavate

Research into large area displays has been given a boost with the launch of the UK’s national Printable Electronics Technology Centre.

PETEC in Sedgefield is a division of the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and helps clients identify materials, industrial steps and investments required to bring products to market.

Tom Taylor, director of PETEC, said: “The UK has a well established competence in research in printable electronics whereas PETEC’s focus is in accelerating the commercialisation of these products through the production processes and solving technology issues that companies face in developing new products.”

The Centre, a division of the Centre for Process Innovation Limited (CPI), connects innovators in research with commercial activity using proof of concept devices and pilot scale manufacture. The Centre helps clients identify the materials, industrial steps and investments required to bring products to market quickly.

PETEC’s initial focus is in displays, where there is already commercial pressure to produce larger area displays that are more efficient and at lower cost. With the emergence of new formats such as E-paper, OLED Displays and LCD on flexible substrates, the potential for printable electronics to make an impact is vast.

Other near term markets for PETEC’s customers include Solid State Lighting and Organic Photovoltaics. The Centre is geared to help companies address the various materials performance and processing challenges in these emerging markets.

Richard Kirk, CEO of Polyphotonix, an OLED lighting company building its first production line at PETEC commented, “PETEC has been pivotal to creation of PolyPhotonix. Without access to the facilities, management expertise and experience it would have been prohibitively expensive. The ability to work quickly and effectively is crucial in this fast moving technology environment.

PETEC launched on March 17 with a ceremony chaired by Lord Alec Broers. Lord Broers received a Peerage in 2004 in recognition of his contributions to engineering and higher education and chaired the House of Lords Select Committee for Science and Technology from 2004 - 2007. The event has attracted global leaders across the field of Printed Electronics, including 60 members of the International Organic Electronics Association. A programme of keynote lectures by speakers from UK, Korea, Japan and Europe took place throughout the day supported by demonstrations of prototype work from innovative companies.