On 14th July the Commissionaire for Research and Innovation, Mr. Carlos Moedas meet with a delegation composed of prof Rodrigo Martins (E-MRS Senate Chairman), Eric Peeters (EMIRI Chairman), Fabrice Stassin (EMIRI Director), Marco Falzetti (A4M Chairman) to discuss about actions for supporting Materials innovation for the Energy sector.
In particular it was addressed how to highlight the critical role of the materials as key enabler technology for the SET-Plan review activity and how to create the best synergies with the Commission for maintaining the commitment and leadership of European industry through the EMIRI initiative.
A4M was among the first that supported the International Union of Materials Research Society (IUMRS) initiative. The IUMRS initiative awards professionals internationally for their outstanding leadership and services within the field of Materials and Nanotechnologies.
This year the recipients for this award were the founder and Secretary General of E-MRS, Prof. P. Siffert. During his career, he has promoted materials word wide. Another recipient for the award was the Prof. M. Roco, the promoter of the ESF-USA, launched in the area of Nanotechnologies and Advanced Materials. Mr. C. Tokamanis received the award for services provided to the Materials community in the field of nanotechnologies. We would like to highlight his strong involvement in launching the Nanofuture Initiative, among others.
The event took place at Hotel Thon, Brussels on 23rd February 2015. Carlos Moedas, Commissionaire of Research and Innovation, chaired the event. The event was organized with the endorsement of the EP parliament with the help of MP Carlos Zorrinho.
“LightFlex” project is focused on small range manufacturing. Laser-Rapid-Prototyping will be combined with laser-assisted winding and tape laying to improve the flexibility in production and the geometric complexity within the reduction of the production costs.
“PräziGen” project is focused on development of a generative production procedure for carbide metal tools. The near netshape process need to fulfill the high quality standards for cutting tools.
The ongoing fourth industrial revolution, constituted by digital manufacturing, new frontiers of ICT and a set of dynamics and instruments deriving from the encounter of new technologies, internet and creativity, will leverage on the wide horizon formed by new potentials of a “new manufacturing”, increasingly specialized and focused on evolved pool of competencies.
The introduction of ever more pervasive digital technology has brought companies that have managed to survive the market changes and those that are being born to rethink their business models, also looking at distributed and collaborative R&D strategies. On the other hand, the new generation of digital artisans, the makers, should be part of this new emerging ecosystem, taking advantage of many opportunities opening up with the development of new digital manufacturing.
Makers are becoming more and more interesting also as stakeholders who can develop a new idea of job and employment and a new perspective towards education and training.
That’s why ASTER is approaching this new “world” considering the whole regional ecosystem, made by public institutions, companies, schools and research centers. As a consequence of this choice, ASTER decided to support regional makers in order to foster the birth of a regional network on digital fabrication: Mak-ER. It is the first Italian regional network with these characteristics; it is promoted by Make in Italy Association, coordinated by FabLab Reggio Emilia and MakeInBo and operates thanks to the support of ASTER. Mak-ER aims to systematize the best energies and aspirations that are emerging within Emilia-Romagna region, combining the organizational flexibility of individual members together with a critical mass able to making them identifiable, believable towards the production environment and able to participate in large-scale strategic projects.
ASTER decided to support the digital manufacturing network of Emilia-Romagna, primarily because of these issues:
Thanks to ASTER support, in 2014 Mak-ER was invited as first regional network of makers at R2B - International Exhibition on Industrial Research and Innovation; World Maker Faire in New York, European Maker Faire in Rome, Smart City Exhibition; in 2015 it was invited at 3DPrint Hub 2015.
Additionally, on March 18th the Emilia-Romagna region has joined the European Regional Vanguard Initiative (VI), aimed to promote the cooperation in a new value chain vision of several industrial organization in VI associated 26 regions .
Among the initial Pilot actions promoted by VI, the so called 3D printing pilot was brought by ASTER to highlight the interest of the Maker association in 3 specific areas , Automotive, Complex mechanical parts, Health.
The assumption of the pilot is, that after a mapping and connecting phases, an interesting and involving demo plant action may bring SME and bigger player to an effective, cooperative growth of the 3D printing technology.
ASTER is supporting Mak-ER to create a pool of experts, that is helping the network to grow go further; to start experimentations on new projects, most of all with technical education institutions (i.e. ITS Maker); to connect, as an enabler, different entities within the same territory or city, in order to make them working together; to act as a facilitator among single entities and local public administrations.
Printed intelligence in Finland focuses on cost and energy efficient roll-to-roll manufacturing, advanced scalable materials and creation of new business.
The key is to combine materials and processing know-how with applications such as smart packaging, diagnostics, organic electronics, organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), lighting and solar cells. These provide important enablers for the critical needs of flexible and organic electronics – already today.
Several SMEs have already transferred their recent research to industrial applications. For example:
Beneq has developed the first industrial roll-to-roll atomic layer deposition (ALD) equipment, efficiently providing the critical barrier coatings for flexible electronics and photovoltaics.
Canatu manufactures uniquely flexible, highly transparent, conductive carbon nanomaterial-based thin films for customised touch sensors and formable 3D (three-dimensional) touch modules. This provides superior alternative to indium tin oxide (ITO), which is brittle and based on scarce natural resources.
Iscent produces printable holographic-like light-scattering films for smart packaging and security applications by hot embossing technology – without any inks or metals.
Nanocomp produces micro- and nanophotonics solutions by thin foil reel-to-reel technology.
Okmetic uses printing technologies in manufacturing of MEMS devices.
Focused research is conducted at several universities, such as Tampere University of Technology, Åbo Akademi University, University of Oulu, as well as VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, which today has excellent pilot-scale manufacturing facilities.
Example project: Processes for MEMS by Inkjet Enhanced Technologies (Prominent).
These are just examples of the key players of the Finnish Printed Intelligence ecosystem which is today active in R&D, piloting and implementation – and building business with top-notch international partners.
VTT Printed Intelligence – World class R&D
by Riku Rikkola
VTT is a leading provider of R&D services in printed intelligence and its applications. With staff of more than 100 experts in the field and unique pilot facilities, VTT can carry out concept development, prototyping and upscaling to manufacture printed, flexible and plastic electronics products.
PrintoCent industry cluster members.
VTT Printed Intelligence has spent the past ten years focusing strongly on research into highly efficient roll-to-roll manufacturing processes. This has been supported by PrintoCent investments in new facilities and research work in jointly funded projects and demonstrators. In recent years, more and more emphasis has been put on systems, integration and product development. Key to this has been the introduction of VTT’s roll-to-roll component assembly line, and active collaborations with partners in the PrintoCent, the industrialization cluster for printed intelligence technologies and products. Combining all these strengths, VTT Printed Intelligence has moved further into application-driven research.
1) Maxi Printed Intelligence R2R pilot line. 2) R2R assembly and bonding line for hybrid integration between silicon microelectronics and printed functionalities.
VTT Printed Intelligence offers world-class competence in understanding materials and processes. Special attention is given to tailoring materials for compatibility with printing and other roll-to-roll manufacturing processes. Experience has shown that process development for specific applications is also critical. At VTT Printed Intelligence this is carried out in parallel with materials and ink development. As the printed roll is very seldom the final product, system integration plays a key role in product development.
System integration enables the roll-to-roll production of flexible electronics products by introducing silicon-based or flexible components onto printed foils. Especially, competitive benefits can be gained in applications requiring large-area production with a limited added-component count. This silicon-hybrid approach enables the integration of low power processing and communication capabilities into flexible systems and products. Small and thin components can be fully integrated without compromising flexibility.
R2R printed OLED foil. R2R manufactured large area flexible LED luminaire.
VTT Printed Intelligence works across these technologies with a strong focus on manufacture upscaling. This means that instead of restricting work to small-scale, novel devices in solar cells for example, our attention is on large-area cells and systems. Similarly in transistors, the goal is to create printable backplanes and integrated printed circuits whilst ensuring the repeatability of the manufacturing processes. VTT Printed Intelligence is frequently engaged as the upscaling partner of choice for lab-scale, proven technology. Our strength is in assisting customers not only with proof of principle but also with proof of production.
Leaf shape printed Organic photovoltaics module.
In 2008 the CENIMAT/I3N and UNINOVA/CEMOP, under the coordination of professors R. Martins and E. Fortunato, demonstrated the possibility to produce electronic devices where paper could be, besides the substrate, an active component, combined with the use of oxide semiconductors, away from traditional silicon. At that time the discovery was deeply disseminated by mass media worldwide and even today you can find hundreds of thousands of followers of this concept (Google E. Fortunato or paper transistor).
Apart from that, the scientific promoters and stakeholders did receive the news as a vision of how future could change, especially for all technology related to low cost disposable and full recyclable goods. This recognition led the group to get several awards, from which we would like to highlight the USA IdTech R&D 2009 award attributed to the paper transistor (S. Jose, California) and the Korean Information Display Society (KIDS) 2010 (Daegu, South Korea) award, attributed to the paper memory.
1º prémio IDTech R&D 2009 1º prémio KIDS 2010
(S. José Califórnia, EUA) (Seoul, Coreia do Sul)
Since then the team has been focused on how to produce the key basic electronics units in paper, such as CMOS , the key unit to produce logic circuits . Moreover, the team started getting several followers worldwide and started exploiting the paper electronics (not the e-paper, but a real paper electronics!). Meanwhile the group started going deeply in the scientific understanding on how the paper composition, fibres’ nature and size and mineral contains could influence the performances of the devices built with them , including the fabrication of devices on transparent paper.
Front cover page of Nanotechnology and image of transparent paper used to produce TFT
In march 2015 as a result of joint work within A3Ple (Autonomous Printed Paper Products for Labels & Electronics) project, coordinated by Centre Technique do Papier (CTP), in France and to which the Portuguese team coordinated by R. Martins, L. Pereira and E. Fortunato, belong together with other partners such as CEA, a paper intelligent sensing display label was fabricated, using these concepts. This demo was awarded by the Organic and Printed Electronics – Association), during the LOPEC - Large-area, Organic & Printed Electronics Convention 2015, held in Munich.
Electrónica integrada em papel, Prémio LOPEC 2015, Munique, alemanha
We have to realise that LOPEC is responsible by organising one of the main conference and exhibition event worldwide, in the area of printing organic electronics, where the last developments and technologies in the field are presented. Thus, that is a good place to promote new partnerships and business plans.
1st worldwide inorganic solar cells on paper, 2015. Sensor developed for detection of electrochemically active bacteria
Besides that, the Portuguese group has been involved in creating new devices aiming to establish full autonomous paper platforms for a plethora of applications. For that the key element are solar cells that by first time the group develop on paper[9,10]. The Portuguese team did also research towards paper based diagnostic platforms[11,12,13], whose main goal is in turning them dynamic, involving all required electronics to turn them full mobile, intelligent (able to store information and to communicate it wireless) and energy autonomous. This will be a giant step towards diagnostics for all, once the costs are real low and they are very easy to recycle, completely different when such platforms are made on silicon. In paper, you just burn it!
New areas where a real strong market is foreseen concerns the area of smart packaging for the food and pharmaceutical industry, where they can interact with consumers and are able to supply to a central data bank all information concerning expiring data, state of the goods, etc., and so contribute for saves on food wasting! The size of this market is well above 110 B€ and will improve drastically the life quality of all!
Today we are assisting to the renaissance or the a new era of the paper industry, to be looked not only the ink support or to wrapped up products, but a truly electronic product to improve our comfort, for a better life!
Finally, I would like to stress that this has been recognised, not only concerning the creativity involved (L. Pereira got a start ERC grant in 2015 on cellulose composites for paper electronics (New_Fun) but the European Commission also recognises its potential to contribute to Knowledge-based nanotechnologies and advanced materials for industrial value chains, in the area of Circular economy for the EU industry of 2020! A4M and EuMat contribute also deeply for this recognition, once all they sustained the relevancy and importance of this area to close the loop of the industry of the future, where sustainability and the re-use of things must be present in our agenda!
E. Fortunato et al., "High-performance flexible hybrid field-effect transistors based on cellulose fiber paper," Ieee Electron Device Letters, vol. 29, pp. 988-990, Sep 2008.
 R. Martins, et al, "Write-erase and read paper memory transistor," Applied Physics Letters, vol. 93, Nov 2008.
 R. Martins, et al. SID 2014Frontline Technology: The Future Is Paper Based, p20-24.
R. Martins et al, Adv. Mat., Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor Technology With and On Paper”. 2011, 23, 4491-4496
R. Martins et al., Adv. Funct. Mater., Flexible, Low-Power Oxide Electronics 23 (2013) 2153–2161
see for instance Der-Hsien Lien et al. All printed paper memory, ACS Nano, http://pubs.acs.or, on July 14th 2014.
L. Pereira, el al. The influence of fibril composition and dimension on the performance of paper gated oxide transistors Nanotechnology, Vol (9), 094007, MAR 7 2014.
 D Gaspare tal. Nanocrystalline cellulose applied simultaneously as the gate dielectric and the substrate in flexible field effect transistors, Nanotechnology 25 (2014) art nº 094008 (11pp).
 H. Águas et al. Thin film silicon photovoltaic cells on paper for flexible indoor applications , Advanced Functional M aterials, 2015, dx.doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201500636.
 A. Vicente, et. Al. Martins, Solar Cells for Self-Sustainable intelligent Packaging, J. Materials Chemistry A, 2015, DOI 10. 1039/C5TA01752A.
 M N Costa, et al., A low cost, safe, disposable, rapid and self-sustainable paper-based platform for diagnostic testing: lab-on-paper, Nanotechnology 25 (2014).
 A. C. Marques, et al., Office Paper Platform for Bioelectrochromic Detection of Electrochemically Active Bacteria using Tungsten Trioxide Nanoprobes, Scientific Reports, (2015), DOI: 10.1038/srep09910.
 72) B. Veigas, et al., Gold on paper-paper platform for Au-nanoprobe TB detection, Lab On Chip, 12 (22) (2012), pp. 4802-4808.
The Alliance for Materials way to the creation of the Materials Common House – MATCH project kicked-off
23.02.2015, Brussels. MATCH project funded by European Union kicked-off in January 2015 and is set to carry on for 30 months. The project is part of the Horizon 2020 programme and was initiated to strengthen and deepen the Alliance4Materials strategy with a further increased stakeholder network. The project is coordinated by Italian Centro Sviluppo Materiali and the consortium consists of 18 partners from nine countries representing the six related European Technology Platforms and several major European material research organisations.
The objective of MATCH is to create a strong, reliable, sustainable, open and inclusive network where any European Materials players from industry, research and university could feel comfortable and can gain real value for their own interest and expectations as far as Materials R&D&I is concerned as a sustainable pillar for all. Moreover, the consortium is set to promote the integration of concerted and strategic challenges of regional and European needs in the field of Materials R&D&I, as a cross cutting element to boost European growth.
12.6.2015, Riga, Latvia. Material experts gathered together during EuroNanoForum 2015 to disseminate and discuss on the implementation map developed by NANOfutures ETIP within Value4nano project. The interest of industrial players in different pilot Line facilities was shown with the ultimate goal of validating an innovation driven strategy for the sustainable and safe production of added value products using nanotechnology. Moreover, EUMAT ETP presented materials related issues concerning value chains and pilots.