Electronic Products & Technology

News

NRC drives industry to form printed electronics association


The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is looking to team up with industry partners within the printed electronics (PE) arena to formulate a new national association that will serve as an integral networking platform for this emerging technology.

The initiative was announced during the 2014 Canadian Printed Electronics Symposium, hosted recently at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada in Mississauga ON. The day-long event was attended by roughly 80 major industry players including manufactures, print buyers, printers, academic researchers, as well as aerospace and automotive industry associates.

“The NRC is fully backing the launch of this association, as industry members have told us they really want such a group,” says Thomas Ducellier, executive director of the printable electronics program with NRC. “Our industry is very fragmented and there is presently very little awareness in Canada of printed electronics.”

The aim is to gather a broad membership, involving all stakeholders involved with PE in Canada. Ducellier says the key will be to engage all participants in the supply chain, joining forces to advocate PE to end-users. Ducellier says the NRC’s objective is to get the association up and running to a point where it “takes care of itself”.

“This association would facilitate the development of new business opportunities for members, both domestically and internationally,” he adds. “There is such a high need for networking in this industry. You just have to look around this room and see the energy and need for these members to share ideas.”

Results of preliminary consultations with industry leaders and international PE organizations showed the NRC that a new association should facilitate networking, linkages and match-making to stimulate the development of new R&D and business relationships. The group would also aim to promote the PE industry, its interests and opportunities.

While the PE industry is still in the early stages of development, Ducellier says a formal association would galvanize the current and prospective benefits of the emerging technology within many existing sectors of the Canadian economy. Some of these sectors include: ICT, energy (oil & gas), security, environment, packaging, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, automotive.

“It is very important that we increase Canada’s visibility to the global PE market,” Ducellier adds.

The goal to forming an association will be to create a critical mass by enlisting between 15 to 20 big and small companies. Upon the establishment of a good foundation, the group will initially aim to host a minimum of two regional workshops and an annual symposium each year.

“Another objective of this group’s emergence will be to keep the initial membership fees low, to incent as broad participation as possible,” says Ducellier. The following annual fees are initially proposed, but subject to increase as the member offering and value proposition evolves over time.

• Multinationals – $500

• SMEs – $250

• Entrepreneurs (individuals), academic researchers – $100

• Students – $50

• International organizations – $750

For more information on joining the association, contact Thomas Ducellier at thomas.ducellier@cnrc-nrc-gc.ca Or visit online at http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/solutions/collaborative/pe_index.html