Flexible and Wearable Electronics combines new and traditional materials with large-area processes to fabricate lightweight, flexible, printed and multi-functional electronic products. The challenge is to tap open opportunities in existing and emerging markets by pushing technology barriers further and demonstrating innovative use in sectors that could benefit from such innovations.

Scope

To fully exploit the potential of Flexible and Wearable Electronics and overcome barriers of manufacturability, challenges need to be addressed in materials, processes for large-area fabrication and quality control, integration technologies, and demonstrating innovative and sustainable products for professionals and consumers. This topic will support advances in device technology and related manufacturing processes.

Proposals can address one or more of the following topics:

Enhancing manufacturability: Addressing advances in combined organic and printed electronics and large area deposition technologies resulting in multi-functional components; and/or equipment and processes for large-scale fabrication, mass-customisation and characterisation as well as textile compatibility, whenever relevant.

Integration technologies: It addresses the development of new concepts for the integration of transducers, energy and data storage elements, logic, displays and light sources, as well as new interconnection technologies.

Device demonstration: Prototype validation in specific applications of flexible and wearable electronics. Consideration to be given to the integration of electronic devices in connected wearable and portable settings (e.g. textiles, flexible or stretchable substrates), interconnection, compatibility with low-cost manufacturing, efficient energy scavenging and storage, functional performance, and durability/reliability. Privacy and security, liability and free flow of data as well as recyclability and waste management should be considered where relevant.

It is expected that projects addressing manufacturability would demonstrate production capability in a laboratory environment (TRL 4).

For integration and device demonstration, it is expected that technologies are validated in laboratory or relevant environments (TRL 4-5), and that industrial exploitation is clearly identified.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 2 and 4 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nevertheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

To complete this effort and strengthen the value chain, from materials to devices, a jointly funded topic with NMBP will support projects spanning from material improvement (electrical performance, processibility, stability and lifetime during device operation), to prototyping of advanced large area electronic products - TRL 3 to TRL 5. This topic will be implemented through Innovation Actions (see topic DT-NMBP-18-2019 Materials, manufacturing processes and devices for organic and large area electronics (IA)).

Expected Impact

Proposals should address some of the following impact criteria and provide metrics to measure and monitor progress:

  • Technology leaps related to improved performance (functionalities, autonomy, reliability, manufacturability and cost…) and contributing to European leadership in large area, flexible and wearable electronics .
  • The emergence of new products based on the combination of printed and large area processed electronics.
  • Increased R&D cooperation in technology device development and related manufacturing processes.
  • Developing further manufacturing capabilities in Europe.
  • Creating new opportunities for digitisation in other sectors and including new actors in the ecosystems (designers, artists…),
  • Increased industrial investments in flexible and wearable electronics.

Dateline for submission: 17 April 2018 17:00:00 (Brussels time

Source: The European Commission

Illustration Photo: DuoSkin / MIT Media Lab, Microsoft Research (US). DuoSkin is a fabrication process that enables anyone to create customized functional devices that can be attached directly on their skin. Using gold metal leaf, a material that is cheap, skin-friendly, and robust for everyday wear, we demonstrate three types of on-skin interfaces: sensing touch input, displaying output, and wireless communication. (credits: Florian Voggeneder / Ars Electronica / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

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